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New broadcast by Chris Cook with John Helmer, Victoria, B.C., Canada Click to listen    Interview starts at Minute 36:40 “Question: Is Putin’s political obituary in the western press a little premature? Answer: There’s been no conception, no baby here, no bath water.”

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By John Helmer, Moscow Optimists believe that in time the truth always wins out.  Skeptics believe men and women are liars by nature, so machines are necessary to catch them out. Pessimists believe that by the time that happens  it will be too late to make a practical difference. Politics, the pessimists add, is about […]

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By John Helmer, Moscow Since Julius Caesar, Shakespeare’s version, expressed mortal surprise that his best friend Brutus would put in the knife, there have been no end of political surprises at whose hand turns out to be on the assassin’s knife.  In the case of the hit in January on then-Canadian Foreign Minister Stéphane Dion, […]

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  By John Helmer, Moscow This is not a story about the past, nor about blaming the crimes of the fathers and grandfathers on their sons and daughters, or granddaughters.   This is a story of the moment when the crimes of the past and the criminal intent today turn out to be  the same […]

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By John Helmer, Moscow The US nuclear-armed missile destroyer, USS Porter, was steaming full-speed across the Black Sea in the direction of the Russian coastline, its Tomahawk firing radars activated, when a Russian airborne signals reconnaissance aircraft and three SU-24 fighter-bombers arrived in three waves. The US European Command headquarters in Stuttgart announced that the […]

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By John Helmer, Moscow Amazon.com Incorporated makes annual sales of $107 billion, growing at a rate of 30% so far this year. The market capitalization of its shares is currently $366 billion, increasing by 14%. Imagine what would happen to both if the control shareholder and chief executive of the company, Jeffrey Bezos (lead image),  […]

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By John Helmer, Moscow  For empires to rule, their agents must hang on to their monopoly of force, fraud and subversion, inside the home country as well as in its far flung dominions. Subversion means persuading people to believe what is true and good, when that’s false and bad for them. Propaganda, in short. It […]

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By John Helmer, Moscow Since he first came to Russia as a Dutch journalist with leftwing claims, money, unlike butter, has always melted in Derk Sauer’s mouth (lead image). Until last week there’s been a quite lot of it — more of it for Sauer to keep than for the string of loss-making publications he […]

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By John Helmer, Moscow In the recent history of Russian classical music, Mstislav Rostropovich grew so rich with the cello – Vladimir Spivakov with fiddle, Valery Gergiev with baton, too — how to explain that the broadcasting of classical music on the radio has grown so poor? The technologies of digital reproduction of music are […]

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By John Helmer, Moscow In a few days’ time, on August 1, Gerda Taro would have turned 104. The encomiums would have been bound to describe her as the oldest, possibly the first, woman photojournalist. But Taro hasn’t made it. Instead, on July 26, 1937, she died after being crushed by a Spanish Republican tank […]