PUTIN’S ATTACK ON EVRAZ OPENS PRICE CONTROL FLOODGATES

By John Helmer in Moscow

As Russian villagers used to say in olden times, when the tsar is kind, the wait to see him is long; when he is cruel, there is no delay at all.

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin’s explicit attack on steel prices at the start of this week, and the commencement of a new antitrust investigation of price-rigging against the Evraz group, have opened the floodgates to a spate of complaints — by the state-owned car manufacturers against the flat-sheet mills, and by the oil companies against the pipemakers.
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HOW MANY MEN WILL SAVE THE FESCO BOAT FROM THE DEBT DOG — GENERALOV OBLIGED BY BANKS TO PAY UP

By John Helmer in Moscow

Far Eastern Shipping Company (Fesco, ticker FESH)), the Russian dry-cargo fleet operator, plans to make a public issue of new shares to pay down debt. A total of 659.6 million new shares will be issued, the Fesco spokesman Stanislav Vartanyan told Fairplay; this bloc of shares makes about 23% of the company’s present charter capital. Vartanyan denies the move signals that recently disclosed plans to sell a substantial stake in the company to a non-Russian strategic investor have not materialized. But a Fesco report to investors a month ago did not mention the public share sale as an option.
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SPANISH LAUNDRY — WHAT GOYA DIDN’T SHOW BEHIND THE SHEETS — MADRID JUDGE AND PROSECUTOR IN MOSCOW TO QUESTION OLEG DERIPASKA

By John Helmer in Moscow

For the first time in his career, Oleg Deripaska has faced questioning on his business practices and cashflows by a western judge in a criminal court proceeding. Spanish judge of the Audiencia Nacional, Fernando Andreu Merelles, and special prosecutor for corruption cases, José Grinda, were in Moscow on May 12 to interrogate Deripaska, according to their spokesman in Madrid. The spokesman added that their purpose was to “take statements from Deripaska for an offense of conspiracy and money laundering, as well.”
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FIRST THE TRUMPET FANFARE, NOW THE GONG – WHAT TUNE IS SECHIN PLAYING WITH BLACK SEA OIL

By John Helmer in Moscow

Russia’s energy chief, Deputy Prime Minister Igor Sechin, has disclosed that the Black Sea oil export plan he launched in Milan last October, with much applause from Turkish and Italian interests, is going nowhere fast – err, I mean, slow.

He was speaking on the sidelines of President Dmitry Medvedev’s visit to Turkey on Wednesday. Without allowing direct questions from, or quotation by Russian reporters, Sechin reportedly said that a start on the new crude oil delivery route, including the cross-Turkey pipeline from Samsun, on the Black Sea, to Ceyhan, on the Aegean, will be delayed until 2015. In the oil business, five years into the future is a number equivalent to eternity — and for practical purposes, oblivion.
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TESTING THE RUSSIAN WELFARE STATE — WHO PROTECTS THE COALMINERS — SAFETY CLAIMS BY RASPADSKAYA DISPUTED

By John Helmer in Moscow

The question of who, if anyone, is protecting coalminers intensifies in public, following Prime Minister Vladimir Putin’s visit to the scene of the Raspadskaya mine disaster at Mezhdurechensk yesterday. The double explosion of methane in the Raspadskaya mine on the weekend has so far killed 52, with 38 still unaccounted for. Another 59 have been rescued, and are being treated for injuries.
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METHANE BLAST POST-MORTEM — COKING COAL SHORTAGE LOOMS, AS RASPADSKAYA TOLL RISES AND TULEYEV NOMINATED FOR HIS 4TH TERM AS KEMEROVO GOVERNOR

By John Helmer in Moscow

The death toll at the Raspadskaya Coal Company’s principal mine is 43 dead, 47 missing, and 7 in hospital in critical condition as of Tuesday morning, Moscow time.

The leading producer of coking coal in Russia suffered two methane explosions overnight between Saturday and Sunday. The first was late on Saturday evening, and the second about four hours later, during a rescue attempt. All 19 rescuers in the mine at the time of the second blast have been reported killed. Underground ventilation had been halted by the blast, diminishing the chances of survival for those who were trapped below surface. Airflow has reportedly been restored today, but the underground water level is rising.
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STRIKEFORCE STRIKES OUT IN HONG KONG – RUSSIAN MOLYBDENUM MINER FAILS SOVEREIGN TEST

By John Helmer in Moscow

Strikeforce Mining and Resources (SMR), a molybdenum miner owned by Oleg Deripaska, failed last week in its second try at attracting Chinese and Hong Kong market investors. The first try was in October 2008, when Morgan Stanley and the Bank of China were the arrangers. But that month, as Deripaska’s aluminium company Rusal and his Basic Element holding plummeted towards a series of loan defaults and debts totaling more than $20 billion, the SMR share sale was abandoned.
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MAY 9, 1945-2010 — LEST WE FORGET, AND HAVEN’T WE HEARD THAT NATO TUNE PLAYED BEFORE?

By John Helmer in Moscow

On April 12 NATO launched four large-scale war games in northern Europe.

A report by Rick Rozoff for the Media Monitors Network, “Relentless Global Drive: NATO on Six Continents in Seven Days”, published on April 22, documented the official announcements from several US and NATO command sources, and the British Broadcasting Command: http://usa.mediamonitors.net/content/view/full/73658
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CAST ADRIFT — POSTSCRIPT TO THE RUSSIAN NAVY’S PIRATE OPERATION

A spokesman for the Investigative Committee, a special branch of the General Prosecutor’s office, said yesterday, after the news of the rescue had reached Moscow, that the surviving pirates would be taken to Russia and charged under the piracy article of the Russian Criminal Code — Part 3, Article 227. He and Russian Navy spokesmen then modified their announcement, indicating that Russian ministry officials were debating what to do with the pirates.
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HOT TO TROT — RUSSIAN STATE SHIPYARD HOLDING AIMS AT UKRAINE TAKEOVERS

By John Helmer in Moscow

The horse has special talents. One is fluency in several languages; another is a knack for stock market investment. In the rarely seen comedy, the hero inherits the horse from his parents, makes some bad acquisitions on the horse’s advice, but gets out of trouble at a horse-race.

Roman Trotsenko’s career has been more successful, and recently he has been seeing a lot of Prime Minister Vladimir Putin. They met on February 18, and then again on May 4.

For what happened at their first meeting, see: http://johnhelmer.online/?p=2919
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RUSSIAN NAVY GIVES SOMALI PIRATES WHAT-FOR

By John Helmer in Moscow

The Russian Navy announced Thursday morning that its anti-submarine destroyer Marshal Shaposhnikov had successfully liberated the Novoship oil tanker, Moscow University; released its 23-man crew unharmed;and killed or captured the Somali pirates who had boarded the vessel yesterday 800 kms off the coast of Somalia. The tanker had been under way with a cargo of crude bound for China. The 86,000-tonnes of oil on board remains secure, without fire or spill.

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THE BELARUS CHOKEHOLD – TRANSNEFT’S TOKAREV SQUEEZES, LUKASHENKO TWISTS, TIMCHENKO GAINS

By John Helmer in Moscow

The Lithuanians tried it more than a decade ago. The Belarussians are trying it again – noone in Moscow believes it can be done. In fact, the Russians say it’s childish to try. When the Russian noose goes round your neck, they say, you either beg forgiveness, or you choke to death. If the President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko (left bubble) weren’t regarded more negatively than the Russian leadership in the Anglo-American press, there might be more geopolitical interest in what is happening – or more curiosity about who gains commercially.
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THE VANISHING – MYSTERY LADY AND MYSTERY LOCATION ENTER CASE OF PLAN AGAINST JOHN HELMER, AS POLICE DOSSIER IN COURT REVEALS EVIDENCE TAMPERING

The picture of an unknown woman has been included by the Moscow police in their evidence of the plan targeting John Helmer, which was carried out last December by Alfa Inform, a Moscow security company working for United Company Rusal.

The name of Rusal, identified as the client on the title page of the Alfa Inform document found by the police, has vanished. A new title page appears in the evidence on the basis of which the Moscow police have recommended closing their criminal investigation.
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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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