PSSSTTT! DID VICTOR RASHNIKOV MISLEAD PRIME MINISTER PUTIN ON WHAT’S REALLY GOING ON AT MAGNITKA? AND TURKEY TOO?

By John Helmer, Moscow

Magnitogorsk Metallurgical Combine (MMK), owned by Victor Rashnikov (left image), released its second-quarter operational report today, several days behind schedule. The report confirms the Russia-wide trend, already reported here, of cutbacks by the steelmaker for most types of its domestic production.

The news may be awkward for Rashnikov, because a fortnight ago he assured Prime Minister Vladimir Putin that he was producing more steel, especially auto steel sheet, to feed growing Russian demand; because the only obvious sign of growth in production at Rashnikov’s enterprises is not at home in Russia, but across the water in Turkey; and finally, because Rashnikov’s balance-sheet is going to show that he’s making more profit on less production by driving Russian steel prices upward.
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LESSONS IN COUNTING — ALROSA TRIES AGAIN

By John Helmer, Moscow

Alrosa, Russia’s near-monopoly diamond miner, is for the third year running the world’s largest diamond miner.

The good news appears in a brief summary report issued by the company this week. Production by Alrosa in the six months to June 30, this year, comes to 19 million carats. That compares with 15.5 million carats attributed from De Beers; 5.2 million carats from Rio Tinto; and just 1.1 million carats from BHP Billiton. De Beers managed to stay even with its mine result for the same period in 2010, but Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton are reporting that their mine results are dwindling. On the face of it, Alrosa is not only producing 8% more diamonds by volume this year, compared to 2010; it is also widening its lead over its international rivals.
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SUMMER SWALLOWS IN THE RUSSIAN STEEL INDUSTRY – ARE THEY GOING UP OR DOWN?

By John Helmer, Moscow

It’s almost August, the month when everyone knows that serious coincidences can happen in Russia – and I’m not talking about the lunar cycle or Ramadan.

In election years, the prevention of coincidences has always been Kremlin Priority Number-One. This year that’s tempered by President Dmitry Medvedev’s concern that nothing coincidental happens to his re-election campaign. And in Prime Minister Vladimir Putin’s White House, it is plain that reassuring Russian workers of their job security and income against negative coincidence is also a priority effort.
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WHEN THE PENNY DROPS IN BULGARIA, OIL PRICES GO UP – LUKOIL IN EMERGENCY TALKS AFTER REFINERY CLOSURE THREAT

By John Helmer, Moscow

Faced with a Bulgarian government-ordered shutdown of its Burgas oil refinery, LUKoil, the Russian oil producer and exporter, began emergency negotiations with Bulgarian officials this morning, a LUKoil source told Fairplay. Bulgarian opposition politicians say the negotiations are being staged by Bulgaria’s Prime Minister Boyko Borisov (image right) to protect his party and himself from voter wrath, as petrol prices continue upwards and the Bulgarian presidential election approaches its due date on October 23.

The Bulgarian Customs agency triggered today’s negotiations by revoking the Burgas refinery’s license to sell and buy crude oil products. The published reason is that LUKoil did not instal the meters required by the Customs to measure the crude and product flows to and from the refinery, and verify the product taxes it should collect.
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HOW TO HIDE A BILLION-DOLLAR RUSSIAN STEELMILL IN THE BRAZILIAN JUNGLE – IGOR ZYUZIN’S LITTLE VENTURE IN NON-TRANSPARENCY

By John Helmer, Moscow

On February 1, 2010, the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) released a report on operational results for the previous year, 2009, of the Mechel steel and mining group, Russia’s fifth-ranked steelmaker, which is also listed on the New York Stock Exchange. The group is owned by Igor Zyuzin (image, centre) with 66.8% of the shares; and at the time of the SEC filing, he was the group chief executive officer. He also signed the disclosure.
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MANGANESE MINER FIGHT TRIGGERS SHARE PRICE FALL — THE TONG THAT TWISTS TOTH’S TONGUE

By John Helmer, Moscow

The fight by China Inc. to keep control over the flow and price of manganese into Chinese refineries, and out of the hands of pesky international shareholders, has moved into Round-3 after Rounds 1 and 2 turned into bruising knockdowns.

OM Holdings (OMH) — a Singapore-based manganese miner and metals refiner with mainland Chinese control shareholders — faces a new challenge from minority Australian and Singaporean shareholders, who formally announced today their call for an emergency general meeting (EGM) and the election of a new board of directors. A shareholder meeting and vote should be called by August 15 in Singapore.
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GUINEA PRESIDENTIAL ASSASSINATION ATTEMPT – ROUND UP THE USUAL SUSPECTS

By John Helmer, Moscow

In the finale of the film Casablanca, the Humphrey Bogart character has shot the German officer to enable his ex-lover Ilsa and her husband, a Resistance man on the run, to make good their escape. Captain Renault sees an opportunity to do the right thing for a change, protecting Bogey and his friends. He orders the subaltern off to “round up the usual suspects.” Ilsa flies away, and Renault and Bogey walk into the fog, heading south for Brazzaville, in the Congo.
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WORSE THAN A CREAM PIE IN THE FACE – MURDOCH TAKES ONE-SIXTH OF HIS ASKING PRICE FOR NEWS OUTDOOR RUSSIA

By John Helmer, Moscow

Russia, it turns out, has the only government in the world able and willing to do real damage to Rupert Murdoch – and throw him out.

While the UK and US governments hold their breaths as squads of policemen poke through the Murdoch media files to find evidence of corrupt entertainments and backdoor understandings with powerful politicians – some of them still hanging on to power — the Russian state bank VTB has put together a consortium and obliged Murdoch to accept $270 million for his 79% control stake in the outdoor advertising company, News Outdoor Russia.
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FESCO GETS CONSOLATION PRIZE, LOSES TRANSCONTAINER BID

By John Helmer, Moscow

Far Eastern Shipping Company (Fesco), owned by Sergei Generalov, announced yesterday it has acquired MetizTrans, a small railcar operator in eastern Siberia. No value for the transaction was disclosed; MetizTrans owns 971 railcars, used mostly for delivering Russian coal to Sea of Japan ports for export.

The announced purchase makes a small increment to Fesco’s railcar fleet of 19,000 units, according to a Fesco release. “We believe the acquisition … will further boost our presence in rail transportation in these regions”, Fesco quotes Alexey Grom, its Vice-President for Rail, as saying.
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VTB GETS OLEG DERIPASKA BY THE SHORT HAIRS – CUTTING HIS ASSET VALUATIONS REVEALS CHANGE OF HONG KONG IPO PLAN

By John Helmer, Moscow

EN+, one of Oleg Deripaska’s holding companies, announced today it has swapped $500 million of its debt to VTB, the Russian state bank, for a 4.35% shareholding which the bank will now hold in EN+. Oleg Deripaska, who owns all of EN+ through another of his holding companies, Basic Element, was the seller. The transaction price means that Deripaska accepted a valuation by VTB for all of EN+’s assets of $11.5 billion:
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DID VLADIMIR YEVTUSHENKOV CLIP GNAT ROTHSCHILD’S WINGS IN THE VALLARES FLY-BY?

By John Helmer, Moscow

On Saturday, while the controlling shareholders of Sky News, Rupert Murdoch and his son James, were having to eat their words and apologize for invasion of privacy, bribery of policemen, lying to parliament, and other law-breaking — losing control of Sky News in the process — one of their ace reporters was claiming to have uncovered this scoop: “Exclusive: Hayward Eyes £8bn Russian Deals.”
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SERGEI FRANK HANGS ON SOVCOMFLOT PRIVATIZATION AND SHARE SALE

By John Helmer, Moscow

Sergei Frank (bottom image), chief executive of Sovcomflot, is hanging on to his job despite judgements by the UK High Court last December and this March that he is a liar and worse.

Sovcomflot, one of the largest oil tanker companies in the world, has sought leave to appeal against the rulings, and the trial judge’s dismissal of its first appeal application. The final judgement in the case has been delayed until October.
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US GOVERNMENT INVESTIGATIONS OF DERIPASKA REVEAL KREMLIN THREAT OF “YUKOS NATIONALIZATION” LEAVING US BANKS WITHOUT CASH REPAYMENT AND WORTHLESS SHARE COLLATERAL

By John Helmer, Moscow

In the wake of Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov’s negotiations in Washington this week, US State Department documents have leaked from 2009 and 2010, revealing that American and other international banks were given an ultimatum by Deputy Prime Ministers Igor Shuvalov and Igor Sechin – either roll over the debts Oleg Deripaska had run up, or else the Kremlin would see they would get nothing at all.
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ABRAMOVICH TO GET THE SECOND BIGGEST GIFT IN RUSSIAN HISTORY, WHILE IGOR ZYUZIN HOPES FOR HIS TURN SHORTLY

By John Helmer, Moscow

If Vnesheconombank (VEB), the state bailout bank chaired by Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, really has agreed to pay $5.3 billion for the 80% control shareholding of Raspadskaya, the coking coalminer, then this is going to be Roman Abramovich’s lucky day. His second lucky day, if to count the September 2005 transaction when state-owned Gazprom paid $13 billion for Abramovich’s 72.6% stake in the oil company Sibneft. Well, it’s everyone’s lucky day, because Abramovich is known to be a sharing kind of man. With almost everyone.
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ANIMATION HIT PLAYS DC THIS WEEK – STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL DAN RUSSELL IN SONG AND DANCE COMBO WITH OLEG DERIPASKA

By John Helmer, Moscow

During this week’s Washington, DC, visit by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, a mid-level State Department official appears to be the key to whether Oleg Deripaska’s lobbying campaign to recover his US visa will succeed.

Dan Russell, who served in the US Embassy in Moscow between 2003 and 2008, is now Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Europe. In a file just released for internet access by the US Department of Justice, Russell has been named by Deripaska’s lobbyists as having been on the receiving end of a spate of telephone-calls and emails – more than any US official has ever received from the Deripaska lobbyists to date; in the public record, that is.
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FIG LEAF OR MAPLE LEAF — MORDASHOV MANAGEMENT ACCUSES HELMER OF “NOT RELIABLE INFORMATION”

By John Helmer, Moscow

As Canadian stock market regulators open their first-ever investigation into listing practices by Russian companies trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange, the chief executive of High River Gold (HRG) has warned shareholders against reading reports appearing on this website.

A Canadian shareholder of HRG has received an email letter from Konstantin Soboloevsky, the chief executive officer of High River Gold based in Toronto. Alexei Mordashov owns about 73% of HRG; 27% of the shares are held by minority shareholders, most of them Canadians.
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HE’S A GOOD EGG – SOUTH AFRICAN INVESTMENT FUND REVIVES FABERGE EGG FOR FIRST NEW SALES SINCE 1917

By John Helmer, Moscow

Brian Gilbertson, the leading South African mining entrepreneur, has launched a new stage of his investment in the Faberge jewellery marque with the first release for sale since 1917 of Faberge jewelled eggs, designed by the family of the original Russian court jeweller, Peter Carl Faberge. Four of the eggs, including a solid diamond encrusted piece, were displayed in London today. The full collection went on display in Paris yesterday.
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THE ONTARIO SECURITIES COMMISSION ANNOUNCES THE UNPRECEDENTED: AN INVESTIGATION OF WRONGDOING BY “EMERGING MARKETS ISSUERS” – THAT’S DUDLEY DO-RIGHT FOR MAXIM FINSKY AND MIKHAIL PROKHOROV

By John Helmer, Moscow

The greatest of the great Canadians, Glenn Gould was, by his own admission, a lover of driving big, fast cars on the open road. When criticized for his rule-breaking, he acknowledged: “I know I’m at fault for driving through red lights occasionally. But look at the number of times I’ve stopped at the green, and never got credit for it.”
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BRITISH BEAUTY WAKES UP TO MURDOCH – THE CHARMING PRINCE TURNS OUT TO BE THE DIRTY DIGGER THE RUSSIANS ALWAYS KNEW HE WAS

By John Helmer, Moscow

Naivety is not what the British establishment can ever be accused of. Certainly never towards Rupert Murdoch, whose British nickname has been the Dirty Digger — a reference to his business practices and to his Australian nationality.

So yesterday in the House of Commons, when the Conservative Party and Labor Party leaderships claimed to have just woken up to what reprobates Rupert , his son James, and the senior management of his UK newspapers are – in relation to a telephone hacking and police bribes scandal – their statements drip with cynicism. Ed Miliband, the Labor party leader, led the chorus of hypocrites, referring to a News Ltd. Executive whom Murdoch himself continues to defend: “[she] “should take responsibility and stand down”. Actually, what Miliband means is that she should play scapegoat for Murdoch, and suffer nothing more serious than retirement on pension.
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A FISH FINGER IN EVERY PIE — TIMCHENKO TAKES A BITE INTO AND OUT OF THE RUSSIAN SEA GROUP

By John Helmer, Moscow

If you’re feeling peckish, but the price of fish is too high to swallow, whom do you call?

Gennady Timchenko (right image), that’s who – the man who has settled with several English newspapers out of court that he’s not a friend of Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and benefits commercially in no way at all from his political and administrative contacts with people like Deputy Prime Minister Igor Sechin.
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TURKISH DELIGHT LOSES ITS TASTE — TRANSNEFT GOES BACK TO BULGARIA TO HAMMER PRIME MINISTER BORISOV

By John Helmer, Moscow

Russia’s state pipeline company Transneft went public yesterday morning with an attack on the Prime Minister of Bulgaria for dragging his feet over the trans-Balkan pipeline proposed between Burgas and Alexandropouli, on the Aegean Sea. Transneft chief executive Nikolai Tokarev was reported by Moscow news wires as saying: “God save anyone from partners like our Bulgarian friends.”
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MORDASHOV HIDES GOLD MINING COMPANY FROM SHAREHOLDERS NEAR THE NORTH POLE

By John Helmer, Moscow

They said it could never be done, but Alexei Mordashov has done it!

Having failed to buy out the 27% Canadian minority shareholders in High River Gold (HRG), who refuse to sell at his price, Mordashov, owner of 73% of the shares, has hidden the annual general meeting where noone but he could find it – and where no shareholder could ask awkward questions. This first-ever hidden AGM has been arranged without audio or video or even telephone connection to the outside world, so that not even the investment institutions of London, who in February rejected Mordashov’s attempted initial public offering of Nord Gold shares, could listen in.
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THE STRAUSS-KAHN CRIMINAL CASE COLLAPSES — WHOSE FINGERPRINTS ARE ON THE FRAME-UP?

By John Helmer, Moscow

The disclosures by disgruntled New York law enforcers in the US press today, revealing that the accusing chamber-maid in the Dominique Strauss-Kahn (DSK) affair is a career liar with thousands of recent dollars in her bank account, puts an end to the trumped-up prosecution. Whether Strauss-Kahn returns to be President of France is up to him. President, oops Prime Minister Vladimir Putin turns out to be right once again.
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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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