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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 […]

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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  […]

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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 […]

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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, […]

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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 […]

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By John Helmer, Moscow In fear of  the Central Bank and the General Prosecutor investigating evidence of embezzlement, racketeering and fraud,  Boris Mints (lead image), a collector of  Russian painting of the late nineteenth and the early twentieth centuries, has fled to the UK.  How Mints turned his proceeds into artworks was one of the […]

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By John Helmer, Moscow Canada has endorsed US trade warfare against China, Russia, the European Union states, Iran, North Korea, and Venezuela,   but registers its dismay when the Trump Administration refuses to give Ottawa an indemnity pass so that it can benefit from the damage inflicted on the others.   Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland […]

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By John Helmer, Moscow Long before the Christians claimed credit for enunciating the Golden Rule, it was the ancient Greeks who started it off. By all reports, Jesus of Nazareth gave the Rule its positive spin – do unto others as you would have them do unto you. The Greek spin was negative – don’t […]

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By John Helmer, Moscow The British state broadcasting authority BBC reported  on Saturday morning that people who shit in public places are suffering from several different pathologies. That was before Saturday afternoon, followed by all day Sunday, when US President Donald Trump (lead image, left), his national security advisor John Bolton, his economic advisor Lawrence […]

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By John Helmer, Moscow Dmitry Peskov’s (lead image, right) future has still not been decided by President Vladimir Putin (left) after weeks of delay in which every other major figure in the Kremlin administration has been  confirmed either as staying or as departing.  This morning Andrei Tsybulin, currently titled “Chief of the Presidential Press and […]