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By John Helmer, Moscow Dixy is the Russian supermarket chain which is proving that the secret to selling groceries across the country at an annual loss of billions of roubles is, er, TOP SECRET.   This makes Dixy unusual because it is the only one of Russia’s top supermarket chains losing money. It is also […]

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By John Helmer, Moscow Igor Zyuzin (lead image) is the first Russian oligarch to face prosecution for polluting the air around his factories. The announcement of criminal charges last week comes as Chelyabinsk regional and city officials escalate a war against lobbying by well-known names around President Vladimir Putin to save Mechel, Zyuzin’s coal and […]

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By John Helmer, Moscow Never in the field of American conflict with Russia has so much wool pulled over the eyes been owed to so few sheep.  That was during the losing presidential campaign of Hillary Clinton. Now, in the investigations of President Donald Trump and his family, it’s a case of so many sheep […]

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By John Helmer, Moscow “In war”, Thucydides lectured the Hellenes 2,400 years ago, “opportunity waits for no man.” Last Thursday evening, when President Donald Trump was prepping for negotiations with President Vladimir Putin, the Hellenes gave the two of them an object lesson in how the weak may defeat an attack of apparently overwhelming force. […]

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By John Helmer, Moscow Thousands of years after spies were invented, and thirty years before the digital computer, there was SIGABA (lead image), an electric motor-powered mechanical apparatus for ciphering and protecting one’s communications from being intercepted or overheard by one’s enemies. Invented by two employees of the US National Security Agency, secretly patented in […]

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By John Helmer, Moscow If your enemy is waging economic war on you, it’s prudent to camouflage how well your farms and factories are doing. Better the attacker thinks you’re on your last legs, and are too exhausted to fight back.  A new report on the Russian economy, published by Jon Hellevig, reveals the folly […]

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By John Helmer, Moscow Not since the German government arranged for Vladimir Lenin to return to Russia, crossing German territory in a sealed train on April 16, 1917, has a foreign state at war with Russia done something as revolutionary as the US Senate did on June 15, 2017.  That is when, by a vote […]

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By John Helmer, Moscow Two men, Dmitrij Harder and Andrey Ryjenko, have been convicted in parallel proceedings in a US court and a UK court of arranging and receiving bribes in business transactions with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD). After several postponements over a year, Harder will be sentenced in US District […]

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By John Helmer, Moscow Since the 14th century it’s been said that if you take a pitcher to the well too often, it will eventually come back broken. When it comes to the market in Russian avant-garde art, taking the same picture to the well twice may be once too often. 

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By John Helmer, Moscow The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), the government-owned bank established in London in 1991 to finance market boosting projects in the former Soviet Union, has been secretly aiding UK and US intelligence services in espionage targeted at Russia. The US is a 10% shareholder in the bank, the UK […]