By Sergei Glazyev, translated and introduced by John Helmer, Moscow

On Friday morning, February 25, Sergei Glazyev published the following analysis of US sanctions against the Russian economy and of the Russian options for defence and counter-attack.

Glazyev is a Russian state official with ministerial rank. He has served for many years as an economic policy adviser to President Vladimir Putin; since 2019 he is the minister for integration and macroeconomics of the Eurasian Economic Commission, the bloc of former Soviet states coordinating customs, central banking, trade and fiscal management policies together.  

Glazyev, now 61, has also been the longest surviving force on the left of Russian policymaking since the end of the Soviet Union in 1991 and of Boris Yeltsin’s destruction of the Congress of People’s Deputies in 1993. He has been a consistent critic of the monetary policies of the Russian Central Bank; and of the oligarch system promoted by Anatoly Chubais, Alexei Kudrin, German Gref and their business allies in Moscow, and by the financial centres of New York and London.  For 25 years they have proved stronger inside the president’s circle than Glazyev; they have persuaded Putin to overrule him publicly, then ignore and sideline him. Until now.

Commencing with Putin’s February 21 speech, the recognition of the Donetsk and Lugansk  People’s Republics, and the commencement of the military campaign in the Ukraine, the management of the Russian economy has moved on to a war footing. In the interpretation of a leading European banker,  the escalation of US and European Union (EU) sanctions intends to  confiscate Central Bank assets and destroy all financial links between Russia and the west. He comments that nothing on this scale against a major world power has been attempted since President Franklin Roosevelt froze the foreign assets of Japan on July 26, 1941, and imposed an embargo on Japanese oil and gasoline imports six days later.  

The new sanctions commenced on February 22 in response to Russian recognition of Donbass independence, and the signing of a treaty of military and economic cooperation. The first  sanctions strike targeted two state banks; three sons of Russian state officials;  and state bonds to be  issued from Wednesday of this week.

The second-strike sanctions escalated on February 24 to “target the core infrastructure of the Russian financial system — including all of Russia’s largest financial institutions and the ability of state-owned and private entities to raise capital — and further bars Russia from the global financial system. The actions also target nearly 80 percent of all banking assets in Russia and will have a deep and long-lasting effect on the Russian economy and financial system.”  

In addition, the targets were expanded to include for the first time state-owned Alrosa, the diamond producer and international diamond market maker;  and Sovcomflot, the world’s largest energy tanker fleet operator.  At the same time, the US Treasury said it would not block Russian payments for “agricultural and medical commodities and the COVID-19 pandemic; overflight and emergency landings; energy.”

The third strike began overnight between February 26 and 27. The White House announced the disconnection from the SWIFT interbank payments system for “selected Russian banks” . Russian press reporting has speculated that Sberbank and VTB will be disconnected, along with the other banks targeted on February 24. It is not clear whether Alfa Bank, the leading commercial bank owned by Mikhail Fridman, will appear on the SWIFT disconnection list.   

The White House also announced the launch of “a multilateral Transatlantic task force to identify, hunt down, and freeze the assets of sanctioned Russian companies and oligarchs – their yachts, their mansions, and any other ill-gotten gains that we can find and freeze under the law.”   

US and European Union officials are claiming that “restrictive measures that will prevent the Russian Central Bank (CBR) from deploying its international reserves” amount to a freeze on the Central Bank’s US dollar and Euro denominated holdings. As of January 31, the CBR reported holding $469 billion in foreign exchange.   Of that aggregate, year-old CBR data suggest that 22% is in US dollars; 29% in Euros, and 6% in British pounds.  

London banking sources and a leading oil trade figure believe that if the third-strike sanctions halt US dollar and Euro payments for Russian oil, gas, coal, titanium, palladium, diamonds, and other commodity exports, along with servicing of interest and principal loans, then the Russian side will stop all debt payments. They will also stop all deliveries to the US and Europe.

The domestic Russian political implications are not less dramatic; they are potentially revolutionary, though not in the direction US figures like Antony Blinken, Victoria Nuland, and William Burns have been calculating in public. Glazyev is one of the Russian revolutionaries they least want to see take power over the oligarchs now.  

For reporting on Glazyev’s responses to the first round of US sanctions in March 2014, read this,  For a longer archive on Glazyev back to 1993, click to open.  



by John Helmer, Moscow

Baroness Heather Hallett (lead image, left), the second British state coroner responsible for investigating the cause of Dawn Sturgess’s death on July 8, 2018, revealed in a London court on Friday that she has resigned after less than a year in the coroner’s post.

Sturgess died in Salisbury District Hospital four months after Sergei and Yulia Skripal were allegedly attacked by Russian military agents carrying the nerve agent Novichok; the Skripals recovered but have subsequently been held incommunicado.  

Hallett’s appointment was announced in March 2021, after the Wiltshire county coroner David Ridley was removed; he had lasted thirty-three months in charge. Hallett has already announced on the inquest website her conclusion before hearing the evidence. “The post mortem indicated the cause of her death was Novichok poisoning,” the website declares on its home page.    In fact and in British law, the post-mortem evidence has not done this.

Ridley was replaced by Hallett when he refused to allow testimony and evidence, and refused to rule that the cause of Sturgess’s death had come from Russia in the form of an assassination plot to poison Sergei Skripal, the Russian double or triple agent. Ridley also refused to release  the medical and pathological evidence; and concealed the cremation certificate he had himself signed on the cause of Sturgess’s death.

In a prepared script Hallett took into court and read out on February 25, she said “in late December last year, I accepted a request made by the Prime Minister to become the chair of the Covid Inquiry.  Because of the demands of that role, it was agreed that another judge would be appointed to chair the Sturgess Inquiry.”

The timing is inaccurate. Hallett’s appointment was announced by Prime Minister Boris Johnson in a statement to parliament on December 15.    The negotiations for Hallett’s new post began days, possibly weeks before. No agreement was reached then, nor publicly announced, for Hallett to resign from the Sturgess proceeding, and for another judge to be appointed in her place. That came later.

By resigning, by concealing this for two months, and by falsifying her circumstances in court, Hallett appears to have been unwilling to take personal responsibility for directing her investigation to reach the outcome the British government requires. That is the conviction of the Russian military command, the Kremlin, and President Vladimir Putin himself for making the Novichok; for ordering a group of soldiers to use it in Salisbury in March 2018; and for leaving behind the bottle of Novichok which Sturgess allegedly used to perfume herself, with fatal effect.

In the 35-minute hearing Hallett chaired on Friday, the retired Court of Appeal judge also revealed that after more than two months the British Government has been unable to name another judge willing to replace Hallett and do what she was told to do. That’s to say, no judge has agreed to take the job, yet.



by John Helmer, Moscow

“It’s an attempt to tell an old truth in order to remind us what the new truth we now face will cost us if we open our eyes.”  

On Gorilla Radio yesterday we concluded on this line. The recording of the interview ended just before 5 in the Moscow morning on Thursday (Wednesday afternoon Pacific Standard Time). One hour later President Vladimir Putin announced the start of the military campaign to demilitarize and denazify the Ukraine.  The narrative of what happened next, gathered from eyewitnesses, war front reporters, and open media sources by Boris Rozhin on the Colonel Cassad website’s Telegram platform, can be followed here.   

In advance of what we didn’t yet know, we already knew three things: the Stavka, not Putin alone, decides.   There was a change of decision between Monday evening’s speech by Putin  and Thursday morning’s speech;  this was not, however, a change of plans; they have been ready for some time, as everyone can see now. The black box defence would still be a surprise.

With the retrospect of hours, demilitarization of the Ukraine and denazification of the Galicians cannot be a surprise if you are Russian or Ukrainian. To them it is welcome. By contrast,  Chrystia Freeland, the deputy prime minister of Canada, has repeated the lie which enriched her grandfather, her mother,  and the Galicians she represents: “We cannot allow Russia,” she said, “to destroy the rules based order Canadians died to defend in the Second World War…”   When the Galicians go on trial for their war crimes in the coming months – this is part of what denazification will mean — Canadian judicial observers will be invited to attend and investigate the evidence; the Dutch too.

In the interview we also discuss what it’s like to think like the Russians and Ukrainians do when the choice is – do now for yourselves, or wait to die later when they will kill you.



by John Helmer, Moscow

Not in his entire life has President Vladimir Putin made a speech like Monday’s Donbass address to the Russian people.   

Nor has he ever named the Americans to be Russia’s national enemy in such unequivocal Russian terms – American promises worthless, American intentions deadly, American speeches lies, American actions intimidation, extortion, blackmail.  

“So I want to ask”, Putin said: “why, why all this, for what? Okay, you don’t want to see us as a friend and ally, but why make us an enemy? There is only one answer: it’s not about our political regime, it’s not about anything else, they just don’t need such a large independent country as Russia. That’s the answer to all the questions. This is the source of traditional American policy towards Russia.”

“The pretext for another sanctions attack will always be found or simply fabricated, regardless of the situation in Ukraine. There is only one goal – to restrain the development of Russia. And they will do it as they did before, even without any formal pretext at all, just because we are and will never give up our sovereignty, national interests and our values.”

Unlike the most famous of English and American mobilization speeches against French, German and Confederate enemies – King Henry’s Agincourt, Winston Churchill’s Dunkirk, and Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg speeches – Putin didn’t wave his arms or move significantly his head, neck, shoulders, or right hand.  Putin’s right hand is the operational one.

Watch and listen. The stillness of the body language, the pauses for breathing, the speech pitch, pace and modulation – these mean to all Russians: Do or die — now we do for ourselves or else the Americans will kill us.



by John Helmer, Moscow

For eighty years since the US invaded Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia in 1943, American spies have targeted the Arabs for destruction, marking their leaders for assassination, stripping their people of the power to govern themselves.  The US government agents planned the sabotage of Arab oilfields and theft of their water. They bribed the Arabs to fight each other.  Convinced of American exceptionalism, lobbied by Israel, and bribed by US corporations, the OSS, CIA, Pentagon, State Department, and every president since Roosevelt have imposed their protectorate over the Middle East.

They have compelled the Arabs to pay Washington or die.

They have rewritten the law of genocide so that the murderers have gotten away with their crimes. They have covered their tracks with a blitzkrieg of propaganda and censorship. This is rassenkampf – race war as the Germans once pursued it.  

Before the US Government went to war against the Russians in Europe, after the end of the Soviet Union in 1991, they practised in the Middle East on the Arabs. The methods and targeting are the same.  

“My complaint has been the CIA isn’t overthrowing enough anti-American governments or assassinating enough anti-American leaders, but I guess I’m getting old”, said the CIA agent who plotted the murder of Gamal Abdel Nasser of Egypt as well as Arab leaders in Iraq, Syria,  and Lebanon. As each of those plots turned into disaster, as US casualties mounted, and the price of oil skyrocketed, the American spies profited with personal promotions and wealth in retirement.  “Nothing succeeds quite like failure,” concluded the Pentagon spy who paved the way to the fatal bombing of the US Marines in Beirut — the bloodiest episode in this history until the 9/11 attacks were followed by the defeats of the US wars in Iraq, Libya, Syria and Afghanistan.   

This book reports from secret spy files discovered where they were buried in Washington.  It is the first book to report in English from unpublished interviews with the Arab leaders themselves, including Saddam Hussein, Muammar Qaddafi, Saud al-Faisal, and George Habash.

The book manuscript has also survived the efforts of the CIA and the original New York publisher to bury it, just as the Arabs have been buried.  

Read here of graves, worms and epitaphs, and sad stories of the death of kings. Read on to understand what happens next.



by John Helmer, Moscow

In a report published today by the Nordic Monitor, a leading source of independent analysis of Turkish political and security affairs by Abdullah Bozkurt in Stockholm, it is revealed that the Turkish drones supplied to the Ukrainian military forces now threatening the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics, are duds when they face defenders armed with Russian electronic countermeasures and missile systems.  

Bozkurt’s analysis follows from a report by the Panel of Experts on Libya to the United Nations Security Council, published almost a year ago on March 8, 2021. The UN report was primarily concerned with violations of the Libyan arms embargo. In passing, the report noted that in the Libyan civil war, the “Turkey-supplied Bayraktar TB-2 unmanned combat aerial vehicles…were vulnerable to ground attack. When launched they were easily destroyed in the air by the Pantsir S-1 air defence system.”

A leading Cyprus military source says that Cypriot and Greek defence planners are well aware of the vulnerabilities of the Turkish drones. “The big news”, adds the source, “is that Turkey has been pushing military conflict – for example, in Karabakh and in the Donbass — to test the weapons they have for sale. They then tout joint ventures like the one with the Ukrainians for  promotion of weapons attacking Russian defences.   There has been a strategic decision for Turkey to sell cheap weapons to poor and corrupt Third World leaders – the regime in Kiev obviously qualifies – as western weapons are expensive and come with conditions. They are attempting ‘copy cat’ operations like those of Pakistan, Korea, Singapore. The Ukrainian venture will be great for them so long as the drones aren’t fired and tested against Russian defences.”



by John Helmer, Moscow

In the Foreign Ministry’s new paper for the State Department, delivered on Thursday afternoon and then published on the Ministry website,   there is a restatement of the Russian proposals for security in Europe which the US refuses to address. There is also nothing new in the threat: “In the absence of the readiness of the American side to agree on firm, legally binding guarantees to ensure our security from the United States and its allies, Russia will be forced to respond, including through the implementation of military-technical measures.”

President Vladimir Putin said the same thing to the assembly of the Russian officer corps on December 21. “Is anyone unable to grasp this? This should be clear…I would like to emphasise again: we are not demanding any special exclusive terms for ourselves. Russia stands for equal and indivisible security in the whole of Eurasia. Naturally, as I have already noted, if our Western colleagues continue their obviously aggressive line, we will take appropriate military-technical reciprocal measures and will have a tough response to their unfriendly steps.”    

Putin’s point was repeated by Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov in Geneva on January 10, following his talks with his State Department counterpart, Wendy Sherman.  For more detail on those talks, read this.  

What is meant by “military-technical measures” is Russia’s black box defence. This is not the place – it will not be the place – to read what this will be. Anglo-American think-tankers are paid by their governments to guess what is inside the box, as is the new source for analysis of Russia in the Anglo-American media, the Estonian Foreign Intelligence Service.

Three things are certain about what is inside the black box. The first is spelled out emphatically in yesterday’s Foreign Ministry paper: “There is no ‘Russian invasion’ of Ukraine, as the United States and its allies have been officially declaring since last autumn, and there are no plans for it.”  This rules out a land force invasion of Ukraine, as well as aerial bombing, missile and drone strikes launched from Russian territory.

The second sure thing about the black box defence is that it is black: it will be a surprise.

The third thing is, as Putin said last December, it will be “reciprocal”. This  means the Americans and their European allies are already using comparable measures in their attacks on Russia directly and in the Donbass. Reciprocal in this Russian vocabulary may mean comparable; it does not mean symmetrical along the Russian land border with the Ukraine; offshore, in the Black and Azov Seas; in the airspace above the Donbass or in the cyberspace .  



by John Helmer, Moscow

Sound familiar?

Without the direct knowledge, say-so, or approval of the ailing US President, a group of senior Washington officials plan in top secrecy to persuade Germany to recover all the eastern European territories which the German Army took in World War II – including Austria, the Czech Sudetenland, the Polish Corridor, and the western region of Ukraine known as Galicia. In return, the Germans should agree to resuming their war against Russia on US terms.

This was known in Washington as the M PROJECT. It was devised by a group of American co-religionists, with a common ethnic origin and a shared belief in the evil of everything Russia stood for, including their religion.



Introduced & translated by John Helmer, Moscow

The damage the European empires have done to Africa, especially the British, French,  and Italian, has always been a public accusation in Moscow,  and the policy of the Russian tsars, the Soviet Union, and President Vladimir Putin.

It was at the Potsdam conference of the wartime allies in July 1945 that the Soviet leader Joseph Stalin made a point of telling the US President Harry Truman, as well as British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, that the Soviet Union wanted to take the trusteeship of Libya under a United Nations protectorate, and ensure thereby the protection of the Libyans from the return of Italian colonial rule.  Churchill wanted the return of the Italians; Truman’s State Department wanted the same thing but not to appear publicly to betray Washington’s wartime promise that Libya – where the allied armies defeated both the Italian and German armies at immense cost in Libyan lives and property – would become independent.

Subsequent Soviet policy in Africa did not contest the US Air Force from turning Libya into a nuclear-armed base against the USSR. But on September 1, 1969, when Muammar al-Qaddafi removed the Libyan king, his government, and Wheelus Airbase, a Soviet naval force of seventy vessels, including the Moskva aircraft carrier, filled the sea between Crete and the Libyan coast, protecting Qaddafi from intervention by the US and the British.

Since the resumption of American, French and British intervention in Libya in 2011, and the murder of Qaddafi in October of that year, Putin has repeated in public his regret at the inaction of then-President Dmitry Medvedev to oppose both.  

What then followed in Libya, Putin has also repeated, led to disastrous wars in the African states to the south of Libya, especially Mali, and the flood of African refugees through Libya to Europe.

The Anglo-American and European propaganda organs are now accusing the Kremlin of intervening militarily in Mali and other African states through the operations of the Wagner Group. This issue came up directly during Putin’s six-hour talks with President Emmanuel Macron in the Kremlin on Monday.  It was openly discussed during the press conference which followed.  

The war in Mali was not identified as a significant talking point in either Putin’s or Macron’s prepared statements for the press.   

Instead, during the question-and-answer session, a French reporter asked Putin: “As for Mali, can you say that your government is not connected in any way with the mercenaries in Mali?” Putin replied: “First of all, regarding Mali. President Macron raised this issue many times, we discussed it with him, and President Macron is aware of our position on this matter. The Russian government, the Russian state have nothing to do with the companies that are working in Mali. As far as we know, the Malian leadership has no complaints about the commercial activities of these companies.”

“Following the logic that may be applied to NATO, the current member states and potential members, if Mali has opted to work with our companies, it has the right to do so. However, I would like to point out – I will talk about this with President Macron after this news conference – I would like to point out that the Russian state has nothing to do with this. It concerns the commercial interests of our companies, which coordinate their activities with the local authorities. We will take a closer look at this, but we have nothing to do with it. This is the first point.”

Macron did not comment.  



By John Helmer, Moscow

The morning public record issued by the Kremlin of the talks yesterday in Moscow between President Vladimir Putin and President Emmanuel Macron remains for the moment in Russian.    The official English transcript will follow later today.

The two presidents met for almost six hours, and then held a press conference for just over one hour. The unofficial translation into English runs for about 7,000 words, including names and reporters’ questions.  

To understand the significance what the two state officials have said, it is necessary to read their words, and to count their key words.

This count will explain the meaning of Macron’s declaration that peace, security, and stability in Europe, and in the Ukraine, are for Europeans to agree with Russia.  “President Putin and I agree,” Macron said. “Russia is a European country. Anyone who sees Europe should be able to work with Russia, find ways to build a future in Europe and with Europeans.” As for what those ways are in the Ukraine, Macron declared: “The solution of the Ukrainian issue can only be political, and the basis of this solution can be these Minsk agreements. The Normandy format is the right format, I repeat, around the table, in this format Ukraine, Russia, France and Germany. We continue our efforts within the Normandy format in order to fully implement the Minsk Agreements and to resolve the conflict in the Donbas.”

This is the part to read. Now go to the count.



By John Helmer, Moscow

A soldier who lays a booby trap for his adversary thinks him fool enough to be tricked or lured to his own death. He thinks his enemy is inferior and deserves death. He hates him.

The German expression for war planned and executed like this is rassenkampf, race war. The German generals who planned and executed the 1941 invasion of Russia, Operation BARBAROSSA, claimed they didn’t hate the Russians. Their war was krieg ohne hass, war without hate. They said that after their surrender or capture, when they were facing war crimes trials.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken (lead image, centre) hates Russians; thinks them inferior to Americans; fools compared to himself; deserving of the fate Blinken intends for them.  The evidence is in the booby traps Blinken set in the document the State Department arranged to leak in a Spanish newspaper last week. It is called “NON-PAPER CONFIDENTIAL/REL RUSSIA Areas of Engagement to Improve Security”.

The State Department has announced in a double negative that it has “seen nothing to suggest these documents are not authentic.”  

The paper claims to be a “response to Russia’s request that the United States provide a direct written response to Russia’s draft treaty proposal”. What follows is not a direct response to the seven substantive Russian treaty articles. Instead, it lays a booby trap for each of the seven Russian proposals with a reaffirmation of the US intention to continue with its plans to attack Russia from the territories of other states, from international waters and the airspace bordering on Russia – and much more.

To camouflage these booby traps, the Blinken paper lists these intentions as “Concerns”. The Blinken paper has issued 55 lines of “Concerns” one for each of the 55 lines of “US Position”.

Only three of the Russian treaty articles are identified in the Blinken paper – Articles 5, 6, and 7. By ignoring the first four articles of the Russian treaty the Blinken paper has declared its refusal  “not to undertake actions nor participate in or support activities that affect the security of the other Party” (Article 1); its dismissal of the “core security interests of the other Party”; and its rejection of “the principles contained in the Charter of the United Nations (Article 2).”

The Blinken paper also declares the US intention to continue to  “use the territories of other States with a view to preparing or carrying out an armed attack against the other Party or other actions affecting core security interests of the other Party” (Article 3); to encourage “further eastward expansion of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization”(Article 4); and to plan to “establish military bases in the territory of the States of the former Union of Soviet Socialist Republics that are not members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, use their infrastructure for any military activities or develop bilateral military cooperation with them” (Article 4).

In the Blinken paper, that last point means it no longer matters to the US whether Ukraine joins NATO or not. The US intends to make war on Russia from the territory of the Ukraine across the Red Line.



By John Helmer, Moscow

Hatred of the Russian race and Russophobia are more than a thousand years old in Europe – long enough for everyone nowadays to realise there’s no cure for them.  At least not by rational persuasion, not by words.  Remission by force of arms is another matter altogether.

A Swiss history of the phenomenon in Europe, starting in France in Charlemagne’s time and ending on the Donbass contact line since 2014, explains why the stakes along that line are so great now. The book is also an aid to comprehending why in this week’s telephone conversation between the chief Russian and American negotiators, Secretary of State Antony Blinken (lead image, 1st right) demonstrated the futility of Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov’s (3rd right) talking with him again.*  

The Swiss history, published by Guy Mettan in 2017 as President Donald Trump was taking office in Washington, reveals a hopefulness that is impossible now. “Will Trump know how”, Mettan asks in his last paragraph, “will he still want to, or will he simply give up on trying to turn the tide and bring back civility in the relations between the West and Russia? Is a respite in what is turning out to be a new Cold War at all possible?” Mettan answered himself: “We certainly wish so. After all, if the task is almost superhuman, as no one will doubt after reading this book, it just may not be altogether impossible.”

Squeezing between that double negative there is in fact no space, no hope.

Mettan has written a primer on this brand of racism, noting that “Russophobia, contrary to French Anglophobia and Germanophobia, is a phenomenon that, though different of course, resembles anti-Semitism or Islamophobia. Like anti-Semitism and Islamophobia, it is not a transitory phenomenon linked to specific historical events; it exists first in the head of the one who looks, not in the victim’s alleged behaviour or characteristics.”

In Mettan’s history, American Russophobia “begins where the French, the English, and the Germans left off. It is a dynamic synthesis of French liberal-democratic Russophobia and English and German imperialist Russoaphobias.”  To Mettan the American phenomenon of today is a millennial climax of sorts. It‘s the apogee and the perigee, the final form of confidence in pursuing genocidal war against the Russians who resist and subjugation of those who remain,  which the German leadership held in June 1941.

According to Mettan, though, the adoption of Russophobia as US state policy since 1945  has reversed the outcome of the last war for the Germans. “This is how, in less than a quarter century, without striking a single blow Germany has just won the First and Second World Wars!”



By John Helmer, Moscow

During the US Army invasion of Morocco and Algeria in 1943, enroute to the invasion of Italy, the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), as the CIA was called then, came up with the donkey turd bomb for destroying the enemy. Since 2014, the CIA has come up with the modern equivalent – it’s called the Ukrainian bomb.  The first was designed to kill Germans. The second is designed to kill Russians. Both of them,   donkey turds and Ukrainians, are failing to hit their mark.

The donkey turd was the name and brainchild of a Harvard professor called Carleton Coon. In designing an American version of an improvised explosive device, Coon said that because  donkey turds were more common on the ground in Morocco than stones, bombs would be more effectively disguised to look like donkey turds.

The US didn’t fight any Germans in Morocco or Algeria. The US invasion promised the Arabs their national sovereignty and independence — — President Franklin Roosevelt was explicit on the point — but that was a calculated deception. The territories were returned to the French. After the US invasions of Italy, then France, the locals were again promised their national sovereignty and independence, but that too was an American deception. The territories were returned to those who accepted the terms of US occupation. They continue in their capitulation to this day, but the terms have been modified according to the American principle of US-directed and managed collective security. The North Atlantic Treaty Alliance (NATO) is the main organisation for implementing this.

The defeated Germans, half of them to start with, retreated back into the territory from which they had come, the western half of Germany that is, between 1946 and 1990. The Soviet Army had defeated the Germans who had invaded the Soviet Union and eastern Europe, and driven them back to the Berlin checkpoint. Until the Soviet terms were modified by Mikhail Gorbachev to accept Soviet withdrawal from eastern Germany, this is the way collective security operated in Europe — two opposing alliance forces confronting each other but deterring an attack from either side.

Gorbachev retreated on the US promise that NATO wouldn’t move forward. It was a promise Gorbachev was a fool to believe. He only had to ask the Moroccans or Algerians whether the Americans keep their promises, and he would have been told they don’t.  He wanted to believe otherwise. His successor Boris Yeltsin was just as ready to believe American deceptions until NATO invaded and bombed Serbia; both Gorbachev and Yeltsin believed they depended on the Americans to keep their power in Moscow.

Vladimir Putin tried to believe the promises until 2014 when the war to advance US occupation to the Russian frontier began in earnest. At that border, there is nowhere but inside Russia for the Russians to retreat to, just as they had when the Germans invaded in 1941. Putin announced there was no retreat in his speech to the Russian officer corps last month.   This marked the end of his accommodations with the advancing NATO forces and US nuclear warheads.  

In the line of this advance, the Russian Foreign Ministry proposed two treaties on the principle of indivisible security in Europe.  This principle means that one state cannot, and promises it will not,  increase its military capacities in such a way as to threaten the security of a neighbouring state in the same geopolitical space.   The treaties have also proposed there will be no more donkey turd bombs – no more Ukrainian, Romanian, Polish and other nuclear-armed missiles within close range of Russia’s capital, military command control centres, and land-based nuclear missile bases.

The principle of indivisible security, aka Russian self-defence, now confronts the principle of collective security, aka NATO forward defence, along a red line which runs from the Baltic Sea southward down the eastern Ukrainian border to the Black Sea, to Romania and the other littoral states, including Turkey. On Thursday the US rejected indivisible security, and thus the two draft treaties.  On Friday, at a 90-minute radio interview in Moscow, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov explained why the conflict of the two security principles cannot result in a Russian retreat.*  

This fight is now the last stand for the American empire in Europe which began with the donkey turd bomb 79 years ago.

Lavrov’s speech reveals that from the history of that period, from the destruction of Arab sovereignty, and through the destruction of European sovereignty, and through the near- destruction of Russian sovereignty by Gorbachev and Yeltsin, the Russians have learned a lesson which they cannot now unlearn and from which they cannot retreat. No retreat – that’s the lesson.



By John Helmer, Moscow

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken revealed publicly in Geneva on Friday, January 21,  that he will not negotiate a no-war agreement with the Russians because he cannot. This is already understood by the Russians; by the French and Germans; and by several senior officials of the Biden Administration.

The evidence of Blinken’s incapacity is in the words he says.

It was during the last world war,  when US policymakers had next to no intelligence on how their German counterparts were thinking and what they were intending,   that a group of American sociologists were engaged by the War Department, as the Pentagon was called then,  to do what was called content analysis of German propaganda.   One of the sociologists, a Russian émigré Nathan Leites, went on to apply the same method to Soviet publications in order to uncover what Leites  called the operational code of the Politburo.  That was in 1951. It was immediately used by US negotiators during the Korean War armistice negotiations which began in July of that year and ran for two years. By then Leites had produced a sequel, A Study of Bolshevism. Both were paid for and published by RAND, the think-tank created in 1945 by the US Air Force, the Douglas Aircraft Company, and the War Department.

Since then the method has not been used on US Government officials, at least not by RAND nor publicly by any American sociologist.  

When the RAND method is used to analyze what Blinken told the  US press, following his meeting with Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov, it is revealed that Blinken has no intention whatever of negotiating a non-aggression pact with the Russians on any terms. According to the scientific method devised by the best and brightest Americans for dealing with their enemies, it’s now clear from Blinken’s own words that he is unable to understand what Russians tell him. In the mind behind the words there is only one compulsive idea – attack, punish, destroy Russia.



By John Helmer, Moscow

Two Swiss bankers for fugitive Russian bank robber Sergei Pugachev have been convicted for the second time in Switzerland of violations of Switzerland’s money-laundering law and regulations.

Pugachev is a major source reported by Catherine Belton for the April 2020 book, Putin’s People. She and the Reuters special “enterprise unit” in New York which employs her, have not reported the evidence or the convictions in the Swiss case.

The Swiss court has attempted to keep the identities of the two bankers and their bank secret. The 38-page text of the judgement against them was dated by the court on May 31, 2021,  but   not issued until July 27. It was not published until October 1.  It has not been discovered by the press until now.  



By John Helmer, Moscow

James Cook (lead image, right), the Royal Navy captain celebrated in British empire history for his 18th century voyages of discovery in the Pacific, was going mad with syphilis when he underestimated the combat skill of the Hawaiians on February 14, 1779,  and was killed in a skirmish on the beach.

He was then dismembered, cooked, partially eaten, and some of his choicest parts wrapped and delivered to his crew on board the HMS Resolution.  

Cook had navigated and mapped the coasts of Australia, New Zealand, the Pacific coasts of Siberia and North America, and the Hawaiian islands, preparing them for military operations,  colonial occupation, annexation, partition, plantation, etc.   

In today’s NATO war against Russia, the British Navy has been practising cut-and-run on the Black Sea off the Crimean coast. British special forces have been spotted on operations in Ukraine, Moldova, and the Baltic states.  So far, they haven’t been caught or come to Cook’s sticky end.  

The most famous Russian singer of his time, Vladimir Vysotsky (left), composed a song in 1976 entitled “Why Did the Aborigines eat Cook?” In the song, Vysotsky mistook the Hawaiian islanders  for the indigenous Australians. But the moral of the song isn’t anthropological – it is a  joke, and a warning.  Introducing the song, Vysotsky said Cook’s tale is what happens to people who “grab at other people’s waists”.  



By John Helmer, Moscow

When the US-led putsch in Kiev started the Ukrainian civil war in 2014, most Russians have believed the risk of war with the US and NATO was small. In the past two years, however, there has been a significant change in Russian thinking.  

Asked to say if an armed conflict with the US and NATO is “possible” this year, one in four (25%) Russians across the country, interviewed in their homes by the Levada Centre between December 16 and 22, said yes. This is a jump from 14% in 2020, and from 10% in 2017, the low point in this series of polls Levada has been conducting since 2015.  

The new poll was released on Monday and has not yet been published in English. Three days earlier, however, Levada released the responses of its nationwide sample to the question asked in the same interview — what are the major fears Russians have for the future.   World war was ranked second after fear for the illness of family members; it came well ahead of Russians’ fear of abuse of power and political repression, poverty, robbery, loss of savings, unemployment or growing old. Fear of illness in the family is now acknowledged by 82%; fear of world war by 56%. The Russian apprehension of war has almost doubled since 2003.



By John Helmer, Moscow

The current generation of Russian leaders was educated to believe that imperialist and capitalist systems like the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) and the United States make  rational and predictable calculations of their self-interest; and that they can count the costs and casualties of warmaking; especially when nuclear weapons are launched with mutually assured destruction of the adversaries.

But Russian leaders find it difficult to accept that the current US leadership, especially Secretary of State Antony Blinken (lead image) and his Under Secretary, Victoria Nuland, are Russia-hating racists committed to a policy of genocide against the Russian state and against Russians wherever they are located in the territories of the old Russian Empire or the Soviet Union, especially in the Donbass region of eastern Ukraine.

“The culture of diplomacy and compromise is all but lost”, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov conceded last week.   “The US line in the international arena is dictated by the awareness of its own exceptionalism. This is not even denied.” “Foaming at the mouth” is as close as Lavrov came to characterising Blinken in person. The new sanctions threat, he added, is “a nervous breakdown of sorts. In the endless assertion of their own greatness, these people have reached a psychological state that is difficult to comprehend.”

American exceptionalism is the diplomatic Russian term for American racism’s plan for  liquidating the Russian ethnic group, language, culture, and resources in the Ukraine.  

Since Russia’s defeat of the German attempt to do this between 1941 and 1945, and then the defeat of the US-NATO plan to mobilize the surviving Ukrainian allies of the Wehrmacht, the genocide plan keeps reappearing in Kiev and Washington (in London too, though not in Berlin). That it would do so, reanimated and rearmed after the independence of Ukraine was declared in 1991, was certain. The US-led putsch in Kiev in February 2014 then revived the genocidal plan in most of its older German particulars.

This genocide is not the crime of genocide as the US criminal code defines and prosecutes it when Americans commit the crime.  That is because in 1987 the US Congress changed the universal definition of genocide, adopted by all members of the United Nations (UN) in 1948, opening for Americans two very large loopholes. The senator who drafted these and put them into law was Joseph Biden.



By John Helmer, Moscow

Banging the table isn’t what a superpower does unless it’s super no more.  But for a superpower which doesn’t realise its own weakness, a banging war with Russia is no piece of cake.

Right now, just days from the Russian deadline announced last week for the US and NATO to deliver their written proposals for stopping short of war in Europe,  the media blitz,  propaganda and cyber warfare are obscuring the fundamental reality on the ground along the Ukraine front. Simply put, if the war will be what US State Department officials Antony Blinken and Victoria Nuland and Canadian officials Chrystia Freeland and Justin Trudeau say they will fight for in the Donbass, then the Ukraine regime of Vladimir Zelensky will be defeated, and his Ukraine will cease to be a state. This is a recipe the cook won’t survive to taste.

The Americans and Canadians may think the leftover from this defeat will be tasty enough. That would be the Galician region, between Lvov in western Ukraine and Cracow in southern Poland, which the German Army ruled between 1941 and 1943, before running away from the Red Army.

They may also be calculating that the new US sanctions they are threatening against Russia will be so crippling that the outcome of the war will be preferable to the situation now – that outcome would be an independent Catholic, Ukrainian-speaking Galicia in its Nazi borders; the disappearance of Orthodox Christian, Russian-speaking Donbass into the Russian federation; Russia quarantined financially from the western world for the foreseeable future.

Is this the we-can’t-lose calculation of Blinken, Nuland and Freeland – the three Ukrainians* who have captured the warmaking policy of both states of North America?



By John Helmer, Moscow

What will be written on the US Government’s piece of paper since the Russian Government already knows – its intelligence services know, the Solar Winds hackers know  – what was not written on the papers which Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman was reading at the Geneva talks with Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov on Monday?

Sergei Lavrov, Russia’s Foreign Minister, announced on Thursday evening the US should now produce on paper its proposals for reducing the risk of war. Or else, Lavrov also told Antony Blinken, the US Secretary of State, the US will have war with Russia. Enough “arrogance of the highest degree”, and “foaming at the mouth”, Lavrov told Blinken. That “the Secretary of State of a serious state  [солидного государства] declares such things” is –  Lavrov left the expletive unsaid.

“We hope that the promises made now in Geneva and Brussels will be fulfilled. They concerned the fact that the United States and NATO would put their proposals ‘on paper’. We have clearly and repeatedly explained to them that we need to have an article-by-article reaction to our documents. If some position is not suitable, let them explain why and write ‘on paper’. If it is suitable with amendments, then they should also be done in writing. If they want to exclude or add something – a similar request. We gave our thoughts in writing a month ago. There was plenty of time in Washington and Brussels. Both of them promised that they would put their reaction ‘on paper’.”

Lavrov was waving the American piece of paper to remind that the piece of paper which British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain displayed on September 30, 1938 (lead image), on his return from talks with German Chancellor Adolph Hitler, contained the line expressing “the desire of our two peoples never to go to war with one another again”. That turned out to be false – Hitler didn’t mean it; Chamberlain wasn’t sure but wanted his electorate to believe it, plus time to prepare.

Lavrov is announcing that Russia today knows the US intention is to go to war; and that Russia is prepared and is already on war footing on all fronts.

That Sherman told Ryabkov on Monday “the United States and Russia agree that a nuclear war can never be won and must never be fought” is just as false, Lavrov has now declared —  unless what follows is Sherman’s paper. On that paper there must be “legal guarantees of non-expansion of NATO to the East, legal guarantees of non-deployment of shock [nuclear] weapons in our neighbouring territories that pose a threat to Russia’s security, and in principle, the return of the configuration of the European security architecture to 1997,  when the Russia-NATO Founding Act was signed. On its basis, the Russia-NATO Council was subsequently created. These are three key requirements. The rest of the proposals depend on how the conversation goes on these three initiatives.”

Lavrov’s declaration also dismissed as empty the attempts to intervene in the Russia-US negotiations  by Jens Stoltenberg, the NATO secretary-general now approaching the end of his term; and  Josep Borrell, the Europe Union foreign minister from Spain. Stoltenberg, Lavrov said, was “shaking the air”. Borell had been “emotional and not very polite”.

Lavrov’s spokesman, Maria Zakharova, followed at her briefing on Thursday by remarking: “It seems that there are two J. Borrells: one is the one who speaks, and the second is the one who writes. Or one J.Borrell, who speaks, but other people write for him. Both in style, and in language, and in the expressions used, these texts do not belong to one person. It’s obvious.”

The only interlocutor left in Europe Lavrov identified as serious is France. Germany went unmentioned; the British were not to be believed, Lavrov commented; the US Senate is  suffering from a “nervous breakdown… a psychological point that’s difficult to explain.”



By John Helmer, Moscow

When it comes to understanding the Geneva round of talks between the Russian and US foreign ministries on Monday, it is helpful to read; and if that is unavailing, to ask official sources in a position to know  if and when they are talkative. Actions talk louder than words, especially in war. It is intelligent to be patient and wait.

Going off half-cocked, however, is what Alexander Mercouris,  Bernhard Horstmann,  Scott Ritter,  and many others are doing. Half-cocked at the brothel door is  adolescent.  

Sergei Ryabkov (61 years old) and Wendy Sherman (72), the lead negotiators, are what newspapers call seasoned professionals. Seasoning in their cases refers to the pepper and salt in their hair – and also in their methods of speaking in private and public. Ryabkov was born in Soviet Leningrad; Sherman in a Jewish neighbourhood of Baltimore which her father, an ex-Marine then real estate broker, helped to integrate racially, a story Sherman tells in her autobiography.   Sherman’s book is not a ticket of leave for doing what Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Under Secretary of State Victoria Nuland tell her to say, and no more.* Sherman’s instructions are less Russia hating, more catholic (as she describes her father).

Taking Sherman at her word, therefore —  from what she said in her press briefing after the talks with Ryabkov concluded —  it is possible to conclude that she repeated to Ryabkov all the Blinken-Nuland vetoes and provocations which they have advertised in advance; which the White House, the British and Polish prime ministers, and the Secretary-General of NATO (lead images, left to right) keep repeating as if their lives depend on them.  And their political lives do depend on them.

That also makes them impotent in the war they are threatening against Russia on all fronts – the Donbass, the Black Sea, the Baltic Sea, Armenia, Kazakhstan, Syria, Libya, etc.  

However, Sherman made eight points indicating that the “core security interests” which the Russian side has placed at the top of the agenda are now in negotiation with the US. Before you knock on the door, here they are. Read carefully, and watch what comes next.



By John Helmer, Moscow

The three kinds of power which decide the fate of governments are force, fraud and subversion; that’s to say, arms, money, propaganda.

For the time being – and that time is going to be slower and longer than you think — Russian policy has won in Kazakhstan with force, just as it had already fought the US and China to a draw in Kazakhstan with fraud. Russian force has replaced Kazakh fraud in the nick of time, but the swiftness and logistics of the deployment of the Collective Security Treaty Organisation (CSTO) peacekeepers indicate advance planning and preparation. That doesn’t mean conspiracy.

Stanislav Zas, the former Belarus general and now CSTO Secretary General, reported on Monday:  “we spent two days on the organisational procedures. Simultaneously, we were deploying the Collective Peacekeeping Forces. Yesterday [January 9], we fully completed this deployment. Over four days, Russian Aerospace Forces planes made over 108 flights. We have deployed contingents of the Collective Peacekeeping Forces in the cities of Nur-Sultan [Astana], Almaty, and Almaty Region. We have established command posts in the Military Institute of Free Troops in Almaty.”

At the same session of the CSTO’s collective security council,  the Kazakh President, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, acknowledeged it had been President Vladimir  Putin’s “quick solution of the issue of sending a CSTO peacemaking contingent to Kazakhstan” which saved his government. “When the fighters learned that three cargo planes had arrived in the country’s capital [Astana, Nur-Sultan], they gave up on their plan to seize the President’s residence. This enabled us to send more forces to Almaty and recapture the city from the hands of the terrorists. To date, in accordance with the Collective Security Council’s decision, the CSTO Collective Peacekeeping Forces of 2,030 troops and 250 pieces of equipment have been deployed [at] protecting and ensuring the security of airports, military depots and other strategic facilities.”

Kazakhstan is Russia’s “bullet proof vest”, comments an engaged Kazakh source. “You don’t have to be a genius to figure out that after the Taliban took over in Afghanistan last August, plans and preparations for changes in the regional balance of security threat and of counter-force should occur. So they did. Everything that has happened – tragic as it is for the Kazakhs, and sobering for everybody – has taken a long period of time to develop.  It is also illogical to say that the decisions taken inside Kazakhstan – for example, the fuel price increase which triggered the protests at the start of the month – were taken overnight.”

As for subversion in Kazakhstan, the Japanese mouth organ in London, the Financial Times, and the rest of the Anglo-American media, claim they are winning the war for hearts and minds, and that Russian intervention is a sign of desperation, weakness, and vulnerability. This is wishful propaganda:  because arms and money always defeat propaganda, the war of words has been lost where it counts – inside Kazakhstan.

For the time being, Kazakh and Russian sources believe, there is “likely to be a positive result for the CSTO; a likely positive result for the Kremlin. But the result has also demonstrated the durability of the existing power structure in Kazakhstan. This means that the hopes of the first wave of protesters for a wholesale turnover of the government, and for a fundamental improvement in governance and living standards at the expense of the oligarchs, may have failed. It’s too soon to say.”

What happens next, the sources believe, will depend on how Russian money, and Chinese money, are deployed after the CSTO force is withdrawn   Large new credit lines from Moscow and Beijing are likely to be announced; their investment targets and their terms will indicate whether the ownership of Kazakhstan’s valuable assets in uranium, metals, fertilizers, oil, gas, grain and other agricultural commodities will change significantly. Force is protected by secrecy; money less so.

“We can’t be sure how the [Russian] military moves were anticipated, then decided,” adds the Kazakh source. Russian sources in Moscow confirm this. The sources agree that the decision-making process now underway in Moscow and Beijing to move fresh capital into Kazakhstan cannot remain comparably secret. The sources also agree that one thing is certain – the fresh capital won’t be coming from the US or Europe.



By John Helmer, Moscow

It was seventy-nine years ago, in the month of January 1943,  that the Battle of Stalingrad ended in the defeat and capitulation of the German Sixth Army (lead image, left). It was, according to the British historian of the battle, Antony Beevor, “the most catastrophic defeat hitherto experienced in German history.” Militarily, it also started the defeat of Germany on all fronts, the end of the war, and the division of Germany and eastern Europe into Russian and American control zones.

The reversal of that outcome, and the steady expansion of the American control zone eastwards, across Germany,  then across the Warsaw Pact and the Soviet zones, to the Russian frontier,  continues today. Rewriting the story of the Battle of Stalingrad is the propaganda part of this military campaign.  

I n 2017 Bevor was awarded a British knighthood as “Military Historian and Author. For services in support of Armed Forces Professional Development”. By that year Beevor’s 493-page history, Stalingrad, was into its third paperback edition, and its cover had been changed from a photograph of Russian troops advancing to a photograph of German troops advancing.

That year too,   the British government was three years into the new US-led war against Russia in eastern Ukraine and on the Black and Baltic Seas.  

Re-reading Beevor’s history of the Stalingrad battle this month, as Anglo-American state propaganda organs continue broadcasting that Russia is about to start a new war in Europe by invading Ukraine, is a fresh  lesson of how relentless race hatred against Russians turns out to be. From this follows the second lesson of Beevor and his book:  his sympathy for the German version of race hatred against Russians, pervasive in his history book, prepares readers for a new war against Russians for what Beevor repeats a German officer as calling “a war of two world outlooks” and another calls Russian insects: “Lice are like the Russians. You kill one, ten new ones appear in its place.”  

In most countries of Europe (including Russia) race hatred is a crime. In Beevor’s case, it’s military history “in support of Armed Forces Professional Development”.



By John Helmer, Moscow

The Polish government in Warsaw, facing re-election in less than a year, wants all the credit from Washington for their joint operation to sabotage the Nord Stream gas pipelines on the Baltic seabed.

It also wants to intimidate the German chancellor in Berlin, and deter both American and German officials from plotting a takeover by the Polish opposition party, Civic Platform, next year.

Blaming the Russians for the attack is their cover story. Attacking anyone who doesn’t believe it, including Poles and Germans, Warsaw officials and their supporting media claim they are dupes or agents of Russian disinformation.

Their rivals, Civic Platform (PO) politicians trailing the PiS in the polls by seven percentage points,   want Polish voters to think that no credit for the Nord Stream attack should be earned by the ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party. They also want to divert  the Russian counter-attack from Warsaw to Washington.

“Thank you USA” was the first Polish political declaration tweeted hours after the blasts by Radoslaw Sikorski (lead image, left), the PO’s former defence and foreign minister, now a European Parliament deputy. In support and justification,  his old friend and PO ministerial colleague, Roman Giertych, warned Sikorski’s critics: “Would you nutters prefer that the Russians find us guilty?”



By John Helmer, Moscow

The military operation on Monday night which fired munitions to blow holes in the Nord Stream I and Nord Stream II pipelines on the Baltic Sea floor, near Bornholm Island,  was executed by the Polish Navy and special forces.

It was aided by the Danish and Swedish military; planned and coordinated with US intelligence and technical support; and approved by the Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki.

The operation is a repeat of the Bornholm Bash operation of April 2021, which attempted to sabotage Russian vessels laying the gas pipes, but ended in ignominious retreat by the Polish forces. That was a direct attack on Russia. This time the attack is targeting the Germans, especially the business and union lobby and the East German voters, with a scheme to blame Moscow for the troubles they already have — and their troubles to come with winter.

Morawiecki is bluffing. “It is a very strange coincidence,” he has announced, “that on the same day that the Baltic Gas Pipeline  opens, someone is most likely committing an act of sabotage. This shows what means the Russians can resort to in order to destabilize Europe. They are to blame for the very high gas prices”.   The truth bubbling up from the seabed at Bornholm is the opposite of what Morawiecki says.

But the political value to Morawiecki, already running for the Polish election in eleven months’ time, is his government’s claim to have solved all of Poland’s needs for gas and electricity through the winter — when he knows that won’t come true.  

Inaugurating the 21-year old Baltic Pipe project from the Norwegian and Danish gas networks, Morawiecki announced: “This gas pipeline is the end of the era of dependence on Russian gas. It is also a gas pipeline of security, sovereignty and freedom not only for Polish, but in the future, also for others…[Opposition Civic Platform leader Donald] Tusk’s government preferred Russian gas. They wanted to conclude a deal with the Russians even by 2045…thanks to the Baltic Pipe, extraction from Polish deposits,  LNG supply from the USA and Qatar, as well as interconnection with its neighbours, Poland is now secured in terms of gas supplies.”

Civic Platform’s former defence and foreign minister Radek Sikorski also celebrated the Bornholm Blow-up. “As we say in Polish, a small thing, but so much joy”.  “Thank you USA,” Sikorski added,   diverting the credit for the operation, away from domestic rival Morawiecki to President Joseph Biden; he had publicly threatened to sabotage the line in February.  Biden’s ambassador in Warsaw is also backing Sikorski’s Civic Platform party to replace  Morawiecki next year.  

The attack not only escalates the Polish election campaign. It also continues the Morawiecki government’s plan to attack Germany, first by reviving the reparations claim for the invasion and occupation of 1939-45;  and second, by targeting alleged German complicity, corruption,  and appeasement in the Russian scheme to rule Europe at Poland’s expense. .

“The appeasement policy towards Putin”, announced PISM, the official government think tank in Warsaw in June,  “is part of an American attempt to free itself from its obligations of maintaining peace in Europe. The bargain is that Americans will allow Putin to finish building the Nord Stream 2 pipeline in exchange for Putin’s commitment not use it to blackmail Eastern Europe. Sounds convincing? Sounds like something you heard before? It’s not without reason that Winston Churchill commented on the American decision-making process: ‘Americans can always be trusted to do the right thing, once all other possibilities have been exhausted.’ However, by pursuing such a policy now, the Biden administration takes even more responsibility for the security of Europe, including Ukraine, which is the stake for subsequent American mistakes.”

“Where does this place Poland? Almost 18 years ago the Federal Republic of Germany, our European ally, decided to prioritize its own business interests with Putin’s Russia over solidarity and cooperation with allies in Central Europe. It was a wrong decision to make and all Polish governments – regardless of political differences – communicated this clearly and forcefully to Berlin. But since Putin succeeded in corrupting the German elite and already decided to pay the price of infamy, ignoring the Polish objections was the only strategy Germany was left with.”

The explosions at Bornholm are the new Polish strike for war in Europe against Chancellor Olaf Scholz. So far the Chancellery in Berlin is silent, tellingly.



By John Helmer, Moscow

The only Russian leader in a thousand years who was a genuine gardener and who allowed himself to be recorded with a shovel in his hand was Joseph Stalin (lead image, mid-1930s). Compared to Stalin, the honouring of the new British king Charles III as a gardener pales into imitativeness and pretension.   

Stalin cultivated lemon trees and flowering mimosas at his Gagra dacha  by the Black Sea in Abkhazia.  Growing mimosas (acacias) is tricky. No plantsman serving the monarchs in London or at Versailles has made a go of it in four hundred years. Even in the most favourable climates, mimosas – there are almost six hundred varieties of them — are short-lived. They can revive after bushfires; they can go into sudden death for no apparent reason. Russians know nothing of this – they love them for their blossom and scent, and give bouquets of them to celebrate the arrival of spring.

Stalin didn’t attempt the near-impossible, to grow lemons and other fruit in the Moscow climate. That was the sort of thing which the Kremlin noblemen did to impress the tsar and compete in conspicuous affluence with each other. At Kuskovo, now in the eastern district of Moscow, Count Pyotr Sheremetyev built a heated orangerie between 1761 and 1762, where he protected his lemons, pomegranates, peaches, olives, and almonds, baskets of which he would present in mid-winter to the Empress Catherine the Great and many others. The spade work was done by serfs. Sheremetyev beat the French king Louis XIV to the punch – his first orangerie at Versailles wasn’t built until 1763.

Stalin also had a dacha at Kuskovo But he cultivated his lemons and mimosas seventeen hundred  kilometres to the south where they reminded him of home in Georgia. Doing his own spade work wasn’t Stalin showing off, as Charles III does in his gardens, like Louis XIV before him. Stalin’s spade work was what he had done in his youth. It also illustrated his message – “I’m showing you how to work”, he would tell visitors surprised to see him with the shovel.  As to his mimosas, Stalin’s Abkhazian confidante, Akaki Mgeladze, claimed in his memoirs that Stalin intended them as another lesson. “How Muscovites love mimosas, they stand in queues for them” he reportedly told him.  “Think how to grow more to make the Muscovites happy!”

In the new war with the US and its allies in Europe, Stalin’s lessons of the shovel and the mimosas are being re-learned in conditions which Stalin never knew – how to fight the war for survival and at the same time keep everyone happy with flowers on the dining table.



By John Helmer, Moscow

Agatha Christie’s whodunit entitled And Then There Were None – the concluding words of the children’s counting rhyme — is reputed to be the world’s best-selling mystery story.    

There’s no mystery now about the war of Europe and North America against Russia; it is the continuation of Germany’s war of 1939-45 and the war aims of the General Staff in Washington since 1943. Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu (left) and President Vladimir Putin (right) both said it plainly enough this week.

There is also no mystery in the decision-making in Moscow of the President and the Defense Minister, the General Staff, and the others; it is the continuation of the Stavka of 1941-45.  

Just because there is no mystery about this, it doesn’t follow that it should be reported publicly, debated in the State Duma, speculated and advertised by bloggers, podcasters, and twitterers.  In war what should not be said cannot be said. When the war ends, then there will be none.  



By John Helmer, Moscow

Alas and alack for the Berlin Blockade of 1948-49 (Berliner Luftbrücke): those were the days when the Germans waved their salutes against the unification of Germany demilitarised and denazified; and cheered instead for their alliance with the US and British armies to fight another seventy years of war in order to achieve what they and Adolf Hitler hadn’t managed, but which they now hope to achieve under  Olaf Scholtz — the defeat of the Russian Army and the destruction of Russia.

How little the Germans have changed.

But alas and alack — the Blockade now is the one they and the NATO armies aim to enforce against Russia. “We are drawing up a new National Security Strategy,” according to Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock. “We are taking even the most severe scenarios seriously.”  By severe Baerbock means nuclear. The new German generation — she has also declared “now these grandparents, mothers, fathers and their children sit at the kitchen table and discuss rearmament.”  

So, for Russia to survive the continuation of this war, the Germans and their army must be fought and defeated again. That’s the toast of Russian people as they salute the intrepid flyers who are beating the Moscow Blockade.  



By John Helmer, Moscow

Last week the International Atomic Energy Agency’s (IAEA) board of governors voted to go to war with Russia by a vote of 26 member countries against 9.

China, Vietnam, India, Pakistan, Egypt, Senegal and South Africa voted against war with Russia.  

The IAEA Secretary-General Rafael Grossi (lead image, left) has refused to tell the press whether a simple majority of votes (18) or a super-majority of two-thirds (23) was required by the agency charter for the vote; he also wouldn’t say which countries voted for or against. The United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres then covered up for what had happened by telling the press: “I believe that [IAEA’s] independence that exists and must be preserved is essential. The IAEA cannot be the instrument of parties against other parties.” The IAEA vote for war made a liar of Guterres.

In the IAEA’s 65-year history, Resolution Number 58, the war vote of September 15, 2022,  is the first time the agency has taken one side in a war between member countries when nuclear reactors have either been attacked or threatened with attack. It is also the first time the IAEA has attacked one of its member states, Russia, when its military were attempting to protect and secure a nuclear reactor from attack by another member state, the Ukraine, and its war allies, the US, NATO and the European Union states. The vote followed the first-ever IAEA inspection of a nuclear reactor while it was under active artillery fire and troop assault.

There is a first time for everything but this is the end of the IAEA. On to the scrap heap of good intentions and international treaties, the IAEA is following the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), and the UN Secretary-General himself.  Listen to this discussion of the past history when the IAEA responded quite differently following the Iranian and Israeli air-bombing attacks on the Iraqi nuclear reactor known as Osirak, and later, the attacks on Pakistan’s nuclear weapons sites.



By John Helmer, Moscow

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) decided this week to take the side of Ukraine in the current war; blame Russia for the shelling of the Zaporozhye Nuclear Power Plant (ZNPP); and issue a demand for Russia to surrender the plant to the Kiev regime “to regain full control over all nuclear facilities within Ukraine’s internationally recognized borders, including the Zaporizhzhya Nuclear Power Plant.”      

This is the most dramatic shift by the United Nations (UN) nuclear power regulator in the 65-year history of the organisation based in Vienna.

The terms of the IAEA Resolution Number 58, which were proposed early this week by the Polish and Canadian governors on the agency board, were known in advance by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres when he spoke by telephone with President Vladimir Putin in the late afternoon of September 14, before the vote was taken. Guterres did not reveal what he already knew would be the IAEA action the next day.  



By John Helmer, Moscow

Never mind that King Solomon said proverbially three thousand years ago, “a merry heart doeth good like a medicine.”  

With seven hundred wives and three hundred concubines, Solomon realized he was the inventor of the situation comedy. If not for the sitcom as his medicine, the bodily and psychological stress Old Solly had to endure in the bedroom would have killed him long before he made it to his death bed at eighty years of age,  after ruling his kingdom for forty of them.

After the British sitcom died in the 1990s, the subsequent stress has not only killed very large numbers of ordinary people. It has culminated today in a system of rule according to which a comic king in Buckingham Palace must now manage the first prime minister in Westminster  history to be her own joke.

Even the Norwegians, the unfunniest people in Europe, have acknowledged that the only way to attract the British as tourists, was to pay John Cleese of Monty Python and Fawlty Towers to make them laugh at Norway itself.   This has been a bigger success for the locals than for the visitors, boosting the fjord boatman’s life expectancy several years ahead of the British tourist’s.  

In fact, Norwegian scientists studying a sample of 54,000 of their countrymen have proved that spending the state budget on public health and social welfare will only work effectively if the population is laughing all the way to the grave. “The cognitive component of the sense of humour is positively associated with survival from mortality related to CVD [cardio-vascular disease] and infections in women and with infection-related mortality in men” – Norwegian doctors reported in 2016. Never mind the Viking English:  the Norwegian point is the same as Solomon’s that “a sense of humour is a health-protecting cognitive coping resource” – especially if you’ve got cancer.  

The Russians understand this better than the Norwegians or the British.  Laughter is an antidote to the war propaganda coming from abroad, as Lexus and Vovan have been demonstrating.   The Russian sitcom is also surviving in its classic form to match the best of the British sitcoms, all now dead – Fawlty Towers (d. 1975), Black Adder (d. 1989), You Rang M’Lord? (d. 1988), Jeeves and Wooster (d. 1990), Oh Dr Beeching! (d.1995), and Thin Blue Line (d. 1996).

The Russian situation comedies, alive and well on TV screens and internet streaming devices across the country, are also increasingly profitable business for their production and broadcast companies – not despite the war but because of it. This has transformed the Russian media industry’s calculation of profitability by removing US and European-made films and television series, as well as advertising revenues from Nestlé, PepsiCo, Mars, and Bayer. In their place powerful  Russian video-on-demand (VOD) streaming platform companies like Yandex (KinoPoisk), MTS (Kion), (VK), and Ivi (Leonid Boguslavsky, ProfMedia, Baring Vostok)  are now intensifying the competition for audience with traditional television channels and film studios for domestic audiences.  The revenue base of the VOD platforms is less vulnerable to advertisers, more dependent on telecommunications subscriptions.

Russian script writers, cameramen, actors, designers, and directors are now in shorter supply than ever before, and earning more money.  “It’s the Russian New Wave,” claims Olga Filipuk, head of media content for Yandex, the powerful leader of the new film production platforms; its  controlling shareholder and chief executive were sanctioned last year.  



By Olga Samofalova, translated and introduced by John Helmer, Moscow

It was the American humourist Mark Twain who didn’t die in 1897 when it was reported that he had. Twain had thirteen more lively years to go.

The death of the Russian aerospace and aviation industry in the present war is proving to be an even greater exaggeration – and the life to come will be much longer. From the Russian point of view, the death which the sanctions have inflicted is that of the US, European and British offensive against the Soviet-era industry which President Boris Yeltsin (lead image, left) and his advisers encouraged from 1991.

Since 2014, when the sanctions war began, the question of what Moscow would do when the supply of original aircraft components was first threatened, then prohibited, has been answered. The answer began at the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in 1947 when the first  Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) or Parts Manufacturing Approval (PMA) was issued by Washington officials for aircraft parts or components meeting the airworthiness standards but manufactured by sources which were not the original suppliers.   

China has been quicker to implement this practice; Chinese state and commercial enterprises have been producing PMA components for Boeing and Airbus aircraft in the Chinese airline fleets for many years.  The Russian Transport Ministry has followed suit; in its certification process and airworthiness regulations it has used the abbreviation RMA, Cyrillic for PMA. This process has been accelerating as the sanctions war has escalated.

So has the Russian process of replacing foreign imports entirely.



By John Helmer, Moscow

The weakest link in the British government’s four-year long story of Russian Novichok assassination operations in the UK – prelude to the current war – is an English medical expert by the name of Guy Rutty (lead image, standing).

A government-appointed pathologist advising the Home Office, police, and county coroners, Rutty is the head of the East Midlands Forensic Pathology Unit in Leicester,  he is the author of a post-mortem report, dated November 29, 2018,  claiming that the only fatality in the history of the Novichok nerve agent (lead image, document), Dawn Sturgess, had died of Novichok poisoning on July 8, 2018. Rutty’s finding was added four months after initial post-mortem results and a coroner’s cremation certificate stopped short of confirming that Novichok had been the cause of her death.

Rutty’s Novichok finding was a state secret for more than two years. It was revealed publicly   by the second government coroner to investigate Sturgess’s death, Dame Heather Hallett, at a public hearing in London on March 30, 2021. In written evidence it was reported that “on 17th July 2018, Professor Guy Rutty MBE, a Home Office Registered Forensic Pathologist conducted an independent post-mortem examination. He was accompanied by Dr Phillip Lumb, also an independent Home Office Registered Forensic Pathologist. Professor Rutty’s Post-Mortem Report of 29th November 2018 records the cause of death as Ia Post cardiac arrest hypoxic brain injury and intracerebral haemorrhage; Ib Novichok toxicity.”  

Hallett, Rutty, Lumb, and others engaged by the government to work on the Novichok case have refused to answer questions about the post-mortem investigations which followed immediately after Sturgess’s death was reported at Salisbury District Hospital; and a cause of death report signed by the Wiltshire Country coroner David Ridley, when Sturgess’s body was released to her family for funeral and cremation on July 30, 2018.  

After another three years, Ridley was replaced as coroner in the case by Hallett in March 2021. Hallett was replaced by Lord Anthony Hughes (lead image, sitting) in March 2022.

The cause-of-death documents remain state secrets. “As you have no formal role in the inquest proceedings,” Hallett’s and Rutty’s spokesman Martin Smith said on May 17, 2021, “it would not be appropriate to provide you with the information that you have requested.” 

Since then official leaks have revealed that Rutty had been despatched by the Home Office in London to take charge of the Sturgess post-mortem, and Lumb ordered not to undertake an autopsy or draw conclusions on the cause of Sturgess’s death until Rutty arrived. Why? The sources are not saying whether the two forensic professors differed in their interpretation of the evidence; and if so, whether the published excerpt of Rutty’s report of Novichok poisoning is the full story.   

New developments in the official investigation of Sturgess’s death, now directed by Hughes, have removed the state secrecy cover for Rutty, Lumb, and other medical specialists who attended the post-mortem on July 17, 2018. The appointment by Hughes of a London lawyer, Adam Chapman, to represent Sergei and Yulia Skripal, opens these post-mortem documents to the Skripals, along with the cremation certificate, and related hospital, ambulance and laboratory records. Chapman’s role is “appropriate” – Smith’s term – for the Skripals to cross-examine Rutty and Lumb and add independent expert evidence.

Hughes’s appointment of another lawyer, Emilie Pottle (lead image, top left), to act on behalf of the three Russian military officers accused of the Novichok attack exposes this evidence to testing at the same forensic standard. According to Hughes,  it is Pottle’s “responsibility for ensuring that the inquiry takes all reasonable steps to test the  evidence connecting those Russian nationals to Ms Sturgess’s death.” Pottle’s responsibility is to  cross-examine Rutty and Lumb.


Copyright © 2007-2017 Dances With Bears

Copyright © 2007-2017 Dances With Bears

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