by John Helmer, Moscow
Armed British police, plus ambulance and medical crews, drone and helicopter pilots, firefighters, and the head doctor of the Salisbury District Hospital’s emergency department were preparing for the attack on Sergei and Yulia Skripal just four days before Russian military assassins arrived from Moscow allegedly carrying a lethal chemical weapon in a perfume bottle.
Not counting the Skripals and the Russians, the British forces numbered at least two hundred. They were mobilized through the afternoon and night of February 27 until the morning of February 28, in the centre of Swindon, Wiltshire; that is a city 70 kilometres (40 miles) north of Salisbury, also in Wiltshire. The Skripals collapsed at 4:15 in the afternoon of March 4, in the centre of Salisbury. At least two of the paramedics who arrived at the scene to evacuate them to hospital had been practising in the Swindon operation.
“There is no intelligence that Swindon is at risk,” a senior police officer had warned, “but I hope members of the public understand we need to be ready and prepared for any eventuality. This is Wiltshire Police getting ourselves – along with our colleagues in the fire and ambulance services – in the best position so we’re ready for anything.”
Until the Skripals are released by the British authorities and permitted to speak freely to their family, their lawyers, and the press, it is not known whether they too were warned in advance to be “ready for anything.”(more…)
by John Helmer, Moscow
A new ruling by three Dutch judges in the trial of Russia for having shot down Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 will allow the Ukrainian secret service, the SBU, to present fabricated witness evidence without investigation or cross-examination by defence lawyers representing one of the four military officers accused of launching a BUK anti-aircraft missile at MH17. On July 17, 2014, the aircraft was destroyed above eastern Ukraine, killing all 298 people on board.
The two Dutch defence lawyers, Sabine ten Doesschate (lead image, centre) and Boudewijn van Eijck (right), have attempted to keep the court proceeding secret since mid-March when they were asked to clarify if they had filed a challenge to the use of secret witness statements in the trial, which began hearings in public on March 9.
A secret hearing followed on April 6 when ten Doesschate appeared in person. Two weeks later, a 16-page judgement was signed by three judges of the District Court of The Hague, Alexander Boogers, B.W. Mulder, and Mariette Renckens; an official translation into English was then prepared. Ten Doesschate and van Eijck were asked last Thursday morning, April 23, to confirm that the judgement had been issued.
“Should you fail to respond,” ten Dosschate and van Eijck were told, “you will be reported as conducting yourselves in a manner that is inconsistent with the duties of a lawyer in defence of a client in a serious criminal case, with the intention on your parts, individually and collectively, to dissemble, mislead, falsify, and prejudice the defence you claim to represent and for which you are receiving money in payment.” Ten Doesschate and van Eijck have refused to answer.
International criminal lawyers who have reviewed the detailed summary of the lawyers’ argument in the new court document have condemned ten Doesschate and van Eijck for their failure to make an adequate defence. They are “sweetheart lawyers working for the prosecution”, commented one.
Reviewing the Dutch ruling, Christopher Black, a Canadian attorney who defended in the international war crimes trials for Yugoslavia and for Rwanda, said “the defence in this trial has now been reduced to a fig leaf. From reading this [ruling] and the language [the judges] use, it appears the defence will never have a chance to properly contest the charges. Since they cannot do that, they should walk out, hold a press conference explaining why, and face the consequences.”(more…)
by John Helmer, Moscow
One nurse and two doctors have testified that they were in charge of the medical treatment of Sergei and Yulia Skripal when they were admitted to Salisbury District Hospital in the early evening of March 4, 2018. Sarah Clark (lead image, left) was the senior sister in charge of the shift at the Radnor Ward’s Intensive Care Unit (ICU). Duncan Murray (centre) was the doctor in charge of the unit. Stephen Jukes (right) was one of several doctors assigned to the ICU; he was the one responsible for the Skripals.
If the Skripals were to exercise their legal right to apply to the British High Court for review of the terms of their confinement in secret and in isolation – or if their Russian next of kin in Yaroslavl, or the Russian Embassy in London applied to the court on their behalf — Clark, Murray and Jukes would be summonsed to testify to what they witnessed at the hospital two years ago. What they would say under cross-examination and in fear of committing perjury would not be the same thing they have already said publicly.
Photographs of the crime scene, the Salisbury Hospital Radnor Ward, where the three medical staff say they treated the Skripals, have just been obtained. The hospital ward was a crime scene because evidence of the weapon allegedly used in the crime against the Skripals was in their bloodstreams and in the medical records kept by the nurses and doctors in the ward. The photographs illustrate one of the gaps between what was true then and what is false now.(more…)
by John Helmer, Moscow
Malcolm Turnbull is the most intelligent man ever to become Australian prime minister, and to have left office more stupid than he began. Among the governments south of the Equator, this is without precedent. Since Turnbull served as head of government for only three years, 2015 to 2018, when he was 61 to 64 years of age, he has set the medical record for non-traumatic early-onset senescence in the cerebrum; that’s the part of the brain responsible for learning. He didn’t; he can’t.
This week Turnbull has published a book of selections from his life aimed at refreshing his credentials to retake the political power he lost to rivals. His display of the symptoms that caused him to lose it is undiminished.(more…)
by John Helmer, Moscow
The last people to say they saw Sergei and Yulia Skripal together were two medical staff members at Salisbury District Hospital. The first was Senior Sister Sarah Clark, who was in charge of the evening shift at the Salisbury hospital’s Intensive Care Unit; the second was Dr Stephen Davies, a consultant in the Emergency Department of the hospital.
According to the British Government, the two Skripals were attacked by a chemical nerve agent in the centre of Salisbury at about 4:15 on the afternoon of Sunday, March 4, 2018, then rushed by ambulance to the Salisbury hospital. The nerve agent was reported later – at least thirty-six hours later, perhaps longer – to have been identified by the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory at Porton Down as an organophosphate chemical warfare agent called Novichok produced in Russia. The British Government’s version of what happened is that the nerve agent was despatched from Moscow with assassins of the Russian military intelligence agency GRU. Two men have been named and publicly accused by British prosecutors with attempted murder and other crimes.
The Skripals survived the alleged attack, and have recovered from its medical effects. Public releases by the hospital claim Yulia Skripal was released on April 9, 2018; her separation from her father was confirmed thereby. Sergei Skripal was reportedly released from hospital on May 18. In two subsequent telephone calls Yulia made to her cousin and grandmother in Russia, and in a brief televised statement filmed by the US news agency Reuters on May 23, she referred to her father’s medical recovery, but did not say he was living with her. The Reuters film was recorded in a parkland corner of the Royal Air Force base at Fairford, north of Salisbury. The base is run by United States Air Force intelligence and bomber staffs.
Yulia’s last telephone contact with her family in Russia was on July 24, 2018. She has not been heard from since.
Sergei Skripal has been recorded in three brief telephone calls to his niece’s and mother’s home in Yaroslavl; they took place on April 4, 2019; May 9, 2019; and June 26, 2019. Only the May 9 call has been broadcast by the Russian media; it lasted for less than 30 seconds. Sergei did not mention Yulia nor did he say he was living with her. He has been incommunicado since June 26, 2019.
Describing her role in treating the Skripals at Salisbury Hospital, Clark gave an interview to the BBC which was broadcast on May 30, 2018. Contacted at the Radnor Ward Intensive Care Unit this week, Clark now refuses to confirm she had personally seen the two Skripals at the hospital following their admission, claiming she is “not allowed to give any information”.
Two years ago Davies was working at the Emergency Department of Salisbury Hospital when the Skripals were admitted. Days later he wrote a letter to The Times newspaper reporting what he claimed then were the circumstances. Davies continues his work in the Emergency Department, and was contacted there this week. He now refuses to answer any question about the Skripals.
The British Government has prevented the Skripals from speaking publicly or testifying in court to what they believed had happened to them. Their whereabouts are secret.
When the hospital staff witnesses are no longer sticking to their eyewitness testimony, then everything which has followed, including press statements from the hospital, the Metropolitan Police in London, and two court records – one from the Court of Protection of the High Court in London, and one from the Wiltshire and Swindon Coroner’s Court in Salisbury – can no longer be taken as credible evidence in the case.
Not only have the Skripals disappeared into a form of British immuration, but they have also been separated from each other. This exceptional isolation is fresh evidence that the official narrative of the Skripal case is false, and that the Skripals are being held, not for their protection by the British from the Russians, but in punishment and solitary confinement.(more…)
by John Helmer, Moscow
If Pontius Pilate, Judas Iscariot and Joshua Barabbas had combined to produce the eye-witness book on the life and death of Jesus Christ, whose anniversary falls this month, it wasn’t heard of when it was newsworthy, in the first years of the first century AD; readers have been deterred from looking for it ever since. Religious faith does that sort of thing to eye-witness testimony, documents, financial accounts, court rulings and other forms of evidence.
Likewise, Catherine Belton (lead image, centre) has produced a book with Sergei Pugachev (left), the man who stole more than two billion dollars from the Central Bank of Russia and other banks; was convicted in a British court of trying to hide it; fled to France to escape two years in prison if the English can catch him. Paying to print and market their collaboration is Harper Collins, owned by Rupert Murdoch’s (first right) media holding, News Ltd.
Together, Belton and Pugachev have composed a gospel about the evil that is Russia under President Vladimir Putin, and the virtue they say they believed in when Boris Yeltsin was ruler. “We were sitting in the kitchen of Pugachev’s latest residence, a three-storey townhouse in the well-heeled London area of Chelsea,” Belton begins, introducing the faith the two of them share with Mikhail Khodorkovsky (lead image, extreme right); the ghost of the hanged Boris Berezovsky; Valentin Yumashev, Yeltsin’s son-in-law; and others identified anonymously as the collaborators upon whom Belton relies and whom she requires her co-religionists to accept as gospel too.
Three disciples have sworn their faith publicly so far – Luke Harding of The Guardian; Edward Lucas of The Times, and Oliver Bullough, once a reporter at the BBC. “The most remarkable account so far,” says Harding, “of Putin’s rise from a KGB operative to deadly agent provocateur in the hated west”. “Its only flaw,” Harding mentions, “is a heavy reliance on well-placed anonymous sources. Talking publicly about Kremlin corruption is dangerous, as the polonium fate of Alexander Litvinenko shows. Still, the lack of names can be frustrating.” Frustrating is the word that came to St. Paul’s mind when he was having directional trouble on the road between Jerusalem and Damascus. Inadmissible in a court of law, Pilate would have said. A pack of lies, according to Judas and Barabbas.
“Fact, not fiction,” declared Edward Lucas, an employee on the fiction floor of the same London office building as Harper Collins. “Catherine Belton, for years a Moscow correspondent for the Financial Times, relates it with clarity, detail, insight and bravery.” “The Putin book that we’ve been waiting for,” Bullough said messianically. You won’t be risking perdition yourself if you don’t wait.(more…)
by John Helmer, Moscow
For catching birds it’s old-fashioned child’s play to put salt on their tails. But fooling the bird in order to get close enough with the salt-shaker, before the bird takes off, is a job for grown-ups.
When it comes to catching fugitive bankers, money launderers and the families of corrupt state officials in Russia and the former states of the Soviet Union, the two-year history of the British National Crime Authority’s (NCA) Unexplained Wealth Orders (UWOs) is faltering because the courts require more than suspicious police and allegations promoted in the press.
Last week, the High Court ruled that NCA lawyers, prosecutors and investigators had made “unreliable” assumptions; conducted “inadequate investigation of the obvious”; applied “artificial and flawed reasoning”; were “unfair” in their evaluation of the evidence as well as pursuing targets “without any evidence”. “It is ultimately for the Court, not the NCA, to determine whether there is ‘reasonable cause to believe’,” Justice Dame Beverly Lang decided on April 8, dismissing three Unexplained Wealth Orders, together with three asset freeze orders covering several London residential properties worth about £80 million. Through a network of offshore foundations, trusts, and cut-out companies these belong to Dariga Nazarbayeva and Nurali Aliyev, daughter and grandson of Nursultan Nazarbayev, the ruler of Kazakhstan. Nazarbayeva is currently the speaker of the Kazakh Senate.
The stinging rebuke to the NCA, and a pending appeal of two earlier court judgements against Zamira Hajiyeva, the wife of a jailed Azerbaijani banker, are likely to slow down, or stop altogether, the pursuit by Prime Minister Boris Johnson (lead image, left) of Russian runaways in the UK.(more…)
by John Helmer, Moscow
Inoculation against tuberculosis, the official Soviet state policy for almost a century, continues to shield the Russian population with a higher level of immunological resistance than those in Europe and the US who lack the vaccination. This has also been a well-tested finding in western and Indian medical publications; in India vaccination against TB is mandatory. This link between the anti-TB vaccination and the rate and severity of Covid-19 infection is now official Russian policy.
“According to some data, those who are vaccinated with BCG [Bacillus Calmette–Guérin vaccine], the course of Covid-19 is lighter,” the Health Minister Vitaly Murashko announced earlier this month. “This is now widely discussed in international reviews. The fact is that it can have a certain meaning, it probably can,” Veronika Skvortsova followed, telling national television news. “For now I think that we won’t discuss the mechanisms of immune restructuring, but [CBG vaccination] does play a role.” Skvortsova was Murashko’s predecessor as health minister between 2012 and February of this year; she is now director of the Federal Medical-Biological Agency (FMBA).
Caution: the link is a statistical correlation. It is not a finding that is clear on the biomedical mechanism which is at work in the lungs. But because the correlation is a strong one, there’s another conclusion which the Russian medical administration has begun to emphasize. This is to rebuild the public health measures of the Soviet period which were destroyed by the virus introduced by President Boris Yeltsin and his chief of staff and privatizer of state property, Anatoly Chubais, from the virus source in Washington during the 1990s.(more…)
by John Helmer, Moscow
Paul Robinson (lead image, right), a professor at the University of Ottawa, has published a defence of the British Government’s indictment of the Russian Government for an attempt to assassinate Sergei Skripal with a nerve agent. “That’s the official narrative, which most people accept”, according to Robinson. He wants you to know he does too.
To the analysis of evidence of what happened, and didn’t happen, in the Salisbury town incidents of March 4, 2018, and the legal consquences which have ensued over the two years since, Robinson concludes: “I can only say ‘phooey’.” In what Robinson calls a book review of “Skripal in Prison”, he has concluded: “Helmer [lead image, left] produces not a jot of evidence…I find it odd, therefore, that he’s so keen to let the Russians off the hook for the Skripal poisoning. Perhaps the reason lies in his conspiratorial frame of mind…He’s the sort of guy who thinks that for every crime the GRU have committed, MI6 and the CIA have committed two. It’s not my frame of mind at all. But then perhaps I’m part of the conspiracy too!”
Robinson teaches politics. In his past, he was educated at Oxford University and between 1989 and 1994 he was a Russia analyst in the British Army Intelligence Corps, before serving as a reservist in the Canadian military with the same function. In the secret services and in universities, Robinson has never been subject to the British legal standards of evidence or proof of crime beyond reasonable doubt. That is, until he launched this attack in defence of his old British Army oath, and then ran into a cross-examination on a different oath – the courtroom one to tell the truth. You be the jury.(more…)
by John Helmer, Moscow
It is now a fortnight since President Vladimir Putin (lead image, left) announced a tax on Russians exporting their cash and capital to tax avoidance havens abroad; and since Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin followed to explain that Cyprus is the target. “We have started implementing the instructions on taxing dividends from foreign accounts with Cyprus”, Mishustin said at a Kremlin meeting with Putin on April 1. “The Cypriot government has been notified of the changes in the agreement on avoiding dual taxation.”
“For Putin to make his remark in a national address,” comments a Moscow finance source, “and then for Mishustin to confirm that Cyprus was intended in the President’s speech shows this is now a high priority move. It reveals how upset the Kremlin – especially Andrei Belousov [first deputy prime minister] — has been with the role Cyprus plays in the outflow of Russian capital. I do not see any government allowing capital flight now during a deep and lasting recession.”
“This sounds a death knell for Cyprus accountants and law firms,” says a Limassol investor. “This is their biggest business. From now on only the most hardened criminals or escapees from Russia will be here.”
There has been a flurry of press leaks from Cyprus Government officials claiming that the Russian move is not targeting Cyprus. But no official at the Foreign and Finance Ministries in Moscow, nor at the Russian Embassy in Nicosia, has said this on the record. According to Mishustin and Finance Minister Anton Siluanov, the new rules are still being decided, and will be announced on April 24.
By the way, the kibosh was an iron bar used two hundred years ago by cobblers in the north of England to flatten leather as they were making clogs. When the word reached the streets of London, it meant flatten in more ways than that one. The government of President Nicos Anastasiades (lead image, right) and Nicos Christodoulides, his foreign minister and aspiring successor, having chosen last year to cut their ties to Russia in exchange for American promises to protect the island from the Turks, is the clog in this story.(more…)
by John Helmer, Moscow
Late last week the 193 member states of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) agreed unanimously on a statement of “solidarity of countries in the fight against the pandemic”. They also agreed unanimously there is “no place for any form of discrimination, racism and xenophobia in the response to the pandemic.”
On the explicit opposition of Ukraine, Georgia, the US, the UK, and the European Union, the UN did not agree on “the rejection of trade wars and the use of unilateral sanctions adopted in circumvention of the UN Security Council to ensure urgent access to food and medicine, as well as countering financial speculation with essential goods.” This was the language of a resolution drafted by Russia.
Thus has the world decided that warfare is an essential service and should continue without lockdown, quarantine, social distancing, hand-washing, or restriction of any kind.(more…)
by John Helmer, Moscow
Now for a psycho-shocker of a spy story in which the National Security Agency’s (NSA) chief of the Research Directorate goes head to head with Russians whom his research proves tried “to change the outcome of our presidential election”, and then tried to kill Sergei Skripal to “serve[d] as a warning to Russia’s adversaries”.
The psycho-shock has already happened to the NSA chief and storyteller, Eric Haseltine (lead images), so he is paralysed by a Russian weapon that’s about to psycho-shock the reader. That’s you.
After you read this, you will never again be able to type on a keyboard without anticipating that the “diabolically clever” Russians are reading every word. But maybe you are suspicious the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) might be doing the same thing? “Naw”, says Michael Arneson, Haseltine’s hero and NSA engineer from a dirt poor Minnesota family with no more than a high school diploma, and whose favourite drink is Mr Pibb. “The CIA is way too incompetent to create something this good.” In this tale, American heroes fit to fight the Russians and save you from your keyboards, talk like that.(more…)
by John Helmer, Moscow
The Dutch lawyers leading the defence against the charge of premeditated murder in the destruction of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 on July 17, 2014, have no experience of litigation in cases involving aircraft crashes, war crimes, military crimes, or homicide – except for cases when they have defended Dutch police accused of shooting people on the streets of Rotterdam.
The first of the defence lawyers, Sabine ten Doesschate, has never conducted a defence in a murder trial; in her short career so far, she has specialized in white collar fraud. Her leader, Boudewijn van Eijck, has a career record of defending Rotterdam police in collaboration with Rotterdam police commanders and prosecutors; at the time they included Fred Westerbeke, lead prosecutor of the MH17 investigation, and Dedy Woei-A-Tsoi, one of the three prosecutors now in court.
Asked if his relationships with them create a conflict for him to defend in this trial, van Eijck refuses to answer. “Our focus is the MH17 case,” he said through a spokesman on Friday, “not the professional careers of the lawyers.”
Ten Doeschate and van Eijck have announced they have engaged a Dutch public relations company called Headline Communications and a spokesman named Martin van Putten. The company has no operating record in The Netherlands. Responding to questions emailed over two weeks about the two lawyers, their expertise to mount a professional defence, and their conflicts of interest, Van Putten at first lied; then insisted “we do not comment in the media until after the next [court] session on June 8th.” When asked by telephone to clarify the lawyers’ silence and misleading statements he has made on their behalf, he cut the telephone line.
The third lawyer on the team, Yelena Kutyina, is a Moscow lawyer with trial experience defending media personalities in assault and injury compensation claims and appearing herself as a judge in television courtroom shows. Asked to describe her experience in criminal trials, Kutyina refuses to answer.
“So far as I can tell,” commented veteran war crimes defence lawyer Christopher Black, a Canadian, “so far as I can tell, they are not acting like a real defence.”(more…)
By John Helmer, Moscow
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…)
By John Helmer, Moscow
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…)
By Nikolai Storozhenko, introduced and translated by John Helmer, Moscow
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…)
By John Helmer, Moscow
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…)
By John Helmer, Moscow
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…)
By John Helmer, Moscow
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…)
By Vlad Shlepchenko, introduced & translated by John Helmer, Moscow
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…)
By Lucy Komisar, New York*
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…)
By John Helmer, Moscow
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…)