RUSSIAN CONSTRUCTION BOOM BUILDS STEEL OLIGARCH HOPES

By John Helmer in Moscow

Two steel oligarchs are trying riding the Russian wave of boom and bust.

There’s nothing like a little oil (and gas) to grease the wheels of demand. But announcements this week from two of Russia’s largest steelmakers — 3rd ranked Severstal, owned by Alexei Mordashov, and 5th ranked Mechel, owned by Igor Zyuzin — suggest that the boom in Russian demand for domestic construction is also lifting their confidence of surviving the redistribution of assets expected after Dmitry Medvedev wins the presidential election on Sunday.

Inadvertently revealing how nervous he is, Mordashov commissioned his London PR agent Tulchan to get out the message that, despite two serious blast furnace explosions this year, the company’s production is on the up, along with capital investment. Mordashov has also made a a show of support for Medvedev, telling a London newspaper last weekend: “I believe I should be a good CEO – and being a good CEO of a big industrial company I have to develop a relationship with the Government to help development of the company. It is in line with the normal rules of conduct. My personal relationship with the Kremlin is normal, it resembles those in France, or the US.”

Severstal recently admitted to industry analysts that all is not so normal, at least on the plant floor. its production level at the Rouge plant in Dearborn, Michigan — the largest of the units in Severstal North America — will be cut by 35% for up to two years, on account of the accident and explosion at blast furnace B. The accident occured on January 5 at the mill; no casualties were reported. The blast furnace had been relined in 1997.
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LOOK WHO’S DIGGING FOR GOLD IN MYANMAR

By John Helmer in Moscow

MOSCOW – Eric Ambler told the tale of a clapped-out reporter whose near-bankrupt newsletter suddenly starts to make a fortune on its classified advertisements. The journalist couldn’t understand why, but didn’t want to look his gift horse too closely in the mouth.

It turned out that someone was publishing coded intelligence on secret Chinese nuclear missile silos. The Chinese then tried to buy the newsletter at a premium to stop the disclosures.

Mysteries such as these, not all of them fictional, are remembered when phantoms emerge to sign apparently real mining concession agreements with real government officials. Take Pavel Krivoshei, whose name, possibly of Ukrainian ethnicity, suggests in Russian, Krivaya sheya, or “Crooked neck”. Krivoshei was reported by the press in Myanmar on February 16 as having signed on behalf of a Singapore-registered company, Chandwin International, an agreement to prospect for gold and other miners along the River Uru.

Krivoshei signed with U Win Te (also referred to as Win Ti), of the Myanmar Ministry of Mining’s Geological Survey and Mineral Exploration Department. Attending the ceremony was Brigadier General Ohn Myint, the mining minister, and Russian ambassador Mikhail Mgeladze. The news appeared first in New Light of Myanmar, and was then relayed by Reuters and Russian and Chinese wire services. These muddled the corporate details, and some reported that Victorious Glory International, the foreign concessionaire at the signing ceremony, is a Russian company. In Russian records there is no trace.
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POLYUS GOLD FACING INVESTIGATION OF ASSET-STRIPPING CHARGE

By John Helmer in Moscow

Never mind Walt Disney or Johnny Depp — the last certified Caribbean pirate was Edward Teach, aka Blackbeard. He died on November 21, 1718. His professional practice came to an end with five bullet holes, and 21 stab-wounds. His head was then cut off, and stuck on the bowsprit of a British naval vessel, HMS Ranger, before being taken ashore for the bounty claim. Daniel Defoe was the first to write up the tale in 1724.

The British are engaged once more; and this time the charge is piracy of an altogether modern sort. The locale is still the Caribbean. This time, the Financial Services Authority (FSA), the UK markets regulator, is to investigate whether Polyus Gold – listed on the main board of the London Stock Exchange since 2006 (PLZL:LI) — is the target of an asset-stripping scheme perpetrated by a British Virgin Islands-registered company called Polyus Exploration Ltd. This looks to be the same as the company called Polyus Geologorazvedka, established last May and registered in Moscow. The English appears to be a translation of the Russian in the company title. But they are far from the same company – and that’s the rub, or shall we say in pirate lingo, rub-out.

Polyus Exploration Ltd. was registered just two months ago at Tortola, BVI, on December 18, 2007. It was created by Mikhail Prokhorov and Yevgeny Ivanov; the latter was acting on Prokhorov’s orders as chief executive of ZAO Polyus Zoloto (Closed Joint Stock Company Polyus Gold). This is a wholly owned subsidiary of OAO Polyus Zoloto (Open Joint Stock Company Polyus Gold), which is the publicly listed vehicle.
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PHANTOM RUSSIAN GOLDMINER IN MYANMAR DEAL

By John Helmer in Moscow

Eric Ambler once told the tale of a clapped-out Australian reporter, based in Hong Kong, whose near-bankrupt newsletter suddenly starts to make a fortune on its classified advertisements. The journalist couldn’t understand why, but didn’t want to look his gift horse too closely in the mouth.

It turned out that someone was publishing coded intelligence on secret Chinese nuclear missile silos. The Chinese then tried to buy the newsletter at a premium to stop the disclosures.

It’s mysteries like these, some of them fictional, that are suggested when phantoms emerge to sign apparently real mining concession agreements with real government officials. The phantom in the latest mystery is Pavel Krivoshei, whose name, possibly of Ukrainian ethnicity, suggests in Russian, Krivaya sheya — “crooked neck”. Krivoshei was reported on February 16 by the press of Myanmar as having signed, on behalf of a Singapore-registered company, Chandwin International, an agreement to prospect for gold and other miners along the River Uru.
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GAZPROM DENIES NIGERIAN MEGA-DEAL FOR NATURAL GAS FOR TIME BEING

By John Helmer in Moscow

Nigerians try to wind up international gas companies against Gazprom “threat”

Gazprom, the world’s largest gas producer and Russia’s dominant enterprise, is not ready for mega-deals with Nigeria, executives told Mineweb this week in Moscow. They also warned the Nigerian Gas Company and government officials against manipulating Gazprom as a billion-dollar bogeyman in schemes to press other international gas producers into bidding higher for their Nigerian targets.

The Russian officials are reacting to a report in Tuesday’s Daily Trust of Abuja, the Nigerian capital, claiming that a Gazprom “technical team will be around for two weeks, while the managing director of Gazprom is expected to arrive Nigeria tomorrow and may hold talks with President Umaru Musa Yar’adua. After the on-going talks with the Nigeria oil authorities, a Memorandum of Understanding, (MOU) will be signed.”

The managing director did not appear. There was no meeting with President Yar’adua. No MoU was signed. Not yet.
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KREMLIN KILLS TWO RABBITS WITH ONE SHOT — NORILSK NICKEL TO GOBBLE USMANOV, BEAT OFF RUSAL

By John Helmer in Moscow

It’s never been the custom of Russian hunters to speak of hitting two birds with one stone. Instead, the Russian expression is to kill two rabbits with one shot.

Lest anyone think that President Vladimir Putin is losing his grip, the Kremlin last evening revealed a move that firmly knocks two metal and mining oligarchs on the head. In a announcement after market closing, Norilsk Nickel, Russia’s largest mining company, revealed that it is to merge with the iron-ore and steelmaking assets of Alisher Usmanov. A proposal for the deal from Interros, the holding company of controlling shareholder Vladimir Potanin, calls for a vote at the next Norilsk Nickel board of directors’ session on February 29.

If implemented, the move creates a $75 billion capital hurdle too high for Oleg Deripaska, the aluminium oligarch, to attempt his merger on hostile terms with Norilsk Nickel.

It also takes Usmanov out of action — a man who began his career as bagman and debt collector for the clique who once controlled Gazprom, and with whom Gazprom’s current directorate, including presidential successor Dmitry Medvedev, have never felt comfortable.

Deripaska — nicknamed “zaitschik” (hare) by his patron, Mikhail Chernoy (Michael Cherney) — had been telling the Russian press and brokers early this week that he had secured his takeover deal against Potanin. Deripaska claimed that remarks by a mid-level official at the Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS) yesterday signaled Kremlin approval for the takeover.
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LEFTOVERS OF THE KHODORKOVSKY FORTUNE PURSUED BY FRIENDS AND FOES

By John Helmer in Moscow

There’s a well-known Russian maxim, which can be roughly translated as: “Pull out your nose, your tail will get stuck; pull out your tail, your nose will get stuck.” The sticking place, it’s understood, is mud; murk; one unpleasantly adhesive predicament, or another.

You might say this is what has happened to the leftovers of the Yukos oil empire, once amassed by Mikhail Khodorkovsky. And while his nose is firmly stuck in a Russian jail, his tail is being wagged by a handful of American former subordinates, led by the former chief financial officer of Yukos, Bruce Misamore. To hear his advocates tell his story, he is the innocent victim of a Russian extortion and bribe scheme, in which the prize is a very large amount of cash currently sitting in two escrow accounts of Fortis Bank in the Netherlands. The Russian version charges Misamore and his associates with illegally claiming the last of the Yukos loot, sold up by a Russian bankruptcy administrator after convictions of Khodorkovsky, the company, and his associates on fraud and tax evasion charges.

Late next month, a court-ordered auction will be held in Amsterdam for cash of $1.492 billion, plus a 49% stake in a central European oil pipeline company, worth between $1.2 billion and $1.6 billion. The assets belong to Yukos Finance, a company Khodorkovsky registered for safe haven in Holland. The cash comes from the sale of a 54% stake in the Lithuanian oil refinery Mazeikiu; the balance represents the audited valuation of equity of Transpetrol, the Slovak republic’s pipeline company, in which Yukos held a 49% stake.
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POTANIN GAINS GROUND AGAINST RUSAL TAKEOVER OF NORILSK NICKEL

By John Helmer in Moscow

Potanin gathers Kremlin support for blocking Norilsk Nickel takeover by Deripaska’s Rusal.

One of the key Kremlin figures, who intervened last autumn in the fight between Vladimir Potanin and Mikhail Prokhorov, has decided not to back Oleg Deripaska in his hostile takeover bid for Norilsk Nickel.

The figure, who declined to respond to requests for comment, had earlier taken Prokhorov’s side, when Prokhorov and Potanin failed to agree on terms for a sale and purchase of Prokhorov’s 25% plus one shareholding in Norilsk Nickel, the diversified global metals miner and Russia’s largest mining company. Prokhorov then drafted a deal with Deripaska, swapping his Norilsk Nickel stake for an 11% shareholding in United Company Rusal (formerly Russian Aluminium); plus $4.438 billion in cash. A purported cash balance of $2.7 billion was also agreed between the two as a deferred payment obligation. The effective price Deripaska paid, and Prokhorov received for his Norilsk Nickel stake, was $251 per share.

The terms were revealed by Mineweb in mid-December:

http://www.mineweb.com/mineweb/view/mineweb/en/page67?oid=42218&sn=Detail
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USMANOV OUSTED FROM DONBASS STEEL TAKEOVER TALKS

By John Helmer in Moscow

Ukrainian steel company rejects Usmanov merger proposal on respective value grounds.

Alisher Usmanov’s Russian iron-ore group Gazmetall has failed to strike a deal to take over the Industrial Union of Donbass (IUD), a Ukrainian steelmaker, after the Ukrainians agreed to take Usmanov’s iron-ore for their furnaces, but refused to accept his shareholding terms.

Talks between the two were first reported almost exactly a year ago, in February 2007. Sources close to the abortive negotations claim

IUD had initially valued Usmanov’s assets in Gazmetall at roughly double IUD’s value, and allowing for a premium, the Ukrainians told Usmanov that a merger would cost him more than 50% of his Gazmetall holding.

Losing control of his assets wasn’t what Usmanov had in mind. In a clumsy attempt to sandbag the Ukrainians in a campaign of Moscow press leaks, Usmanov said publicly he valued his holding at $10-$12 billion, while he considered IUD to be worth $5 billion. He insisted that a swap of shares should leave IUD with less than a 50% stake in the new, merged company.
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RUSSIAN ASSETS STILL FAIL TO MATCH PENNY GOLD SHARE CLAIMS

By John Helmer in Moscow

The latest in Russian checks on penny gold stocks ABV Gold and Aurus fail to support gold resource and other claims made by the companies concerned.

Following Mineweb’s previous reports on the companies, fresh announcements from ABV Gold and Aurus have had mixed impact on the US over-the-counter pinksheets market.

On January 25, Aurus issued a statement advising shareholders not to believe what they have been reading in Mineweb:

“NEW YORK, NY–(Marketwire – January 25, 2008) – Aurus Corp. (PINKSHEETS: AURC) must once again answer allegations that are unsubstantiated and opinionated. This matter refers to an article written by John Helmer and released on Mineweb. The Board is meeting with its attorneys to prepare a news release to address the statements and insinuations of Mr. Helmer. The news release shall be issued on January 29, 2008.”

January 29 passed calmly, and no news release has followed.
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DE BEERS HIDES TORONTO INVESTIGATION OF RUSSIAN DIAMOND STAKE

By John Helmer in Moscow

A mysterious and protracted investigation by the Toronto Stock Exchange and Ontario market regulators of De Beers-owned Archangel Diamond Corporation (ADC) is being kept secret on the apparent legal advice of Robert Shirriff. A Canadian Queen’s Counsel since 1972, and partner in the law firm of Fasken Martineau DuMoulin, Shirriff is a director of the Ontario Securities Commission. Shirriff is also a director of Archangel Diamond Corporation (ADC), and of several other De Beers companies in Canada — De Beers Canada Holdings, De Beers Canada, and Diapros Canada.

Trading in ADC shares — ticker AAD — was suspended by the Toronto exchange on November 9. Three months have now passed, but the stock remains in suspension — without explanation from ADC or De Beers; and without a report of the investigation initiated by Canadian regulators.

The Toronto-listed ADC hit its trading low of 35 cents last year on October 31. As the Bloomberg chart shows, on or about November 1, someone started buying, and the share price rocketed upward by 43%:
http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/cbuilder?ticker1=AAD:CN
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THE RADOM SCHEME UNRAVELS DERIPASKA ALUMINIUM EMPIRE

By John Helmer in Moscow

The UK High Court has opened for the first time documents showing how Deripaska created his empire.

It was the 19th century poet Robert Browning, who claimed: “A man’s reach should exceed his grasp, or what’s a heaven for?” If Oleg Deripaska is a romantic overreacher like that, the UK High Court may shortly acquaint him with the tougher, older admonition that it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven.

Deripaska’s new problem is that, for the first time ever, documentary evidence has been submitted to an international court suggesting how Deripaska, on what purports to be his own signature and instruction, moved cash out of his aluminium smelters in Russia into an international shareholding scheme of trusts, holding companies, cutouts, trading units, and production assets. Consolidating and controlling these, as he went along, Deripaska created a series of super-holdings; these have now evolved into Basic Element, Deripaska’s Moscow holding.

The evidence is part of an amended complaint filed in the London court by lawyers for Michael Cherney (Mikhail Chernoy). He is charging Deripaska with violating the terms of their partnership agreement; diverting money and assets out of the aluminium business Cherney had created; emptying Cherney’s stake in the Radom super-holding of its value; and ultimately depriving Cherney of his buyout share, first signed by the two men in March 2001, and tied to a larger set of agreements for enforcement in London.
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EVRAZ FACING RUSSIAN MILL SHUTDOWN FOR WATER POLLUTION

By John Helmer in Moscow

Russian environmental inspector to despatch bailiffs to halt Evraz steelmill for water pollution.

Evraz, Russia’s largest steelmaker, is testing for the second time in two years the will of the Russian government to enforce environmental protection and water emission rules.

At stake is the continued operation of the biggest rail producer in Russia — and the drinking water of the two rivers serving Novokuznetsk city, in the Kemerovo region of Siberia.

A series of federal government environmental inspections, just completed at two of Evraz’s steelmills in Novokuznetsk, has found that one of the mills, West Siberian Metallurgical Combine (Zapsib), has met a court-ordered emission standard, but the second, Novokuznetsk Metallurgical Combine, has not. The result is that the federal regulator, Rosprirodnadzor, has gone to court for an order that may force the closure of the Evraz mill.

The disclosures by Rosprirodnadzor follow two years of bitter recriminations, court litigation, and political lobbying. In September 2006, they resulted in the largest penalty ever imposed on a Russian company for industrial pollution.
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BATTLE FOR POLYUS GOLD MOVES TO LONDON

By John Helmer in Moscow

Polyus Gold’s rival owners appeal to the London market and the London High Court to resolve asset-stripping charges.

It’s an entirely new version of the tale of Dick Whittington and his cat.

In the 17th century story, a poor orphan boy goes to London where he dreams the streets are paved with gold, only to discover they aren’t. Everything turns out fortunately, though, for he sells his cat to the rat-ridden King of Barbary for a fortune, which he then invests to make another fortune. Rat-catching was Dick’s capital.

The new tale pits the two former partners of Russia’s richest goldmining company, Polyus Gold, against each other. They are already gold-plated. But they are going to London to try to save, not to make their fortunes. Under way in front of Polyus’s institutional shareholders, investment analysts and fund managers there is an unprecedented roadshow and counter-roadshow, making rival presentations for shareholder support.

Soon, it is expected that one of the two partners will file suit in the London High Court, charging the other with violating the terms of their agreements, and asking the court to sort out how to divide the goldminer’s assets, before they are spirited away. Dick’s cat has his work cut out for him this time.
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RED HAS TURNED YELLOW – THE GREEK AND CYPRIOT COMMUNISTS ARE FLYING A DIFFERENT FLAG IN THE UKRAINE WAR



By John Helmer, Moscow
  @bears_with

The Ukraine war is splitting the communist parties of Europe between those taking the US side, and those on the Russian side.

In an unusual public criticism of the Greek Communist Party (KKE) and of smaller communist parties in Europe which have endorsed the Greek criticism of Russia for waging an “imperialist” war against the Ukraine, the Russian Communist Party (KPRF) has responded this week with a 3,300-word declaration:  “The military conflict in Ukraine,” the party said, “cannot be described as an imperialist war, as our comrades would argue. It is essentially a national liberation war of the people of Donbass. From Russia’s point of view it is a struggle against an external threat to national security and against Fascism.”

By contrast, the Russian communists have not bothered to send advice, or air public criticism of the Cypriot communists and their party, the Progressive Party of Working People (AKEL). On March 2, AKEL issued a communiqué “condemn[ing] Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and calls for an immediate ceasefire and the withdrawal of the Russian troops from Ukrainian territories….[and] stresses that the Russian Federation’s action in recognising the Donetsk and Luhansk regions constitutes a violation of the principle of the territorial integrity of states.”

 To the KPRF in Moscow the Cypriots are below contempt; the Greeks are a fraction above it.

A Greek-Cypriot veteran of Cypriot politics and unaffiliated academic explains: “The Cypriot communists do not allow themselves to suffer for what they profess to believe. Actually, they are a misnomer. They are the American party of the left in Cyprus, just as [President Nikos] Anastasiades is the American party of the right.” As for the Greek left, Alexis Tsipras of Syriza – with 85 seats of the Greek parliament’s 300, the leading party of the opposition – the KKE (with 15 seats), and Yanis Varoufakis of MeRA25 (9 seats), the source adds: “The communists are irrelevant in Europe and in the US, except in the very narrow context of Greek party politics.”

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IF IT SMELLS ALLURING, IT’S RUSSIAN – IN WARTIME L’ORÉAL (FRANCE) AND ESTÉE LAUDER (US) MAKE A BAD SMELL



By John Helmer, Moscow
  @bears_with

The war plan of the US and the European allies is destroying the Russian market for traditional French perfumes, the profits of the French and American conglomerates which own the best-known brands, the bonuses of their managers, and the dividends of their shareholders. The odour  of these losses is too strong for artificial fresheners.

Givaudan, the Swiss-based world leader in production and supply of fragrances, oils and other beauty product ingredients, has long regarded the Russian market as potentially its largest in Europe; it is one of the fastest growing contributors to Givaudan’s profit worldwide. In the recovery from the pandemic of Givaudan’s Fragrance and Beauty division – it accounts for almost half the company’s total sales — the group reported “excellent double-digit growth in 2021, demonstrating strong consumer demand for these product categories.”    Until this year, Givaudan reveals in its latest financial report, the growth rate for Russian demand was double-digit – much faster than the  6.3% sales growth in Europe overall; faster growth than in Germany, Belgium and Spain.    

Between February 2014, when the coup in Kiev started the US war against Russia, and last December, when the Russian non-aggression treaties with the US and NATO were rejected,   Givaudan’s share price jumped three and a half times – from 1,380 Swiss francs to 4,792 francs; from a company with a market capitalisation of 12.7 billion francs ($12.7 billion) to a value of 44.2 billion francs ($44.2 billion). Since the fighting began in eastern Ukraine this year until now, Givaudan has lost 24% of that value – that’s $10 billion.  

The largest of Givaudan’s shareholders is Bill Gates. With his 14%, plus the 10% controlled by Black Rock of New York and MFS of Boston, the US has effective control over the company.

Now, according to the US war sanctions, trade with Russia and the required payment systems have been closed down, alongside the bans on the importation of the leading European perfumes. So in place of the French perfumers, instead of Givaudan, the Russian industry is reorganizing for its future growth with its own perfume brands manufactured from raw materials produced in Crimea and other regions, or supplied by India and China. Givaudan, L’Oréal (Lancome, Yves Saint Laurent), Kering (Balenciaga, Gucci), LVMH (Dior, Guerlain, Givenchy), Chanel, Estée Lauder, Clarins – they have all cut off their noses to spite the Russian face.

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THE WAR AGAINST FOOD – WHO IS TO BLAME



By Nikolai Storozhenko, introduced and translated by John Helmer, Moscow
  @bears_with

This week President Joseph Biden stopped at an Illinois farm to say he’s going to help the  Ukraine ship 20 million tonnes of wheat and corn out of storage into export, thereby relieving  grain shortages in the international markets and lowering bread prices around the world.  Biden was trying to play a hand in which his cards have already been clipped. By Biden.  

The first Washington-Kiev war plan for eastern Ukraine has already lost about 40% of the Ukrainian wheat fields, 50% of the barley, and all of the grain export ports. Their second war plan to hold the western region defence lines with mobile armour, tanks, and artillery  now risks the loss of the corn and rapeseed crop as well as the export route for trucks to Romania and Moldova. What will be saved in western Ukraine will be unable to grow enough to feed its own people. They will be forced to import US wheat, as well as US guns and the money to pay for both.

Biden told his audience that on the Delaware farms he used to represent in the US Senate “there are more chickens than there are Americans.”  Blaming the Russians is the other card Biden has left.  

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EXILE



By John Helmer, Moscow
  @bears_with

The problem with living in exile is the meaning of the word. If you’re in exile, you mean you are forever looking backwards, in geography as well as in time. You’re not only out of place; you’re out of time — yesterday’s man.

Ovid, the Roman poet who was sent into exile from Rome by Caesar Augustus, for offences neither Augustus nor Ovid revealed, never stopped looking back to Rome. His exile, as Ovid described it, was “a barbarous coast, inured to rapine/stalked ever by bloodshed, murder, war.” In such a place or state, he said, “writing a poem you can read to no one is like dancing in the dark.”

The word itself, exsilium in Roman law, was the sentence of loss of citizenship as an alternative to loss of life, capital punishment. It meant being compelled to live outside Rome at a location decided by the emperor. The penalty took several degrees of isolation and severity. In Ovid’s case, he was ordered by Augustus to be shipped to the northeastern limit of the Roman empire,  the Black Sea town called Tomis; it is now Constanta, Romania. Ovid’s last books, Tristia (“Sorrows”) and Epistulae ex Ponto (“Black Sea Letters”), were written from this exile, which began when he was 50 years old, in 8 AD, and ended when he died in Tomis nine years year later, in 17 AD.  

In my case I’ve been driven into exile more than once. The current one is lasting the longest. This is the one from Moscow, which began with my expulsion by the Foreign Ministry on September 28, 2010.  The official sentence is Article 27(1) of the law No. 114-FZ — “necessary for the purposes of defence capability or security of the state, or public order, or protection of health of the population.” The reason, a foreign ministry official told an immigration service official when they didn’t know they were being overheard, was: “Helmer writes bad things about Russia.”

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IN THE FOG OF WAR THERE’S THE GUTERRES CERTAINTY AND THE CADIEU CERTAINTY – GORILLA RADIO SEES THROUGH THE COVER-UP



By John Helmer, Moscow
  @bears_with

Antonio Guterres is the Secretary-General of the United Nations (UN), who attempted last month  to arrange the escape from Russian capture of Ukrainian soldiers and NATO commanders,  knowing they had committed war crimes. He was asked to explain; he refuses.   

Trevor Cadieu is a Canadian lieutenant-general who was appointed the chief of staff and head of the Canadian Armed Forces last August; was stopped in September; retired from the Army this past April, and went to the Ukraine, where he is in hiding. From whom he is hiding – Canadians or Russians – where he is hiding, and what he will say to explain are questions Cadieu isn’t answering, yet.

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DID UN SECRETARY-GENERAL GUTERRES COMMIT A WAR CRIME AT AZOVSTAL?

By John Helmer, Moscow
  @bears_with

Antonio Guterres, the United Nations Secretary-General, is refusing this week to answer questions on the role he played in the recent attempt by US, British, Canadian and other foreign combatants to escape the bunkers under the Azovstal plant, using the human shield of civilians trying to evacuate.

In Guterres’s meeting with President Vladimir Putin at the Kremlin on April 26 (lead image), Putin warned Guterres he had been “misled” in his efforts. “The simplest thing”, Putin told Guterres in the recorded part of their meeting, “for military personnel or members of the nationalist battalions is to release the civilians. It is a crime to keep civilians, if there are any there, as human shields.”  

This war crime has been recognized since 1977 by the UN in Protocol 1 of the Geneva Convention.  In US law for US soldiers and state officials, planning to employ or actually using human shields is a war crime to be prosecuted under 10 US Code Section 950t.  

Instead, Guterres ignored the Kremlin warning and the war crime law, and authorized UN officials, together with Red Cross officials,  to conceal what Guterres himself knew of the foreign military group trying to escape. Overnight from New York, Guterres has refused to say what he knew of the military escape operation, and what he had done to distinguish, or conceal the differences between the civilians and combatants in the evacuation plan over the weekend of April 30-May 1.May.

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THE LAST DITCH IS POLAND – RUSSIA’S PHASE-3 PLAN FOR WESTERN UKRAINE



By Vlad Shlepchenko, introduced & translated by John Helmer, Moscow
  @bears_with

The more western politicians announce pledges of fresh weapons for the Ukraine, the more Russian military analysts explain what options their official sources are considering to destroy the arms before they reach the eastern front, and to neutralize Poland’s role as the NATO  hub for resupply and reinforcement of the last-ditch holdout of western Ukraine.

“I would like to note,” Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, repeated yesterday, “that any transport of the North Atlantic Alliance that arrived on the territory of the country with weapons or material means for the needs of the Ukrainian armed forces is considered by us as a legitimate target for destruction”.  He means the Ukraine border is the red line.

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THE MATLIN PLOT, THE BROWDER PLOT AND THE NEW YORK TIMES PLOT



By Lucy Komisar,  New York*
  @bears_with

Here’s a story the New York Times has just missed.

US politicians and media pundits are promoting the targeting of “enablers” of Russian oligarchs who stash their money in offshore accounts. A Times article of March 11   highlighted Michael Matlin, CEO of Concord Management as such an “enabler.” But the newspaper missed serious corruption Matlin was involved in. Maybe that’s because Matlin cheated Russia, and also because the Matlin story exposes the William Browder/Sergei Magnitsky hoax aimed at Russia.

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YELLOW COAL, THE FUEL MADE OUT OF RACE HATRED — MAY DAY MESSAGE FROM SIGIZMUND KRZHIZHANOVSKY, 1939



By John Helmer, Moscow
  @bears_with

In 1939 a little known writer in Moscow named Sigizmund Khrzhizhanovsky published his idea that the Americans, then the Germans would convert human hatred into a new source of energy powering everything which had been dependent until then on coal, gas, and oil.

Called yellow coal, this invention originated with Professor Leker at Harvard University. It was applied, first to running municipal trams, then to army weapons, and finally to cheap electrification of everything from domestic homes and office buildings to factory production lines. In Russian leker means a quack doctor.

The Harvard professor’s idea was to concentrate the neuro-muscular energy people produce when they hate each other.  Generated as bile (yellow), accumulated and concentrated into kinetic spite in machines called myeloabsorberators, Krzhizhanovsky called this globalization process the bilification of society.

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IS CAESARISM THE PROBLEM, THE SOLUTION, A FANCY DRESS COSTUME, OR A PROPAGANDA CARTOON?



By John Helmer, Moscow
  @bears_with

In imperial history there is nothing new in cases of dementia in rulers attracting homicidal psychopaths to replace them.  It’s as natural as honey attracts bees.

When US President Woodrow Wilson was incapacitated by a stroke on October 19, 1919, he was partially paralysed and blinded, and was no longer able to feed himself, sign his name, or speak normally; he was not demented.

While his wife and the Navy officer  who was his personal physician concealed his condition, there is no evidence that either Edith Wilson or Admiral Cary Grayson were themselves clinical cases of disability, delusion,  or derangement. They were simply liars driven by the ambition to hold on to the power of the president’s office and deceive everyone who got in their way.  

The White House is always full of people like that. The 25th Amendment to the US Constitution is meant to put a damper on their homicidal tendencies.

What is unusual, probably exceptional in the current case of President Joseph Biden, not to mention the history of the United States,  is the extent of the president’s personal incapacitation; combined with the clinical evidence of psychopathology in his Secretary of State Antony Blinken;  and the delusional condition of the rivals to replace Biden, including Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.

Like Rome during the first century AD, Washington is now in the ailing emperor-homicidal legionary phase.  But give it another century or two, and the madness, bloodshed, and lies of the characters of the moment won’t matter quite as much as their images on display in the museums of their successors craving legitimacy, or of successor powers celebrating their superiority.  

Exactly this has happened to the original Caesars, as a new book by Mary Beard, a Cambridge University professor of classics, explains. The biggest point of her book, she says, is “dynastic succession” – not only of the original Romans but of those modern rulers who acquired the Roman portraits in marble and later copies in paint, and the copies of those copies, with the idea of communicating “the idea of the direct transfer of power from ancient Romans to Franks and on to later German rulers.”

In the case she narrates of the most famous English owner of a series of the “Twelve Caesars”, King Charles I — instigator of the civil war of 1642-51 and the loser of both the war and his head – the display of his Caesars was intended to demonstrate the king’s self-serving “missing link” between his one-man rule and the ancient Romans who murdered their way to rule, and then apotheosized into immortal gods in what they hoped would be a natural death on a comfortable bed.

With the American and Russian successions due to take place in Washington and Moscow in two years’ time, Beard’s “Twelve Caesars, Images of Power from the Ancient World to the Modern”,  is just the ticket from now to then.

(more…)
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