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By John Helmer, Moscow  @bears_with The British government’s scheme of secrecy surrounding the public inquiry into the alleged Novichok attacks against Sergei and Yulia Skripal and Dawn Sturgess in 2018 has been opposed by the BBC and the London Times.  “A requirement for confidentiality undertakings”, a BBC lawyer wrote to the inquiry chairman, Lord Anthony Hughes, […]

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By John Helmer, Moscow  @bears_with The public inquiry by Lord Anthony Hughes into the British government’s narrative of Russian chemical warfare in the UK and the alleged Novichok death of Dawn Sturgess on July 8, 2018, collapsed into secrecy, mishap, and farce in a London courtroom on Friday. The sound system failed, leaving only one microphone […]

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By John Helmer, Moscow  @bears_with On March 15 the British Government announced it is imposing a ban on exports to Russia of “high-end luxury goods”. According to the official press release, “the measures will cause maximum harm to Putin’s war machine while minimising the impact on UK businesses as G7 leaders unite to unleash a fresh […]

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by John Helmer, Moscow  @bears_with A new presidential decree issued yesterday by the Kremlin ends the special measures for foreign currency and capital control issued since the start of the special military operation in the Ukraine on February 24.   Instead, a special commission of government officials and the board of directors of the Russian Central […]

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By John Helmer, Moscow   @bears_with Catherine Belton (lead image, left), a reporter on Russia for the Financial Times and Reuters, was abandoned this week by her publisher, Rupert Murdoch’s (right) HarperCollins, and obliged to sign an out-of-court settlement in London with Mikhail Fridman and Pyotr Aven of Alfa Bank and the LetterOne group. The publisher has agreed […]

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By John Helmer, Moscow   @bears_with The British Embassy’s Press Office has stopped answering its telephones in Moscow.  It is also refusing to respond to emailed requests like the name of the Embassy defence attaché, a naval officer, who appeared at the Russian Defence Ministry on Wednesday to listen to the official protest of HMS Defender’s 31-minute, […]

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By John Helmer, Moscow   @bears_with The British government has selected a new team trusted with state secrets to run the inquest into the alleged Novichok death of Dawn Sturgess three years ago.  The appointments of former Court of Appeals judge, Lady Heather Hallett,  and Martin Smith as legal advisor will commence at a court hearing in […]

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by John Helmer, Moscow   @bears_with Vadim Belyaev (lead image)  is not the first Russian bank robber to take Cyprus citizenship on his way to safe haven in New York City, and then find himself facing a billion-dollar recovery lawsuit from his Russian pursuers in New York Supreme Court.  He is, however, the very first to attempt […]

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by John Helmer, Moscow   @bears_with The plot to rid the British Government of the man who combined more domestic and foreign policy-making powers than any British official in peacetime was not a clandestine Kremlin operation directed by President Vladimir Putin. But the sacking of Sir Mark Sedwill, the grammar school head-boy who became Cabinet Secretary and […]

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by John Helmer, Moscow   @bears_with The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) isn’t likely to have heard the old Australian working-class expression that a man is too crooked to lie straight in bed. It meant that lying and  cheating are in the nature of a deformity, and can’t be operated on or cured.  “The Salisbury Poisonings”, the three-part, […]