PPP TO BUY VOTES — PROKHOROV’S PENITENCE PARTY PAYS THE CHINESE WAY

By John Helmer, Moscow

Mikhail Prokhorov’s last attempt but one to gather popularity among Russians was the idea that they should be compelled to work harder each hour and for up to 60 hours per week. That doesn’t sound like an election clincher anywhere in the known world, does it?.

Prokhorov’s last attempt but two was what he calls the “remodelling” of the term snob, to sell a social network site and magazine in Russia, and then to make the product international, or at least northeast American. The person who edits this product described its popularity this way: “something that fills the space between politics and movie reviews — sex, food, children, urban issues.” Launched last September, the product has reportedly won the advertising vote of Maserati, Christie’s art auction house, the New Yorker, and Lufthansa.
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PIGS GET WISE TO WOLFIE — DERIPASKA LOSES FEAR AND FAVOUR VALUE IN MONGOLIA, UKRAINE, RUSSIA TOO

By John Helmer, Moscow

Oleg Deripaska has been losing ground to Russian rivals in Mongolia, and is facing unprecedented administrative sanctions in Ukraine and Russia. The commercial effect is to force upwards the cost line on his balance-sheets, squeezing the earnings from which he must pay his debts and shareholder dividends. The political effect is to undercut the perception that Deripaska and his allies are too tough to resist.
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THE POLYUS OLIGARCHS OUT OF THEIR DEPTH – SOUTH AFRICAN TO THE RESCUE

By John Helmer, Moscow

South African James Nieuwenhuys has taken over as chief operating officer of Moscow-based Polyus Gold, Russia’s largest goldminer. The mining company, owned in roughly equal parts by Mikhail Prokhorov and Suleiman Kerimov, has been unsuccessful in months of effort to find a major international mining company to partner, or to take over and buy the oligarchs out.
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HOLDING HANDS IN THE DARK — DERIPASKA’S BEST LIBYAN FRIEND ALSO HELPED WITH THE NORILSK NICKEL ATTACK

By John Helmer, Moscow

Oleg Deripaska (right), the chief executive of United Company Rusal, not only persuaded Muammar Qaddafi and his son, Saif al-Qaddafi (left), to invest in Rusal shares to support the company’s listing in Hong Kong last year. It now appears the Libyans also bought a stake in Norilsk Nickel to assist Deripaska in his hostile takeover bid against Norilsk Nickel, which is controlled by Vladimir Potanin and the Russian government.
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ALROSA DROPS SOVIET-ERA SECRET AND RELEASES DIAMOND RESERVE FIGURE – BUT IT IS SMALLER THAN PREVIOUS ESTIMATES

By John Helmer, Moscow

Alrosa’s chief executive Fyodor Andreyev has announced that the state-owned diamond monopoly of Russia holds diamond reserves of 1.23 billion carats. Calculated according to the Russian mineral reserves classification, he said that 1.014 billion carats are proven, 211 million carats are probable.

The new numbers were mentioned in a briefing for Russian reporters, and are not an official statement of reserves. Two Moscow business newspapers reported what Andreyev said. Andreyev’s spokesman said this is the official release of the reserves.
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KERIMOV AND THE INDIAN LAUNDRYMAN – WHITER THAN WHITE

By John Helmer, Moscow

Suleiman Kerimov has applied to the Prosecutor-General in Moscow with a request for an investigation of allegations that he was at one time involved in money-moving operations of Hassan Ali Khan, an Indian hawaladar. Breaking the silence of his spokesmen at the Federation Council, where Kerimov is a senator representing his native Dagestan, and at the Moscow office of his Nafta Moskva holding, Kerimov’s New York spokesman, Eliot Lauer, has announced:
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WE STOOD CORRECTED LAST TIME, NOW IT’S THE TURN OF THE FIRST DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER — IGOR SHUVALOV PLACES HIMSELF BACK ON THE PEDESTAL AT THE AMUSEMENT PARK

By John Helmer, Moscow

It was just five weeks ago that First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov was pledging his allegiance to President Dmitry Medvedev and his unswerving compliance with the April 2 presidential decree ordering ministers of state to vacate their seats on state company boards.

In Shuvalov’s case, he insisted that under no circumstances could he consider sitting down upon the seat proposed for him as chairman of the board of one of the most lucrative property deals in Moscow – the multi-billion redevelopment of the Exhibition of the Achievements of the National Economy (VDNKh); this is now known for modern reasons as state-owned stockholding company (GAO), Vserossiyskiy Vystavochny Centr — VVC.
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GENERALOV SHOWS HOW TO CUT NOSE, SAVE FACE, FOR FESCO

By John Helmer, Moscow

Far Eastern Shipping Co (FESCO), the troubled Russian dry-cargo fleet and ports group owned by Sergei Generalov, broke even on its operations last year, according to international-standard accounts for 2010, just released in Moscow. But Generalov was unable to stop the rot in his fleet arm, and only by radical amputation has he managed to turn a profit on the bottom line.
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BEAR HIDES BEHIND HIS CLAWS – ZYUZIN ARRANGES $537 MILLION PURCHASE FOR MECHEL WITHOUT ADMITTING DEAL OR DEBT TO NEW YORK SHAREHOLDERS

By John Helmer, Moscow

Over the weekend, Ukrainian reports indicated that the Donetsk steelmaking assets in Ukraine, which went into bankruptcy in 2009, have been bought by Russia’s Mechel group, owned by Igor Zyuzin. The deal cost is reported to have been $537 million, including assumption of debts.

Confirmation of the sale appears in publication last Thursday in Ukraine of the agenda for a shareholder meeting scheduled on June 6, at which a vote is proposed on a purchase by Psarko Investments Ltd from Daveze Ltd. for $537 million.
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FULLY FUNCTIONING AND OPERATIONAL – TEN OR SO NAÏVE QUESTIONS ABOUT THE EVIDENCE IN THE CASE OF THE CHAMBERMAID VERSUS DOMINIQUE STRAUSS-KAHN

By John Helmer, Moscow

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) often invoked its sovereign immunity to rape Russia’s governing institutions, including the Central Bank and the Supreme Soviet, in the years of collapse following the end of the Soviet Union. Michel Camdessus, a Frenchman, was the culprit then, instructed by the principal shareholders on the Fund board. It might even be said in exculpation of Camdessus that he was just following orders issued in the finale of the Cold War.
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THE GAMBIT — SEVERSTAL BUYS INTO ANOTHER IRON-ORE MINE PROJECT, BUT IS MORDASHOV REPEATING HIS NORD GOLD STRATEGY, PACKAGING ASSETS ON THE CHEAP, SELLING THEM DEAR

By John Helmer, Moscow

The comic book character known as the Gambit was kidnapped from the hospital where he was born and raised by a gang of thieves. He got his way with unusual powers, like kinetic energy and hypnosis. He was also famous for his skill at card-throwing and combat with a long stick. He was distrusted by his peers, but loved by the ladies. He ranks 65th on the Top 100 Comic Book Heroes of All Time.
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GLENCORE’S DISCLOSURES LEAVE RUSSIAN BUSINESS IN THE DARK, ESPECIALLY GLENCORE’S LOSSES

By John Helmer, Moscow

Despite the enormous publicity for Glencore’s initial public offering (IPO) on the London Stock Exchange this month, and participation in the underwriting and book-running of the Russian state savings bank Sberbank, the massive Glencore prospectus says almost nothing about the trading company’s Russian business. And on the key question grain traders have been discussing for months – how many billions of dollars did Glencore lose last year after the Kremlin imposed an embargo on grain exports? – Glencore’s documents say nothing at all.
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GUINEAN PRESIDENT CONDE CLOSES DOOR ON DERIPASKA

By John Helmer, Moscow

After the report appearing yesterday on Rusal’s negotiations with the Government of Guinea was published, the following fresh information was communicated by a member of staff of President Alpha Conde, and confirmed by other Guinean sources.
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ITSKOV, DERIPASKA BOOTED BY GUINEAN MINISTERS — RUSAL TO FOLLOW RIO TINTO TO THE CONAKRY TREASURY — $860 MILLION COMPENSATION DEMAND FOLLOWS $700 MILLION RIO TINTO PAYMENT DEAL

By John Helmer, Moscow

In a series of preemptory dismissals, the head of global alumina operations for United Company Rusal, Yakov Itskov (left image), and his chief executive Oleg Deripaska (right image), have been ordered out of the rooms of Guinea’s two mining ministers, Mahmoud Thiam, and his successor, Mohammed Lamine Fofana, after the ministers told them they had insulted the Guinean government. A Kremlin salvage operation was then despatched to Conakry, the Guinean capital, headed by Russia’s mining minister Yury Trutnev. But that hasn’t stopped the new Guinean president Alpha Conde, ordering his negotiators to demand Rusal surrender half or more of its billion-dollar Dian-Dian bauxite concession, and pay $860 million in compensation for past tax and customs duties avoidance at its two other Guinean mines, Kindia and Friguia.
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THE TWO-DOLLAR TELL-ALL – THIS IS WHAT THE RUSSIANS ARE FIGHTING THE CHINESE FOR

By John Helmer, Moscow

When self-proclaimed strategic allies like Russia and China fail to see eye to eye, they do their best to mask their differences, issuing communiqués promising amicable solutions at the next round of negotiations, or the one after that. If Moscow and Beijing fall out, the cordiality dries up, and the mutual silence can be deafening. But not this time round. Just four months since the first Russian crude oil started pumping into Daqing, the northeastern Chinese oil town, the Russian pipeline company Transneft has charged the China National Petroleum Company (CNPC) with violating their supply contract, and is threatening to open court proceedings in London.
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THE YANDEX FLOAT – IS RUSSIAN INTERNET COMMERCE FREE TO WAG ITS TAIL WITH THE MARKET OR THE MASTER?

By John Helmer, Moscow

If Yandex, Russia’s leading search engine and internet portal, tells potential share buyers and investors that it is at risk of a hostile takeover by a man like Alisher Usmanov, who owns a stake in the competing Mail.ru portal, then the charge is a serious one. And if to that, Yandex adds the warning that the president of the country may be behind a scheme to consolidate competing public companies like Yandex into a national search engine, then the initial public offering (IPO), launched last week on the US NASDAQ exchange, is a unique test of what otherwise may be called Russian modernization – and the price of betting on it.
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AND THEN THERE WERE NONE

By John Helmer, Moscow
  @bears_with

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

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

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

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

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



By John Helmer, Moscow
  @bears_with

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

How little the Germans have changed.

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

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

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

By John Helmer, Moscow
  @bears_with

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

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

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

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

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

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

By John Helmer, Moscow
  @bears_with

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

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

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

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

By John Helmer, Moscow
  @bears_with

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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RUSSIAN AVIATION INDUSTRY CORRECTS YELTSIN YAW – BOEING, AIRBUS DITCHED



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

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

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

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

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

So has the Russian process of replacing foreign imports entirely.

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



By John Helmer, Moscow
  @bears_with

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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KILLING IS CHEAPER — THE US ARMY SPECIAL OPERATIONS COMMAND WEAPONIZES TWITTER, FACEBOOK, INSTAGRAM, WHATSAPP, TELEGRAM

By John Helmer, Moscow
  @bears_with

The US Army’s Special Operations Command (SOCOM) has been firing several hundred million dollars’ worth of cyber warheads at Russian targets from its headquarters at MacDill Airforce Base in Florida. They have all been duds.

The weapons, the source, and their failure to strike effectively have been exposed in a new report, published on August 24, by the Cyber Policy Center of the Stanford Internet Observatory.  The title of the 54-page study is “Unheard Voice: Evaluating Five Years of Pro-Western Covert Influence Operations”.

“We believe”, the report concludes, “this activity represents the most extensive case of covert pro-Western IO [influence operations] on social media to be reviewed and analyzed by open-source researchers to date… the data also shows the limitations of using inauthentic tactics to generate engagement and build influence online. The vast majority of posts and tweets we reviewed received no more than a handful of likes or retweets, and only 19% of the covert assets we identified had more than 1,000 followers. The average tweet received 0.49 likes and 0.02 retweets.”

“Tellingly,” according to the Stanford report, “the two most followed assets in the data provided by Twitter were overt accounts that publicly declared a connection to the U.S. military.”

The report comes from a branch of Stanford University, and is funded by the Stanford Law School and the Spogli Institute for Institutional Studies, headed by Michael McFaul (lead image).   McFaul, once a US ambassador to Moscow, has been a career advocate of war against Russia. The new report exposes many of McFaul’s allegations to be crude fabrications and propaganda which the Special Operations Command (SOCOM) has been paying contractors to fire at Russia for a decade.

Strangely, there is no mention in the report of the US Army, Pentagon, the Special Operations Command, or its principal cyberwar contractor, the Rendon Group.

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MARIA YUDINA OUT OF THE DARK – THE RUSSIAN CLASSICAL PIANIST PLAYS AGAIN

By John Helmer, Moscow
  @bears_with

Maria Yudina (lead image) is one of the great Russian pianists. She was not, however, one who appealed to all tastes in her lifetime, 1899 to 1970.

In a new biography of her by Elizabeth Wilson, Yudina’s belief that music represents Orthodox Christian faith is made out to be so heroic, the art of the piano is diminished — and Yudina’s reputation consigned again to minority and obscurity. Russian classical music and its performers, who have not recovered from the Yeltsin period and now from the renewal of the German-American war, deserve better than Wilson’s propaganda tune.

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