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By John Helmer, Moscow Under pressure from the US Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC),  an accused Swiss art fraudster, Yves Bouvier (lead image, right),  has become the target of new  money-laundering investigations of art dealings involving Russian businessmen. Oleg Deripaska and Suleiman Kerimov (1st left) were hit by US sanctions announced by OFAC […]

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By John Helmer, Moscow The lapels on a man’s coat do what a brassiere does for a woman; they display the urge to overwhelm  others.  A pointed, exaggerated urge.     So when President Vladimir Putin wore peaked lapels in public for the first time on February 9, 2017, he meant to signal he was intending […]

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By John Helmer, Moscow Tom Wolfe (lead image, centre, right), the American investigative writer, died on Monday in New York aged 88. The New York Times, as deaf still to the meaning of words as Wolfe was once acute, reports  the cause was an “infection”. When I knew him in 1970 I was a commissioning […]

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By John Helmer, Moscow Once again, Alexei Kudrin (lead image), candidate for the second most powerful post in the Russian government after President Vladimir Putin, has had his ambition circumcised. The state news agency Tass reported Kudrin as confirming yesterday that he has accepted nomination as the new head of the Accounting Chamber, Russia’s state […]

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By John Helmer, Moscow Victor Vekselberg and his Renova group were put out of business by the US Treasury in the April 6 sanctions list. The reasons announced  were that Renova is owned by Vekselberg,  and Vekselberg “is being designated for operating in the energy sector of the Russian Federation economy;” and also because there […]

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By John Helmer, Moscow At the start of April President Vladimir Putin believed he could postpone Russia’s strategic and battlefield responses to the state of war which the US is escalating.  He was to be disappointed. On April 6, the US Treasury announced  it is putting the state aluminium monopoly United Company Rusal out of […]

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By John Helmer, Moscow There are two reasons why  the aluminium metal markets are not making long-term bets on the price of the metal, the alumina required to make it, and the share prices of the metal producers, including Russia’s aluminium monopoly United Company Rusal. The first reason is that the US Treasury Secretary Stephen […]

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By John Helmer, Moscow A politician becomes a psychopath when he or she acts without calculating the consequences for approval rating and voter support. The same thing goes for ministers and their advisers who urge military operations abroad which make voters feel unsafe at home. Fear and insecurity aren’t good for incumbents. President Donald Trump […]

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By John Helmer, Moscow US President Donald Trump didn’t mean to start a revolution. President Vladimir Putin tried persuading him not to. But on April 14 the revolution was launched by American warplanes, surface ships and a submarine. The outcome is that the US can no longer count on air superiority anywhere in the world […]

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By John Helmer, Moscow There are many Russian reasons why no Russian, man or woman, has trusted Oleg Deripaska (lead picture, on the wall), control shareholder and chief executive of the state aluminium monopoly Rusal (Russian Aluminium), for more than a few months at a time. The reasons have varied from business to business, contract […]