NEW YEAR BREAK


 

We are taking our New Year break, but you’ll see – we’ll be back shortly on the run.

MILLENNIUM MEMORIES – REPRISE

By John Helmer in Moscow

Many things can make a person greater than he or she really is, except time.

Time activates the bacteria that strip the flesh off the bones, until only a forensic pathologist can detect the tiny signs of individuality; and even they add up to nothing more than a catalogue of pain and death.

Time unravels the outcomes of all endeavours. The maddest passions, the wildest exploits, the most ruthless ambitions, the most victorious strategy – all lose their genius in time.

I was brought up on the reverse. I read, and accordingly was certain, that mankind produced heroes whose deeds outlived themselves. Even small deaths, the ones we as schoolboys used to stand at attention to remember twice or three times a year, defied time. The evidence of that was surely that we were standing there saluting, wasn’t it?
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THE PASSING OF A CARDINAL — ALROSA NAMES SPECIAL EXECUTIVE FOR RELATIONS WITH SAKHA

By John Helmer in Moscow

Alrosa announced last week that it has appointed Vasily Grabtsevich as a special senior executive for managing relations between the two controlling shareholders of the company, the federal government in Moscow and the Sakha republic government in Yakutsk. The federal government controls almost 51% of the closed shareholding of Alrosa; Sakha controls 40%.

The creation of the new executive post at the vice president level, and the naming of a trusted subordinate of regional president, Vyacheslav Shtirov (centre figure), indicates the extent to which the new Alrosa CEO, Fyodor Andreyev (rear right), is intent on eliminating informal mechanisms and mediators, who have dominated the sensitive inter-government relationship under previous chief executives, Alexander Nichiporuk and Sergei Vybornov.
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HOW PROFESSOR JAMES MORIARTY CAME TO RUSSIA, AND FATHERED GUESS WHO…. BEARS’ PICNIC & HOLIDAY PUZZLER FOR 2009

At the Reichenbach Falls, May 4, 1891

This is how the two greatest criminal minds of the 19th century came to grips, and set the course for the history of Russia in both the 20th and 21st centuries.

Sherlock Holmes (right) met James Moriarty (left) in hand to hand combat, and the two of them followed Holmes’s hat (extreme left) downwards. But despite the appearances, not to the death of either of them. And so it is hardly an exaggeration to say that the plaque at the Falls today, which reads “at this fearful place, Sherlock Holmes vanquished Professor Moriarty, on 4 May 1891”, is a piece of Swiss confectionery, and not a very tasteful one at that.
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EVRAZ REPORTS THIRD FATAL MINE BLAST IN TWO YEARS – RENAISSANCE CAPITAL RECOMMENDS BUYING SHARES

By John Helmer in Moscow

Evraz, the largest of Russia’s integrated steel and mining groups, has reported that an underground detonation of explosives in a shaft of its mine Yestyuninskaya — part of the group’s Vysokogorsky iron-ore combine — has killed at least nine miners, and another four are still missing. The incident near the city of Nizhny Tagil, in the Sverdlovsk region, where Evraz operates its lead Russian steelmill, occurred Wednesday at a depth of 180 metres. A local police source said that about 4 tonnes of ammonium-based explosive had detonated while being trasnsported in shaft trolleys.
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THE SOVCOMFLOT CRASH TEST – SHIPPING COMPANY ANNOUNCES $5.5 BILLION INVESTMENT PLAN, WHILE RISKING HIGH COURT DEFEAT

By John Helmer in Moscow

Sovcomflot (SCF), the state owned Russian tanker operator, released this week a board-approved strategy for the next five years, proposing to invest $5.5 billion with a combination of new borrowings and share sales over a six-year period. This capital outlay on a fleet that already counts 146 vessels, with another 16 on shipyard order, is unprecedented.

According to Sovcomflot board chairman, Sergei Naryshkin, a career associate of Prime minister Vladimir Putin and a deputy prime minister in the present Russian government, the “strategic tasks for SCF Group from 2010 to 2015 include both further growth in the SCF Group’s share of servicing Russia’s seaborne exports , the provision of integrated logistical solutions for offshore upstream oil and gas projects, and the continuing expansion of traditional shipping services in the global market.” The statement is cited in the company’s posting of the results of its final board meeting for the year, on December 18. The full text can be read here: http://www.sovcomflot.ru/npage.aspx?did=57531
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SAPIENCE VERSUS PORK — TOBY THE SAPIENT PIG HAS A HUNCH RUSAL’S SHARE SALE IS AN INSIDER DEAL BETWEEN THE KREMLIN, THE UNDERWRITERS, AND SOMEONE IN CHINA WHO IS HAVING TROUBLE WITH THE HONG KONG SECURITIES AND FUTURES ORDINANCE

By John Helmer in Moscow

Hong Kong Exchange executives and the Hong Kong stock market regulator appear to be cracking and splitting under the strain of a phantom share listing and sale for United Company Rusal, Russia’s aluminium monopoly and one of the world’s leading producers of bauxite, alumina and primary aluminium. Although anonymous sources insist in press leaks that Rusal’s listing application has been approved, the exchange and the Securities and Futures Commission of Hong Kong refuse to say this, or issue any of the notices, announcements, and public disclosures that are standard in such cases.
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DIAMOND CAT IS OUT OF THE BAG — RUSSIAN STOCKPILE AGENCY TO BUY ALROSA PRODUCTION AT $71 PER CARAT

By John Helmer in Moscow

Russia’s state stockpile agency Gokhran has this week released details of next year’s state funding for rough diamond purchases from Alrosa, revealing for the first time the average price per carat that will be paid.

According to a direct Gokran source and to an Interfax briefing by another Gokhran official, Gokhran says the 2010 budget allocates the rouble equivalent of $1 billion for purchase of about 14 million carats. This is an unprecedented public disclosure of the dollar and carat totals, allowing the first-ever calculation that Gokhran is paying, or plans to pay Alrosa, an average of just over $71 per carat.
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NOT EVEN THE WIND IS FAVOURABLE FOR DERIPASKA – HE FAILS TO TIE DOWN ASSETS AHEAD OF STORM, AND NOT FOR THE FIRST TIME

By John Helmer in Moscow

A powerful 6-point storm on Monday did an estimated $60 million worth of damage, and severely set back the construction schedule for the new Sochi cargo port, being built for the 2014 Winter Olympic Games at Imeretinsky Bay. The new port is being built by the holding company of bankrupt Russian oligarch, Oleg Deripaska, and funded from the federal budget.

Liebherr-Werk Nenzing has the contract to supply mobile harbour cranes and other cargo handling equipment.
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CAN YOU BELIEVE THIS? NODDY MORDASHOV ASKS MR PLOD TO FORGIVE HIS BILLION-DOLLAR US LOSSES, ASKS PERMISSION TO SELL ASSETS

By John Helmer in Moscow

Russian business is child’s play, and very forgiving too, if you are big enough to pay for your mistakes. That’s why Alexei Mordashov is smiling in the picture, taken in Prime Minister Vladimir Putin’s office on December 4.

Mordashov is the owner of the second most heavily indebted steelmaking group in Russia, after Roman Abramovich’s Evraz group. Both have made multi-billion dollar blunders buying loss-making US steelmills at premium prices, just before last year’s bust reduced the value of the assets, but left enormous loans to be serviced. Both have laid off thousands of Russian steelworkers to “optimise” – Noddy’s word – on the costs of producing steel in Russia, so that the Russian mills will make profitable heaps of money, that can be spent subsidizing the blunders across the Atlantic. Mr Plod knows what’s going on – that’s his job. You might think he cares, too.
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THE GOODFELLAS DO THE BLACK SEA – STICK-UP FOR NOVOROSSIYSK PORT SHAREHOLDERS

By John Helmer in Moscow

Russia’s state-owned oil pipeline company Transneft has upped the pressure on the controlling shareholders of Novorossiysk Commercial Seaport Company (NCSC) in what one Moscow maritime analyst calls today “an arm-twisting preliminary to next year’s contest over the sale of the 20% state stake in the port.”

While in London the UK High Court enters the third month of the Sovcomflot trial, exposing how Russian maritime officials lie, threaten, plot, and bribe over tanker fleet concessions, the fight over shareholding control of Russia’s second largest oil port illustrates the lack of inhibition with which similar tactics continue to be used for oil concessions onshore, one stage before the oil is loaded for export. Supervising all oil concessions, and with a special interest in the maritime end of the sales chain, according to the London trial testimony, is Deputy Prime Minister Igor Sechin (3rd from left).
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AND THE WAGES OF SIN ARE… AUSTRALIAN COURT ORDERS $11 MILLION IN PENALTIES AND COSTS FOR KAZAKH MINING AND OIL PROJECT SKIMMING

By John Helmer in Moscow

To all junior miners, resource project developers, and investors in the risky wilds of Kazakhstan, be of good cheer — a Supreme Court judgement issued on December 11 in Sydney, Australia, has awarded the equivalent of US$11.4 million in compensation, penalties, and costs against a group of lawyers who have been found guilty of engaging in dishonest business practices.

Justice Clifford Einstein had ruled in October that the Kazakhstan-based law firm of Michael Wilson & Partners had been defrauded by three lawyers who had been employed by Wilson; and who had secretly moonlighted to earn fees and share bonuses for stock market listings and other transactions involving several major Kazakh resource projects — Sunkar Resources’s Chilisai phosphate project; Frontier Mining’s Benkala copper project; Roxi Petroleum; Max Petroleum; two other Central Asian mining projects, Urals Gold and Ablai; and four projects tied to these and other operators in the same region — Karamandybas (oil and gas), Ravninnoye (oil), Beibars Munai (oil), Lancaster, and Kangamiut (seafoods).
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ARCHANGEL DIAMOND REVEALS LUKOIL CASH SMUGGLING SCHEME INTO RUSSIA — NEW EVIDENCE UNVEILED IN BILLION-DOLLAR RACKETEERING AND FRAUD CLAIM

By John Helmer in Moscow

Archangel Diamond Corporation (ADC) has re-emerged from a bankruptcy proceeding initiated earlier this year by De Beers, to launch new charges in the Colorado state court against Russian oil company LUKoil, and well-known Russian oligarchs, Vagit Alekperov (lead bearer) and Alisher Usmanov (2nd bearer).

ADC is now being directed by a group of minority stakeholders, led by US attorney Bruce Marks; former board director, Clive Hartz; and the Firebird Global Master Fund of New York, with a stake of about 18%. De Beers owns 56% of ADC’s shares.
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THREE STEPS TO BAILING OUT A RUSSIAN OLIGARCH – BUT FESCO OBJECTS TO MEETING STATE BANK SECURITY REQUIREMENT

Step-1, believe me, I have no money Step-2, you drop your money in my hand Step-3, I wave goodbye and sail on my way

By John Helmer in Moscow

Far Eastern Shipping Company (Fesco), the listed Russian dry-cargo fleet operator controlled by Sergei Generalov (left image), says it has run into a debt refinancing problem with the Russian state bank, Vneshtorgbank (VTB).

A Moscow report by Kommersant newspaper, quoting from a November 5 letter Generalov sent to the Deputy Minister of Economic Development, Oleg Saveleyev, and a report this week from the Moscow brokerage Finam, indicate that, in order to receive state repayment guarantees of up to Rb2.5 billion ($83 million), Generalov must transfer asset value and shares required by the bank. However, Generalov says he can’t right now; or doesn’t want to.
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ASK TOBY THE SAPIENT PIG – WHAT IS HAPPENING TO OLEG DERIPASKA? WHAT NEXT FOR RUSAL?

Relayed by John Helmer in Moscow

Question for Toby: has the Hong Kong Stock Exchange rejected the share listing application by United Company Rusal?

Toby’s answer: Affirmative grunt.

For at least two months the Hong Kong Stock Exchange and its listing division, and in parallel the state regulator, the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) have been studying the proposal for listing and sale of shares by United Company Rusal, the first Russian company to attempt to list in the China market. Although the exchange and the commission don’t explain their action in individual cases, it is now plain that they could not agree to approve the listing in several sessions of the 28-member listing committee. The reports of their meetings – on November 19, 26, December 3 and 7 – have been cryptic, with anonymous sources claiming different reasons for deferral and inaction, until now the negative outcome is obvious.
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FLASH! HONG KONG EXCHANGE POSTPONES APPROVAL OF RUSAL SHARE SALE AGAIN — KREMLIN MAKES NEW OFFER TO BUY RUSAL SHARES IF NOONE ELSE WILL

By John Helmer in Moscow

In signals issued just ahead of today’s scheduled meeting of the Hong Kong Exchange Listing Committee, the committee announced a further postponement of its ruling on the Rusal application until December 7. The exchange has issued no public explanation. Media reports claim the reason is that the 28-member committee lacked the minimum required forum of 5 members to sit on the Rusal review. Earlier reports from the exchange had indicated that 8 members had been selected from the 28-member complement for the review. Today’s reports from Hong Kong suggest that 4 of these had dropped out for today’s meeting. The hint is that the applicant and its underwriters are being discreetly invited to take the initiative of withdrawing before next Monday, relieving the exchange of the responsibility of casting a vote on Rusal’s application. This option allows what one underwriter in London suggests as justification — market demand so late in the year is not sufficiently favourable for the share sale.
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WHO OWNS RUSAL NOW? WHO TRUSTS THE TRUSTEE? DERIPASKA GIVES UP RUSAL SHARES, BUT NOT QUITE CONTROL

By John Helmer in Moscow

A public statement by Deputy Prime Minister Alexei Kudrin, which he then corrected a few hours later, confirms what Russia’s rival oligarch groups, including those seeking Rusal’s bankruptcy, have believed for many weeks. Oleg Deripaska, controlling shareholder of United Company Rusal, has given up control of his shares to Russian state officials in order to stave off his foreign and domestic creditors. It is also the decision of the state officials involved that, for their interest, possibly the state’s, but not necessarily to benefit Deripaska himself, the company must be protected from a shareholding combination of Chinese, Libyan, and other foreign shareholders. In short, Rusal has been nationalized in effect, if not in form.

This is not a last-minute expedient to make Rusal’s initial public offering (IPO) of shares appear to be a genuine privatisation transaction. The transfer of Deripaska’s control stake is a new stage in the way in which state officials run the aluminium concession, which Deripaska has brought to the point of bankruptcy at home, and asset forfeit abroad.
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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.

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