MAY DAY! MAYDAY!

By John Helmer, Moscow

Every spring, when it’s certain no more snow will fall on Moscow, it helps to remember these things, and look forward with hope.    (more…)

RUSSIANS GO BANANAS IN PHILIPPINES, PROMISE INVESTMENT OF $600 MILLION

By John Helmer, Moscow

This is the Bangsamoro banana, and somebody is slipping on it.

On April 4 two young business partners, a Russian named Lev Dengov and a Turkmen, Merdan Gurbanov, with no known source of capital or past business record, signed an agreement to invest almost $600 million in the Bangsamoro region of the Philippines island of Mindanao. Their agreement commits them to creating one of the largest plantations on the island to grow bananas and pineapples for export;  the development of the regional  port of Polloc for storing and shipping the fruit; and the supply of Russian fertilizers to Filipino planters.

Presiding at the agreement signing was Emmanuel Piñol, the Agriculture Secretary and minister in charge in the Philippines Government. Two weeks later, Piñol publicized the extraordinary deal to the Russian press. Since then, however, he refuses to say how the deal was arranged; where the money will be coming from; and how the investment will be protected in an area which has been a battleground  between government forces and Islamic secession movements for the past fifty years.

Dengov and Gurbanov have also gone incommunicado, leaving behind them a trail of plans for corporate registrations around the world, a six-month old company on the register of UK Companies House;  and a prospectus for a $400 million investment in a self-service crypto-currency payment system in Russia and the CIS states.

Planters Products Incorporated (PPI), the Filipino fertilizer importer which signed in the deal with Piñol,  Dengov and Gurbanov, has cut off its telephone line; its executives don’t answer their emails.

Five of the leading banana importers to Russia, which source most of their fruit from Central and South America, won’t say what they know about the Bangsamoro Banana project, or even if they think a new scheme of importing bananas and pineapples from the Philippines might be commercially viable at any price. (more…)

REUTERS BITES OFF TONGUE IN US WAR AGAINST VENEZUELA – ROSNEFT FORCES WITHDRAWAL OF NEWS FABRICATION

By John Helmer, Moscow

The Reuters news agency has published a retraction of an “exclusive” report on operations between the Venezuelan and Russian state oil companies, PDVSA and Rosneft, after disavowing the US-supplied source. Reuters has also acted after Rosneft applied for a criminal investigation of the media company’s operations in Russia by Moscow prosecutors.

The acknowledgment of misreporting has exposed evidence that Reuters’ reporters and bureaux in Caracas, Venezuela, Mexico City, Houston, London and Washington are routinely relaying disinformation supplied by US Government agents in their attempt to damage Venezuelan, Russian, Indian and Chinese operations in the international oil market.

According to a publication by Reuters issued on Tuesday, April 23 –  but made to appear to have been published on April 18 – the news agency has admitted it “could not determine” its earlier allegation that a “scheme uncovered by Reuters” was true. The new Reuters claim also disavows the charge that Rosneft was acting illegally with Petróleos de Venezuela, S.A. (PDVSA) to bust US sanctions imposed on the Venezuelan company  in January;  and on Evrofinance Mosnarbank, a state bank, sanctioned on March 11. 

Now, Reuters says, “experts see no violation of sanctions.”  The “scheme uncovered by Reuters” reported on April 18 has been reprinted this week as a “new approach described to Reuters.”

The unprecedented retreat by Reuters followed a Rosneft press statement issued  on April 19. The company called the Reuters report an “outright lie…purposeful misinformation, legalization of rumours…invent[ed] information fabricated for the purpose of causing damage to the Russian economy, Russian companies, and the Russian state.” Welcoming the correction in MoscowRosneft calls it “an unprecedented admission that we were right in our evaluation of Reuters’ article.”  

International journalist sources express concern that the reputation and ability of Reuters to report internationally has been damaged by what they call the “Americanization” of the news agency. This is a reference to the editor in chief of Reuters, Stephen Adler, who is based in New York.

Reuters’ spokesmen in New York and in London have yet to clarify the sources of the now repudiated allegation. So far, they also refuse to correct an earlier Reuters “exclusive” with allegations against PDVSA and Rosneft, whose sources were also from Washington, and whose veracity was challenged at the time as propaganda for the US sanctions war against Venezuela and Russia. (more…)

CANADIANS LOSE UKRAINE ELECTION — CHRYSTIA FREELAND FOR PRESIDENT OF GALICIA

By John Helmer, Moscow

Chrystia Freeland (lead picture, centre), the Ukrainian-Canadian who is Foreign Minister of Canada, was at a loss for words at the outcome of the Ukrainian presidential election on Sunday. Instead, she re-tweeted Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s statement

 “Canada and Ukraine are united by a strong relationship, rooted in close people-to-people ties,” Trudeau declared, referring to the mostly western Ukrainians – now numbering three million, ten percent of Canada’s population. They had sided with Adolph Hitler and the German Army in World War II; after their defeat they were accepted by Canada as refugees.  Freeland’s maternal grandfather, Michael Chomiak from a village near Lviv, had served in the German Army as a spy and as press editor and propagandist for the administration of Galicia, which then included both Ukrainian and Polish territory, headed by Governor-General Hans Frank (lead image, left).

“We are unwavering in our support of Ukraine’s sovereignty and our enduring commitment to the rules-based international order,” Trudeau announced, and Freeland re-tweeted  in a formula broad enough to accept terms with Russia to end the five-year war in the east of Ukraine.  “I look forward to working with President-elect Zelenskiy to deepen our relationship and build a more secure, more prosperous future for people in both our countries.”

The only region of Ukraine in which the majority did not vote for Vladimir Zelensky was Lviv region and adjoining areas of old Galicia. There, if Freeland, who has tried but failed to challenge Trudeau for the Canadian prime ministry, were to run for election, she would be the favourite to be President of Galicia. (more…)

VIRTUE-SIGNALLING WON’T SAVE JULIAN ASSANGE – BRITISH LAW MIGHT

By John Helmer, Moscow

US prosecutors pursuing Julian Assange continue to add evidence for the British courts that they are concealing charges in a dummy indictment they intend to change as soon as Assange is extradited. This means the Americans are turning the Assange case for freedom of the press into a cause for British freedom from American domination.   

Read the legal issues at stake in this report.  Listen to today’s Gorilla Radio interview. (more…)

CIA DEPUTY DIRECTOR LIES TO THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, SHOWING HIM FAKE PHOTOGRAPHS ALLEGED TO BE FROM THE BRITISH GOVERNMENT OF DUCKS AND CHILDREN POISONED BY A RUSSIAN SPY OPERATION IN SALISBURY ON MARCH 4, 2018 – AND THE NEW YORK TIMES REFUSES TO CORRECT ITS RECORD

By John Helmer, Moscow

On April 16, 2019, the New York Times made a mistake. The newspaper acknowledged it swiftly, publishing a three-line correction. “Correction: April 16, 2019 – An earlier version of this article misstated the C.I.A. tenure of Nicholas Dujmovic. He served as an intelligence officer for 26 years, not 23.”

The mistake was in an unusually lengthy profile of the CIA Director Gina Haspel, written by an unusually large group of five journalists based on sources they claim to have been “more than a dozen current and former intelligence officials”.  The problem they identified in the relationship between President Donald Trump and Director Haspel (she was Deputy CIA Director, February 2, 2017 – May 21, 2018)  is that he doesn’t always believe what he’s been told. “Her voice,” the newspaper sums up, “is not always heeded. For all of Ms. Haspel’s ability to stay in Mr. Trump’s good graces, there is little evidence she has changed his mind on major issues…Unusually for a president, Mr. Trump has publicly rejected not only intelligence agencies’ analysis, but also the facts they have gathered. And that has created a perilous situation for the C.I.A.”

Miscounting an ex-agent’s career by three years is the only mistake the journalists and the newspaper’s management admit to making in their analysis of the facts Haspel presented to Trump, and of  the “perilous situation for the CIA” resulting from the president’s disbelief.

The newspaper editorializes through an ex-CIA analyst source in the final paragraph of the publication: “as [Haspel]  continues to present facts and analysis that differ from what the president wants to hear, especially on high-profile issues like Russia and North Korea, her influence will wane.”

The newspaper claims that in one case, in March of 2018, Haspel overcame Trump’s scepticism by presenting evidence that in the Skripal case, “Ms. Haspel also tried to show him that Mr. Skripal and his daughter were not the only victims of Russia’s attack. Ms. Haspel showed pictures the British government had supplied her of young children hospitalized after being sickened by the Novichok nerve agent that poisoned the Skripals. She then showed a photograph of ducks that British officials said were inadvertently killed by the sloppy work of the Russian operatives…Mr. Trump fixated on the pictures of the sickened children and the dead ducks. At the end of the briefing, he embraced the strong [sanctions] option.”

“The outcome was an example, officials said, of how Ms. Haspel is one of the few people who can get Mr. Trump to shift position based on new information.”

The problem is obvious. The “new information” – dead ducks, sickened young children in hospital, British Government photographs – was false and the photographs faked.  Haspel knew before she presented to Trump. She then lied to Trump.

The five reporters – Julian Barnes, Adam Goldman, Eric Schmitt, Michael Schmidt, Matthew Rosenberg – did not check the details. Questioned since their publication, they will not clarify what they reported as true. The newspaper management refuses to publish a correction. (more…)

THE NOTRE-DAME CATASTROPHE — THE CONSTITUTIONAL DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE PRESIDENT OF FRANCE AND PRESIDENT OF RUSSIA

By John Helmer, Moscow

Emmanuel Macron does not recognize that he has been elected to be the president of a secular state.

France, according to Article One of the French Constitution,  is “ a Republic indivisible, secular (laïque),  democratic and social.”

Though he often mistakes the same constitutional point, Vladimir Putin made no mistake when he sent his message of condolence to Macron on the catastrophic fire at Notre-Dame Cathedral this week. (more…)

PRESIDENT PUTIN APPOINTS INDIAN PRIME MINISTER MODI TO THE ORDER OF ST. ANDREW THE APOSTLE THE FIRST-CALLED

By John Helmer, Moscow

For the second time in as many months President Vladimir Putin has publicly endorsed India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi to win the Indian national election now under way.

On April 12, in a four-and-a-half-line posting,  the Kremlin announced that Modi had been awarded the Order of St. Andrew the Apostle the First-Called “for outstanding achievements in the development of a particularly privileged strategic partnership between Russia and India and friendly relations between the Russian and Indian peoples.”  That day the President also met with the chief executive of Volkswagen, Herbert Diess, which was reported in English. The  Kremlin communiqué of the Modi award has not been translated into English.

The announcement went almost unremarked in the Russian press except for Vzglyad, the only independent publication on Russian strategy and security.  A report by regular analyst Pyotr Akopov acknowledged “this is the first time that the head of the Indian government was awarded our highest award – none of the Nehru dynasty was awarded the title of Hero of the Soviet Union.” The significance of the award to Modi, he added, is not the timing of the Indian elections. “Forecasts mostly agree that Modi will hold power… It is clear that in the choice of 600 million Indian voters, the Russian award for Modi will have almost no impact.”

The Russian significance is personal and strategic. It is recognition by Putin that Modi has stood up to the US threat to sanction India for buying the S-400 missile system. “Despite the fact that Washington continues actively courting Delhi, Narendra Modi is not going to exchange Russia for the United States. Yes, the number of India’s military contracts with the US has increased over the past decade – but Russian-Indian military ties are not disappearing and are becoming more diverse (for example, India bought the S-400).” (more…)

THE JULIAN ASSANGE CASE NOW PUTS THE US ON TRIAL IN A BRITISH COURT – IS THERE A GET-OUT-OF-JAIL CARD FOR ASSANGE?

By John Helmer, Moscow

The case for and against Julian Assange (lead image, 3rd from left) will keep him in the UK for at least eighteen months, probably two years, possibly three, according to leading London lawyers.  The UK will have a new government by then; the US too.

In the interval, Assange’s lawyers are preparing to prove the US indictment for conspiracy to commit computer hacking will be superseded by espionage charges. That, they will argue, requires the Westminster Magistrates’ Court to throw the US extradition application out. In addition, their  evidence for American  political motivation in the prosecution of Assange, and of US violations of the UK and European standards for a fair trial in an independent and impartial court, will be presented. The Chief Magistrate, Emma Arbuthnot, is likely to preside. The hearing is unlikely to start before December of this year.

The more UK and US Government officials take sides in public against Assange and support the allegations in the indictment, the stronger his case will be in court. The announcement by public letter  to the Home Secretary last week that seventy-one members of the British parliament oppose Assange’s extradition to the US cuts even more of the ground from under UK prosecutors and the lawyers who will appear in court for the US. 

Reversing their campaign to block the Swedish extradition warrant between 2010 and 2012, Assange’s lawyers are also mobilizing to have the Swedish prosecutors return to London with a new warrant, so that this can stretch out the legal wrangling in London for long enough to reach a new British election. If won by Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour Party forms a new government, Assange may benefit from a decision to move Assange’s prosecution to the UK courts, and then to release him.

“The anger for and against this man is extraordinary”, explains a leading London lawyer on extradition cases. “You need very technical lawyering now, and Assange will have to pay for it.  But in parallel there will be the PR campaign amplifying the political issue, principally for the Labour Party. The Assange case will stand for every British voter’s idea of what [President Donald] Trump and the Americans are doing to the world.  [Chief Magistrate Emma] Arbuthnot is not afraid to make decisions that would be unpopular. But as independent as she is, the pressure on her will be huge not to rule against the US.”

“And so it is for the British court system. Either the courts are bending to the US or to the anti-American movement. It’s going to take a bloody long time and a bloody waste of public money” (more…)

DUTCH TREAT – DERK SAUER MAKES A MOSCOW COMEBACK FOR THE SAME OLD GANG

By John Helmer, Moscow

Russia has grown up; Derk Sauer (lead image), boy scout for American, Dutch and NATO plots for Kremlin regime change since Boris Yeltsin left office, can’t.

Under cover of Russian frontmen, he has bought back the Moscow Times, and put his son Pyotr in charge of opinion. The opinion is the same as it was when Sauer started in Moscow in 1992. Mark Ames, the scourge of Moscow Times duplicity then, says now: “They’re trying to make the MT even more boring than it ever was, with just a hint of standard Moscow liberal politics. Right now Derk seems like a garden gnome I dreamed about long ago.” (more…)

IF EVERYTHING JOHN LE CARRÉ WROTE SINCE 1961 ON BRITISH SPYING AGAINST MOSCOW WAS TRUE – IT WAS — WHY READ THE NEW LE CARRÉ BOOK NOW?

By John Helmer, Moscow

“Always George’s problem,” John le Carré (lead image, left) has written in his latest resurrection of his best-known MI6 officer, George Smiley (right), “seeing both sides of everything. Wore him out.”

“Breathtaking”, claimed an Irish novelist with no government experience, in a London newspaper review. “Gripping”, chimed a BBC journalist whose only official secret was an affair with another journalist he tried to stop other journalists reporting. “An unexpected treat”, blurbed one of Rupert Murdoch’s newspaper employees. “A nostalgic comparison between espionage then and now”, blurbed another. The Los Angeles Times was religious about le Carré’s theme —  “the toll exacted on the individual’s [spy] soul  by serving institutions that fail to live up to their professed values  will resonate as [readers] consider past and present  covert actions of British and US governments.”  This is a bite-back for the virulent hatred for the US and its intelligence services le Carré has written into his story, including disclosure of the MI6 document handling code, GUARD, which is so secret the British Government doesn’t mention it in its classification guidelines.   It means keep secret from Americans.

David Ignatius, a career-long mouthpiece for the US services at the Washington Post, warns his readers.  Le Carré “is at his worst describing characters he doesn’t like (in his recent books, many of the heavy-handed, unconvincing figures are American intelligence officers).”

Since the majority of le Carré’s readers are Americans,  le Carré is asking them to pay money and wear themselves out seeing both sides of everything. Only le Carré’s intelligence officers never see the Russian side of anything. What they do see – le Carré makes the point repeatedly in A Legacy of Spies, now in its fifth printing   – is the pointlessness of the intelligence they target, and the worthlessness of their methods for going about it. (more…)

FANATICAL HISTORY OF RUSSIAN INTELLIGENCE OPERATIONS FROM PRINCETON

By John Helmer, Moscow

Jonathan Haslam, an Englishman employed by Anglo-American universities to report Soviet and Russian political, military and espionage history for the past century until now, suffers from a tic.  That’s tic as in fanatic, the adjective Haslam applies to everyone who is a target of his history. But look again: Haslam’s tic turns out to be a symptom of the one-eyed man who believes he’s king (professor) in the kingdom (university) of the blind.   (more…)

CRIMEAN GRAPES WEREN’T THE SOUR ONES ON VLADIMIR NABOKOV’S TONGUE

By John Helmer, Moscow

This week, desperate for attention in New York’s overstocked literary market, a biographer of Vladimir Nabokov’s wife and of the witches of Salem, has reported the one-hundred year anniversary of the departure of the Nabokov family from Crimea in April 1919. “Amid frantic, last-minute negotiations, under a spray of machine-gun fire, Vladimir Nabokov fled Russia 100 years ago this week,” reported Stacy Schiff for the New York Times.   “His family had sought refuge from the Bolsheviks in the Crimean peninsula; those forces now made a vicious descent from the north.”

Schiff and her newspaper make a foot fault on that line. “At the time of the evacuation he [Vladimir] had spent 16 quiet months in the Crimea, the last speck of Russia in White hands. Already the Bolsheviks had murdered any number of harmless people.”

If Crimea was Russia then, if only a “speck” and no matter how “vicious” the Bolsheviks from the “north” turned out to be, how on earth could Crimea be otherwise now? (more…)

THE CAT IS OUT OF THE BAG – PRESIDENT VLADIMIR PUTIN HAS LOST CONTROL

By John Helmer, Moscow

The indictment of ex-minister Mikhail Abyzov is a clear signal; the arrest of former Khabarovsk Governor and ex-presidential representative Victor Ishayev is another

The system of high-level administrative protection, on which these two notoriously corrupt figures have relied for the past twenty years, has ceased protecting them. There is a legion to follow them; they no longer have the telephone number to call for early warning to quash investigations before they close in, or if they do, to escape in time to the US or London.  

When Abyzov recognizes he is doomed, he will start to testify against Anatoly Chubais and others.  When Alexei Kudrin, chairman of the Accounting Chamber, realizes his game is up, he will start sounding more like the accountant he was in St. Petersburg than the candidate for selection to the highest national office he has aspired to be.  Whether Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev will be replaced before the next State Duma election falls due in September 2021, or before the election campaign commences, he is going; none of his men will be left in power.   

President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman announced after Abyzov’s arrest: “The President received the report [on the Abyzov case] in advance [of his arrest].” That is precisely what happened, not because Putin gave the order to commence the prosecution of Abyzov, but because Putin wants no one to realize he didn’t. Putin has lost the initiative; he cannot protect those who have counted on his protection for two decades.

(more…)

GLEB FRANK HAS A BAD CASE OF THE CRABS – FATHER SERGEI FRANK, FATHER-IN-LAW GENNADY TIMCHENKO TOO

By John Helmer, Moscow

In crowded city life, crabs – plural – meant an invasion of lice into warm body parts covered by hair. For readers who are virgins or who have had Brazilian waxing and can’t imagine running into the crabs, the illustration shows the little fellows in the hair of the head. In fact, a case of the crabs usually meant the pubic hair. Rubbing intimately was the way you got the crabs.

Gleb Frank (lead image, left), owner of the Russian Fishery Company, his father Sergei Frank (centre), chief executive of the state shipping company Sovcomflot, and Gennady Timchenko (right), Gleb’s father-in-law, financier of his businesses, and candidate to take over Sovcomflot when it’s privatized, have been rubbing each other intimately. They know where the crabs are and how to catch them.  That’s because they are planning to create an oligopoly of the Russian crab industry, and dominate the Russian crab trade with the United States. That is, if the US Government, in defence of its crab fishermen, doesn’t  hit the two Franks with the same sanctions as have already been imposed on Timchenko because of Timchenko’s other association; that’s with President Vladimir Putin. He discussed the Frank crab-catching plan in a Kremlin meeting on December 14 last year.   

In the newest version of the US sanctions law against Russia, introduced in the US Senate on February 13,  Gleb Frank, Sergei Frank and Sovcomflot are potential targets, not only because they are “family members of persons [“political figures, oligarchs, and other persons that facilitate illicit and corrupt activities, directly or indirectly, on behalf of the President of the Russian Federation, Vladimir Putin”] that derive significant benefits from such illicit and corrupt activities”;  but also because they are “entities operating in the shipbuilding sector of the Russian Federation.” (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…)
Categories
Archives

Copyright © 2007-2017 Dances With Bears

Copyright © 2007-2017 Dances With Bears

Education Template