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By John Helmer, Moscow 
  @bears_with

It was noticed after the first few years of the French Revolution that the population of goats were gorging themselves and then reproducing out of control. Napoleon tried to cull them to save the forests the goats were taking over, and thereby preserve the timber he needed badly for his navy to go to war with the British.

In the case of the Russian Revolution of 1991, the population of jackals continue to multiply out of control. The Kremlin has not found the method of controlling the domestic ones, not yet.  Russian voters will have something to say about this on September 19, Election Day  – especially by not casting their ballots.

In the meantime, it’s August, the month when goats dance in alpine pastures; jackals sleep through the day; and the sea cucumber goes into his seasonal hypometabolism, also called aestivation.   For August, when our Moscow office closes, these are our three options for spending the month until you will see us again.  

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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 to admit there was “no significant evidence” for Belton’s allegations of KGB connections in the early careers of Fridman and Aven; and that she had failed to check her claims with Fridman and Aven before publishing them. “HarperCollins and [Belton] recognise and regret that comment was not sought earlier from Mr Aven and Mr Fridman… and to apologise that the subject was not discussed with them prior to initial publication.”

HarperCollins will publish this statement within a week of the High Court issuing its order. Three months ago, the publisher had announced it “will robustly defend the claim and the right to report on matters of considerable public interest”.  The publisher has now  agreed to remove Belton’s allegations against Fridman and Aven from new printings of the book, Putin’s People:  How the KGB Took Back Russia and Then Took on the West.

The hardcover edition was published in April 2020 in the UK; the following June in the US. The American publisher is a subsidiary of the German Holtzbrinck publishing group, which produces the anti-Russia newspaper Die Zeit.  The paperback edition of Belton’s book has not yet been published, delayed indefinitely by the London court action and by the publishers’ loss of confidence in Belton’s veracity. 

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By Mikhail Kuvyrko, Moscow — translated from Russian*
  @bears_with

Entire sectors of the Russian economy have managed to earn huge amounts of money recently –and all thanks to the crisis caused by the coronavirus. Who has benefited the most from what is happening, will this cash flow continue in the future and what will the coronavirus excess profits be spent on as a result?

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By John Helmer, Moscow 
  @bears_with

Two Dutch nationals, David Petraeus and Sandra Roelofs (lead image, centre), were involved in the US planning of an invasion of the Donbass region, eastern Ukraine, in the days running up to the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 on July 17, 2014, when 193 Dutch and 38 Australians were among the 298 passengers and crew killed.  

Petraeus, a US Army general and director of the Central Intelligence Agency (2011-November 9, 2012), is a Dutch citizen by law because his father, Sixtus Petraeus from Friesland, was a junior officer in the Dutch merchant marine at the outbreak of World War II. David Petraeus was awarded a Dutch knighthood in 2010 and is celebrated by the Dutch as “the most visible Dutch American personality on the national and international scene”.

Roelofs, Dutch by birth in Zeeland, became the wife of Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili (left) in 1993, and she has remained his collaborator in open political as well as clandestine operations in Georgia, Ukraine, and the US since then.

In the early days of July 2014, when the Ukrainian forces of then-President Petro Poroshenko were launching their US-directed offensive in the Donbass, Petraeus met Saakashvili at the latter’s home with Roelofs in New York to discuss a military operation which Saakashvili then discussed with Poroshenko. Last week, speaking on Ukrainian television as a member of President Volodymyr Zelensky’s government, Saakashvili broke his silence to reveal partial details of the military plan.  

Did either or both of them engage Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte’s (right) government before July 17, 2014, in readiness for Rutte’s promotion of the NATO force invasion plan immediately afterwards? Rutte’s involvement in that plan was first revealed by the Dutch press on July 25, 2014.

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By John Helmer, Moscow 
  @bears_with

Last month the Russian metals and mining oligarch, Alexei Mordashov (lead image, left), took a spectacular  pratfall in front of the international money markets. Not even hand-holding by Citigroup, JP Morgan, Credit Suisse, and Bank of Montreal could save him from the public embarrassment.

On June 3, Mordashov and the banks announced his intention to sell shares in his goldmining company Nordgold (Nord  Gold PLC) on the London Stock Exchange, telling investors that future demand and the price of gold, and hence the profitability of Mordashov’s company, are bound to be  boosted because of “possible inflationary pressures in the medium term from an exceptionally low interest rate environment and the possibility of currency revaluations, including U.S. dollar depreciation”.

On June 22, Mordashov got a Nordgold executive to announce the share sale was cancelled for the foreseeable future. His reason was that “acceleration in expected interest rate rises have created significant uncertainty and volatility in the resources sector, in particular impacting gold and gold equities. Nordgold has determined that it would therefore not be sensible to pursue an IPO at this particular juncture.”

If inflation was good reason for buying shares in Mordashov’s business at the start of the month, and then in less than three weeks Mordashov’s reason for not selling the shares, then Mordashov has made a fool of the market and a liar of himself. “That has to be bullshit,” responded a leading London mining analyst, who believes Mordashov’s vanity is to blame for imagining his shares would fetch a higher value in the market than share-buyers are willing to pay; and also Citigroup, JP Morgan, Credit Suisse, Bank of Montreal and the other bankers and brokers involved who were “too afraid to give him good advice on pricing.”

There is one thing more laughable in this episode than that.  This is the effort which the Russia-warfighting media in London – for the first time combining Rupert Murdoch’s Times newspapers with Ian Hislop’s Private Eye —   to make the failure of the share sale attempt appear to be an act of “British policy towards Putin and Russia’s rich”, in the words of Private Eye — as symbolic as the voyage of HMS Defender across the Crimean red line on June 23,  the day after Mordashov and his bankers took their tumble.

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By John Helmer, Moscow 
  @bears_with

Here’s a serious question:  how should the European Union (EU) address the challenges posed by the Russian-Turkish partnership?

Who better to answer this than a Romanian paid for by one of George Soros’s Open Society units, the NATO Defence College, Freedom House of Washington,  and the Polish Institute of International Affairs (PISM) in Warsaw; in short, sworn enemies of Russia. And who better to assist in the answer than a woman from the Finnish Foreign Ministry; and a Bulgarian whose paychecks come from a Soros-funded think-tank in Sofia, the Atlantic Council in Washington,  and an EU-funded council led by Carl Bildt, whose pockets have also been lined by the sworn Ukrainian enemy of Russia and robber of the Rossiya Insurance Company, Victor Pinchuk.  

In warfighting it’s always prudent to anticipate surprise attack, in order to deter or combat it. But this triplet of Russia warfighting enemies are entirely predictable. There is no deterring them, however.  All into the Valley of Death, they rode – as the last allied charge against Russian guns was poetically described:

Someone had blundered.
Theirs not to make reply,
Theirs not to reason why,
Theirs but to do and die.*

Admit blunder is not what Euro-American propagandists do, nor do they die in their charge against Russia’s defences. Their take-home pay inures them to the ignominy of defeat.  

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By John Helmer, Moscow 
  @bears_with

We are in a state of lawlessness when the law courts defend lies; convict and imprison the innocent, extradite the persecuted; abandon, ignore or cancel the authority of parliament and the constitutional rights of individuals; and issue propaganda justifying killing between states and peoples.

The books whose covers are illustrated describe on the right side of this page illustrate exactly how this has been done to promote the war against Russia in the courts of the US, the UK, the Netherlands, and Australia. At the direction of the government in Ottawa, the Canadian courts are following in lockstep.   

The books were written to prove, first of all, what isn’t the truth and can’t be the truth. This isn’t quite the religious doctrine cut into the wall of the main lobby at the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), nor of the biblical gospel: “And ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free.”

The key to the CIA’s version is the first word “and”. It means that by the time you cotton on to the truth which the CIA intend you to believe, you are already brain dead.

In the Novichok cases reported in Skripal in Prison, the British Cabinet Office and Secret Intelligence Service (MI6) have perfected the unusual formula of taking the body of someone already brain dead; reviving it and then killing it again with a poison fabricated at Porton Down; and then announcing the cause of death to be a Russian assassination weapon which had been embarrassingly missing for several weeks after the Prime Minister accused the Russian President of chemical warfare, attempted murder, etc.

Just how unfree that truth is proving to be is Wiltshire Police Detective Sergeant Nicholas Bailey’s story. But he’s not the only one to reveal the truth by telling lies.  In this week’s Gorilla Radio podcast, retelling the courtroom stories of Julian Assange, Dawn Sturgess, and Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 will help resuscitate the brain, or inoculate it if yours is still alive and sparking.  

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By John Helmer, Moscow 
  @bears_with

The US Director of National Intelligence (DNI) never told Dutch prosecutors and investigating judges in the MH17 investigation that he had seen US satellite pictures of the firing of a BUK missile at the aircraft and the detonation which destroyed it in the air above eastern Ukraine seven years ago, on July 17, 2014.

Instead, he told a junior member of his staff, Army Colonel Kenneth Stolworthy, to give the Dutch a paper “summary” that “reflects the American intelligence community’s considered opinion” that “Russian led separatist fighters and Russian military personnel or a combination of the two” were responsible for the attack which killed all 298 passengers and crew on board. The summary Stolworthy was told to assemble came down to him from the National Intelligence Council (NIC), a committee reporting to the DNI the intelligence it gathered from all US intelligence sources, resolving – if it could – the different measures of opinion each of them expressed.

The NIC reported upward to DNI; DNI issued his order downward to Stolworthy with NIC’s script for the Dutch, minus the details.

Stolworthy was selected because he was not an intelligence officer himself; because he had no expertise in satellite imaging; because he was so junior his name was unknown; and because  what he wrote to the Dutch was deniable by his superiors if the Dutch challenged his veracity or if there was a leak.  Stolworthy was ordered to speak to no one, especially not the Dutch.   

In advance agreement between senior officials of the Obama Administration and Prime Minister Mark Rutte’s government in The Hague, the Dutch agreed to accept the DNI script and not to press for the satellite images. Rutte also agreed to keep that more secret than the US evidence itself because he knew there were no US satellite images.  Rutte knew this because he had been told so by the head of the Dutch military intelligence agency Major-General Onno Eichelsheim.  

The chairman of the US National Intelligence Council (NIC), Greg Treverton, at the time the third-ranking official in the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) and the official in charge of assembling “the American intelligence community’s considered opinion”, now says “we worked on the shoot-down, but I don’t recall any specific request for information from the Dutch.”

According to Treverton, speaking two days ago, “Ken Stolworthy was, I think, a deputy National Intelligence Manager, so he did work for the DNI”. He “could have represented US intelligence to the Dutch though I don’t have any notes or memory of any such contact”.

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By John Helmer, Moscow 
  @bears_with

In a new ruling read out in a Dutch courtroom yesterday, the judge presiding in the trial of allegations against the Russian state, military command and four named soldiers for shooting down Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 revealed new details of the US evidence allegedly proving that a Russian missile caused the crash. The judge, Hendrik Steenhuis, then refused to allow the lawyers representing the Russian defence to cross-examine the man from the US Office of the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) who, Steenhuis now says,  signed his name to the evidence and has been sought for questioning. According to Steenhuis, questioning him would be “pointless”.

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By John Helmer, Moscow 
  @bears_with

Wiltshire police detective sergeant (retired) Nicholas Bailey is the only government witness of the alleged Novichok assassination attempt against Sergei Skripal to speak in public describing  what he saw and experienced directly. He is also the only figure to testify from the British government’s published indictment of two Russian military intelligence agents for attempted murder and causing grievous bodily harm with intent.

Until last week, that is.

Following a 74-minute podcast published on June 25, and then a 51-minute podcast on June 30, in which Bailey provided surprise evidence that he had not been poisoned by Novichok at all,  he announced last Friday, July 1, that his tongue is tied, lips sealed. Through his press agent Peter Davies, he said he “is making no further comment on this particular ongoing case at this stage.”

The registry at the High Court in London has also confirmed there is a public record that the lawsuit Bailey has threatened against the Wiltshire police has been filed for compensation of the long-term injuries, including post-traumatic stress disorder, from his involvement in the Novichok affair. But there is no record the papers have been served, so the case hasn’t begun. 

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