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By John Helmer, Moscow This isn’t news:  President Vladimir Putin (lead image, right) is running for re-election on March 18. According to the latest national polls, he is likely to win with a larger majority of a smaller turnout than in 2012. As Tiny Tim (left) almost said in Charles Dickens’ Christmas Carol, God bless […]

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  By John Helmer, Moscow Russia’s leading state banker German Gref (lead image, left) and members of the Russian intelligentsia have written to the President of France, Emmanuel Macron, announcing their judgement that Suleiman Kerimov (centre) is innocent of the indictment the French prosecutor has filed in Nice. This charges Kerimov with laundering  more than […]

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By John Helmer, Moscow Carl von Clausewitz, the 19th century German soldier and military strategist, famously remarked that war is the continuation of policy (politics) by other means. By war, von Clausewitz meant the old-fashioned idea of running people through or making them run away, so they give up their territory, treasure, and women.  By […]

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By John Helmer, Moscow Extracting guilty pleas from the innocent was the specialty of the Spanish Inquisition and its Grand Inquisitor, Tomas de Torquemada (lead image, centre). Extracting guilty pleas from the dead is the specialty of the Russian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Kirill (right), and Bishop Tikhon Shevkunov (left), head of the Church commission investigating […]

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By John Helmer, Moscow Since the American war against Russia began in 2014, the market for Russian art has been driven by rich Russians running away, both buyers and sellers, as well as Americans making disposals. This week, in the semi-annual London auctions, there was a surge of demand for the art which American Russia-haters, […]

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By John Helmer, Moscow  The arrest and indictment of Suleiman Kerimov in Nice last week on charges of tax fraud and money laundering have begun loosening the tongues of international bankers and commodity trade financiers who have done business with Kerimov in the past, and who have been  guests at his Cap d’Antibes villa parties. […]

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By John Helmer, Moscow The Russian state bank VTB has corroborated its role in managing a complicated set of loans, insider transfers and repurchase agreements for Oleg Deripaska’s aluminium and electricity holding, EN+, which issued global depositary receipts on the London Stock Exchange last week. Since the listing, the Russian group has lost $140 million […]

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By John Helmer, Moscow It’s possible Donald Trump meant the little he has said about who was responsible for the destruction of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 over Ukraine in July 2014.  If he did, he didn’t mean it for long.  If he didn’t mean what he said, with the retrospect of two years that comes […]

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By John Helmer, Moscow A new group of US lawyers has advertised its services for suing the Russian state bank Sberbank, claiming they will earn large cash settlements for families of those killed when the Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 was shot down in eastern Ukraine on July 17, 2014. The law firm is known as […]

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By John Helmer, Moscow Stealing diamonds is a common crime. Stealing diamond mines is not unheard of, particularly  in Africa. But the Grib diamond mine in the Arkhangelsk region of Russia is the only diamond mine to have been stolen four times in just twenty years. This is a record in the history of the […]