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By John Helmer, Moscow  @bears_with Evgeny Dobrenko (lead image, left) is a letter-perfect demonstration of several things he appears, despite years of learning at universities from Odessa to Durham (North Carolina) and Sheffield (Yorkshire), not to have heard of.   In the academic world, like any other business, it’s the money which does the talking, pays […]

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By John Helmer, Moscow  @bears_with Russian poets are hardly the only ones to think they are irresistible on account of what comes out of their mouths. The two I’ve known best, Yevgeny Yevtushenko (lead image, right) of Irkutsk and Ted Hughes of Yorkshire, were irrepressible on the point, which helps account for some of the fatuities […]

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By John Helmer, Moscow  @bears_with When David Cornwell (aka John Le Carré) died after a bathroom fall last December, the current chief of the Secret Intelligence Service (aka MI6), Richard Moore, announced by tweet that Cornwell had been “a giant of literature who left his mark on MI6 through his evocative and brilliant novels”.  By mark, […]

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By John Helmer, Moscow  @bears_with When the German Army invaded Europe in the 1940s, they applied the doctrine of collective guilt against the civilian populations behind the Resistance and the partisans attacking their troops. After the Germans were defeated, the doctrine and the murderous result of it were judged to be a war crime. The London […]

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by John Helmer, Moscow  @bears_with Computer programmes used in universities to detect student plagiarism, along with semantic, style, and cognitive tests, reveal that Putin’s People, a book published by HarperCollins and bylined Catherine Belton, has another author or authors. Comparison testing of the vocabulary of Belton’s book and of transcripts of podcasts when Belton has been […]

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By John Helmer, Moscow  @bears_with On the subject of Russia and the Russians, American exceptionalism pops up in the most unexpected places. Take the case of a new book from the Russia-warfighting publisher Random House of New York fetchingly sub-titled “In which four Russians give a Master Class on Writing, Reading, and Life”. The Guardian, lead […]

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By John Helmer, Moscow  @bears_with When it came to ingratiating American presidents, no Russian leader tried harder than Mikhail Gorbachev followed by Boris Yeltsin. Vladimir Putin did his best to match their examples with Bill Clinton.   Putin was slow to learn, slower to anger. That began in 2008 when Hillary Clinton, then Secretary of State, broke a […]

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By John Helmer, Moscow  @bears_with There’s a lot to be afraid of in life. Mine has been dominated by the fear of suffocating to death. Compared to that, verbal insults, the headmaster’s cane, my father’s screaming, army camp, police on horses, Harvard University, the doorman at Fortnum’s, bad reviews, Russian gunmen, Georgian gunmen, and threats by […]

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By John Helmer, Moscow   @bears_with Faster than a speeding bullet — more powerful than a locomotive — able to leap tall lies at a single bound. More farsighted than Clark Kent (alias Superman), greener than Hal Jordan (Green Lantern), more tenacious than Peter Parker (Spiderman), as sworn to vengeance against lawlessness as Bruce Wayne (Batman). That’s […]

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By John Helmer, Moscow   @bears_with If ever there was a man who displayed on his face the evil in his mind, it was Zbigniew Brzezinski (lead image, left),  the national security advisor for President Jimmy Carter (right) when the US plot to start the war against the Soviet Union on the Afghan front was hatched in […]