CALLING COLLABOS, KAPOS, MEDICO JUNTISTS, AND FASCISTS OF ALL NATIONALITIES – GORILLA RADIO HAS NEWS FOR YOU

By John Helmer, Moscow 
  @bears_with

Small peoples deal with their inferiority complex towards larger, more powerful peoples in special ways.

The Greeks remember their ancient victories over the Trojans and Persians, and more recently their defeat of the Italians at the start of World War II. The Galicians of Ukraine remember their killing of Jews, Poles and Russians, and theft of their property under the protection of the German Wehrmacht. The Canadian Ukrainians compensate for their inferiority the same way.

Australians have their special, lawless ways of doing things, usually under British naval protection or US air cover.  For fighting the war in Afghanistan, the Australian Army cut children’s throats and encouraged a culture of war crimes among its special forces. This was documented by soldier whistleblowers and an official Army investigation. Then the Taliban, victor of the war, charged the Australians had “committed some of the worst and the brutal kind of human rights violations, by hacking fingers off dead bodies and killing farmers in Uruzgan and other provinces they were based.  They should be prosecuted as per the law, humanitarian law.” Fat chance —  said the Australian Foreign Minister, declaring the accusation was “repugnant”. She didn’t mean to say it was untrue, but she aimed to ignore it. Australia would keep fighting the Taliban, she also meant — if they could.  

But the reality of being such a small country the Chinese have termed Australia the chewing gum on their shoe, is that the Australians decided they had better flee Kabul before the US Army retreat began. The troops have brought their lawlessness home.

This is being demonstrated in the domestic war against COVID-19. To direct the Australian forces in the officially code-named OPERATION COVID SHIELD, an army lieutenant-general named John Frewen  and a navy commodore called Eric Young are in charge.  

Frewen’s war-fighting promotion was earned defeating a tribal rebellion by 100 men on the Solomon Islands. He then became the head of one of Australia’s spy agencies. Young’s combat experience at sea has been defeating unarmed refugee boats arriving from Indonesia. He was then promoted to command of an entity called United States Force Posture Initiatives – that’s the Australia-based command of US forces targeting China.

In no country in the world have soldiers been put in command of emergency powers administration like this – except juntas of fascist states.

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MOSCOW SINGS, WHERE ARE MY ANTIBODIES? NATIONWIDE PROTEST VOTE LOOMS FOR SEPTEMBER – THAT INCLUDES REFUSING TO VOTE AT ALL

By John Helmer, Moscow 
  @bears_with

When it comes to influencing how Russians will vote, the Anglo-American Navalny operation isn’t a patch on the Russian sense of humour. No amount of money which the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) and the Anglo-American info-warfare units can throw at  Russians can compete, let alone overcome it.

But it is no joke that the President’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov announced this week that people who refuse to get vaccinated “pose a threat to others” and deserve to be punished. That’s almost two-thirds of the country, according to the latest Levada Centre poll.

What Peskov means is that popular resistance to vaccination is a threat to the pro-government vote for the national parliament on September 19.

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HOW THE NATO ALLIANCE IS FIGHTING RUSSIA’S SPUTNIK V VACCINE WITH SUBSIDIES FROM STATE BUDGETS AND THE GATES FOUNDATION, HIDDEN BY THE FINANCIAL TIMES

By John Helmer, Moscow 
  @bears_with

When the organ claiming to be the world’s leading financial newspaper conceals the large price subsidy for the distribution of Covid-19 vaccines manufactured by the NATO allies, in order to accuse Russia of price gouging the poor, you can be sure you are watching an information warfare attack.

And when the concealment of the vaccine subsidy operation run by GAVI and COVAX hides the fact that the UK, US, and the Bill Gates (lead image, right) and Melinda Gates Foundation are paying 92% of the $10 billion scheme, then you realise that Covid-19 vaccines are a weapon of war.

A war, not only against Russia, but also against China.

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BLINDNESS FOLLOWED BY DELIRIUM, DIARRHEA – SYMPTOMS REPORTED AS COVID-19 KILLS LAST SURVIVING AUSTRALIAN JOURNALISTS – LIST OF HOTSPOTS

by John Helmer, Moscow 
  @bears_with

The last survivors of Australian journalism have succumbed to complications of Covid-19 infection.

Following the publication in the US at the beginning of this week of the first book to investigate  the pandemic lawlessness which has taken hold in Melbourne, the second city of Australia,  reporters for the mainstream Australian media and the alternative media have suffocated after opening the first pages of the book,  but before they were able to report its contents.

The fatalities are not considered suspicious, although in December a state-appointed commission of inquiry reported that officials of the Victorian state government had been negligent in their administration of pandemic emergency powers. Three resignations were forced; no corruption charges have been prosecuted. State MPs are trying to open a parliamentary debate on more than $200 million in unaccounted-for state spending on police, hospitals, hotels, lawyers, medical research units, and university think-tanks. 

An investigation was opened this week by the Judicial Commission of Victoria into the disappearance, loss, or possibly destruction of hearing records for the only case in the Australian courts to challenge the legality of the ban on Australians returning home from abroad, and the closure of Melbourne’s international airport.

Here is the list of the reporters who were diagnosed before they could report on the book; also the infection hotspots which readers are recommended to avoid. Genomic testing is still under way to determine which mutation has proved fatal to Australian reporters, half of whom are employed by Rupert Murdoch; they were immunocompromised before the pandemic started.   

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MOSCOW’S CITIZEN SURVEILLANCE REGIME – EYE OR PIE IN THE SKY

by John Helmer, Moscow 
  @bears_with

In a plan Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin initiated two years ago called “Smart City 2030”, the Russian capital has attempted to catch up with China’s cities and to London in the mobilization of electronic and digital tools for following the city’s inhabitants, enforcing the laws, and catching criminals, tax cheats, speeders —  and political protesters.

Most of these tools can be spotted fixed to lamp posts and other street furniture; some are on board drones flying in the air; some are underground at metro stations and on subway trains. Invisible is the surveillance of telephone calls and messages; social media; and internet communication.  

On the hardware and software, the equivalent of about a billion US dollars has been spent every year for the past five years by the Moscow government’s Department of Information Technology. That doesn’t count parallel spending by the municipal and federal agencies in charge of physical and financial security and public health, and by commercial organisations engaged in transportation, marketing, telecommunications, and banking.   

The introduction of the corona virus quarantine measures has accelerated the spending — and the sensitivity of most Muscovites to their privacy, and their suspicion of government officials’   motives. There have been many press reports in the city detailing the extent of the visual, audio, internet and other surveillance measures which have been installed or are planned. Opposition is growing – and if expressed in public gatherings, carefully recorded. So this month an application was filed by two Moscow political activists to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR). They are asking for a ruling that the city’s facial recognition measures when used by police to monitor public meetings and demonstrations are an unlawful infringement of individual human rights under the European Convention.

 “We’ve been sold out already,” headlined Tsargrad.tv. last week.     “The electronic concentration camp is in action.”

Most Russians don’t agree. In the first national opinion poll carried out in mid-April, 75% of the population countrywide said they support the measures taken by their regional or city governments;  13% were opposed; 12% declined to answer. The residents of Moscow and St. Petersburg were almost as compliant and supportive – 73%. Also, more of them are opposed – 19%.  In late May a second poll showed that among Muscovites, 57% approved; 39% disapproved.

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NO SECOND-WAVE PANDEMIC IN RUSSIA — PAVEL VOLCHKOV, RUSSIAN LEADER IN GENOMIC ENGINEERING (HE REJECTED HARVARD FOR MOSCOW) EXPLAINS WHY

by John Helmer, Moscow 
  @bears_with

Pavel Volchkov is an exceptional voice among the Russian scientists now dealing with the corona virus (Covid-19) pandemic.

The current Covid-19 policy administrators in Moscow are of the same academic generation but they have trained as doctors;  Volchkov is a geneticist. They have spent their formative careers inside Russian institutions;  Volchkov spent more than ten years in the US, at the University of Chicago then at Harvard.  

He has not suffered from the inferiority complex which has been the precondition for success in the US careers of Konstantin (Keith) Gessen and other Russian graduates from Harvard.   Volchkov’s analysis of the US science market and his reasons for returning to  his Russian laboratory are described here.

“There’s always someone in America,” Volchkov says, “who can find better funding than you. There’s always someone better than you. And Russia is only at the stage of the emergence of something more or less wealthy and constructive than the use and trade of natural resources. Even the janitor has already realized, and not just the economists in the government, that it is time to create high-tech companies that can make a product that is not related to natural resources. This was also one of the drivers of my move [back to Russia]. I saw that the situation with science has improved slightly. Of course, when I returned to Russia, everything was different. But ten years in America hardens you. These are difficult years. You break yourself, rebuild yourself, become flexible, purposeful. If you don’t, you are lost. If I hadn’t gone there, I wouldn’t have become what I am now.”

No repatriating Russian is as clear-eyed on what has been left behind in the US – and what lies ahead for Russia.

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GORILLA RADIO TALKS BACK AT THE ALIENS FORCING YOU TO LISTEN TO LIES, BELIEVE EVIL

by John Helmer, Moscow
  @bears_with

Covid-19 and corona psychosis are parallel attacks on your health, pandemic in scale for both at the moment.  

Among the recognised symptoms of Covid-19 in the central nervous system, there is ageusia (loss of taste) and anosmia (loss of smell).   Newly discovered, there are also symptoms affecting eyesight, such conjunctival hyperemia, chemosis,  and epiphora.   Those are the medical terms for inflammation of the conjunctiva and excessive secretions from the eyes. Like tears when you weep, they blur the vision, though the fluid isn’t infectious. Face mask, goggles, gloves, hazmat suit are part of the personal protective equipment needed to defend the body organs most exposed. So is social distance from potentially infectious cases.

But they are no protection against the circulation of lies. The media messages which carry the lies attach themselves to human receptors, then mutate rapidly inside the brain, the voice box, and the fingertip-keyboard reflex. Consuming lies is the way you catch the corona psychosis; retweeting and retelling them in small, intimate spaces – laptop, tablet or smart phone – is the way they spread. The basic reproductive ratio of Covid-19 runs from 3 to 9 people  infected by a single case, and the virus may take up to two weeks to reveal itself in symptoms or testing. The reproductive ratio of the corona psychosis is larger and faster. Blindfolds, earplugs, gags,  and handcuffs are too unpopular with people to be implemented in most places. For the time being, there is a desperate shortage of antidotes and vaccines. Truth is an effective antidote, but most infected individuals don’t recognise they are missing it.

Gorilla Radio provides natural immunity if taken regularly in sustained doses over lengthy periods of time. Laboratory experimentation and human trialling with earfuls of the medicine are under way in Canada to demonstrate contraceptive effect before exposure  and post-exposure prophylaxis. Think of each Gorilla Radio broadcast as a combination of condom before bare backing, and antiretroviral pills, PEP and ART, after you were enjoying yourself without restraint.   

So don your earphones, turn up the volume, and sit back for an hour of the most advanced health cure available in the world today.  

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MAROONED AT HOME — CORONA PSYCHOSIS RESCUE IN RUSSIA

by John Helmer, Moscow
  @bears_with

Pandemic or no pandemic, misery always and everywhere craves company.   

After he had been running a high fever with diarrhoea and other symptoms, scribbling notes on the progression of his illness —  London’s  typhus plague of 1623 —  John Donne not only wrote, famously,   “no man is an island,  entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main.” He also added that publishing his fear shouldn’t be called “a begging of misery, or a borrowing of misery, as though we were not miserable enough of ourselves, but must fetch in more from the next house, in taking upon us the misery of our neighbours… for affliction is a treasure, and scarce any man hath enough of it.”

If you were suffering from dizziness, anxiety, and paranoia when you began reading this, continuing to read will be no cure – except you will feel less alone. This is because you aren’t – and that’s part of the remedy. Or is it?

The increase of domestic violence among families locked into their homes for the past twelve weeks suggests there is a human limit to coping with other people’s miseries. Depression among doctors, nurses and paramedics currently treating Covid-19 patients is rising sharply. For patients who recover, the corona virus has neurological impacts, difficult to detect and easy to misinterpret as psychotic breaks. There has also been a spiking of public distrust in whatever others say, including politicians running for or trying to hold on to office, police, medical administrators, and most of all, the social, mass and alternative media.

Telephoning the International Institute of Psychosomatic Health in Moscow for their wagon to deliver a psychologist to your door may be an option. But the psychologist inside the wagon has spent the past week refusing to answer questions about the Institute’s service, except for the price. Now that’s the recognisable sound, as Donne used to say,  of a bell tolling for thee.

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TRUTH VACCINE KILLS AUSTRALIAN-AMERICAN CAMPAIGN AGAINST CHINA IN WORLD HEALTH ORGANISATION DEBATE

by John Helmer, Moscow
  @bears_with

A coordinated attempt by the Australian and US governments to blame China for the corona virus, and to attack the World Health Organisation (WHO) for covering this up at China’s behest,  failed when the World Health Assembly (WHA) voted on Tuesday afternoon.

The terms of the Covid-19 resolution adopted by the 194 member-state assembly declared it is up to the WHO to “initiate, at the earliest appropriate moment, and in consultation with Member States, a stepwise process of impartial, independent and comprehensive evaluation, including using existing mechanisms”.

This language, originally sponsored by the European Union (EU) and Russia, repudiated the Australian demand, issued after talks with President Donald Trump (lead image, centre) on April 22,   that an investigation should be conducted independently of the WHO because “the government does not hold faith in the WHO, or its decision-making body the World Health Assembly, to lead a probe into the pandemic”.

The WHO could not be trusted to investigate itself or the origin of the Covid-19 virus, said Foreign Minister Marise Payne (lead image, centre). She does “not believe the WHO should run the inquiry,” the official told a state media organ. “It will need parties, countries to come to the table with a willingness to be transparent and to engage in that process and to ensure that we have a review mechanism in which the international community can have faith.”   The WHO, she added, “strikes me as somewhat poacher and gamekeeper”.

The terms of the resolution adopted on Tuesday also ignored the claim by Australia’s agriculture minister that the Huanan wild animal market in Wuhan was the starting point for the virus to develop in human beings. “We should be damn proud as a nation,” said David Littleproud, “that we led the world, not only on understanding what the WHO has done, but understanding what wildlife wet markets’ role is in these pandemics.”

Apart from claims broadcast by Australian and US officials to the media, there is no trace of an Australian text circulating among the WHO member states since Canberra and Washington started their campaign in April.  WHO spokesman Margaret Harris, speaking in Geneva just after Tuesday’s vote,  said no Australian draft resolution had been submitted to the WHO secretariat.  Harris also said the US had refused to join the final resolution as a sponsor, but did not publicly object when the vote was called.

David Wroe, spokesman for Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne, was asked to substantiate the minister’s claims by releasing the “first Australian proposal for the text of the resolution;  the date of first introduction of the Australian text; and the texts with dates of such subsequent Australian text drafts submitted to the WHA.” He refused.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov attacked the Australian-American campaign last week. “This is not a time to be crying ‘stop thief!’ and pointing fingers, it’s a time to cooperate and to develop a vaccine as soon as possible. Institutions in Europe, China, Russia, the US and many other countries are working on this… it is at least inappropriate to say that the Chinese were concealing information from the WHO, or that the WHO did not know some things, or that it knew about the coronavirus but held back information. Needless to say, nobody could imagine the developments that led to this pandemic but it’s an unprecedented situation. Doctors were acting under conditions where the experience gained from other pandemics was not enough. This pandemic proved to be much more serious. I think WHO experts must be supported and encouraged in every way rather than accused without grounds. This is especially true since the overwhelming majority of WHO Secretariat employees come from the countries that are the strongest critics of the WHO.”

On Tuesday, following the WHA vote, the Chinese government issued a statement from its embassy in Canberra. It said the terms of the Covid-19 resolution were “totally different from Australia’s proposal of an independent international review…All those who know the consultation process that led to the resolution understand this.  To claim the WHA’s resolution a vindication of Australia’s call is nothing but a joke.”

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“NOW THAT LIFE IS GETTING BACK TO NORMAL” – BACK TO THE NOVICHOK POISONERS; THE WUHAN AND WORLD HEALTH ORGANISATION POISONERS TOO

by John Helmer, Moscow
  @bears_with

All the well-known plague novels make the same mistake. So unexpected, inexplicable, incurable, and comprehensively lethal was the plague for those telling its story, their conclusion has been that there can be no getting back to normal.  

Not so in Russia. “Over the past week”, President Vladimir Putin declared last Thursday, “we have dedicated our efforts primarily to countering the coronavirus epidemic and preparing urgent measures to support the people and the economy… now that life is getting back to normal, it is essential that we deliver in a proactive and effective manner on the strategic objectives and large-scale projects with a long planning horizon and generate momentum.”

He’s right; the plague diarists are wrong – pandemics reinforce the normal and those who survive are doubly sure of it. But normal for Russia is the one the Anglo-American warfighters also aim to go back to.  Their campaign to turn the World Health Organisation (WHO) upside down to blame China for the coronavirus is a fresh example – and contrary to western media reports, Russia is not supporting it.  

The new WHO campaign, in the Russian interpretation announced last Friday by Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov,  is nothing more than a repeat of the British campaign two years ago to blame Russian assassins for smearing Novichok poison on the door-handle of Sergei Skripal – and to turn the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) upside down until it endorsed the fiction.

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THE THUCYDIDES CLAPTRAP – RUSSIAN LESSONS AT THE PEAK OF THE PANDEMIC, AND JUST AFTER

by John Helmer, Moscow
  @bears_with

Cardiology doesn’t expire when people die of heart attacks. Just so, no one should expect that when a man dies of the corona virus, or hundreds or thousands of men, the sociology of their pre-existing health, race, ethnicity, income, education, ideology – in short, their class in the old- fashioned meaning of the word —   goes belly up at the same time.  For understanding and prediction, sociology will always trump epidemiology — the basic reproductive ratio R0  of Covid-19 might run from 3 to 9,  but the R0   of class struggle is many times more virulent.

It is therefore surprising that so many pundits, even the Russia-hate specialist Anne Applebaum,  think to publish an interpretation of the sociology of the plague of ancient Athens, circa 430 BC; and taking Thucydides as their source, give lectures on how much the European and American societies can learn from him on Covid-19,  but have failed to learn to date. At the same time as they depend on Thucydides for their lessons, they ignore the very first of his – that was his dismissal of the source and cause of the plague among the foreign enemies of the ancient Athenians. In other words, Thucydides wouldn’t be blaming China and Russia for Covid-19 now any more than he blamed the Spartans then.

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PLAYING THE TAMBOURINE AT THE PLAGUE – RUSSIAN REFLECTIONS ON COVID-19 AND CAMUS’S LA PESTE

by John Helmer, Moscow
  @bears_with

After the episode of the sermon by the Jesuit priest, blaming the plague on the sinfulness of his congregation – “a calamity has befallen you, my brethren; you have deserved it…no earthly power – not even, note this well , vain human science – can shield you from His hand as it reaches out to you”;  and after the journalist’s attempt at bribing the militia to arrange his escape from the plague city; and after the municipal administrator’s acknowledgement that “luckily, I have my work”; the visitor from Paris explained to himself in his diary that regarding the old Chinese custom of “playing the tambourine in front of the genie of the plague…it was quite impossible in reality to know whether the tambourine was more effective than other preventive health measures.”

So it seemed to the leading citizens of a town consumed by a pandemic imagined by the French writer Albert Camus seventy-five years ago.

Camus began writing La Peste (“The Plague”) in Oran, Algeria, then a colony of France, at the beginning of 1941, but he didn’t finish it until 1946. Published a year later, it is Camus’s most widely read novel and is often interpreted as an allegory of the German occupation of France which began in May of 1940, and lasted until August 1944. It isn’t that at all; Camus himself didn’t say so.

Medically, the plague of Oran in the book is the bubonic pandemic known in English as the Black Death. Historically that has never been recorded in Oran; cholera was the plague there. An equally lethal form but with different symptoms and contagion is known as pneumonic plague; Camus described many cases of that in his fictional Oran. Because he himself had contracted tuberculosis at the age of 17 and been sent to the central French alps for sanatorium treatment, Camus understood very well the lung failure we now recognize in the serious stages of Covid-19.  The plague of Oran in the novel is reported as starting in mid-April of a year in the 1940s, and ending nine months later in mid-January. In between, the administration ordered a total lockdown, cutting the town off from the outside. Inside the town, district and building quarantines were imposed; along with tracing of contact networks, conversion of public buildings and stadiums to hospitals; nightly curfews; wearing of masks; daily publication of infection case bulletins; and the rushed development of a vaccine.

Reading La Peste in the time of the corona virus we can understand the book, not as an allegory, but as a realistic portrait of what happens to a town and a representative sample of its people  during a lethal pandemic.

Realism was also Camus’s declared objective. He makes Joseph Grand, a townhall apparatchik whose job was compiling numbers of infections and deaths in a daily report of rates and graphs,  into a would-be novelist in his spare time. But in the hundreds of pages Grand wrote, he never managed to get beyond the first sentence. After narrowly surviving a bout of the plague himself, when he burned his manuscript, he started on the first sentence again. “I’ve cut out all the adjectives”, Camus reported him saying.

The master of French realism without adjectives at the time Camus was composing his story was Georges Simenon with his tales of Jules Maigret, a detective chief inspector in Paris. Camus acknowledged reading and learning from Simenon; they also shared editors at the Gallimard publishing house. But they spent different wars — Camus in the underground resistance press, ill-fed and in hiding; Simenon above ground, comfortably settled and well off. There is almost no German war or occupation in either man’s books.

“Understand and judge not” was Simenon’s motto, expressed in the mouth of Maigret. He didn’t really mean it. “How hard it must be”, Camus’s motto was expressed by Bernard Rieux, the doctor and central character in La Peste, “to live only with what one knows and what one remembers, and deprived of what one hopes.” Camus did mean it.  Deprived of hope is what a pandemic like Covid-19 does to you. Understanding that in Moscow today is what reading Camus’s book is for.

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HOW BEING POOR AND SOVIET HAS HELPED SAVE RUSSIANS FROM COVID-19 — THE TUBERCULOSIS STORY AND THE YELTSIN-CHUBAIS VIRUS

by John Helmer, Moscow
  @bears_with

Inoculation against tuberculosis, the official Soviet state policy for almost a century, continues to shield the Russian population with a higher level of immunological resistance than those in Europe and the US who lack the vaccination.  This has also been a well-tested finding in western and Indian medical publications; in India   vaccination against TB is mandatory.  This link between the anti-TB vaccination and the rate and severity of Covid-19 infection is now official Russian policy.

“According to some data, those who are vaccinated with BCG [Bacillus Calmette–Guérin vaccine], the course of Covid-19 is lighter,” the Health Minister Vitaly Murashko announced earlier this month.    “This is now widely discussed in international reviews. The fact is that it can have a certain meaning, it probably can,” Veronika Skvortsova followed, telling national television news. “For now I think that we won’t discuss the mechanisms of immune restructuring, but [CBG vaccination] does play a role.”  Skvortsova was Murashko’s predecessor as health minister between 2012 and February of this year; she is now director of the Federal Medical-Biological Agency (FMBA).

Caution: the link is a statistical correlation. It is not a finding that is clear on the biomedical mechanism which is at work in the lungs. But because the correlation is a strong one, there’s another conclusion which the Russian medical administration has begun to emphasize. This is to rebuild the public health measures of the Soviet period which were destroyed by the virus introduced by President Boris Yeltsin and his chief of staff and privatizer of state property, Anatoly Chubais, from the virus source in Washington during the 1990s.

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FOLLOW CHINA, FOLLOW RUSSIA, FOLLOW AMERICA — THE POLITICS OF COVID-19 ALTERNATIVES WITHOUT CHOICE

by John Helmer, Moscow
  @bears_with

“The immediate priority is to prevent the quick spread of this disease”, President Vladimir Putin (lead image, top left) declared in his state speech on the corona virus last week.  

This is the point on which there is no disagreement, not now at least. But how restrictive for the economy the anti-contagion measures should be, and at what cost compared to the cost of the virus impact on life and death, is a point of considerable debate, inside Russia as everywhere else. That is the point which Putin avoided. He is not alone among the heads of state or government in the rest of the world.  What is the difference then between Putin and all of them?

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AFTERSHOCK OF NORD STREAM EXPLOSIONS RUMBLES WARSAW — POLISH POLITICIANS GO “NUTTERS”

By John Helmer, Moscow
  @bears_with

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?”

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THE BORNHOLM BLOW-UP REPEATS THE BORNHOLM BASH — POLAND ATTACKS GERMANY AND BLAMES RUSSIA

By John Helmer, Moscow
  @bears_with

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.

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LEMONS, MIMOSAS, AND STALIN’S SHOVEL

By John Helmer, Moscow
  @bears_with

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.

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AND THEN THERE WERE NONE

By John Helmer, Moscow
  @bears_with

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.  

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RUSSIANS RAISE THEIR GLASSES – THE TOAST IS TO BEATING THE BLOCKADE OF MOSCOW



By John Helmer, Moscow
  @bears_with

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.  

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THE INTERNATIONAL ATOMIC ENERGY AGENCY GOES TO WAR — GORILLA RADIO GOES NUCLEAR

By John Helmer, Moscow
  @bears_with

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.

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INTERNATIONAL ATOMIC ENERGY AGENCY TAKES UKRAINE SIDE IN WAR IN SEPTEMBER 15 VOTE, MAKING UN SECRETARY-GENERAL GUTERRES EITHER A LIAR OR A FOOL

By John Helmer, Moscow
  @bears_with

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.  

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THE RUSSIAN SITUATION COMEDY IS NO LYING MATTER – THE JOKE IS ON THE OFFICE OF FOREIGN ASSETS CONTROL

By John Helmer, Moscow
  @bears_with

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),  Mail.ru (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.  

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RUSSIAN AVIATION INDUSTRY CORRECTS YELTSIN YAW – BOEING, AIRBUS DITCHED



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

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.

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FOR WANT OF A NAIL THE KINGDOM WAS LOST – ENGLISH PATHOLOGIST GUY RUTTY FACES CHALLENGE TO THE RELIABILITY OF HIS NOVICHOK EVIDENCE



By John Helmer, Moscow
  @bears_with

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.

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