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By John Helmer, Moscow Botanists can’t say for certain how many hoary old chestnuts, if planted in the right conditions, will turn into a stand of castanea sativa; that’s the botanical name for chestnut trees. It’s more certain that when Oxford University recently published a book of interviews with eighty wealthy Russians, conducted by a […]

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By John Helmer, Moscow Over weeks and months of last year,  Adam Waldman (lead image, left), a Washington lobbyist with ties to the Democratic Party and Hillary Clinton, tried to lure Julian Assange (second from left) into making incriminating admissions to benefit the Democrats’ campaign alleging Russian collusion in Clinton’s defeat by President Donald Trump. […]

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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 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 US Government economic sanctions have a hundred-year long history in US statutes and court cases, starting in 1917 when the US was at war with Germany. Trading with the Enemy Act was what the first statute was called.   It was clear then who the enemy was, and there was a […]

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By John Helmer, Moscow The Central Bank of Russia has authorized Suleiman Kerimov to take shareholding control of Vozrozhdenie Bank from Dmitry and Alexei Ananiev. The negotiation between Kerimov and the Central Bank occurred late last week. The Ananievs were absent abroad. Eight weeks earlier, on December 15, the Central Bank had ousted them from […]

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By John Helmer, Moscow Dmitry Pumpyansky (lead image, left), the 53-year old oligarch who dominates the Russian steel pipes business, knows how to pay for protection. Last week the US Treasury listed him as an oligarch whose corruption record and closeness to the Kremlin may qualify him for sanctions, according to Section 241 of the […]

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By John Helmer, Moscow As midnight tolled in Washington, DC, and January 29 slid into January 30, the deadline for the US Government to produce a report to the Congress listing Russian oligarchs close to President Vladimir Putin slipped by in the darkness. No dog barked.* Required by the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act […]

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By John Helmer, Moscow On January 10, Oleg Deripaska (lead image, front left), the Russian oligarch who controls the state aluminium monopoly Rusal and electricity producer EN+, ordered his personal lawyers, Bryan Cave, into the New York State Supreme Court in Manhattan. There, court papers reveal that Deripaska is charging Paul Manafort (rear left) and […]

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By John Helmer, Moscow This isn’t news:  President Vladimir Putin (lead image, right) is running for re-election on March 18. According to the latest national polls, he is likely to win with a larger majority of a smaller turnout than in 2012. As Tiny Tim (left) almost said in Charles Dickens’ Christmas Carol, God bless […]