THE FROG WHO GOT TOO BIG FOR HIS BOOTS AND WAS TURNED INTO A TOADY — SIR MARK SEDWILL SACKED, BRITISH POLICY ON RUSSIA FOR REVIEW

by John Helmer, Moscow 
  @bears_with

The plot to rid the British Government of the man who combined more domestic and foreign policy-making powers than any British official in peacetime was not a clandestine Kremlin operation directed by President Vladimir Putin.

But the sacking of Sir Mark Sedwill, the grammar school head-boy who became Cabinet Secretary and National Security Advisor under Prime Minister Theresa May in 2018, removes the plotter-in-chief of the Skripal affair, the Novichok plot, and the campaign of British info-warfare against Moscow over the past two years.  

The man who defeated Sedwill, Dominic Cummings, chief adviser of Prime Minister Boris Johnson, is the only official in the prime ministry to have operated under cover in Russia. What  Cummings’s cover was has never been publicly revealed from his counter-intelligence vetting.  The rise of Cummings has also not been reported by the NATO propaganda unit Bellingcat and the Murdoch press to have been a clandestine Kremlin operation.

Between the two plots, Sedwill’s and Cummings’s, the outcome is now a small space in which the British will reflect on how far Sedwill, and co-conspirator Sir Alex Younger, chief of MI6, took  Anglo-Russian policy past Germany and France to the one promoted in Washington by John Bolton.  Sedwill’s term as supremo has run almost exactly parallel to Bolton’s. Sedwill’s removal would have been as swift as Bolton’s sacking last September if not for the corona virus pandemic. That was not a clandestine Chinese plot.

Younger, Sedwill’s old classmate at St. Andrews University, has now been in the secret intelligence service post for six years; that’s longer than any of his predecessors for the past half-century. If Younger follows Sedwill out the door, the cranny between the plots will be a little wider.  

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CYPRUS PRESIDENT NICOS ANASTASIADES ANNOUNCES TREASON AS STATE POLICY

by John Helmer, Moscow 
  @bears_with

Nothing like this has been said before by a leader of the Hellenes, Greek or Cypriot.

“If we consider a solution through militarisation,” Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades (lead image, right) announced last week. “This will be the end of Cypriot Hellenism, which I do not want.”  What Anastasiades meant was that he does not want Cyprus to defend itself, its land, airspace, territorial waters, and sea lanes,  by military means.

A Cypriot president who swears off military defence “of the independence and territorial integrity of the Republic of Cyprus” is violating his oath of office; he is betraying the Cyprus Constitution.  A veteran of Cypriot presidential politics comments that Anastasiades is making the calculation that his best chance for winning a third term of office is submission to Turkey first, and submission to the US, the European Union, and Israel to limit Turkish military expansion in and around the island.   

This is a strategy of buying time for himself, the source said, and riches for his associates. “He will be very happy to see Cyprus as a satrapy of Turkey provided he and his associates become the sultan’s satraps.” 

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MH17 TRIAL PROSECUTORS WARN JUDGES NOT TO UNRAVEL UKRAINIAN COVER-UP, REJECT CALLING RUSSIAN GENERAL KONASHENKOV TO TESTIFY

by John Helmer, Moscow 
  @bears_with

Dutch state prosecutors told the court in the trial of the shooting-down of Malaysia Airlines MH17 that Major-General of the Russian Army Igor Konashenkov should not be allowed as a witness for the defence. To justify this in a hearing last Friday, the prosecutors revealed an illegal trick exposing the evidence in the case as a fit-up by the Ukrainian government’s military and security agencies.

Dismissing almost all the defence applications to the court for new evidence and witnesses, prosecutor Ferdinandusse* (lead image, right) said: “We do not see any reasonable grounds for accusing the prosecution of not being objective” (June 26 hearing,  Min 9:17).

The trick the prosecution has asked the court to accept is that apart from the Ukrainian government’s say-so, there is no chain of custody for the evidence of the weapon alleged to have been fired by the accused to destroy the aircraft and kill its occupants on July 17, 2014. If the Russian government says the Ukrainian government is lying, planting the evidence and   fabricating the chain of custody, the prosecution has told the court to ignore the Russians – believe the Ukrainians. Presented in court last Friday, this chain of custody argument has transformed the trial into a Ukrainian war operation conducted by Dutch proxies, and mercenaries.

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MAJOR GENERAL IGOR KONASHENKOV TO BE CALLED TO TESTIFY IN MH17 TRIAL – JUDGE STEENHUIS WILL RULE NEXT WEEK TO ACCEPT OR REFUSE EVIDENCE OF UKRAINIAN FINGERPRINTS ON THE WEAPON OF THE CRIME

by John Helmer, Moscow 
  @bears_with

One of the most prominent generals in the Russian Army is to be called to testify in the Dutch government’s trial of the shooting-down of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 when district court judge Hendrik Steenhuis rules next week on whether to accept or refuse his evidence as a  witness for the defence.

According to the request filed in court this week, the evidence is of the Ukrainian Army’s fingerprints on the BUK missile which Dutch prosecutors allege was the weapon used to destroy the aircraft on July 17, 2014, killing 298 passengers and crew.

Without proof of the weapon, the Dutch prosecution has no case against the four soldiers  — three Russians, one Ukrainian —  accused of deploying the missile and preparing the attack against the aircraft. If Ukrainian Army fingerprints are verified on the weapon when the crime was committed, the Dutch case, and the worldwide media campaign against Russia, collapse.

Major-General Igor Konashenkov (lead image), the spokesman for the Defence Ministry in Moscow,   has been called to testify. If Judge Steenhuis refuses to allow him,  in a ruling promised for July 3, the trial will cease to follow Dutch law, and become a Dutch Government propaganda show.  

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IN MH17 TRIAL DUTCH LAWYERS PUT UP STRAWMAN DEFENCE – THEY ALLOW PROSECUTORS, JUDGE TO PROCEED TO CONVICTION

by John Helmer, Moscow 
  @bears_with

For a brief moment in the presentation this week of the defence case against the Dutch government’s indictment of Oleg Pulatov for murder in the shoot-down of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17, the Dutch lawyer Boudewijn Van Eijck almost said there was no case to answer, and the indictment should be dismissed immediately for lack of evidence that is legal under Dutch law.

“The indictment is superficial when it comes to actual facts which the defendant is accused of,” Van Eijck (lead image, 2nd from left) said (June 22, Min 21:19). “It is not clear at this stage of this very question whether the actions would actually amount to a crime even if they could be proved.”

Van Eijck also warned the presiding judge Hendrik Steenhuis (right) that he is on trial himself – that he should not continue the trial on the prosecution’s evidence, ignoring the defence requests for fresh investigation and new witnesses,  “in order to make sure that this case never has to be reviewed on appeal” (June 22, Min 42:35).  

The next day, Sabine ten Doessschate (1st left), the junior defence lawyer, summed up the defence case by undercutting her leader. She apologised to the Dutch press and to families of those killed on MH17 for presenting what she called “conspiracy theories”. “All of the topics which we have talked about,” ten Doesschate concluded on June 23, “for all of these we have asked ourselves, on the basis of what we have read, can we really say this is what really happened; and this is not the other thing which happened. And our answer is no. On the basis of the file we have at this moment it is impossible for us to say either one… this means we don’t have all the answers. Investigation of topics like these can give hard facts which can give the answer to the question, how was MH17 brought down. If we were not to ask in detail for investigation, we would not be able to look at ourselves in the mirror. This is the least that can be expected of us” (June 23, Min 2:53:19).

The Dutch defence lawyers have wound up defending themselves. Judge Steenhuis, who looks in a different mirror, has promised to issue his rulings on July 3.

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HOW THE DUTCH PROSECUTION AND THE JUDGE HAVE RIGGED THE OUTCOME OF THE MH17 TRIAL ON A CHARGE THAT REQUIRES NO PROOF

by John Helmer, Moscow 
  @bears_with

The Dutch Government has devised an evidence-proof scheme for ensuring the trial of the Russian government for the destruction of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 will end in a conviction.

This scheme will work without evidence to prove that the four men accused of the crime of shooting down the aircraft, killing the 298 passengers and crew on board on July 17, 2014, intended to kill; or even intended to fire the missile which allegedly brought MH17 down.

The Dutch scheme is evidence-proof because no evidence will be needed, not from US satellite photographs which are missing; nor NATO airborne tracking which shows no missile; nor Ukrainian Security Service (SBU) evidence which has proved to have been fabricated, and in the case of Ukrainian witnesses for the prosecution, threatened, tortured or bribed.  

The scheme is also evidence-proof because the Dutch Prime Minister has told the Dutch Minister of Justice to order the state prosecutors to tell the state-appointed judge that he must convict the Russians if he finds as proven that MH17 crashed to the ground in eastern Ukraine; that everyone on board was killed; and that the four soldiers accused – three Russians and one Ukrainian – were on the ground fighting.

International war crimes lawyers are calling this a legal travesty. It was presented in court near Amsterdam by Dutch state prosecutor Thijs Berger on June 10. It has gone unnoticed in the mainstream western media. Russian reporters following the trial have missed it. The scheme was first reported in English and Russian by a NATO propaganda unit on June 12.

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JOHN BOLTON STRIKES AT THE BRITISH OVER THE SKRIPAL AFFAIR

by John Helmer, Moscow 
  @bears_with

A politician becomes a psychopath when he or she acts without calculating the consequences for approval rating and voter support. The same thing goes for ministers and their advisers who urge military operations abroad which make voters feel unsafe at home. Fear and insecurity aren’t good for incumbents; at least not the ones who can’t rig elections.   

In the case of John Bolton (lead image, left),  he took the National Security Advisor’s post from President Donald Trump in order to make as many wars outside the US as he could. He has now published a book about all the wars he wanted when he got his best chance to make them; and about those who got in the way to stop him, especially Trump.

After seventeen months,  Bolton lost his job on September 10, 2019, because fear and insecurity weren’t good for Trump’s re-election (then). Bolton’s objective, along with his publisher Simon & Schuster and everyone now endorsing the book, is to make war on Trump and defeat him at the election on November 3.

This is as obvious as Bolton’s diagnosis as a psychopath – or to be clinically precise, an adrenal hyperplasiac. He himself is unusually  sensitive to the diagnosis of his symptoms, beginning with his moustache. Displacement of  violence is a classic symptom of moustache wearers —  everybody has understood this since Sigmund Freud’s case study of Little Hans and his father’s moustache,  as  Bolton knows only too well. So he starts his book making sure no one believes, as Bolton purposefully investigated for himself, Trump’s “purported dislike of my moustache. For what it’s worth, he told me it was never a factor, noting that his father also had one. Other than shrinks and those deeply interested in Sigmund Freud, which I assuredly am not, I don’t really believe my looks played a role in Trump’s thinking.”

For a man in Bolton’s condition, everyone everywhere always is a target. As his book reveals, Bolton’s sights include Trump’s counterpart in London, Prime Minister Theresa May, and Bolton’s counterpart on her staff, Sir Mark Sedwill; the latter’s enthusiasm for warmaking was, Bolton explains, even sharper than his own.  Notwithstanding, Bolton couldn’t help himself — the British are his targets in his retelling of the story of the Skripal case.

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THE SEDWILL POISONINGS – CABINET OFFICE, MI6, AND BBC DRAW 12 MILLION VIEWERS; NOVICHOK IS TOP OF THE POPS

by John Helmer, Moscow 
  @bears_with

By prime time television standards, the British Broadcasting Corporation’s  (BBC) three-part invention of a Russian-made Novichok attack on Sergei and Yulia Skripal, and the death of Dawn Sturgess  two years ago, has been a brilliant success. Twelve million people watched part or all of the series, which ran from Sunday through Tuesday, June 14 to 16. That was roughly one in every three souls watching television in the United Kingdom — 7,204,950 on Sunday evening; 6,242,220 on Monday, 6,165,250 on Tuesday.

Very few of them, it is certain, know the name of Sir Mark Sedwill, who has run the Skripal operation from the beginning until now. Sedwill is Cabinet Secretary, the most senior civil servant in the British Government, and National Security Adviser to the Prime Minister – the first man to hold both posts at the same time. Sedwill’s name doesn’t appear in the film. Instead, he appears in the guise of an official from Whitehall who doesn’t exist.

Between the truth and the fiction, Sedwill’s deception operation has proved to be an even bigger success than Operation Mincemeat. That was the one in 1943 when the British military and intelligence services dressed up a London corpse — dead of organophosphate poisoning (rat-killer) by his own hand — to fool Adolph Hitler and the German High Command into thinking the allies would launch their invasion of Europe in the wrong place.  Sedwill’s success is much greater. Operation Novichok hasn’t fooled the Russian High Command but it has deceived Sedwill’s own people, the British.

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TOO CROOKED TO LIE STRAIGHT IN BED – BBC TRIES TO RIGHT THE WRONGS OF ITS SKRIPAL STORY

by John Helmer, Moscow 
  @bears_with

The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) isn’t likely to have heard the old Australian working-class expression that a man is too crooked to lie straight in bed. It meant that lying and  cheating are in the nature of a deformity, and can’t be operated on or cured.  “The Salisbury Poisonings”, the three-part, three-hour film which concluded its run on Tuesday evening, was composed by individuals like that.

That isn’t news. From the beginning in March 2018, the BBC has been a platform for the British Government’s narrative that Russia, directed by President Vladimir Putin, waged chemical warfare on British soil,  attempting to assassinate Sergei and Yulia Skripal, and then killing  Dawn Sturgess. In May of 2018 – almost three months after the Skripals were attacked on March 4; one month before Sturgess was hospitalised — the corporation broadcast a series of interviews with the medical staff at Salisbury District Hospital attempting to prove that a Russian-made nerve agent called Novichok had been the weapon of the crime.  The BBC broadcaster, Mark Urban —  he admitted later – had been preparing interviews with Skripal by arrangement with the Secret Intelligence Service (MI6), and then to have produced his book on the case with the NATO information warfare unit, Bellingcat.  In November 2018, the corporation broadcast a fresh hour claiming to be the “inside story” of the Salisbury nerve agent attack.

The corporation then began negotiations on an even longer version of the story. By mid-May 2019 money was committed and other terms agreed for what was initially planned to be “a two-part factual drama”.  Casting followed; filming began in October of that year. The drama was stretched into three parts. The facts were stretched, too.

Unravelling the facts composed by a crooked man trying to lie straight can be a whodunit of the conventional English type. This time, though, the BBC has revealed the  complicated plot of a true crime hatched in the Cabinet Office in London by a character the new film introduces with an untraceable name.

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BBC HIDES NEW SKRIPAL WITNESS — NICOLAS GENT REPORTS NO SKRIPAL BLOOD SAMPLES WERE RECEIVED AT PORTON DOWN BEFORE NOVICHOK WAS DISCOVERED AND ANNOUNCED

by John Helmer, Moscow 
  @bears_with

A British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) film, which started its three-part broadcast on Sunday, has exposed the chain of command in the town of Salisbury at the time Sergei Skripal (lead image, left) and Yulia Skripal were poisoned on March 4, 2018. That command was directed by a medical specialist working at the Porton Down compound less than nine miles from the park bench where the Skripals collapsed. He gave the orders to the city’s public health  officials depicted in the film, as well as to the police, paramedics and hospital personnel starring in the film.  He also coordinated the movement of the Skripals’ blood from the hospital’s intensive care ward to the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL) at Porton Down.  From there he reported to the officials of the Cabinet Office emergency committee, code-named COBRA, meeting in a bunker in central London. They included the head of the Secret Intelligence Service (SIS, MI6), Sir Alex Younger (lead image, right).

The medical commander’s name is Nicolas Gent. His title is Deputy Head of the Emergency Response Department, Centre for Emergency Preparedness and Response, Public Health England (PHE).  

Gent’s standing order to the Salisbury Hospital doctors taking blood samples from the Skripals, and to the DSTL analysts receiving the samples, was that “every transfer of a sample must be documented… you will need to complete a new form for each transfer (eg from the person who took the sample to the porter who will take the sample to the laboratory; from porter to scientist; from laboratory to courier service; from courier service to scientist in reference laboratory). All the forms in this chain must be numbered in sequence.”

Gent wrote the blank forms; he reviewed the completed ones after they had arrived at Porton Down and the blood was analysed. He then reported to COBRA (Cabinet Office Briefing Room A).   

But DSTL and the Ministry of Defence have subsequently acknowledged that “our searches have failed to locate any information that provides the exact time that the samples were collected.”  

For Gent to be telling the truth about how the blood samples were documented, and for the Ministry of Defence to be telling the truth that no forms have been found at Porton Down for the Skripal blood samples, leaves only one conclusion. If they aren’t lying, the truth is that no Skripal blood samples were delivered to Porton Down before it was decided that Novichok, made in Russia and used to attack the Skripals, had been found in their bloodstreams.

The discovery of Novichok is the lie. It started in the COBRA bunker in London, and was issued to Gent who coordinated with DSTL, and then with Salisbury Hospital. Gent is the witness who not only knows what was in the Skripals’ blood samples to start with. He also knows when Novichok was added to the Skripals’ blood, and by whom. There is no trace of Gent in the BBC film.

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UKRAINE SECRET SERVICE TELEPHONE TAPES, WITNESS TAMPERING, HATRED FOR RUSSIANS — DUTCH PROSECUTORS WIND UP PRESENTATION OF KIEV’S MH17 SHOW TRIAL

by John Helmer, Moscow 
  @bears_with

“I give you the floor”, Judge Hendrik Steenhuis announced to Prosecutor Thjs Berger, as he opened  the June 10 session of the MH17 murder trial, the sixth day of the hearing at the Schiphol Judicial Complex in The Netherlands.  The judge was referring to a court of law, not a stage show. “Ladies and gentlemen,” Berger began, certain it was a show he was opening. By the conclusion of his and Prosecutor Ward Ferdinandusse’s presentations, it was clear the show the Dutch are putting on in Amsterdam has been scripted entirely in Kiev.  

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JUNE 12 IS RUSSIA DAY BUT YELTSIN ELECTION OF JUNE 12, 1991, IS NO OCCASION FOR RUSSIANS TO CELEBRATE, NOR HIS DECLARATION OF STATE SOVEREIGNTY OF JUNE 12, 1990*

by John Helmer, Moscow 
  @bears_with

June 12 marks the anniversary of Boris Yeltsin’s election as President of Russia.

It is no moment for celebration.

The government which he led successfully over the attempted putsch of last August and through the disintegration of the Soviet Union now lacks credible authority in the Russian federation and among its people.

There is no agreement on a constitution to hold the federation together, or to divide the power granted by Russian votes for
president and parliament.

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RUSSIA DID NOT HAND OVER SATELLITE IMAGES, MH17 COURT TOLD, THE US AND CHINA ALSO

by John Helmer, Moscow 
  @bears_with

A Dutch Government prosecutor has told the court trying charges of murder against the Russian state, three Russian soldiers and a Ukrainian in the shooting-down of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 that satellite images were requested from the US, Russia and China. The Russian reply, announced yesterday in court by prosecutor Thijs Berger, was that the Russian satellite images were “not stored”. The Chinese reply, he added, was that there had been a Chinese satellite above eastern Ukraine at the time of the MH17 downing, but it was “not operational”. All three governments – the US, Russia, and China – refused to provide satellite images.

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NEW ZEALAND DENIES SERGEI SKRIPAL AND YULIA SKRIPAL ARE IN HIDING THERE

by John Helmer, Moscow 
  @bears_with

High British Government officials, security insiders, and employees of Rupert Murdoch’s newspapers in London  confirmed this week that Sergei (lead image, left) and Yulia Skripal (right) are under tight guard, constant surveillance, cut off from their family without limit of time, in isolation and incommunicado. This is not prison, the British say – it is New Zealand.

The Prime Minister of New Zealand, Jacinda Ardern, says the Skripals are not in New Zealand. Ardern is running for re-election in the poll due in three months’ time on September 19;  according to the current polls, she is the most popular leader of the country in a hundred years.  Doing favours for the British secret services and telling lies about it are risks Ardern doesn’t need to run to secure votes.

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MH17 COURT CARTOON — DUTCH JUDGE PRESENTS BOMBSHELL, THE US DELIVERS DUD – NO SATELLITE EVIDENCE OF RUSSIAN SHOOTDOWN

by John Helmer, Moscow 
  @bears_with

The foundation stone of the Dutch prosecution of the Russian state, three Russian soldiers and a Ukrainian from Donbass for shooting down Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 is the US satellite imagery of the missile launch, trajectory, and detonation. The US Government publicly laid this foundation within hours of the incident, on July 17, 2014, following the destruction of the 298 people on board.

If the satellite images are not presented in the trial, which began hearings again this week, the prosecution case fails, either because the US refuses to declassify and release the images,  or because they don’t exist. If it can be proved that the US has lied about the satellite evidence, and that Dutch prosecutors are repeating this lie in court, then the defence will have the foundation for summary dismissal of the charges.

On March 23, the presiding judge Hendrik Steenhuis issued an order for the prosecution to produce in court the US satellite images. This week, on June 8, Steenhuis announced the prosecution had responded with a memorandum prepared by another Dutch prosecutor interpreting the satellite images but without revealing them. “The American authorities informed us that they cannot provide any additional information regarding the launch of the missile… and the court understands from this that no further information is to be added to the file as a result.”

The judge did not say this is a violation of his disclosure order. The defence lawyers have not announced the evidence is hearsay, unverifiable, and inadmissible in a court of law. Neither the defence lawyers nor Steenhuis himself have charged the prosecution with contempt of court.  The prosecution lawyers, who are continuing this week with an outline of their case, are preparing to repeat the US lie.

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JAMES HASLAM, SERGEI SKRIPAL’S AND DAWN STURGESS’S DOCTOR, ADMITS HE ISN’T SURE NOVICHOK WAS THEIR POISON

by John Helmer, Moscow 
  @bears_with

Dr James Haslam (lead image) was the doctor in charge at Radnor Ward, the intensive care unit of Salisbury District Hospital, when Dawn Sturgess was admitted on June 30, 2018, and died on July 8. She is  the woman whom the British Prime Minister, Metropolian Police, Crown Prosecution Service,  and Wiltshire county coroner David Ridley, have all declared  to have died from poisoning by a Russian-made nerve agenct called Novichok. This, they all say, was  brought to the UK by Russian soldiers who have been named and officially charged, not with killing Sturgess, but with trying to kill Sergei and Yulia Skripal, and leaving behind their weapon, a counterfeit bottle of perfume, where Sturgess and her companion found it several weeks later.

Haslam is so important to the story of this Russian weapon,  which hadn’t existed until Sturgess  used it on her herself and then died from it, that the state British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) assigned Haslam a part in each of the three episodes of the film called “The Salisbury Posionings”. Haslam is the only doctor from the intensive care unit treating the Skripals and Sturgess who is depicted in the BBC drama. The film will be broadcast next week.

Haslam himself claims he “led the team who cared for the critically ill patients during the Salisbury Nerve Agent Incident.”   A committed Christian, Haslam also gives public lectures on “how his faith and interests in challenging medicine and ethics played a role at the centre of this major incident.”

Before the make-believe Haslam does what the BBC scripted him to do in the movie, Haslam prepared a research report for his medical colleagues entitled “Organophosphorus nerve agent poisoning: managing the poisoned patient.” It was published in the British Journal of Anaesthesia,  on April 5, 2019, with three co-authors. These three are military agents – one from the Royal Navy working on a Defence Ministry grant; one from the Ministry’s Defence Science and Technology Laboratory, the chemical warfare establishment at Porton Down; and one from the Royal Centre for Defence Medicine, an armed forces hospital in Birmingham. Discovered by Liane Theuer, the report can be read here.

Haslam was the only civilian; they wrote the report together. It was then reviewed by a Navy surgeon commander before “all authors approved the manuscript”. Together, they wrote that at Salisbury Hospital between the admission of the Skripals on March 4, 2018,  and of Dawn Sturgess and Charles Rowley on June 30, “at least six patients may have had varying degrees of exposure [to Novichok poisonings]”.

“May have had” does not mean what the British Prime Minister, Metropolitan Police, Crown Prosecution Service, Coroner Ridley, and the BBC  had all concluded a year before this was published.

This week Haslam was asked to explain why he wasn’t sure about the Novichok poison a year ago, and whether he still isn’t sure. He was contacted by telephone and by email.  He refuses to answer.

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WHEN THE SIN OF THE FATHER REVISITS THE SCENE OF THE CRIME – BERLIN SENDS ARNDT VON LORINGHOVEN TO WARSAW TO BE GERMANY’S AMBASSADOR TO POLAND

By Stanislas Balcerac, Warsaw, translated from Polish with illustrations by John Helmer, Moscow 
  @bears_with

Arndt Freytag von Loringhoven (lead image, right), a former deputy head of the German intelligence agency BND, and more recently the NATO intelligence chief, a newly created post, is now to take over as the new German ambassador in Poland.

This is a strange nomination, is it not, when ex- intelligence bosses are being despatched to run the German legation in a friendly, allied state?

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FIRM NUMBERS AT RUSSIAN ART WEEK IN LONDON, BUT DEMAND FOR RUSSIAN NUDES IS LIMP

by John Helmer, Moscow 
  @bears_with

Russian pictures for which the owners paid millions of pounds or dollars aren’t put up for sale, and buyers won’t pay that much money in the London auction houses if the auction rooms have been closed and are likely to stay that way for the rest of the year. But this week the Russian art market is showing unexpected strength of demand, nonetheless.

Online auctions by Sotheby’s and MacDougall’s have revealed that bidders pushed prices for the best paintings and best-known painters well above their pre-sale estimates. Roughly the same proportion of pictures was sold from the catalogue as the auctioneers managed at Russian Art Week in London last November. Still, the number of lots on offer is down, as is the number of big-ticket paintings.

The auctioneers themselves say the reason for the positive trend is that fresh, young bidders  have come into the market for Russian art. They aren’t investors looking for speculative profit margins or safe haven for money on the run from bank fraud and other stealing schemes. The Russian art market is also becoming more competitive on the selling side, as new online internet platforms are expanding the number of Russian artists, especially those living outside Moscow and St. Petersburg, whose work can now reach an international audience and greater appreciation.

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BRITISH CORONER HIDES BRITISH POLICE EVIDENCE IN THE NOVICHOK CASE, AS BBC PREPARES TO BROADCAST NEW LIES

by John Helmer, Moscow 
  @bears_with

The Wiltshire county coroner investigating British Government allegations that Russian military agents using a Russian-made poison called Novichok caused the death of a woman, Dawn Sturgess, on July 8, 2018, has lied in his report of the inquest into her death.  

This has been revealed by evidence gathered by the Wiltshire police two years ago, and recovered this week.

Senior Coroner David Ridley (lead image, right) has also concealed evidence from the coroner’s court inquest file and withheld it from the Russian Government after promising “to assist with the Russian Federation’s investigation of Ms Sturgess’ death…if the Russian Federation were to be supplied with a copy of the coronial investigation file which focuses on Ms Sturgess’ death.”

Asked to respond to the police evidence and to say if he had passed the file to the Russian Government, Ridley refused to say. “You are not an Interested Person as defined by S47 Coroners and Justice Act  2009 [ click for link ], and therefore [Ridley] will not be responding to your e-mails or correspondence.” But last December Ridley published a ruling identifying two Russians – the alleged Novichok assassins – as “Interested Persons”, declaring “the same disclosure material…will be provided to all Interested Persons including Messrs Petrov and Boshirov.”

Ridley did not provide the “disclosure material”, according to the Russian Embassy in London.

The reason for Ridley’s cover-up is that the “disclosure material” in the “coronial investigation file” includes Wiltshire police evidence, together with blood and toxicology tests from Salisbury District Hospital; these show Sturgess had taken illegal drugs, the contamination of which caused her death. The Wiltshire police and hospital medical reports were dated more than a week before the authorities claim to have discovered Novichok on the kitchen table at the apartment where Sturgess fell mortally ill.

The initial police evidence and Coroner Ridley’s later lying about it indicate the British secret services used Sturgess’s corpse to find the weapon missing from their earlier story of the March 4, 2018, attack on Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia Skripal. The Skripals have not been permitted to testify what happened to them; they are being held incommunicado and in secret without access to family, lawyers, the Russian Embassy, or the press.

The police revelations come on the eve of the broadcast by the state British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) of a three-part series called “The Salisbury Poisonings”. This will go to air on June 14, 15, and 16. According to BBC advertising, the film “captures the bravery, resilience and, in some cases, personal tragedy of the unsuspecting locals, who faced a situation of unimaginable horror so close to home.” Coroner Ridley is not shown in the film as playing either an unsuspecting or a brave role.   

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TRANSCRIPT OF TRUMP TELEPHONE-CALL WITH PUTIN LEAKED

by John Helmer, Moscow 
  @bears_with

President Donald Trump telephoned President Vladimir Putin on Monday afternoon, Moscow time, to confirm he is inviting Russia to re-join the G7 summit conference at the next scheduled meeting of the group in the US.

Trump had mentioned his idea of holding a face-to-face meeting of heads of government of Germany, France, Italy, Japan, the UK and Canada on May 20, when he tweeted: “Now that our Country is ‘Transitioning back to Greatness’, I am considering rescheduling the G-7, on the same or similar date, in Washington, D.C., at the legendary Camp David. The other members are also beginning their COMEBACK. It would be a great sign to all – normalization!” Trump then spoke of a date  in late June in a telephone call with French President Emmanuel Macron on May 28. Macron agreed to the face-to-face format and to the tentative time.

The German Chancellor Angela Merkel rejected the idea, announcing through a spokesman, Steffen Seibert, on May 30: “The federal chancellor thanks President Trump for his invitation to the G7 summit in Washington at the end of June in Washington.   As of today, considering the overall pandemic situation, she cannot agree to her personal participation, to a journey to  Washington.” The spokesman added an irony. “She will of course continue to monitor the development of the pandemic.”

Stung by Merkel, Trump told US reporters on May 31 he would postpone the G7 meeting until at least September,  and is considering the inclusion of four additional countries to the summit: Russia, Australia, India and South Korea. “I’m postponing it because I don’t feel as a G7 it probably represents what’s going on in the world. It’s a very outdated group of countries.”

On Monday Trump telephoned the Kremlin. The text of the conversation of the call has been leaked.

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RED HAS TURNED YELLOW – THE GREEK AND CYPRIOT COMMUNISTS ARE FLYING A DIFFERENT FLAG IN THE UKRAINE WAR



By John Helmer, Moscow
  @bears_with

The Ukraine war is splitting the communist parties of Europe between those taking the US side, and those on the Russian side.

In an unusual public criticism of the Greek Communist Party (KKE) and of smaller communist parties in Europe which have endorsed the Greek criticism of Russia for waging an “imperialist” war against the Ukraine, the Russian Communist Party (KPRF) has responded this week with a 3,300-word declaration:  “The military conflict in Ukraine,” the party said, “cannot be described as an imperialist war, as our comrades would argue. It is essentially a national liberation war of the people of Donbass. From Russia’s point of view it is a struggle against an external threat to national security and against Fascism.”

By contrast, the Russian communists have not bothered to send advice, or air public criticism of the Cypriot communists and their party, the Progressive Party of Working People (AKEL). On March 2, AKEL issued a communiqué “condemn[ing] Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and calls for an immediate ceasefire and the withdrawal of the Russian troops from Ukrainian territories….[and] stresses that the Russian Federation’s action in recognising the Donetsk and Luhansk regions constitutes a violation of the principle of the territorial integrity of states.”

 To the KPRF in Moscow the Cypriots are below contempt; the Greeks are a fraction above it.

A Greek-Cypriot veteran of Cypriot politics and unaffiliated academic explains: “The Cypriot communists do not allow themselves to suffer for what they profess to believe. Actually, they are a misnomer. They are the American party of the left in Cyprus, just as [President Nikos] Anastasiades is the American party of the right.” As for the Greek left, Alexis Tsipras of Syriza – with 85 seats of the Greek parliament’s 300, the leading party of the opposition – the KKE (with 15 seats), and Yanis Varoufakis of MeRA25 (9 seats), the source adds: “The communists are irrelevant in Europe and in the US, except in the very narrow context of Greek party politics.”

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IF IT SMELLS ALLURING, IT’S RUSSIAN – IN WARTIME L’ORÉAL (FRANCE) AND ESTÉE LAUDER (US) MAKE A BAD SMELL



By John Helmer, Moscow
  @bears_with

The war plan of the US and the European allies is destroying the Russian market for traditional French perfumes, the profits of the French and American conglomerates which own the best-known brands, the bonuses of their managers, and the dividends of their shareholders. The odour  of these losses is too strong for artificial fresheners.

Givaudan, the Swiss-based world leader in production and supply of fragrances, oils and other beauty product ingredients, has long regarded the Russian market as potentially its largest in Europe; it is one of the fastest growing contributors to Givaudan’s profit worldwide. In the recovery from the pandemic of Givaudan’s Fragrance and Beauty division – it accounts for almost half the company’s total sales — the group reported “excellent double-digit growth in 2021, demonstrating strong consumer demand for these product categories.”    Until this year, Givaudan reveals in its latest financial report, the growth rate for Russian demand was double-digit – much faster than the  6.3% sales growth in Europe overall; faster growth than in Germany, Belgium and Spain.    

Between February 2014, when the coup in Kiev started the US war against Russia, and last December, when the Russian non-aggression treaties with the US and NATO were rejected,   Givaudan’s share price jumped three and a half times – from 1,380 Swiss francs to 4,792 francs; from a company with a market capitalisation of 12.7 billion francs ($12.7 billion) to a value of 44.2 billion francs ($44.2 billion). Since the fighting began in eastern Ukraine this year until now, Givaudan has lost 24% of that value – that’s $10 billion.  

The largest of Givaudan’s shareholders is Bill Gates. With his 14%, plus the 10% controlled by Black Rock of New York and MFS of Boston, the US has effective control over the company.

Now, according to the US war sanctions, trade with Russia and the required payment systems have been closed down, alongside the bans on the importation of the leading European perfumes. So in place of the French perfumers, instead of Givaudan, the Russian industry is reorganizing for its future growth with its own perfume brands manufactured from raw materials produced in Crimea and other regions, or supplied by India and China. Givaudan, L’Oréal (Lancome, Yves Saint Laurent), Kering (Balenciaga, Gucci), LVMH (Dior, Guerlain, Givenchy), Chanel, Estée Lauder, Clarins – they have all cut off their noses to spite the Russian face.

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THE WAR AGAINST FOOD – WHO IS TO BLAME



By Nikolai Storozhenko, introduced and translated by John Helmer, Moscow
  @bears_with

This week President Joseph Biden stopped at an Illinois farm to say he’s going to help the  Ukraine ship 20 million tonnes of wheat and corn out of storage into export, thereby relieving  grain shortages in the international markets and lowering bread prices around the world.  Biden was trying to play a hand in which his cards have already been clipped. By Biden.  

The first Washington-Kiev war plan for eastern Ukraine has already lost about 40% of the Ukrainian wheat fields, 50% of the barley, and all of the grain export ports. Their second war plan to hold the western region defence lines with mobile armour, tanks, and artillery  now risks the loss of the corn and rapeseed crop as well as the export route for trucks to Romania and Moldova. What will be saved in western Ukraine will be unable to grow enough to feed its own people. They will be forced to import US wheat, as well as US guns and the money to pay for both.

Biden told his audience that on the Delaware farms he used to represent in the US Senate “there are more chickens than there are Americans.”  Blaming the Russians is the other card Biden has left.  

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EXILE



By John Helmer, Moscow
  @bears_with

The problem with living in exile is the meaning of the word. If you’re in exile, you mean you are forever looking backwards, in geography as well as in time. You’re not only out of place; you’re out of time — yesterday’s man.

Ovid, the Roman poet who was sent into exile from Rome by Caesar Augustus, for offences neither Augustus nor Ovid revealed, never stopped looking back to Rome. His exile, as Ovid described it, was “a barbarous coast, inured to rapine/stalked ever by bloodshed, murder, war.” In such a place or state, he said, “writing a poem you can read to no one is like dancing in the dark.”

The word itself, exsilium in Roman law, was the sentence of loss of citizenship as an alternative to loss of life, capital punishment. It meant being compelled to live outside Rome at a location decided by the emperor. The penalty took several degrees of isolation and severity. In Ovid’s case, he was ordered by Augustus to be shipped to the northeastern limit of the Roman empire,  the Black Sea town called Tomis; it is now Constanta, Romania. Ovid’s last books, Tristia (“Sorrows”) and Epistulae ex Ponto (“Black Sea Letters”), were written from this exile, which began when he was 50 years old, in 8 AD, and ended when he died in Tomis nine years year later, in 17 AD.  

In my case I’ve been driven into exile more than once. The current one is lasting the longest. This is the one from Moscow, which began with my expulsion by the Foreign Ministry on September 28, 2010.  The official sentence is Article 27(1) of the law No. 114-FZ — “necessary for the purposes of defence capability or security of the state, or public order, or protection of health of the population.” The reason, a foreign ministry official told an immigration service official when they didn’t know they were being overheard, was: “Helmer writes bad things about Russia.”

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IN THE FOG OF WAR THERE’S THE GUTERRES CERTAINTY AND THE CADIEU CERTAINTY – GORILLA RADIO SEES THROUGH THE COVER-UP



By John Helmer, Moscow
  @bears_with

Antonio Guterres is the Secretary-General of the United Nations (UN), who attempted last month  to arrange the escape from Russian capture of Ukrainian soldiers and NATO commanders,  knowing they had committed war crimes. He was asked to explain; he refuses.   

Trevor Cadieu is a Canadian lieutenant-general who was appointed the chief of staff and head of the Canadian Armed Forces last August; was stopped in September; retired from the Army this past April, and went to the Ukraine, where he is in hiding. From whom he is hiding – Canadians or Russians – where he is hiding, and what he will say to explain are questions Cadieu isn’t answering, yet.

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DID UN SECRETARY-GENERAL GUTERRES COMMIT A WAR CRIME AT AZOVSTAL?

By John Helmer, Moscow
  @bears_with

Antonio Guterres, the United Nations Secretary-General, is refusing this week to answer questions on the role he played in the recent attempt by US, British, Canadian and other foreign combatants to escape the bunkers under the Azovstal plant, using the human shield of civilians trying to evacuate.

In Guterres’s meeting with President Vladimir Putin at the Kremlin on April 26 (lead image), Putin warned Guterres he had been “misled” in his efforts. “The simplest thing”, Putin told Guterres in the recorded part of their meeting, “for military personnel or members of the nationalist battalions is to release the civilians. It is a crime to keep civilians, if there are any there, as human shields.”  

This war crime has been recognized since 1977 by the UN in Protocol 1 of the Geneva Convention.  In US law for US soldiers and state officials, planning to employ or actually using human shields is a war crime to be prosecuted under 10 US Code Section 950t.  

Instead, Guterres ignored the Kremlin warning and the war crime law, and authorized UN officials, together with Red Cross officials,  to conceal what Guterres himself knew of the foreign military group trying to escape. Overnight from New York, Guterres has refused to say what he knew of the military escape operation, and what he had done to distinguish, or conceal the differences between the civilians and combatants in the evacuation plan over the weekend of April 30-May 1.May.

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THE LAST DITCH IS POLAND – RUSSIA’S PHASE-3 PLAN FOR WESTERN UKRAINE



By Vlad Shlepchenko, introduced & translated by John Helmer, Moscow
  @bears_with

The more western politicians announce pledges of fresh weapons for the Ukraine, the more Russian military analysts explain what options their official sources are considering to destroy the arms before they reach the eastern front, and to neutralize Poland’s role as the NATO  hub for resupply and reinforcement of the last-ditch holdout of western Ukraine.

“I would like to note,” Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, repeated yesterday, “that any transport of the North Atlantic Alliance that arrived on the territory of the country with weapons or material means for the needs of the Ukrainian armed forces is considered by us as a legitimate target for destruction”.  He means the Ukraine border is the red line.

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THE MATLIN PLOT, THE BROWDER PLOT AND THE NEW YORK TIMES PLOT



By Lucy Komisar,  New York*
  @bears_with

Here’s a story the New York Times has just missed.

US politicians and media pundits are promoting the targeting of “enablers” of Russian oligarchs who stash their money in offshore accounts. A Times article of March 11   highlighted Michael Matlin, CEO of Concord Management as such an “enabler.” But the newspaper missed serious corruption Matlin was involved in. Maybe that’s because Matlin cheated Russia, and also because the Matlin story exposes the William Browder/Sergei Magnitsky hoax aimed at Russia.

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YELLOW COAL, THE FUEL MADE OUT OF RACE HATRED — MAY DAY MESSAGE FROM SIGIZMUND KRZHIZHANOVSKY, 1939



By John Helmer, Moscow
  @bears_with

In 1939 a little known writer in Moscow named Sigizmund Khrzhizhanovsky published his idea that the Americans, then the Germans would convert human hatred into a new source of energy powering everything which had been dependent until then on coal, gas, and oil.

Called yellow coal, this invention originated with Professor Leker at Harvard University. It was applied, first to running municipal trams, then to army weapons, and finally to cheap electrification of everything from domestic homes and office buildings to factory production lines. In Russian leker means a quack doctor.

The Harvard professor’s idea was to concentrate the neuro-muscular energy people produce when they hate each other.  Generated as bile (yellow), accumulated and concentrated into kinetic spite in machines called myeloabsorberators, Krzhizhanovsky called this globalization process the bilification of society.

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IS CAESARISM THE PROBLEM, THE SOLUTION, A FANCY DRESS COSTUME, OR A PROPAGANDA CARTOON?



By John Helmer, Moscow
  @bears_with

In imperial history there is nothing new in cases of dementia in rulers attracting homicidal psychopaths to replace them.  It’s as natural as honey attracts bees.

When US President Woodrow Wilson was incapacitated by a stroke on October 19, 1919, he was partially paralysed and blinded, and was no longer able to feed himself, sign his name, or speak normally; he was not demented.

While his wife and the Navy officer  who was his personal physician concealed his condition, there is no evidence that either Edith Wilson or Admiral Cary Grayson were themselves clinical cases of disability, delusion,  or derangement. They were simply liars driven by the ambition to hold on to the power of the president’s office and deceive everyone who got in their way.  

The White House is always full of people like that. The 25th Amendment to the US Constitution is meant to put a damper on their homicidal tendencies.

What is unusual, probably exceptional in the current case of President Joseph Biden, not to mention the history of the United States,  is the extent of the president’s personal incapacitation; combined with the clinical evidence of psychopathology in his Secretary of State Antony Blinken;  and the delusional condition of the rivals to replace Biden, including Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.

Like Rome during the first century AD, Washington is now in the ailing emperor-homicidal legionary phase.  But give it another century or two, and the madness, bloodshed, and lies of the characters of the moment won’t matter quite as much as their images on display in the museums of their successors craving legitimacy, or of successor powers celebrating their superiority.  

Exactly this has happened to the original Caesars, as a new book by Mary Beard, a Cambridge University professor of classics, explains. The biggest point of her book, she says, is “dynastic succession” – not only of the original Romans but of those modern rulers who acquired the Roman portraits in marble and later copies in paint, and the copies of those copies, with the idea of communicating “the idea of the direct transfer of power from ancient Romans to Franks and on to later German rulers.”

In the case she narrates of the most famous English owner of a series of the “Twelve Caesars”, King Charles I — instigator of the civil war of 1642-51 and the loser of both the war and his head – the display of his Caesars was intended to demonstrate the king’s self-serving “missing link” between his one-man rule and the ancient Romans who murdered their way to rule, and then apotheosized into immortal gods in what they hoped would be a natural death on a comfortable bed.

With the American and Russian successions due to take place in Washington and Moscow in two years’ time, Beard’s “Twelve Caesars, Images of Power from the Ancient World to the Modern”,  is just the ticket from now to then.

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