Email This Post - Print This Post Print This Post

By John Helmer, Moscow In the armchair warrior’s version of game theory played with and without nuclear weapons, there’s a special place for the calculation of strategic deterrence that’s called tit for tat. President Vladimir Putin and President Donald Trump agreed between themselves that in the tit-for-tat game between the Kremlin and the White House, […]

Email This Post - Print This Post Print This Post

By Eric van de Beek and Max van der Werff, Amsterdam* Max, a year ago we looked back extensively on three years of MH17. Which are for you the most important events and developments over the past year? Without any doubt the liability of the Russian Federation claimed by the Netherlands and Australia and then […]

Email This Post - Print This Post Print This Post

By John Helmer, Moscow President Vladimir Putin’s side of the brunch table at the Helsinki summit almost matched President Donald Trump’s side. Seven sets of knives, forks and spoons;  six officials, one interpreter, matching lieutenant-generals. The odd man out — that’s to say in — was Dmitry Peskov, the Kremlin spokesman. Peskov’s White House counterpart, […]

Email This Post - Print This Post Print This Post

By John Helmer, Moscow Robert Mueller (lead image), the special US prosecutor of crimes of espionage between Moscow and Washington, picked July 13 to issue his indictment of twelve alleged Russian military intelligence officers for doing their jobs on evidence collected by US intelligence officers doing their jobs. The Russian crime alleged by Mueller in […]

Email This Post - Print This Post Print This Post

By John Helmer, Moscow In a ruling issued on June 28 and now publicly available, the Chief Magistrate of England, Emma Arbuthnot, has dismissed an application by Russian prosecutors for extradition of Andrei Votinov. He is charged in Russia with fraud against the Rosneft subsidiary, the Tuapse Oil Refinery. The 33-page judgement is a rare […]

Email This Post - Print This Post Print This Post

By John Helmer, Moscow Until the moment in April, when the US Government attacked Oleg Deripaska and his companies, including Rusal, the state aluminium monopoly,  his revenues, earnings and profits were looking up, and not only because the aluminium price had been rising. The electricity sale revenues of EN+ were also climbing, even though production […]

Email This Post - Print This Post Print This Post

By John Helmer, Moscow President Vladimir Putin (left) has appointed his deputy chief of staff Sergei Kirienko (right) “Hero of Russia”, the highest award for personal valour in the table of Russian state decorations.    Kirienko’s career includes presiding as prime minister over the 1998 default by the Russian  treasury, the only sovereign default since  […]

Email This Post - Print This Post Print This Post

By John Helmer, Moscow When cynical and unscrupulous men are desperate, they become as predictable as if they were principled. The difference between such men is hard to tell. Not since the Alaska Purchase of 1867 have the rulers of Moscow and Washington been as desperate to sell something to each other for a price […]

Email This Post - Print This Post Print This Post

By John Helmer, Moscow Early this month a Chinese reporter asked President Vladimir Putin for an intimate detail of his life noone had requested (or been given) before. Asked how much time he spends on exercise each day, Putin replied: “Every day I spend about 2–2.5 hours doing sports. I go to the gym, I swim, […]

Email This Post - Print This Post Print This Post

By John Helmer, Moscow There are many reasons why, to Russians who suffered through the regime of Boris Yeltsin, Yeltsin’s son-in-law Valentin Yumashev should be regarded with the same contumely as the people of Paris considered Quasimodo, the hunchback of Notre-Dame in Victor Hugo’s tale. Yumashev, who failed to complete a journalism degree but ended […]