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By John Helmer, Moscow   @bears_with Cover yourself. When it’s raining, you can’t borrow somebody else’s umbrella for shelter. In September 1938, the umbrella of British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain became the symbol of his foolishness in accepting Adolph Hitler’s terms for the takeover of the Sudetenland, then Czechoslovakia,  as “peace for our time” (lead image, […]

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By John Helmer, Moscow   @bears_with To introduce himself to the international financial markets, ahead of his arrival in Osaka for the G20 summit meetings, President Vladimir Putin has given an interview to the Financial Times, a Japan-owned, England-based newspaper. The publication has headlined its report: “Vladimir Putin has trumpeted the growth of national populist movements in […]

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By John Helmer, Moscow   @bears_with Following police raids last week on a reporter for the Murdoch press in Canberra and the Sydney office of the state Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC), journalists in Australia have appealed for international solidarity on press freedom —  a cause which they themselves have failed to defend when others were under […]

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By John Helmer, Moscow US prosecutors pursuing Julian Assange continue to add evidence for the British courts that they are concealing charges in a dummy indictment they intend to change as soon as Assange is extradited. This means the Americans are turning the Assange case for freedom of the press into a cause for British […]

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By John Helmer, Moscow In February 1989 I started the Moscow Bureau with a first despatch to Ta Nea, then Greece’s leading daily newspaper. That was thirty years ago, a generation in time and several generations in Russian politics. A generation is the time it takes for individuals to grow into adulthood acquiring the shared […]

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By John Helmer, Moscow Sergei Skripal poisoned himself by accident on March 4, 2018, in the centre of Salisbury. At the time  he was engaged in an operation, freelance or official, which was known to the British intelligence agency MI6. The two Russians, Anatoly Chepiga and Alexander Mishkin, who visited Salisbury on March 3 and […]

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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 ‘All politics is local’ was something Tip O’Neill, the late Massachusetts congressman and Speaker of the US House of Representatives, used to say. ‘A week is a long time in politics’ was something Harold Wilson, the late British Prime Minister, said at about the same time.  This week,  you have several […]

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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 Desperate measures by South Africa’s President Jacob Zuma this week sharpened the focus on what the Russian state company Rosgeologia (Rosgeo) and state banks, VTB and Gazprombank, are doing to arrange a $400 million contract for a new gasfield off the South African coast – and pipe promises of billion-dollar royalty […]