OUT TODAY! — THE LIE THAT SHOT DOWN MH17

by John Helmer, Moscow 
  @bears_with

The Dutch Government has rigged the trial for Russian murder in the shooting-down of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 on June 17, 2014. The outcome will be a guilty verdict. For Prime Minister Mark Rutte, this is more easily predicted than his survival in power in six months’ time, when Dutch voters go to the polls on March 17, 2021.

The immediate consequence is that the defence of Russian Army Lieutenant Colonel Oleg Pulatov, the one Russian accused who has responded to the Dutch indictment, is pointless; it should stop at once. The Rotterdam lawyers, Boudwijn van Eijck and Sabine ten Doesschate, who are representing Pulatov in court, should withdraw. If they are reluctant, then Anatoly Kovler and Yelena Kutyina, the Moscow lawyers who arranged their engagement and the money to pay them, should order a walk-out.

The Russian side gains nothing, and loses much, by collaborating in the show trial.

A guilty verdict for Pulatov, and by extension the three other defendants and the Russian government behind them, can’t make a significant difference to the outcome of the Dutch election. The MH17 trial will be continuing that month, if it is running on the timetable already announced.  According to that, the verdict cannot be delivered until the very end of 2021 or the first weeks of 2022.

Before the March election day, however, if Pulatov has already abandoned the trial, ordering his lawyers to leave the courtroom, there is a chance that Rutte’s campaign of deceptions will be comprehended by Dutch voters as they go to the ballot box. Just a chance. If then they throw Rutte out, the outcome and verdict of the trial aren’t likely to be directly affected. But Russians will say that Rutte has been felled by the truth.

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THE MH17 SHOOT-DOWN WAS A BIG MONEY-MAKER FOR THE DUTCH POLICE, PROSECUTORS, JUDGES TOO

by John Helmer, Moscow 
  @bears_with

The Dutch police have hired a professor called Maurice Punch to make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear. He tried; the Dutch police think he succeeded in a report called “Passionate Professionals: The Dutch Police Response to the Shooting Down of Malaysian Airlines’ MH17 in the Ukraine.”   Punch concluded that to the Dutch police the MH17 disaster has been worth its weight in guilders, I mean gold.

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MH17 TRIAL JUDGE RULES TO KEEP EVIDENCE OF RUSSIAN GUILT SECRET; DEFENCE LAWYER AGREES RUSSIAN MUST PROVE INNOCENCE

by John Helmer, Moscow 
  @bears_with

In the trial of Russian murder alleged in the shooting-down of Malaysia Airlines MH17, Dutch lawyers for the defence announced on Monday for the first time that their client, Lieutenant Colonel Oleg Pulatov (lead image, left) declares himself innocent. The lawyers added their acknowledgement that their client must prove his innocence — not that the Dutch prosecution should prove him guilty beyond reasonable doubt.

In a brief resumption of the MH17 trial in The Netherlands, the presiding judge Hendrik  Steenhuis (right) attacked the two lawyers representing Pulatov  for delaying their filing of requests for additional investigations of the evidence in the case.  Steenhuis also dismissed the defence requests for lifting court orders already issued for the secrecy concealing where and how the alleged parts of the Buk missile were found which Pulatov is charged with firing against the aircraft on July 17, 2014. Steenhuis even ruled that the name of the investigating judge who initiated the orders for secrecy covering the alleged weapon should remain secret. That the investigating judge is a woman was all Steenhuis allowed to be known.

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THE LIE THAT SHOT DOWN MH17

  @bears_with

PUBLISHED THIS WEEK

> 642 pages, 758 references, maps, illustrations, index<

The first book to prove the Dutch Government is running a show trial, with Dutch judges, prosecutors, lawyers, and police serving as soldiers in the Kiev regime’s  and the NATO war against Russia.

Every one of them is making more money than they were before MH17 was shot down — €35 million more for the judges; €13 million more for the prosecutors; €221 million for the police.

An encyclopaedic demonstration  of  Ukrainian evidence tampering, US satellite faking,  and witness lying under SBU torture and bribery to demonstrate that the Russians accused have no case to answer; that the judge’s guilty verdict has been rigged, and that the defence lawyers should now walk out of the court.

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RUSSIA IS NOW THE BIG CHEESE

by John Helmer, Moscow 
  @bears_with

Cheese goes well with warfare.

In ancient Roman times, legionaries on the march would be issued daily rations of aged hard cheese, to be eaten with bread, strips of bacon and wine.  In 2014, after the European Union  imposed sanctions on Russia for defending itself from NATO attack in Crimea, the Russian government imposed counter-sanctions, banning imports of French, Italian, Dutch and Finnish cheese.  This not only revived domestic demand for the traditional Russian soft cheeses, but it inspired the fabrication of altogether new Russian hard cheeses never been tasted in the market before.

The rapid acceleration of production reached a million tonnes last year, making Russia the third largest producer of cheese after the European Union and the US. With consumption also accelerating to 1.2 million tonnes, growing at 10% per annum, Russia is now ranking second in the world table of cheese importers after Japan.

If you think of cheese as mozzarella melted on top of a pizza, or cheddar sliced inside a child’s  sandwich, the one as tasteless as the other, you’re more American than Russian. “Last year, the industry registered not only quantitative, but also positive qualitative changes,” reported Dairy News, a Russian industry publication. “In particular, the cheese market in Russia recorded a faster growth in the production of more expensive hard and semi-hard cheeses. Customers began to buy not just more cheese, they are increasingly choosing high-quality products.”

“If the current trends continue, the volume of the cheese market in Russia will increase by 150-200 billion rubles [about $3 billion] in 2024 compared to the results of 2019. This will create conditions for the development of cheese production in the country and the transition from an import substitution strategy to the orientation of production to foreign export markets.”

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NAVALNY, PEVCHIKH ARE BARKING DOGS; MERKEL AND NORD STREAM-2 ARE THE CARAVAN WHICH MOVES ON

by John Helmer, Moscow 
  @bears_with

What with all the noise of the dogs and camels, a swan song can be easily missed. But not Maria Pevchikh’s (lead image, right) broadcast by the BBC’s Russian Service.

For the first  time, the British state propaganda organ has said too much too loudly in defence of one of its Russian assets, and confirmed the combination of celebrity, political ambition, and money which has made the poisoning of Alexei Navalny a faulty fabrication; and Navalny’s attempt to make political capital out of it,  a modest  success for the British secret services;  an immodest failure for the German Foreign Ministry, Defence Ministry, German Army, and the Berlin medical clinic which goes by the name of Charity.  

The difference between the evidence of success and failure is the problem the BBC has attempted to overcome in an unusually long interview Pevchikh recorded with the BBC in Berlin, published on September 18.  

She is recorded as saying that she and her colleagues from the Navalny group had been having breakfast in the restaurant of their Tomsk hotel when they received the news that Navalny’s flight to Moscow had been diverted to Omsk, and that he was in hospital with symptoms of poisoning. She then went to his hotel room, she said, to recover the evidence of the poisoning – three blue-capped bottles of Saint Springs water drunk by Navalny during the night before.

The time shown on the wrist watch of Pevchikh, in the film she directed and released last week, 28 days after the event, shows a time when Navalny’s flight was still in the air. This was more than an hour before his poisoning had been discovered and reported to his team in Tomsk, and to the rest of the world.

Navalny’s dogs were barking, but their caravan had failed to start according to plan. The BBC has demonstrated what that plan was.  

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ALICE MAYHEW OF SIMON & SCHUSTER– IN MEMORIAM, IN ODIUM

by John Helmer, Moscow 
  @bears_with

If Alice Mayhew (lead image) hadn’t been a real person, the New York book market and the US Government would have had to invent her. Now that she’s dead (1932-2020) – “a veritable best-seller machine”, memorialised Vogue – she’s an invention that will be easy to replace. Best-sellers, like money, are fungible.

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A TALE OF TWO BOTTLES – NAVALNY POISON SLOWEST ACTING WEAPON IN ASSASSINATION HISTORY

by John Helmer, Moscow 
  @bears_with

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times – this is how Charles Dickens opened his story of regime change in Paris during the French revolution. Also for Alexei Navalny (lead image) and his roommate in Tomsk on the evening of August 19, Maria Pevchikh of London.  

They haven’t read the rest of Dickens’ opening. “It was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity.”

For incredulity, the new film by Navalny and Pevchikh is not quite up to the Dickens standard. Now presented to the world as evidence of a murder plot, their tale of the two bottles invites an epoch-load of incredulity.

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THE PEVCHIKH PLOT – NAVALNY BOTTLE, LONDON WITNESS FLEE THE SCENE OF THE CRIME, BERLIN TOO

by John Helmer, Moscow 
  @bears_with

The Navalny poison plot spread to Paris on Monday, compelling President Emmanuel Macron to telephone President Vladimir Putin to explain what a French chemical warfare laboratory has just done with evidence sent from Berlin by German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas.

Macron told Putin he agreed “German specialists must send to Russia the biomaterials and an official statement on the test results of the samples collected from Alexei Navalny, and must start working together with Russian doctors.” Macron also agreed “to contribute towards determining the parameters of possible interaction with European partners.” This wording of the Kremlin communiqué meant that Macron and Putin decided to discuss with German Chancellor Angela Merkel how the Chancellor can extricate herself from the Novichok fabrications they now believe were initiated by Navalny’s staff and a British agent.

The poison plot has also spread to the headquarters in The Hague of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW). After days of concealing that Foreign Minister Maas had requested a technical team from OPCW to take samples in Berlin, Kai Chen, head of the OPCW’s external relations department, refused late on Monday to confirm what role the OPCW is playing in the poison plot; what evidence the OPCW has collected in Berlin; and what provisions of the OPCW charter have been invoked to legalise the OPCW’s involvement in the Navalny affair.

In London on Monday evening, a leading British organophosphate chemist and toxicologist said it was too late for the OPCW to have identified a nerve agent in Navalny’s blood or urine. “A functioning liver should hydrolyse the parent compound and then [OPCW testing would] identify the metabolites in the urine secretion. There are no cases of finding the parent compound, so maybe it is not there to be found.”

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GERMANS NOW CLAIM GOD POISONED NAVALNY – THAT’S THE GOD OUT OF THE MACHINE

by John Helmer, Moscow 
  @bears_with

When it comes to fabrications in warfare, it was the ancient Greeks who invented the Trojan Horse. They also invented ἀπὸ μηχανῆς θεός – he has come down to us from the Latin, deus ex machina, meaning the god out of the machine. He’s the culprit or the cause which resolves the inexplicable ending of a story by a device which drops out of the heavens, or rises through a trapdoor on stage.

Aristotle didn’t think much of it because it’s too plainly unbelievable. The deus ex machina, he thought, was the invention of the incompetent for an audience of simpletons.

Germany’s Foreign Minister Heiko Maas doesn’t know his ancient Greek. He also doesn’t know his fellow Germans. They have removed him from the running to lead the Social Democratic Party (SPD) in next year’s German national election. On his road to political oblivion, Maas has needed a public platform on which to regain his footing, he thinks. According to very well-informed Berlin sources, Maas is the official responsible, behind fifteen journalists  of Der Spiegel, for fabricating the evidence of the case of Alexei Navalny (lead image, left), after he landed in Berlin.

After their first account of the Novichok poisoning of Navalny failed the standard biochemical and forensic tests, they have invented a new one.  This is “harder”, they have reported, claiming for source a secret briefing in a Berlin bunker by the BND, Germany’s secret intelligence service.

But according to leading British organophosphate chemists, the new “Novichok” is not more credible than the first. This is also the reason no details of the substance have been handed over to the Russian Prosecutor-General, presented to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), or published in the German press. Maas’s deus ex machina isn’t visible, as even the ancient Greek audience demanded.  It’s offstage, in the dark.  

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THE CROOK COMES HOME TO ROOST – VADIM BELYAEV’S NEW YORK HAVEN UNDER COURT ATTACK FOR AT LEAST $1 BILLION



by John Helmer, Moscow 
  @bears_with

Vadim Belyaev (lead image)  is not the first Russian bank robber to take Cyprus citizenship on his way to safe haven in New York City, and then find himself facing a billion-dollar recovery lawsuit from his Russian pursuers in New York Supreme Court.  He is, however, the very first to attempt to slip into New York’s Jewish community by renaming himself Wolfson after his father. The next step will be an interview with Masha and Konstantin  (Keith) Gessen of New Yorker to explain how he’s being persecuted on trumped-up charges by President Vladimir Putin.

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MH17 SHOW TRIAL GOES FOR THE JACKPOT – DEFENCE LAWYERS DON’T OBJECT

by John Helmer, Moscow 
  @bears_with

The trial of the crime of the destruction of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 resumed on August 31 with the demand of Amsterdam and Rotterdam lawyers for the Russian Government to pay blood money to the relatives of the 298 passengers and crew killed when the aircraft was shot down on July 17, 2014.  

Until this moment, the show trial presided over by Judge Hendrik Steenhuis, a former Dutch state tax collector and political ally of Prime Minister Mark Rutte,   had been focused on admitting Ukrainian secret service evidence of the crime and disallowing Russian evidence to the contrary.

The lawyers of the relatives have now joined the prosecution to endorse a guilty verdict in advance for the four defendants – three Russian officers, one Ukrainian – and, in order to pay for the crime, the Russian state behind them. The lawyers are proposing the judge admit into the trial  proceeding evidence by relatives, each taking fifteen minutes, ten testimonies per day over at least three weeks, to advertise the compensation claim and run up the judge’s cash register.

There is a problem, though. In almost four hours of speechmaking, the lawyers revealed that less than half the relatives have signed for the money shot – none of them from the families of the Malaysian and Indonesian passengers and crew killed. Counting the 30% lawyers’ commission, plus costs, this is entirely an operation for the Dutch to enrich themselves at the expense, they are figuring, of the Russian treasury.

There was another problem. The two Dutch lawyers engaged to represent the Russians in the trial to argue the defence of their innocence, made no objection to the victim lawyers’ pitch on the two grounds available from the Dutch code of criminal procedure – inadmissibility as to evidence, prejudice as to proof. The defence lawyers are already making money at the Russian treasury’s expense.

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BRAIN POISONING BY RUSSIAN NERVE AGENT – ALEXEI NAVALNY INFECTS GERMAN CHANCELLERY

by John Helmer, Moscow 
  @bears_with

There is only one certainty (zweifelsfreie Nachweis) in the case of Alexei Navalny and the traces (Spuren) which have been found in his skin, urine and blood, and in a water bottle, by the German Army’s chemical warfare laboratory in Munich.

This certainty is that, in order to believe the German and other government interpretations which have been given of the evidence to date, you have to be suffering from a severe case of brain washing. The lighter the spectrometric mass or weight of the reported Novichok spuren, the heavier the measurable wash on the brain required to believe they are evidence of a Russian state crime.

In political weight, however, Navalny in his present condition is now more valuable outside Russia than he was, or ever could have been, inside Russia when he was in full health. In the politics of next year’s German election, when Chancellor Angela Merkel will not be running, the Navalny case weighs more heavily than the Litvinenko, Magnitsky, MH17, and Skripal cases all rolled into one.  

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AND THEN THERE WERE NONE

By John Helmer, Moscow
  @bears_with

Agatha Christie’s whodunit entitled And Then There Were None – the concluding words of the children’s counting rhyme — is reputed to be the world’s best-selling mystery story.    

There’s no mystery now about the war of Europe and North America against Russia; it is the continuation of Germany’s war of 1939-45 and the war aims of the General Staff in Washington since 1943. Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu (left) and President Vladimir Putin (right) both said it plainly enough this week.

There is also no mystery in the decision-making in Moscow of the President and the Defense Minister, the General Staff, and the others; it is the continuation of the Stavka of 1941-45.  

Just because there is no mystery about this, it doesn’t follow that it should be reported publicly, debated in the State Duma, speculated and advertised by bloggers, podcasters, and twitterers.  In war what should not be said cannot be said. When the war ends, then there will be none.  

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RUSSIANS RAISE THEIR GLASSES – THE TOAST IS TO BEATING THE BLOCKADE OF MOSCOW



By John Helmer, Moscow
  @bears_with

Alas and alack for the Berlin Blockade of 1948-49 (Berliner Luftbrücke): those were the days when the Germans waved their salutes against the unification of Germany demilitarised and denazified; and cheered instead for their alliance with the US and British armies to fight another seventy years of war in order to achieve what they and Adolf Hitler hadn’t managed, but which they now hope to achieve under  Olaf Scholtz — the defeat of the Russian Army and the destruction of Russia.

How little the Germans have changed.

But alas and alack — the Blockade now is the one they and the NATO armies aim to enforce against Russia. “We are drawing up a new National Security Strategy,” according to Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock. “We are taking even the most severe scenarios seriously.”  By severe Baerbock means nuclear. The new German generation — she has also declared “now these grandparents, mothers, fathers and their children sit at the kitchen table and discuss rearmament.”  

So, for Russia to survive the continuation of this war, the Germans and their army must be fought and defeated again. That’s the toast of Russian people as they salute the intrepid flyers who are beating the Moscow Blockade.  

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THE INTERNATIONAL ATOMIC ENERGY AGENCY GOES TO WAR — GORILLA RADIO GOES NUCLEAR

By John Helmer, Moscow
  @bears_with

Last week the International Atomic Energy Agency’s (IAEA) board of governors voted to go to war with Russia by a vote of 26 member countries against 9.

China, Vietnam, India, Pakistan, Egypt, Senegal and South Africa voted against war with Russia.  

The IAEA Secretary-General Rafael Grossi (lead image, left) has refused to tell the press whether a simple majority of votes (18) or a super-majority of two-thirds (23) was required by the agency charter for the vote; he also wouldn’t say which countries voted for or against. The United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres then covered up for what had happened by telling the press: “I believe that [IAEA’s] independence that exists and must be preserved is essential. The IAEA cannot be the instrument of parties against other parties.” The IAEA vote for war made a liar of Guterres.

In the IAEA’s 65-year history, Resolution Number 58, the war vote of September 15, 2022,  is the first time the agency has taken one side in a war between member countries when nuclear reactors have either been attacked or threatened with attack. It is also the first time the IAEA has attacked one of its member states, Russia, when its military were attempting to protect and secure a nuclear reactor from attack by another member state, the Ukraine, and its war allies, the US, NATO and the European Union states. The vote followed the first-ever IAEA inspection of a nuclear reactor while it was under active artillery fire and troop assault.

There is a first time for everything but this is the end of the IAEA. On to the scrap heap of good intentions and international treaties, the IAEA is following the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), and the UN Secretary-General himself.  Listen to this discussion of the past history when the IAEA responded quite differently following the Iranian and Israeli air-bombing attacks on the Iraqi nuclear reactor known as Osirak, and later, the attacks on Pakistan’s nuclear weapons sites.

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INTERNATIONAL ATOMIC ENERGY AGENCY TAKES UKRAINE SIDE IN WAR IN SEPTEMBER 15 VOTE, MAKING UN SECRETARY-GENERAL GUTERRES EITHER A LIAR OR A FOOL

By John Helmer, Moscow
  @bears_with

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) decided this week to take the side of Ukraine in the current war; blame Russia for the shelling of the Zaporozhye Nuclear Power Plant (ZNPP); and issue a demand for Russia to surrender the plant to the Kiev regime “to regain full control over all nuclear facilities within Ukraine’s internationally recognized borders, including the Zaporizhzhya Nuclear Power Plant.”      

This is the most dramatic shift by the United Nations (UN) nuclear power regulator in the 65-year history of the organisation based in Vienna.

The terms of the IAEA Resolution Number 58, which were proposed early this week by the Polish and Canadian governors on the agency board, were known in advance by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres when he spoke by telephone with President Vladimir Putin in the late afternoon of September 14, before the vote was taken. Guterres did not reveal what he already knew would be the IAEA action the next day.  

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THE RUSSIAN SITUATION COMEDY IS NO LYING MATTER – THE JOKE IS ON THE OFFICE OF FOREIGN ASSETS CONTROL

By John Helmer, Moscow
  @bears_with

Never mind that King Solomon said proverbially three thousand years ago, “a merry heart doeth good like a medicine.”  

With seven hundred wives and three hundred concubines, Solomon realized he was the inventor of the situation comedy. If not for the sitcom as his medicine, the bodily and psychological stress Old Solly had to endure in the bedroom would have killed him long before he made it to his death bed at eighty years of age,  after ruling his kingdom for forty of them.

After the British sitcom died in the 1990s, the subsequent stress has not only killed very large numbers of ordinary people. It has culminated today in a system of rule according to which a comic king in Buckingham Palace must now manage the first prime minister in Westminster  history to be her own joke.

Even the Norwegians, the unfunniest people in Europe, have acknowledged that the only way to attract the British as tourists, was to pay John Cleese of Monty Python and Fawlty Towers to make them laugh at Norway itself.   This has been a bigger success for the locals than for the visitors, boosting the fjord boatman’s life expectancy several years ahead of the British tourist’s.  

In fact, Norwegian scientists studying a sample of 54,000 of their countrymen have proved that spending the state budget on public health and social welfare will only work effectively if the population is laughing all the way to the grave. “The cognitive component of the sense of humour is positively associated with survival from mortality related to CVD [cardio-vascular disease] and infections in women and with infection-related mortality in men” – Norwegian doctors reported in 2016. Never mind the Viking English:  the Norwegian point is the same as Solomon’s that “a sense of humour is a health-protecting cognitive coping resource” – especially if you’ve got cancer.  

The Russians understand this better than the Norwegians or the British.  Laughter is an antidote to the war propaganda coming from abroad, as Lexus and Vovan have been demonstrating.   The Russian sitcom is also surviving in its classic form to match the best of the British sitcoms, all now dead – Fawlty Towers (d. 1975), Black Adder (d. 1989), You Rang M’Lord? (d. 1988), Jeeves and Wooster (d. 1990), Oh Dr Beeching! (d.1995), and Thin Blue Line (d. 1996).

The Russian situation comedies, alive and well on TV screens and internet streaming devices across the country, are also increasingly profitable business for their production and broadcast companies – not despite the war but because of it. This has transformed the Russian media industry’s calculation of profitability by removing US and European-made films and television series, as well as advertising revenues from Nestlé, PepsiCo, Mars, and Bayer. In their place powerful  Russian video-on-demand (VOD) streaming platform companies like Yandex (KinoPoisk), MTS (Kion),  Mail.ru (VK), and Ivi (Leonid Boguslavsky, ProfMedia, Baring Vostok)  are now intensifying the competition for audience with traditional television channels and film studios for domestic audiences.  The revenue base of the VOD platforms is less vulnerable to advertisers, more dependent on telecommunications subscriptions.

Russian script writers, cameramen, actors, designers, and directors are now in shorter supply than ever before, and earning more money.  “It’s the Russian New Wave,” claims Olga Filipuk, head of media content for Yandex, the powerful leader of the new film production platforms; its  controlling shareholder and chief executive were sanctioned last year.  

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RUSSIAN AVIATION INDUSTRY CORRECTS YELTSIN YAW – BOEING, AIRBUS DITCHED



By Olga Samofalova, translated and introduced by John Helmer, Moscow
  @bears_with

It was the American humourist Mark Twain who didn’t die in 1897 when it was reported that he had. Twain had thirteen more lively years to go.

The death of the Russian aerospace and aviation industry in the present war is proving to be an even greater exaggeration – and the life to come will be much longer. From the Russian point of view, the death which the sanctions have inflicted is that of the US, European and British offensive against the Soviet-era industry which President Boris Yeltsin (lead image, left) and his advisers encouraged from 1991.

Since 2014, when the sanctions war began, the question of what Moscow would do when the supply of original aircraft components was first threatened, then prohibited, has been answered. The answer began at the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in 1947 when the first  Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) or Parts Manufacturing Approval (PMA) was issued by Washington officials for aircraft parts or components meeting the airworthiness standards but manufactured by sources which were not the original suppliers.   

China has been quicker to implement this practice; Chinese state and commercial enterprises have been producing PMA components for Boeing and Airbus aircraft in the Chinese airline fleets for many years.  The Russian Transport Ministry has followed suit; in its certification process and airworthiness regulations it has used the abbreviation RMA, Cyrillic for PMA. This process has been accelerating as the sanctions war has escalated.

So has the Russian process of replacing foreign imports entirely.

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FOR WANT OF A NAIL THE KINGDOM WAS LOST – ENGLISH PATHOLOGIST GUY RUTTY FACES CHALLENGE TO THE RELIABILITY OF HIS NOVICHOK EVIDENCE



By John Helmer, Moscow
  @bears_with

The weakest link in the British government’s four-year long story of Russian Novichok assassination operations in the UK – prelude to the current war – is an English medical expert by the name of Guy Rutty (lead image, standing).

A government-appointed pathologist advising the Home Office, police, and county coroners, Rutty is the head of the East Midlands Forensic Pathology Unit in Leicester,  he is the author of a post-mortem report, dated November 29, 2018,  claiming that the only fatality in the history of the Novichok nerve agent (lead image, document), Dawn Sturgess, had died of Novichok poisoning on July 8, 2018. Rutty’s finding was added four months after initial post-mortem results and a coroner’s cremation certificate stopped short of confirming that Novichok had been the cause of her death.

Rutty’s Novichok finding was a state secret for more than two years. It was revealed publicly   by the second government coroner to investigate Sturgess’s death, Dame Heather Hallett, at a public hearing in London on March 30, 2021. In written evidence it was reported that “on 17th July 2018, Professor Guy Rutty MBE, a Home Office Registered Forensic Pathologist conducted an independent post-mortem examination. He was accompanied by Dr Phillip Lumb, also an independent Home Office Registered Forensic Pathologist. Professor Rutty’s Post-Mortem Report of 29th November 2018 records the cause of death as Ia Post cardiac arrest hypoxic brain injury and intracerebral haemorrhage; Ib Novichok toxicity.”  

Hallett, Rutty, Lumb, and others engaged by the government to work on the Novichok case have refused to answer questions about the post-mortem investigations which followed immediately after Sturgess’s death was reported at Salisbury District Hospital; and a cause of death report signed by the Wiltshire Country coroner David Ridley, when Sturgess’s body was released to her family for funeral and cremation on July 30, 2018.  

After another three years, Ridley was replaced as coroner in the case by Hallett in March 2021. Hallett was replaced by Lord Anthony Hughes (lead image, sitting) in March 2022.

The cause-of-death documents remain state secrets. “As you have no formal role in the inquest proceedings,” Hallett’s and Rutty’s spokesman Martin Smith said on May 17, 2021, “it would not be appropriate to provide you with the information that you have requested.” 

Since then official leaks have revealed that Rutty had been despatched by the Home Office in London to take charge of the Sturgess post-mortem, and Lumb ordered not to undertake an autopsy or draw conclusions on the cause of Sturgess’s death until Rutty arrived. Why? The sources are not saying whether the two forensic professors differed in their interpretation of the evidence; and if so, whether the published excerpt of Rutty’s report of Novichok poisoning is the full story.   

New developments in the official investigation of Sturgess’s death, now directed by Hughes, have removed the state secrecy cover for Rutty, Lumb, and other medical specialists who attended the post-mortem on July 17, 2018. The appointment by Hughes of a London lawyer, Adam Chapman, to represent Sergei and Yulia Skripal, opens these post-mortem documents to the Skripals, along with the cremation certificate, and related hospital, ambulance and laboratory records. Chapman’s role is “appropriate” – Smith’s term – for the Skripals to cross-examine Rutty and Lumb and add independent expert evidence.

Hughes’s appointment of another lawyer, Emilie Pottle (lead image, top left), to act on behalf of the three Russian military officers accused of the Novichok attack exposes this evidence to testing at the same forensic standard. According to Hughes,  it is Pottle’s “responsibility for ensuring that the inquiry takes all reasonable steps to test the  evidence connecting those Russian nationals to Ms Sturgess’s death.” Pottle’s responsibility is to  cross-examine Rutty and Lumb.

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KILLING IS CHEAPER — THE US ARMY SPECIAL OPERATIONS COMMAND WEAPONIZES TWITTER, FACEBOOK, INSTAGRAM, WHATSAPP, TELEGRAM

By John Helmer, Moscow
  @bears_with

The US Army’s Special Operations Command (SOCOM) has been firing several hundred million dollars’ worth of cyber warheads at Russian targets from its headquarters at MacDill Airforce Base in Florida. They have all been duds.

The weapons, the source, and their failure to strike effectively have been exposed in a new report, published on August 24, by the Cyber Policy Center of the Stanford Internet Observatory.  The title of the 54-page study is “Unheard Voice: Evaluating Five Years of Pro-Western Covert Influence Operations”.

“We believe”, the report concludes, “this activity represents the most extensive case of covert pro-Western IO [influence operations] on social media to be reviewed and analyzed by open-source researchers to date… the data also shows the limitations of using inauthentic tactics to generate engagement and build influence online. The vast majority of posts and tweets we reviewed received no more than a handful of likes or retweets, and only 19% of the covert assets we identified had more than 1,000 followers. The average tweet received 0.49 likes and 0.02 retweets.”

“Tellingly,” according to the Stanford report, “the two most followed assets in the data provided by Twitter were overt accounts that publicly declared a connection to the U.S. military.”

The report comes from a branch of Stanford University, and is funded by the Stanford Law School and the Spogli Institute for Institutional Studies, headed by Michael McFaul (lead image).   McFaul, once a US ambassador to Moscow, has been a career advocate of war against Russia. The new report exposes many of McFaul’s allegations to be crude fabrications and propaganda which the Special Operations Command (SOCOM) has been paying contractors to fire at Russia for a decade.

Strangely, there is no mention in the report of the US Army, Pentagon, the Special Operations Command, or its principal cyberwar contractor, the Rendon Group.

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MARIA YUDINA OUT OF THE DARK – THE RUSSIAN CLASSICAL PIANIST PLAYS AGAIN

By John Helmer, Moscow
  @bears_with

Maria Yudina (lead image) is one of the great Russian pianists. She was not, however, one who appealed to all tastes in her lifetime, 1899 to 1970.

In a new biography of her by Elizabeth Wilson, Yudina’s belief that music represents Orthodox Christian faith is made out to be so heroic, the art of the piano is diminished — and Yudina’s reputation consigned again to minority and obscurity. Russian classical music and its performers, who have not recovered from the Yeltsin period and now from the renewal of the German-American war, deserve better than Wilson’s propaganda tune.

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