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By John Helmer, Moscow The State Duma voted on Tuesday to approve the nomination of Alexei Kudrin as Chairman of the Accounting Chamber, the state auditor and budget watchdog. The vote was 264 in favour; 86 opposed. No presidential nominee for the post has been elected over so much parliamentary opposition. Forty-three deputies voted against […]

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By John Helmer, Moscow The longer the delay in the official announcement of who is to be the new Russian Defence Minister, the plainer it is that Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev wants to oust Sergei Shoigu from the job because he is a rival presidential succession candidate; and because President Vladimir Putin is afraid of […]

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By John Helmer, Moscow Since the Middle Ages, so for almost a thousand years, the hat which symbolized European learning was the mortar board. It originally meant the wearer had graduated with a university degree. It also symbolized that he had more degrees and more learning still to earn.  It was a symbol of the […]

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By John Helmer, Moscow President Vladimir Putin is considering whether to appoint a vice president for negotiating an end to sanctions with the US and the European Union (EU), and an about-turn in Russia’s foreign and defence policy.   In the scheme proposed by former finance minister Alexei Kudrin (lead image, centre), the job would […]

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By John Helmer, Moscow There are many Russian reasons why no Russian, man or woman, has trusted Oleg Deripaska (lead picture, on the wall), control shareholder and chief executive of the state aluminium monopoly Rusal (Russian Aluminium), for more than a few months at a time. The reasons have varied from business to business, contract […]

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By John Helmer, Moscow December approaches, opening the last stretch of the presidential election campaign that  concludes in sixteen weeks’ time, on March 18. What to watch for as President Vladimir Putin holds his December meetings with the oligarchs who rule Russia’s future, and the voters who will be the victims of it?  As the […]

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By John Helmer, Moscow In a ruling of Russia’s Constitutional Court, issued on July 18, fifteen out of sixteen judges ruled that a state of lawlessness now prevails in the country, in which the constitutional rights of citizens to have courts adjudicate government decisions, with evidence and reasoning, have been abolished.  The court ruling came […]

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  By John Helmer, Moscow Mystery moves in a godly way, wonders to perform. Even on state television, in Russia’s secular democracy.     President Vladimir Putin (lead image, right) was taken by surprise, he said yesterday, by the first question ever asked during his annual Direct Line national broadcast about the affairs of the Russian […]

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By John Helmer, Moscow How to rule a country which is a target of war by the mad figurehead of a military junta in another country?   This is not a historical question about Joseph Stalin’s options in August 1939, before he and Adolph Hitler decided on the time-buying ruse known as the German–Soviet Non-aggression […]

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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.”