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By John Helmer, Moscow The Metropolitan Police Commissioner, Cressida Dick, has announced that Yulia Skripal is not being held incommunicado, against her will, and in violation of her legal rights “if she consents to any assistance provided”. Last week’s videotape of Skripal signing a paper and making a brief speech was arranged within four days […]

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By John Helmer, Moscow Yulia Skripal’s appearance in a British garden and her speech for one minute fifty-five seconds provides fresh evidence, less of what is happening to her in British custody, and more of what is not happening. What is happening is that Skripal gave a memorised speech in front of a camera 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 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 Empires are just like everything else going down the toilet. Bits always stick on the porcelain which require more flushing.  Embarrassing bits.   Now in its fifth week since the poisoning of Sergei and Yulia Skripal in Salisbury on March 4, the bits that cannot be flushed away are producing […]

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By John Helmer, Moscow The British public telephone is two years short of a century old. The Salisbury Hospital has dismantled the outdoor models because it is now possible for patients  to receive and make telephone calls from their bedside. The hospital has contracted with a company called Hospedia to provide patients with personal access […]

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By John Helmer, Moscow British High Court Justice David Williams has issued the first court adjudication of evidence presented by the British Government of what happened to Sergei Skripal and Yulia Skripal when they succumbed to poisoning in Salisbury on March 4.  Following three days of closed-door hearings this week in London, the judge issued […]

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By John Helmer, Moscow An application to a British court for a writ of habeas corpus on behalf of Yulia Skripal is the last chance, British and international lawyers believe, to preserve for public accountability the evidence of the poison attack against her and her father, Sergei Skripal. The attack occurred on Sunday afternoon, March […]

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By John Helmer, Moscow Sergei Frank, a former federal transport minister and chief executive of the state shipping company Sovcomflot since 2004, is unique among Russian state officials. He is the only one to have been adjudicated by a series of UK judges to have lied, been dishonest in evidence-gathering, and vindictive in his use […]

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By John Helmer, Moscow The collapse of Otkritie Bank last month is the largest Russian bank failure since the collapse of National Bank Trust in December 2014.  The Central Bank rescue of Trust made inevitable the much more costly bailout of Otrkitie, announced a fortnight ago on August 29,   charges Ilya Yurov, the former […]