THE LOOKALIKE STRATFOR FILES ON RUSSIA – WHO HAS BEEN CHATTING TO MOLEY?

By John Helmer, Moscow

There once was a young man called Marko Papic (centre), living in Austin, Texas. Each morning he went to work at a desk paid for by an older man named George Friedman (right), the owner of a company called Stratfor. That was a money-for-secrets scheme hatched by Friedman and his friends (left) in the US Government.
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WHAT THE SIBERIAN SQUIRREL KEEPS INSIDE HIS NUTKIN — THE OPPOSITION STARTS NAMING THE OLIGARCHS AFTER PUTIN HAS DECIDED THEY MUST GO

By John Helmer, Moscow

When the archaeologists of the next millennium excavate, they will find the evidence of a tectonic shift and turning-point in Russian history that took place in the two months between December 28 and February 25. That’s from the day Prime Minister Vladimir Putin signed government order number VP-P13-9308, and instructed Deputy Prime Minister Igor Sechin to supervise compliance; to the day when Alexei Navalny listed the most powerful oligarchs in the country (Switzerland too) as the target of the political opposition — after Putin wins the presidential election.

Navalny’s speech at last Saturday’s St. Petersburg rally marks the first time the oligarch system, and the oligarchs as individuals rather than Putin, have been made the public focus of the opposition movements. Navalny himself named the lines of business to identify the individuals, though he didn’t name names.
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SHEEP’S BALLS CAN BE DELICIOUS IF YOU ARE NOT A SHEEP – AUSTRALIA AND RUSSIA PUT THE BITE ON FIJI, WHERE OLEG DERIPASKA HAS A TENDER INTEREST

By John Helmer, Moscow

Eating sheep’s balls is an acquired taste, though if you’re from the Caucasus or Azerbaijan, the taste comes with your mother’s milk, so to speak. If you are an Australian politician, complaining in public that someone else is biting yours is an everyday thing.

Australia has always been sensitive below its belt, where the colonial and imperial powers – Great Britain, the United States, Japan (briefly), and China for the next millennium – like to keep a tight grip. The former prime minister, Kevin Rudd, has a hands-on relationship with China, too – his brother Greg operates a fortune cookie business in Beijing. That hasn’t inhibited Kevin from promising Washington he is ready to go to war with China if the US Government thinks that’s a good thing.
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THE DAY SERGEI FRANK DESERVED A BANDAGE FOR HIS HEAD

By John Helmer, Moscow

I know, I know. It’s old fashioned to regard the celebration of February 23 as Red Army Day. And for all the awards heaped on my head for defending the Fatherland from its enemies, foreign and domestic, on this anniversary I plead paucity of means, and defer to those who have recently written to the Prime Minister promising to spend hundreds of millions of dollars to invest in the Fatherland’s furthest reaches – the Arctic seabed, no less. Even when they are so severely wounded financially that they lack the money to honour their promises, I honour their intentions.
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KEKHMAN’S BANANA BANKRUPTCY – IS IT THEATRE?

By John Helmer, Moscow

It has been obvious for some time that Vladimir Kekhman’s banana financials were so rotten, his Joint Fruit Company (JFC) was republishing its second-quarter financial results as if they were the third quarter figures, postponing the fourth quarter and full-year releases, and refusing response to the question Why?

It has also been obvious that Kekhman has been trying not to pay a mounting bill from the UK High Court in London. There since last August, Star Reefers, the owner of the three freighters JFC chartered to carry banana cargoes from JFC’s Ecuadorian plantations to St. Petersburg, has won a compensation award of $16.3 million; additional costs and penalties; and judicial orders against Kekhman personally, along with his appointees at JFC, to disclose where they have put their money, and to freeze JFC transactions with funds the court has required to be paid to Star. Other litigation to seize JFC’s containers in the US, as well as threaten seizure of its banana boxes as they move on Maersk freighters, is also pursuing the fleet-footed Kekhman.
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NO-RISK LOVEMAKING WHEN MORGAN STANLEY PROSTRATES ITSELF TO ALEXEI MORDASHOV

By John Helmer, Moscow

In the memoirs of the great courtesans, much fondness is expressed toward the size of their patrons’ pockets, but never the size (or lack of it) of their male members. Morgan Stanley lacks that kind of discretion.

If you read the report issued on February 17 by the investment bank’s Moscow and London branches on Alexei Mordashov’s Nord Gold, the place to start is below the waist, as it were. “In the next 3 months,” runs the small print of the required US regulatory disclosures, “Morgan Stanley expects to receive or intends to seek compensation for investment banking services from…Nordgold…Within the last 12 months, Morgan Stanley has provided or is providing investment banking services to, or has an investment banking client relationship with …Nordgold…Within the last 12 months, Morgan Stanley has either provided or is providing non-investment banking, securities-related services to and/or in the past has entered into an agreement to provide services or has a client relationship with… Nordgold.
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GLENCORE GETS THE DROP ON SERGEI FRANK; FRANK HOLDS UP SEVMORNEFTEGEOFIZIKA

By John Helmer, Moscow

Russia’s government-owned fleet operator Sovcomflot, run by Sergei Frank, has announced that international commodity trader Glencore will take over, market and operate five of its newest oil tankers as they come out of the shipyard and put to sea.

The history of Glencore in Russia since 1991 is a simple one – only financially desperate enterprises agree to Glencore’s terms, when there is no cash to trade with, and no alternative for marketing. For example, in 2008 and 2009 Glencore had baled out Oleg Deripaska’s Rusal when it was on the brink of insolvency at negative $17 billion. When Russneft’s time came in 2010, the Kremlin preferred to make its deal to save the company with the original owner, Mikhail Gutseriyev, rather than leave Russneft in Glencore’s and Deripaska’s hands. More recently, after the lifting of the grain export embargo last July, the state-owned United Grain Company has intimated that it plans to attack Glencore’s dominant market share of the Russian grain export market.
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LUKOIL ADVERTISES ARCHANGEL DIAMOND MINE FOR SALE

By John Helmer, Moscow

LUKoil, the second largest of Russia’s oil producers and exporters, is thinking of disposing of its northwestern Russian diamond mine known as Grib, selling the subsidiary Arkhangelskgeoldobycha (AGD) which has held the controversial mining licence through fifteen years of litigation and arbitration with Archangel Diamond Corporation (ADC), a De Beers-owned company until its bankruptcy in 2010.

This isn’t the first time LUKoil has advertised such a sale. Because of the unresolved litigation and the mountain of evidence it has produced, the asset may be unsellable, at least to a foreign buyer. But if timing and tattle are telling against the sale, then is LUKoil doing no more than asking the state, through Alrosa, to take the diamond-mine off its hands at a conveniently high price?
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FIRST CAT’S PAW AWARD FOR 2012 – CATHERINE BELTON, THE FINANCIAL TIMES, AND SOLLY THE BENEFICENT DERVISH

By John Helmer, Moscow

The committee of administrators of the Personal Abasement Award (PAW), having sat on their hands for two years, have decided to nominate Catherine Belton (image left) and the Financial Times for a presentation of the affairs of Suleiman Kerimov (right) at the very moment he has been trying (failing) to cash out his stake in Polyus Gold with a merger into Polymetal.

The PAW award rules and procedures, along with the roll of past winners, can be found here. At this stage of the nominating process, the rules require that “each candidate will be advised of his nomination before publication, and given the opportunity to clarify meaning, and plead truth or justification.”
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PARACHUTE FAILURE — SCHILLINGS HITS THE ROCK AT THE END OF THE LONG JUMP

By John Helmer, Moscow

Depending on whose opinion you trust, there’s not a great deal of difference between the business of Rod Christie-Miller (image) and the business of Anton Malevsky. It’s the business of conveying fear to motivate action – or inaction. A parachute jump put an end to Malevsky’s line of work. The UK High Court decision on February 10 in the case of Nathaniel Rothschild and Associated Newspapers Limited may have put an end to at least one of Christie-Miller’s lines, the threat business; at least, the threat Schillings regularly issues to sue reporters and publishers investigating Russian oligarchs and their business relationships with western bankers.
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DERIPASKA BRANDED, ROTHSCHILD PILLORIED – THE UK HIGH COURT BECOMES THE MOST DANGEROUS PLACE ON EARTH FOR RUSSIAN OLIGARCHS

By John Helmer, Moscow

In the London marketplace, there are less circumspect descriptions of the way Nathaniel Rothschild (image top) behaves in the presence of Oleg Deripaska (image front right). Last week, the UK High Court Justice Sir Michael Tugendhat decided the term which applies is that Rothschild ingratiates himself with Deripaska for financial gain.

The judge also ruled that in launching a defamation case against the Daily Mail newspaper and its proprietor, Associated Newspapers Ltd., Rothschild changed his evidence, either confusing or contradicting himself, and claiming memory failure on key points. That amounts to a ruling that Rothschild has been either a fool or a liar in his attempt to punish public reporting of what he has been up to with Deripaska. “I do not accept,” wrote Justice Tugendhat, “that there is a clear line between the business and the personal sides of Mr Rothschild’s relationship with Mr Deripaska. They have very extensive business relationships.”
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NAT ROTHSCHILD, OLEG DERIPASKA, PETER MANDELSON AND SCHILLINGS ARE DEFEATED IN THE HIGH COURT – JUSTICE TUGENDHAT FINDS TRUTH IS DEFENCE AGAINST LIBEL

By John Helmer, Moscow

The UK High Court action by the Schillings law firm, acting for Nathaniel Rothschild in a libel claim against the Daily Mail and Associated Newspapers, was dismissed today by Justice Sir Michael Tugendhat. The ruling also undermines libel threats by Schillings acting for Deripaska against newspapers in South Africa, Hong Kong, London, and the US, setting a new standard for reporting on the business affairs of Russian oligarchs, their bankers, and public officials whom they attempt to influence.
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PUTIN TO INTRODUCE PENITENCE SILVER FOR OLIGARCHS

By John Helmer, Moscow

Ten months ago in Russia, the venerable Chinese idea of penitence silver was proposed as a method of making the most powerful wrongdoers of the land pay for their sins — at least their original ones. It was recommended as an alternative to that Bolshevik cue, Expropriate the Expropriators!; the Khodorkovsky remedy, or the Chinese invitation to commit suicide (allowing the heirs to retain the dead man’s estate).

The original idea was Emperor Qianlong’s, whose 59-year rule came to a close in 1795, when he decided to step down from the throne. His plan was to prepare a retirement home in a corner of Beijing’s Forbidden City, and stock it with treasures to keep his mind occupied instead of power politics.
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THE SALMON, THE SALMONELLA AND THE RED HERRING

By John Helmer, Moscow

There is no family relationship between the fish and the bacteria; the latter are named after their discoverer, Daniel Elmer Salmon (1850-1914). But how much of a relationship there may be at the moment between salmonella in Norwegian salmon and Russian fish-eating security depends on another creature, the land-based red herring.

On the surface, according to Rosselkhoznadzor (RSKN), the federal service for veterinary and phytosanitary inspection, the half-billion dollar per year fish trade from Norway may be banned because of recent discoveries of salmonella and coliform infections in batches of imported salmon and other fish products. The threat was delivered in a letter, released on February 6, from RSKN to the Norwegian counterpart agency, referring to Russian laboratory evidence of the dangerous substances in the Norwegian imports.
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SECHIN ORDERS BOARDING PARTY AGAINST SUMMA AT NOVOROSSIYSK

By John Helmer, Moscow

Deputy Prime Minister Igor Sechin (image centre), the overseer of Russia’s ports and shipping, as well as of the trade which passes through them, has recommended that the state shareholdings in Novorossiysk Commercial Seaport Company (NMTP is the Russian ticker, NCSP the English) be sold to Rosneft, the state oil company. This is according to a January 31 letter from Sechin to Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, which leaked to Moscow media yesterday. Government sources are neither confirming nor denying the letter; the government decision has yet to be made.
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THE ZYUZIN SMUDGE: WHAT IS SO SECRET ABOUT MECHEL’S STAINLESS STEEL PRODUCTION ONLY THE US GOVERNMENT IS ALLOWED TO KNOW?

By John Helmer, Moscow

Mechel, the steelmaker and coalminer owned by Igor Zyuzin, is the dominant producer in Russia of the type of alloyed steel known in the English-speaking world as stainless. In French, it is known as inox (inoxydable).

Neither term is quite accurate, but what is meant is everywhere clear. Because the steel includes chrome alloy, it is more resistant to corrosion and discolouration (effects of oxidation). Adding nickel and manganese alloys also helps this resistance and preserves the sheen of the steel.
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BRUSHING UP THE FUTURE – IGOR YURGENS PAINTS MEDVEDEV OUT OF THE PRIME MINISTRY

By John Helmer, Moscow

After he left Soviet trade union and youth organization work behind, Igor Yurgens became an advocate of the commercial Russian insurance industry. So he knows how to calculate risk and how to write an insurance premium to cover it. The Centre for Contemporary Development (INSOR), which Yurgens directs, has been widely viewed as the brain’s trust for Dmitry Medvedev’s run at a second term. But when Yurgens suggests the names of others more likely to become prime minister, after Vladimir Putin wins the presidential election in March, his assessment warrants careful attention. Like all insurance policies, it’s a good idea to read the small print.
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VLADIMIR LISIN TOSSES OLEG DERIPASKA OUT OF THE RING – PREPARES TO TAKE OVER VANINO PORT

By John Helmer, Moscow

Oleg Deripaska appears to have lost a nine-year long battle to take control of Vanino, an eastern seabord port on which Deripaska depends for imports of alumina to feed his aluminium smelters in Siberia, and to load finished aluminium for export to buyers in the US and East Asia.

The man who appears to have bested him is Vladimir Lisin, the steelmaker. The tussle for the port, on the Tatar Strait and the Sea of Okhotsk, won’t be over until Lisin wins the bidding for the state control shareholding – if he wins. But the flags now flying from the Vanino flagpole signal that Lisin has once again won over Deputy Prime Minister Igor Sechin, the key decision-maker in the government for both the resources sector and for the maritime sector.
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RUSSIA BIGGERIZED — A DOSE OF QUADRATURIN FOR SIGIZMUND KRZHIZHANOVSKY’S BIRTHDAY

By John Helmer, Moscow

Quadraturin was the stuff which, when squeezed out of a tube and painted on the walls of an 8 square-metre Moscow room, turned it into a much larger one. Biggerized it — is the translator’s term from the Russian.

Russian politicians have been using it for years, long before the arrival in Moscow of $1,000-per hour election technology consultants from the US National Endowment for Democracy.

The author, who is enjoying a boomlet of revival in the literary salons of London and New York at the moment, is considered to be an “experimental realist” (who isn’t?). To help his books sell, he’s also being called “one of the greatest Russian writers of the last century”.
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MORDASHOV’S SEVERSTAL TAKES A TUMBLE

By John Helmer, Moscow

In the final quarter of 2011, Severstal, owned by Alexei Mordashov, lost its footing from the previous quarter as Russia’s leading steelmaker, falling behind Evraz, owned by Roman Abramovich, and Novolipetsk Metallurgical Combine (Vladimir Lisin) in total production of crude steel.

The chart, issued this morning by Alfa Bank steel analyst Barry Ehrlich, reveals what Ehrlich calls “a major negative surprise”. The recent production cutback is bigger at Severstal than for any of the five Russian steel majors.
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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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