ZIYAVUDIN MAGOMEDOV HASN’T READ JONATHAN SWIFT’S MAXIM THAT ONE ENEMY CAN DO MORE HURT THAN TEN FRIENDS CAN DO GOOD (RIGHT NOW HE CAN’T COUNT TEN FRIENDS)

By John Helmer, Moscow

If it’s true, as folk say, that you can’t keep a good man down, are crooked men equally irrepressible? The case of Ziyavudin Magomedov (lead image, right) —  plaintiff in New York State Supreme Court;  in prison on remand and a defendant in Moscow city court — is an example of either one or the other. At the very least, Magomedov is proving that muslims can have chutzpah. (more…)

SECRET MEETING IN WARSAW BETWEEN YULIA TIMOSHENKO AND IGOR KOLOMOISKY – NEW PLAN FOR UKRAINE, MORE WAR WITH RUSSIA

By John Helmer, Moscow

In the Polish capital of Warsaw a fortnight ago, Igor Kolomoisky met secretly with Yulia Tymoshenko. The reason for the secrecy is the terms of exchange which they discussed. These include Tymoshenko’s agreement that if she is elected president in Kiev in eight months’ time with Kolomoisky’s support, he will get relief from Ukrainian state pursuit of billions of his dollars currently frozen on British court orders. (more…)

VLADIMIR PUTIN MAKES FRESH START IN SOUTH AFRICA

By John Helmer, Moscow

When it comes to support for President Vladimir Putin’s international positions, the South African (SA) Government has been among the most consistent and enthusiastic of any in the world. However, Russian policy in South Africa has been damaged by the behaviour of Russian oligarchs and state businesses implicated in the corrupt schemes of former SA president Jacob Zuma; he is now facing multiple indictments for seeking and taking bribes for himself and his family.  Putin’s landing in Johannesburg on Thursday ought to have been the signal for a fresh start. (more…)

THE HELSINKI REFERENDUM FOR DONBASS – PUTIN OPTS FOR NO-WIN, NO-LOSE; US REJECTS SWAP OF DONBASS FOR CRIMEA

By John Helmer, Moscow

President Vladimir Putin (lead image, left) has announced a new policy of withdrawal from eastern Ukraine under cover of a referendum to confirm the sovereignty of Kiev.

No, hold it. Putin has announced an old policy in a new way in the English-language press.  

No, no – an old policy, already rejected in private by the US Government and the Kiev regime, was announced by Putin to President Donald Trump in Helsinki on July 16. That was in case Trump  hadn’t been told or hadn’t thought of it. It was also for Putin and the Russian military command, the Stavka, to demonstrate to each other that the US will agree to no Russian withdrawal agreement until Crimea is recovered. 

In the Russian language media, there is only one Russian explaining this means war without end. That’s Igor Strelkov (right), the former leader of the Donbass uprising in 2014. He says Putin’s  formula for the Ukraine settlement  is “chewing gum” he wants to spit out when noone is looking. “But there are some political signals that up to the present moment the capitulation of DNR  [Donetsk People’s Republic] and LNR [Lugansk People’s Republic] is not planned.  If it was so, Russia wouldn’t have eased the migration rules for Donbass citizens. So this idea is temporarily closed. Another idea — will the Ukrainian armed forces be defeated? A ceasefire isn’t possible without it.”  That’s what Russians military sources call the Syrian solution. (more…)

MECHEL IS THE SERIAL POISONER OF CHELYABINSK — ALEXANDER SHOKHIN DOESN’T ADMIT TO BEING DEPUTY CHAIRMAN IN CHARGE OF MECHEL’S SCHEME OF KILL FEES

By John Helmer, Moscow

Mother Nature, Greenpeace  and the National Geographic Magazine believe that killer whales  (lead image, left) are predators of the sea who have been misnamed. They are dolphins who kill whales (also seals, sea lions, sharks, and occasionally, when they get upset, a zoo-keeper). 

In Chelyabinsk, environment investigators  and city residents  believe  that the Mechel steel, coke and coal company is a predator which kills people with air and waterborne pollution. The control shareholder of Mechel, Igor Zyuzin (lead image, right) employs people. He employs Alexander Shokhin (centre) to use his influence with the Kremlin and officials of the federal and regional governments to guard Mechel and make sure it isn’t stopped doing what it does.

Mechel ought to say what that is, according to the rules of the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) as a public shareholding company listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). Except that as a Russian company, Rule 405, Rule 3b-4,  and Rule 12g3-2(b) exempt “foreign private issuers” from the same standards of disclosure as apply to US resident companies.   This doesn’t mean the SEC allows Mechel to get away with, er murder; it is obliged to comply with Russian laws against that. But if it is operating illegally on Russian territory, its reports to the SEC and NYSE don’t have to say so.

Accordingly, when Shokhin is telephoned and emailed at his office in Moscow,  he knows the American rules don’t oblige him to answer any question about his job at Mechel, including how much the company pays him as Zyuzin’s deputy on the board of directors. Shokhin is diving deep under the surface where he can’t be seen -– and the American rules make it legal for him to do it. The cure for Mechel’s poisoning of Chelyabinsk which Shokhin has persuaded his friends in government to allow is simple – Mechel pays the government a small amount of money for its poisons, tax deductible. (more…)

WARFIGHTING STRATEGY AFTER HELSINKI — TIT FOR TAT, SHIT FOR SHAT

By John Helmer, Moscow

In the armchair warrior’s version of game theory played with and without nuclear weapons, there’s a special place for the calculation of strategic deterrence that’s called tit for tat. President Vladimir Putin and President Donald Trump agreed between themselves that in the tit-for-tat game between the Kremlin and the White House, anticipating, reciprocating and deterring are best achieved by cooperating.

That word was used nineteen times in the presidents’ news conference. It appeared nine times in Putin’s opening statement; four times in Trump’s opening statement; and six times in Putin’s answers to questions.

Because the two sides had agreed in advance not to issue an official communiqué revealing (to Trump’s adversaries at home) what they had agreed, these remarks were staged in front of the cameras instead. Cooperation was the obvious point of agreement. However, since they left Helsinki, lower-level American officials and their media – Russian officials and their media,  too — have replaced tit for tat for shit for shat. That’s information warfare jargon for opening the mouth and talking drivel. (more…)

JULY 17 IS THE FOURTH ANNIVERSARY OF THE MH17 ATTACK – TIME AND REASON TO DOUBT THE ALLEGATIONS

By Eric van de Beek and Max van der Werff, Amsterdam*

Max, a year ago we looked back extensively on three years of MH17. Which are for you the most important events and developments over the past year?

Without any doubt the liability of the Russian Federation claimed by the Netherlands and Australia and then the first real firm denial by President Vladimir Putin. The positions on what really happened can no longer be reconciled and both parties cannot go back any more. (more…)

DMITRY PESKOV COACHES VLADIMIR PUTIN AT HELSINKI GAME

By John Helmer, Moscow

President Vladimir Putin’s side of the brunch table at the Helsinki summit almost matched President Donald Trump’s side. Seven sets of knives, forks and spoons;  six officials, one interpreter, matching lieutenant-generals. The odd man out — that’s to say in — was Dmitry Peskov, the Kremlin spokesman. Peskov’s White House counterpart, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, was excluded.  Peskov wrote notes during the delegation meeting; his contribution became public during the press conference of the two presidents which followed. (more…)

ROBERT MUELLER REPLACES US CONSTITUTION WITH ROYAL LETTRE DE CACHET – COUNTER-INTELLIGENCE OPERATION AS DUE PROCESS

By John Helmer, Moscow

Robert Mueller (lead image), the special US prosecutor of crimes of espionage between Moscow and Washington, picked July 13 to issue his indictment of twelve alleged Russian military intelligence officers for doing their jobs on evidence collected by US intelligence officers doing their jobs.

The Russian crime alleged by Mueller in Paragraph 1 of the indictment  was  “large-scale cyber operations to interfere with the 2016 U.S. presidential election.” The US crime, revealed by Mueller but unindicted so far by the Russian General Prosecutor, was large-scale cyber operations to interfere with Russian state security.

Mueller could not have picked a more auspicious date if he weren’t an ignoramus on the history of autocracy and democracy, European and American. For it is one day later, on July 14, when every year France celebrates the start of the French Revolution. The reason for the celebration is the end of abuse of power by kings and pretenders to state authority, and their replacement by the democratic rule of law. That revolution, like the annual celebration, isn’t quite over.

What Mueller did this year was to issue what was called, before July 14, 1789, a lettre de cachet – a letter with the royal signet or seal.  In the French practice, this was a combination of indictment, conviction, and order for arrest, confiscation of property,  and punishment of an individual, who had no right in law to know the charge against him; prove the evidence;  appeal the sentence.

The Mueller indictment of twelve officers of the Russian military intelligence agency, GRU (Main Intelligence Directorate of the General Staff) is a fresh US-Government style lettre de cachet. It names the men accused, their crimes,  and the punishment.  The penalties include “upon conviction [the twelve] shall forfeit to the United States any property, real or personal, which constitutes or is derived from proceeds obtained directly or indirectly as a result of such violation, and any personal property that was used or intended to be used to commit or to facilitate the commission of such offense.”

Mueller has neither the power nor the intention of trying the accused, or the particulars of his lettre,  in an American court of law. This is why on July 13 he intended to violate the Fifth Amendment of the US Constitution, first introduced in Philadelphia on June 8, 1789, just a month before the lettre de cachet lost its power in Paris.  The Fifth Amendment says noone shall be “deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law.” (more…)

FOR AND AGAINST IGOR SECHIN – JUDGEMENT BY THE CHIEF MAGISTRATE OF ENGLAND, JUNE 28, 2018

By John Helmer, Moscow

In a ruling issued on June 28 and now publicly available, the Chief Magistrate of England, Emma Arbuthnot, has dismissed an application by Russian prosecutors for extradition of Andrei Votinov. He is charged in Russia with fraud against the Rosneft subsidiary, the Tuapse Oil Refinery. The 33-page judgement is a rare test in an international court of the reputation of Igor Sechin, chief executive of Rosneft.   

Arbuthnot rejected allegations by Votinov that Sechin was persecuting him or that Sechin had played an improper role in Rosneft’s audit and subsequent complaint of fraud.  She dismissed Votinov’s claim that he was being targeted by Sechin because he had “stood against Rosneft’s political support for the regime.”

The judge also rejected the claims by a British academic, Richard Sakwa, who testified on Votinov’s behalf to the court  that the case had been fabricated against him,  motivated by personal vindictiveness on Sechin’s part and by Votinov’s political views.

Nonetheless, Arbuthnot dismissed the extradition request by the Russian prosecutors and released Votinov. Because of “the prominent role of the complainant [Rosneft] in this case and the false statement given by a senior investigator [Murat Tkhakakhov] ,” Arbuthnot wrote in her judgement, “I find the facts in this case lead me to the conclusion that this is one of those exceptional cases where the defendant [Votinov] has shown there is a real risk that he will suffer a flagrant denial of justice if he were to be extradited to the Russian Federation.” (more…)

LAKE BAIKAL DROWNS TO SAVE OLEG DERIPASKA FROM SANCTIONS

By John Helmer, Moscow

Until the moment in April, when the US Government attacked Oleg Deripaska and his companies, including Rusal, the state aluminium monopoly,  his revenues, earnings and profits were looking up, and not only because the aluminium price had been rising. The electricity sale revenues of EN+ were also climbing, even though production of electricity was flat. Profits, most of which flow as dividends to Deripaska and his associates, might have been even greater,  EN+  reported last month to the London Stock Exchange, if not for the reduction of water flow down the Angara River and into Lake Baikal.  Less water through the sluices to the turbines means less electricity and aluminium; that means less profit in Deripaska’s pocket.

EN+ blames the water problem on the weather. Rivers Without Boundaries (RWB), a leading non-governmental organization devoted to protecting Lake Baikal and the river systems which feed it, announced last week that EN+ is to blame for water flow policies which threaten the lake with a combination of flooding in the wet season and reduced waterflows in the dry.  “[The] long-lasting negative social and environmental impacts which go unmitigated for decades,” says Evgeny Simonov of RWB, “are a far greater threat posed by En+ Group to the global security and well-being of the population of Russia than the alleged political implications of its owner’s activity.”

RWB is also charging that last December Deripaska was behind a federal government decree which puts a stop to 16-year old standards for the water volumes entering Lake Baikal from the Angara River.  This decree, signed by Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev on December 27, permits a much wider fluctuation in the lake’s minimum and maximum water levels than the Russian government and its experts judged  environmentally safe in 2001.   Medvedev’s decree allows Deripaska to divert more river water into his turbines in the dry season, and release more water in the flood season.

And there’s the rub. Until Deripaska’s profit prospects and share value collided with the US Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC),  the biggest threat to his profit line was the declining water levels of the river system passing through the Angara River cascade and hydropower complex, and thence to the falling water level of Lake Baikal. For remedy, Deripaska had persuaded the Kremlin to save his profit last December by allowing him to continue generating more hydropower and delivering less water than is good for Lake Baikal. (more…)

SERGEI KIRIENKO’S MEDAL FOR HEROISM, AND THE TALE OF THE DONKEY WHO DID IN THE BISHOP

By John Helmer, Moscow

President Vladimir Putin (left) has appointed his deputy chief of staff Sergei Kirienko (right) “Hero of Russia”, the highest award for personal valour in the table of Russian state decorations.   

Kirienko’s career includes presiding as prime minister over the 1998 default by the Russian  treasury, the only sovereign default since  repudiation of the tsar’s debts in 1918. More recently as head of Rosatom, Kirienko directed the failure to persuade the corrupt South African government to buy $50 billion worth of nuclear reactors.  The money involved in these feats was heroic in value, but until now Kirienko has not been judged to have performed pluckily enough in medallion terms.

Exactly which of Kirienko’s feats have warranted the hero award have not been disclosed publicly because the Putin decree remains a state secret.  Kremlin sources have told the state news agency Tass and other Russian media the decree was signed by Putin early in March, and remained secret until this week.

Asked to explain why Kirienko’s courage should be classified, the Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said  yesterday : “I do not comment on this message”.  Which is a reminder of the tale of the priest, the donkey, and the press. (more…)

RUSSIAN FOREIGN POLICY ACCORDING TO THE ROUTLEDGE HANDBOOK FOR ACADEMICS

By John Helmer, Moscow

The Routledge Handbook of Russian Foreign Policy is a 450-page compendium by academics who earn modest livings in think-tanks at places in North America or Europe like Louisville, Hamburg, San Francisco, Rhode Island, Edinburgh, West Virginia, South Carolina, Southern California,  Newcastle, Uppsala, Tartu, and Helsinki. In the book Russian academics in Russia are outnumbered by the westerners by 26 to 8; all are on small state-paid livings led by Andrei Sushenkov, programme director at the Valdai Discussion Club. That 14-year old think-tank is financed by the Kremlin information chief Alexander Gromov and the president’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov.  

The handbook proprietor,  once a well-known 19th century London publisher, is now the US  conglomerate Informa. It operates on the principle of Gresham’s Law – the more information you produce for sale, the less likelihood you will be outsold by the truth.  The Valdai Discussion Club and other think-tank creations in Moscow have been described by President Vladimir Putin as a “propaganda machine” to compete with their Anglo-American counterparts. To a Kremlin sponsored journalist, their output is “political marijuana smoke.”    

The handbook writers must be approaching retirement because they dedicate their work “to the younger generation of scholars of Russian foreign policy”.  The book begins: “The importance of studying Russian foreign policy (RFP) today is as great as ever.” By page 450 this is neither more  obvious, nor less.   (more…)

THE SALE OF ANOTHER CENTURY – THE PUTIN-TRUMP SUMMIT

By John Helmer, Moscow

When cynical and unscrupulous men are desperate, they become as predictable as if they were principled. The difference between such men is hard to tell.

Not since the Alaska Purchase of 1867 have the rulers of Moscow and Washington been as desperate to sell something to each other for a price the press and public opinion on both sides are unprepared to calculate or accept.  When President Vladimir Putin (lead image, left) and President Donald Trump (right) meet in a fortnight, this price will be a secret both of them will agree to keep to protect themselves from adversaries at home more powerful than they are themselves.

With two weeks still to go for preparations, so far only the terms the US side intends to table are in the public domain. No Russian government official, think-tank expert, or reporter has published an account of what the Russian terms will be.

During the Kremlin meeting last week between Putin and Trump’s national security advisor, John Bolton, one clue was visible. This was the appearance of the Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu on the Russian side of table, alongside the president’s foreign affairs advisor Yury Ushakov and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. Shoigu wasn’t matched by a military officer or Pentagon counterpart on the American side of the table. So Shoigu wasn’t present to speak. He was there to listen, and to report to the General Staff what the US side is proposing – and not less significant, what Putin had to say. Shoigu’s presence was a signal that on the Russian side, the military do not quite trust the president — their own, not the other one. (more…)

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.”

(more…)

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.

(more…)

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.  

(more…)

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.”

(more…)

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.

(more…)

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.

(more…)

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.

(more…)

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.

(more…)

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.

(more…)

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.

(more…)
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