Andrei Melnichenko’s Eurochem group, one of Russia’s largest producers of fertilizers, has responded to a New York lawsuit this month from Alexander Mashkevich’s International Mineral Resources (IMR). Mashkevich is accusing Melnichenko of paying American agents to hack into his company computers, steal sensitive information, and promote litigation and propaganda damaging to Mashkevich and his companies’ reputations. Melnichenko says he has been vindicated.
In a press release issued in Moscow yesterday, Eurochem announced it has won “favourable decisions” from a US federal district court in Washington, DC, whose rulings followed a week after the IMR filed its accusations in the New York Supreme Court. Eurochem, its release says, “has obtained favorable judicial decisions in its legal dispute with a contractor retained for the construction of the cage shaft at the Group’s potash mining project in Russia’s Gremyachinskoe deposit. On November 17-18, 2015, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia issued a series of decisions rejecting all allegations that the consulting expert hired by EuroChem-VolgaKaliy had engaged in unlawful information-gathering activity.” The contractor referred to in the judgement is Shaft Sinkers, an associated company of IMR under Mashkevich’s control.
The opening of the Washington court files, which had remained sealed or unreported for more than a year, also exposes a world of Washington lobbying and propaganda targeted at the Kazakhstan Government and President Nursultan Nazarbayev. (more…)
A generation ago, a Greek prime minister, whom the Soviet Politburo in Moscow underestimated, defeated a Turkish attack on Greek territory. That was Prime Minister Andreas Papandreou; the victory was the battle of the Aegean of March 26, 1987. Before that, no Russian had defeated a Turkish attack for more than a hundred years. Since 1991 Russians say Turkey has been “not merely a close neighbour, but a friendly state.” (more…)
Proof that oligarchs have more money than sense isn’t hard to come by. For a man with no business reputation left to lose in London to ask a jury in New York to judge his business rival to be a scoundrel is a proof that Alexander Mashkevich (lead image, with glasses), control shareholder of International Mineral Resources, is determined to test against Andrei Melnichenko (lead image, without glasses), owner of the Eurochem fertilizer group.
International Mineral Resources (IMR), a Dutch company owned by Mashkevich and his two partners, Patokh Chodiev and Alijan Ibragimov, has been an offshoot of Eurasian Natural Resources Corporation (ENRC). When ENRC was at the peak of its London Stock Exchange value, Mashkevich was worth over $3 billion. He’s down to less than $2 billion now, according to Forbes which doesn’t count liabilities. Melnichenko, whose debts are also not counted by Forbes, is reported to be worth over $8 billion. By the arithmetical rule, having four times more money than Mashkevich, Melnichenko should have one-quarter the common sense. Or is it the other way round? (more…)
Otkritie Bank has received Rb157 billion from the Central Bank of Russia (CBR) and the Deposit Insurance Agency (DIA) to rescue Trust Bank from bankruptcy. It is the second largest bailout in Russian bank history for what may be the longest lasting and most expensive bank fraud by its shareholders. But thus far the CBR, DIA and Otkritie have pursued in Moscow only a fraction of the money that has been lost, while the money trail leads to Cyprus, and to offshore entities operated from Cyprus. “Inexplicably”, observes an international bank regulator specializing in money laundering by Russian banks, “they won’t do the obvious — pursue the perpetrators of the Trust Bank fraud offshore where all the money went.” (more…)
A federal US judge and jury have dismissed a billion-dollar claim by Oleg Deripaska’s companies against investment bank Morgan Stanley after three years of litigation and two weeks of trial in a Manhattan courtroom. The jury verdict was announced on November 13.
The case is the first in which Deripaska, chief executive and control shareholder of Rusal, Russian Machines and Basic Element, and Gulzhan Moldazhanova, his closest aide for more than a decade, have testified under cross-examination in a US court. Commencing with an initial filing against several international banks on August 3, 2012, the case has continued for three years and three months. Before the trial opened on November 2, the presiding judge McMahon had dismissed six other banks listed as defendants in Deripaska’s claim, and rejected all but one of the charges against Morgan Stanley. (more…)
The university that taught generations of American leaders that their manifest destiny is to make war on uncivilized people around the world is having a bad time of it, now that the US has lost the last four straight; and the losers are streaming in for their take of the manifest. Streaming into Europe, that is, but not into Harvard University, nor the state of Massachusetts, nor the United States.
It was comical when Timothy Colton, Harvard’s professor of Russian studies, turned out, a year ago, to be paid by a branch of the Pentagon to spy on the body movements of President Vladimir Putin. It was laughable last week when the Harvard Centre of European Studies, financed by the Seagram businesses, engaged Radoslaw Sikorski, the ousted Polish foreign minister, to teach. “The pursuit of ‘Veritas,’ as in Harvard’s motto, is always exciting,” the university quoted Sikorski as saying.
But now comes Professor Niall Ferguson, on Rupert Murdoch’s tab, to declaim that the reason for the terrorism which has stormed the boulevards and entertainments of Paris is that the French, and the European Union (EU), deserve it because they have let their guard down, inviting the barbarians in by “complacency”, “secularism”, and “decadence”. Like the Romans deserved the Visigoths and the Vandals, according to this Harvard version of the history of civilization, the Europeans deserve “the uncannily similar processes destroying the European Union today.” (more…)
The three Russians with the largest fortunes in California are Mikhail Lesin, Leonid Lebedev, and Mikhail Abyzov. Lesin, a former government minister and Kremlin advisor on mass media, was found dead in a Washington, DC, hotel room on November 6; his death is being investigated by the homicide squad of the local police. Lebedev, a former senator, was forced to resign his Federation Council seat in April of this year; he announced the sale of his last Russian oilfield asset this month, and he is now on the run from Russian fraud charges. Abyzov is alive and well; he is the Minister of Open Government in the current Russian cabinet. (more…)
For Russians to eat as much cheese as they want, there aren’t enough cows in Russia, and too many palm trees in Malaysia. The impact of year-old sanctions in cutting off the flow of imported cheese from Russia’s suppliers in Europe is to stimulate the production of domestic cheese. But at the same time Russian cheesemakers face a lack of raw milk supplies. To feed the market, palm oil is being used instead for products the Russian dairy industry is calling fake. If the Russian milk supply is to match rising demand, then Russian farmers and traders say the government must subsidize the cost of domestic milk production and deter palm-oil substitution.
“Adulteration by palm oil and bad politics behind sanctions have produced an impossible position for the dairy producers,” says an independent dairy farmer near Moscow. “Today we cannot produce enough affordable cheese for the masses! In provincial supermarkets and shops pseudo-cheese is being sold at Rb500 to Rb600 a kilo. This is impossible when the average supermarket insists on its mark-up of 100%. For one kilo of genuine cheese you need 10 to 11 litres of milk. That means a minimum cost for one kilo of cheese of Rb300 – and that’s just the cost of the milk.” (more…)
The Bible is clear on what horny musclemen like Samson should beware. If they want to go bed with Delilah types, they may wake up without their hair on.
Oleg Deripaska, control shareholder of the Russian aluminium monopoly Rusal and of Russian Machines, a holding of automobile and automotive component manufacturers, is suing Morgan Stanley, the US investment bank, for cheating him of billions of dollars of profit in order to make a quick profit itself of “tens of millions of dollars”. The claims, kept sealed by a New York federal court judge until recently, reveal inside dealing between Deripaska and Canadian businessman Frank Stronach, which Canadian investment institutions and the Canadian press had tried to oppose when their deal was first made in 2007.
Deripaska is now accusing Morgan Stanley of insider dealing in a jury trial under way this month. The trial has required Deripaska and his long-time money manager, Gulzhan Moldazhanova, to face cross-examination in a US court for the first time. Deripaska testified by videolink yesterday; Moldazhanova was on the stand on Monday and Tuesday. (more…)
Australian and Dutch police investigating the evidence of the shootdown of Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17 have gone public in disagreement with their superiors and with their governments’ political leaders. The split has opened between forensic investigators and police on the one hand, who say they aren’t convinced what weapon caused the crash, or who fired it; and politicians on the other hand, who blame the Kremlin. (more…)
Radoslaw Sikorski (lead image, right) plotted with the owner of Polish coalmines and electricity plants to use European Union sanctions against Russia to stop imports of rival, low-cost Russian coal in the Polish market. A clandestine tape-recording of a conversation between Sikorski, who was Poland’s foreign minister at the time, and Jan Kulczyk (lead image, left), one of Poland’s wealthiest businessmen, appeared in Warsaw this week. It reveals the first direct evidence that Sikorski, one of the most outspoken advocates of economic war against Russia, was engaged in war profiteering for himself and his friends. (more…)
Noone holds Chrystia Freeland in higher esteem than she does. When she was the Financial Times correspondent in Moscow, she would react to correction or criticism by screaming down the telephone receiver. That’s when, among her fellow reporters, she picked up the Hysteria Freeland handle. That also is the assessment, according to two people familiar with the matter, of Canada’s new prime minister, Justin Trudeau, when he decided to drop Freeland from each of the cabinet portfolios she had proposed for herself, naming her instead Minister of International Trade.
Few of Freeland’s predecessors in that portfolio, first created in 1983, have lasted more than two years in the job; none has gone on to higher office or political prominence. To Canadian political analysts this is the prime minister’s intention for Freeland. “The point of no return”, cracks an Ottawa veteran. “Trudeau is making sure Freeland can’t challenge him or anyone else for the top job.” In Brussels, a central European diplomat adds: “Freeland is going down the Russophobic road the Polish Foreign Minister Radek Sikorski and his American wife, Anne Applebaum, have taken. That’s to say, down – and out. Is Russophobia out now in Canada?” (more…)
For the first time in the international art auction market, paintings of the Soviet period between 1930 and 1990 have been auctioned in London, setting market benchmarks for several of the styles and genres included in the show, and a multi-million pound record for Aleksandr Deineka, a Moscow-based artist who died in 1969. According to William MacDougall, director of the eponymous auction house with offices in London, Moscow, Paris and Kiev, “the market [demand] for Soviet Art is rising, and it was a very successful sale.”
“Nothing short of a miracle”, commented James Butterwick, a London art dealer and specialist on Russian art. “Hats off to MacDougall’s for having the foresight and bravery to…sell Soviet Realist art. There are regular auctions in Moscow, though admittedly their quality is not as good, and they have never had such good results.”
“MacDougall’s could be on to something,” reported Simon Hewitt, international editor of Russian Art + Culture. “Until now, mainstream Soviet painting – broadly equating to Socialist Realism, though extending into the ‘Soviet Impressionism’ of the 1950s and ‘Severe Style’ of the 1960s – has looked a poor relation when sandwiched in auction catalogues between the Avant-Garde and the Non-Conformists. Parading it centre-stage grants it fresh coherence and respectability, underlining its nostalgic motherland appeal to Russians who cannot afford an Ayvazovsky or a Shishkin… Things needed shaking up. MacDougall’s have delivered.” (more…)
Since the US started the regime dominoes falling in Kiev in February 2014, the Polish regime has already toppled, and the French one is doomed – President Francois Hollande will be defeated by every one of the candidates now running to succeed him, including Marine Le Pen of the National Front. The British Prime Minister David Cameron can postpone his day of reckoning, but on the margins of Europe, not inside. The German Chancellor Angela Merkel has less time, fewer supporters. When Merkel topples, she will take the European Union (EU) into the shambles with her.
Russia, under constant attack by the US, Germany, France and Britain in the war to overthrow President Vladimir Putin, is now the only European country to show more, not less voter support for the incumbent leadership. It is also the only one with the capability to repel unwanted migration; convert its economy to domestically sustainable growth; and defeat its foreign enemies by force. The war to defend Europe from Russia is destroying Europe, fast. (more…)
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.”
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 bilificationof society.
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.