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By John Helmer, Moscow  @bears_with There is a right way and a wrong way to understand how the war against the West is being fought on the Russian home front. The wrong way is to read the Anglo-American media, their stay-behind correspondents in Moscow, and their aggregators in Washington, DC.   The right way is to […]

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by John Helmer, Moscow   @bears_with The reason for rising discontent among Russians is obvious – except to the Anglo-American and German press and the governments prompting them. All Russians know this except for the young living at home, dependent on their family’s income. The prices for the food in the family grocery basket have been rising […]

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by John Helmer, Moscow   @bears_with The Russian potato is a hot potato politically for President Vladimir Putin. Much hotter than Alexei Navalny, and for a genuine, homegrown reason. The Russian potato harvest suffered its worst fall last year since 2010. And the political chips will fall just as they did before – the public approval rating for […]

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by John Helmer, Moscow   @bears_with Vkusville sounds half Russian, half French. Piquant, you might say – пикантный. The name can be translated into English as Taste Town. But for the name of a new chain of food stores this sounds so hackneyed that in your average American or British town you would expect to find there […]

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by John Helmer, Moscow   @bears_with It’s an old tsarist ploy. When government officials grow fearful of public protests, attacks on the authorities, and rioting, they increase the volume of alcohol for sale but decrease the number of places where drinkers can gather in public. Vodka is the opium of the people: this has been the Russian […]

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By John Helmer, Moscow This is the Bangsamoro banana, and somebody is slipping on it. On April 4 two young business partners, a Russian named Lev Dengov and a Turkmen, Merdan Gurbanov, with no known source of capital or past business record, signed an agreement to invest almost $600 million in the Bangsamoro region of […]

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By John Helmer, Moscow Alcoholics have ruled Russia in the past, but for the first time in Russian history a producer of alcohol, a winemaker, is running for president in the March election.   Boris Titov, owner of Abrau-Durso whose shares are listed on the Moscow stock exchange, is careful to avoid speaking to the voters […]

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By John Helmer, Moscow President Vladimir Putin is the bee’s knees. There’s noone to beat him, electionwise. But when it comes to feeding Russians the genuine article, Putin’s promise is a honey trap. Naturally, we are talking only of the business of Russian beekeeping, honey production and trade. Eighteen months after Putin listened to a […]

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By John Helmer, Moscow Medovukha, Russia’s fermented honey drink known in English as mead, is at least one thousand years old. If it’s what the Greeks meant by ambrosia, the nectar of the gods, then it is as ancient as wine, Dionysos’s tipple. Whether Rurik the Viking* brought mead with him to ancient Rus, or […]

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By John Helmer, Moscow Johnny Appleseed, an eighteenth century nurseryman and orchardist, is honoured in his American homeland for being a patriotic soldier in the  war against the British, and for going barefooted in the mission of Jesus Christ to convert the native Indians, whose tribal lands he enriched with apple nurseries.  It’s the job […]