ALEXEI NAVALNY’S WALDEINSAMKEIT – THAT’S GERMAN FOR SPIRITUAL FOREST WALKING SURROUNDED BY 100 GERMAN SECRET SERVICE AGENTS

By Liane Theuerkauf ,  Munich, and John Helmer, Moscow 
  @bears_with

Between his arrival in Berlin on August 22, his release from the Charité medical clinic on September 22,  and January 16, the day before his return to Russia, Alexei Navalny performed the nineteenth century ritual of walking in forests, thinking. The German term for this is Waldeinsamkeit, literally “forest loneliness”.   

The Romantic equivalent for the English was expressed by William Wordsworth’s wandering lonely as a cloud in his famous poem of 1807. Germans usually get their Romantic tonic from the woods before Mother Nature pushes up the narcissi.

Liane Theuerkauf has compiled a dossier from open sources, most of them Navalny himself and people he employed during his German sojourn, to reveal that during his wanderlust he wasn’t so much thinking as plotting. The forests he visited included the Black Forest of southwestern Germany and the Swiss woods around Basel, Switzerland. Because the German season was winter, Navalny may also have spent the New Year’s holiday in the Spanish Canary Islands in the Atlantic, off Morocco.  The evidence for that is a single German press report, apparently leaked by German security guards.  

Not even the clouds were Wordsworthian lonely for Navalny. On the ground in the Black Forest he was surrounded by more than one hundred police and secret service agents; in the air above, there were helicopter patrols and electronic signal monitoring aircraft. Roadblocks, checkpoints,  and  an encrypted communication tower, specially set up for him the day before his arrival, caused more dismay and discussion among the villagers (lead image, left) than they had experienced in a long time. But solitariness and solitude were what Navalny attempted to convey with his regular publication of photographs.

They were camouflage. OPERATION WALDEINSAMKEIT  cost the German state more than €25 million in men and equipment.  It encouraged Navalny himself to believe that on his return to Moscow, his rescue by the intelligence planners he had met and  talked with on his forest wanderings would be certain – and swift.

He has now been transferred to serve his 2 year-8 month prison sentence at the special measures prison known as IK-2 Pokrov (lead image, right).   The special measures of this unit of the Russian Federal Penitentiary Service, near Yaroslavl – about 100 kilometres by road, two and a half hours driving east of Moscow – include a regimen of 24-hour supervision; constant make-work activity from 6 in the morning to 10 at night; 15 minutes’ time for letter writing; one hour free time per day.  The regimen has been designed for isolation of Islamic terrorists. Some of the 400 inmates are not allowed to be spoken to by the others.  Visits from lawyers and family require advance application and authorisation, the processing of which usually takes four to eight weeks.

The reputation of IK-2 Prokrov is so fearsome among Russian convicts that those who can try bribing their way to other places.

Navalny has overestimated his power. Liane Theuerkauf’s dossier records how he was encouraged by German government officials and their allies to do  this.

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BLOOMBERG ADMITS LYING ABOUT ROSNEFT IN MOSCOW COURT, PAYS FINE – REUTERS TO CONTINUE LYING FROM NEW YORK

by John Helmer, Moscow 
  @bears_with

Last week in a Moscow court, Michael Bloomberg’s (lead image, right) organisation of New York City did something it has never done before. It admitted it has been publishing lies about Russia.  It also paid a penalty of Rb12,600 ($170.25).

Bloomberg even promised that in future its reporting on Russia will “be guided in its work by recognised editorial standards of truthfulness, accuracy and objectivity of published information in accordance with its internal code of journalistic standards and ethics [and] best practices in the news industry.”

What Bloomberg was promising not to do was to print fabrications about Russia fed in secret to its reporters by agents of the US Government.

The Moscow bureau of Bloomberg said it had nothing to do with the court proceeding and refused to comment. The spokesman for Bloomberg’s European division in London also refused to answer questions.

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RUSSIA’S BIG PHARMA IS A PRIVATE BUSINESS FED BY THE STATE, AND THIS IS HOW THE FEEDING WORKS

by John Helmer, Moscow 
  @bears_with

Victor Kharitonin (lead image, left), Alexei Repik, Kirill Syrov, and Vikram Punia aren’t household names in Russia. What they do for a living is. This is because they control the largest pharmaceutical producers in the country. So profitable are their companies that each of them has become a dollar billionaire with whom President Vladimir Putin likes to deal directly and personally.

Last November Putin presided by video link at the opening of  the new pharmaceutical raw materials plant in Bratsk of the Pharmasyntez Group owned by Punia.  The new plant, said Putin, would increase “the capabilities of the national pharmaceutical industry, to which we have always given serious priority”, multiplying the availability of antiviral medications required for Covid-19 treatment fivefold. “This”, said, Putin, “is of vital significance for the country and the people, especially at this time, as we are all aware. Therefore, first of all I would like to thank all those who were involved in the implementation of this large-scale project”.

Punia replied: “Synthesising raw materials is a much more complicated job than producing finished medications. In our case, it was an immensely difficult job indeed, because the company only produced finished medications before and did not have the synthesis competencies: we did not have the necessary technology or personnel to do this. In fact, we had to create a new culture, the culture of producing high-tech pharmaceutical substances.” He thanked Putin for state subsidies and a low-interest loan. He promised to build a new plant with ten times the production capacity of the Bratsk plant.

“Your company,” said Putin, “is greatly contributing to the replacement of imported medications and increasing their affordability for people.”

A month later, on December 26, the President again presided (also virtually) at a ceremony for  an international agreement on co-production and marketing of the Russian Sputnik V vaccine against Covid-19.  “In Russia,” said the chief executive of AstraZeneca, “we have a long-lasting partnership with R-Pharm, and we are good friends with Alexei [Repik] and the R-Pharm team. We decided to transfer the technology to R-Pharm because of the advanced technology core and biopharmaceutical capabilities in Russia. They have developed these capabilities over a number of years, and more recently, importantly, with the support of the Russian Direct Investment Fund. This is another good example of collaboration between organisations and companies. I would like to congratulate the Russian scientists at the Gamaleya Institute and also the Russian Direct Investment Fund for developing the world’s first registered COVID-19 vaccine.”

Putin’s ceremonies with Punia and Repik were intended to make a public show that he understands the combination of price increases for imported and domestic medicines, shortage of supplies, and lack of pharmaceutical quality control are causing a national grievance.  

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THE NAVALNY CASE, THE BERLIN DOCTORS & THE LANCET — THE HIPPOCRATIC ETHIC OF DOING NO HARM VERSUS THE MENGELE ETHIC

by John Helmer, Moscow 
  @bears_with

The mystery of what the Berlin doctors treating Alexei Navalny discovered in his bloodstream and urine tests in Germany has deepened after the Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov publicly referred last week to the clinical findings of a Swiss-based neurologist, Vitaly Kozak. Kozak has been reporting for several weeks that the biomedical data tables published in The Lancet in December reveal evidence of cholinesterase inhibition effects of poisoning by the drug lithium which Navalny was taking himself before his collapse on August 20.

That’s pathological self-medication – an overdose, not a Kremlin poison plot.

What then can be the reason the editors of The Lancet, Richard Horton (lead image, 1st left) and Astrid James (2nd left), have refused to publish a clinical commentary in the form of questions from  Kozak?  

There’s more to the mystery than that. Horton and James also refuse to answer questions about the circumstances of their publication of Navalny’s data records separately from the case report authored by Navalny’s chief treating doctors in Berlin, Kai-Uwe Eckardt (right) and David Steindl.

Eckardt and Steindl have now been asked to clarify the circumstances of the publication of their case report on Navalny and the separate biomedical data. They do not answer.  Because of the contradiction between the evidence in their data records and the intepretation widely given to their case report in the press and by NATO officials, Eckardt and Steindl were asked to say if the title of the report they wrote, “Novichok nerve agent poisoning”, was their choice of title, or The Lancet’s in London. Eckardt and Steindl will not say.

When medical doctors allow their science and their clinical practice to become part of a political scheme, based on fabrication of evidence and falsification of diagnosis, they violate several terms of the 2,500-year old Hippocratic Oath. They are intending to do harm;  cause injustice;  ignore one deadly drug;  fabricate evidence of another;  and as the ancient Greek text declared, “keep far from all voluntary wrongdoing  and other corrupting behaviour”. Horton, James, Eckardt,  and Steindl have all sworn the Hippocratic Oath when they qualified as practising physicians. When asked to confirm that now, they won’t respond.

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ALEXEI NAVALNY CRASHES OUT – WHAT HAPPENED WHEN HE WASN’T ON LITHIUM AND BENZODIAZEPINES

by John Helmer, Moscow 
  @bears_with

The last unanswered question about Alexei Navalny was answered this week in a Moscow courtroom by Navalny himself. For the first time he didn’t have production back-up from his MI6 helper, Maria Pevchikh of London,  or his CIA and BND teams in the Black Forest of Baden-Württemberg.

The question is a medico-psychiatric one.  It was first made public by Navalny’s treating doctors at the Charité clinic in Berlin. These doctors, it was, who revealed that Navalny was a heavy user of lithium and benzodiazepine drugs. They published this in a set of four data tables they attached as appendices to their case report on Navalny. Their data raised the question — what would happen if Navalny was forced to withdraw from his drugs quickly.

After eighteen days in remand prison in Moscow, Navalny answered this question himself in the Babushkinsky district court on February 5.

The disclosure that in his Tomsk hotel on August 19, hours before he collapsed and the Anglo-German OPERATION NOVI-NOVICHOK commenced, Navalny had taken a large dose of lithium, diazepam, nordazepam, oxazepam, and temazepam, was first published on December 22 in The Lancet. Read the report and the analysis here.

The medico-psychiatric literature is clear on what happens to a habitual user of these drugs if rapid withdrawal is attempted:  for lithium, read this;  for the benzodiazepines, click to open.

RIA Novosti, a state news agency, has published this report by Irina Alksnis, of what Navalny said and did in court last Friday. Since then, on Monday, Navalny’s staff  announced they have suspended their  demonstration plans until the spring.  The next day they were overruled and announced a smartphone flashlight and drone show for next weekend.   For Navalny, though, the light is going out – and his Berlin doctors have revealed why.

In the courtroom report to follow in English translation, the direct quotes have not been reported in any newspaper or broadcaster in the west. Alksnis reported what she saw and heard. She appears not to have read Navalny’s German medical reports.

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DUTCH SHOW TRIAL JUDGE LETS TWO SECRETS SLIP OUT – MAINSTREAM MEDIA, DUTCH BLOGGERS, DEFENCE LAWYERS MISS THEM

by John Helmer, Moscow 
  @bears_with

In the history of how English law evolved towards the individual rights most state constitutions and the UN’s declaration of human rights proclaim today, the Star Chamber was a nasty piece of work. Over the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries the Star Chamber was a court in London which received indictments prepared by the king; whose judges were picked and paid for by the king; whose evidence was decided by the king; whose witnesses were tortured by the king; and whose proceedings were held in the king’s meeting-room behind his armed guards. The Star Chamber was abolished by parliament after its army had defeated the king’s army and then executed the king himself.

The Dutch state is still in the fifteenth century stage. It is running the trial of charges against Russian Army officers for shooting down Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 as a Star Chamber process. The Dutch lawyers who are paid by the Russian state to defend the accused are also paid agents of the Dutch state; they comply; they don’t protest. The mainstream Dutch press, even the Dutch bloggers and alt-media, refuse to report the Star Chamber’s secrets. When The Hague District Court judge Hendrik Steenhuis revealed on Monday two of these secrets,  no one in The Netherlands reported noticing.

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THE FUTURE OF RUSSIAN POLITICS IN PICTURES – PRICES GO UP; SPENDING GOES DOWN; POLITICAL DISCONTENT GOES UP; NAVALNY GOES OUT

by John Helmer, Moscow 
  @bears_with

The reason for rising discontent among Russians is obvious – except to the Anglo-American and German press and the governments prompting them. All Russians know this except for the young living at home, dependent on their family’s income.

The prices for the food in the family grocery basket have been rising sharply since last September. From the start of January, however, Russians have had less income, and they have been forced to spend significantly less on their consumption needs. In the last week of January, their spending was 20% less than the week before; 14% less than the same week a year ago.  On current forecasts for food prices and income to the start of spring, the pinch is going to get worse. Everyone in Russia understands this, except the young sitting in front of computer screens and smartphones studying virtually; messaging on the well-known platforms; playing internet games.  

The level of influence of Alexei Navalny’s campaign since he began the Novichok operation in August, which he has now transformed into his imprisonment campaign, has had no significant impact to his benefit among Russians – except among a minority of the young. Overall, the measured change in public approval for Navalny over this period – from 4% to 5% in five months — is within the margin for statistical error. He is an internet game, a statistical blip.

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BLINDNESS FOLLOWED BY DELIRIUM, DIARRHEA – SYMPTOMS REPORTED AS COVID-19 KILLS LAST SURVIVING AUSTRALIAN JOURNALISTS – LIST OF HOTSPOTS

by John Helmer, Moscow 
  @bears_with

The last survivors of Australian journalism have succumbed to complications of Covid-19 infection.

Following the publication in the US at the beginning of this week of the first book to investigate  the pandemic lawlessness which has taken hold in Melbourne, the second city of Australia,  reporters for the mainstream Australian media and the alternative media have suffocated after opening the first pages of the book,  but before they were able to report its contents.

The fatalities are not considered suspicious, although in December a state-appointed commission of inquiry reported that officials of the Victorian state government had been negligent in their administration of pandemic emergency powers. Three resignations were forced; no corruption charges have been prosecuted. State MPs are trying to open a parliamentary debate on more than $200 million in unaccounted-for state spending on police, hospitals, hotels, lawyers, medical research units, and university think-tanks. 

An investigation was opened this week by the Judicial Commission of Victoria into the disappearance, loss, or possibly destruction of hearing records for the only case in the Australian courts to challenge the legality of the ban on Australians returning home from abroad, and the closure of Melbourne’s international airport.

Here is the list of the reporters who were diagnosed before they could report on the book; also the infection hotspots which readers are recommended to avoid. Genomic testing is still under way to determine which mutation has proved fatal to Australian reporters, half of whom are employed by Rupert Murdoch; they were immunocompromised before the pandemic started.   

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OUT TODAY! A TRUE COVID-19 THRILLER – LOCKED DOWN, LOCKED OUT, LOCKED UP

by John Helmer, Moscow 
  @bears_with

This is the first book to be published worldwide revealing how a group of government officials can exploit the corona virus pandemic to wield emergency powers illegally;  destroy parliament; deceive the press; manipulate the law courts;  spend vast amounts of state money to enrich themselves;  and spread false science and public terror to cover their tracks.

Right now this is a story with urgent parallels in the UK, US, Canada, Germany, Spain, and France   – in every country where democratic resistance to abuse of power in the pandemic has run into identical tactics of state lawlessness, and suffered the same fate.  

The book tells the story of how, locked into Melbourne, the second city of Australia, I waged a bitter court case against the authorities to stop their illegal ban on my leaving the country and prohibit my wife joining me from Moscow.   

No government or country in the world has adopted such a policy towards its own citizens during the Covid-19 pandemic. The only precedent for such a policy towards innocent, non-criminal citizens in recent European history was that of Nazi Germany towards the German Jews.

The book exposes undocumented government spending of almost half a billion dollars treating suspected Covid-19 victims as criminals. It uncovers the schemes of Daniel Andrews, premier of the state of Victoria, whose unbridled ambition to take power over all of Australia produced the very first Covid-19 vaccine. This vaccine was a room-temperature, multiple-dose jab in the brain.

This book is the only antidote for the brain damage which governments are inflicting with their abuse of Covid-19 powers. Learn from it because, wherever you are locked down now, your protection from being locked up depends on it.

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AFTERSHOCK OF NORD STREAM EXPLOSIONS RUMBLES WARSAW — POLISH POLITICIANS GO “NUTTERS”

By John Helmer, Moscow
  @bears_with

The Polish government in Warsaw, facing re-election in less than a year, wants all the credit from Washington for their joint operation to sabotage the Nord Stream gas pipelines on the Baltic seabed.

It also wants to intimidate the German chancellor in Berlin, and deter both American and German officials from plotting a takeover by the Polish opposition party, Civic Platform, next year.

Blaming the Russians for the attack is their cover story. Attacking anyone who doesn’t believe it, including Poles and Germans, Warsaw officials and their supporting media claim they are dupes or agents of Russian disinformation.

Their rivals, Civic Platform (PO) politicians trailing the PiS in the polls by seven percentage points,   want Polish voters to think that no credit for the Nord Stream attack should be earned by the ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party. They also want to divert  the Russian counter-attack from Warsaw to Washington.

“Thank you USA” was the first Polish political declaration tweeted hours after the blasts by Radoslaw Sikorski (lead image, left), the PO’s former defence and foreign minister, now a European Parliament deputy. In support and justification,  his old friend and PO ministerial colleague, Roman Giertych, warned Sikorski’s critics: “Would you nutters prefer that the Russians find us guilty?”

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THE BORNHOLM BLOW-UP REPEATS THE BORNHOLM BASH — POLAND ATTACKS GERMANY AND BLAMES RUSSIA

By John Helmer, Moscow
  @bears_with

The military operation on Monday night which fired munitions to blow holes in the Nord Stream I and Nord Stream II pipelines on the Baltic Sea floor, near Bornholm Island,  was executed by the Polish Navy and special forces.

It was aided by the Danish and Swedish military; planned and coordinated with US intelligence and technical support; and approved by the Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki.

The operation is a repeat of the Bornholm Bash operation of April 2021, which attempted to sabotage Russian vessels laying the gas pipes, but ended in ignominious retreat by the Polish forces. That was a direct attack on Russia. This time the attack is targeting the Germans, especially the business and union lobby and the East German voters, with a scheme to blame Moscow for the troubles they already have — and their troubles to come with winter.

Morawiecki is bluffing. “It is a very strange coincidence,” he has announced, “that on the same day that the Baltic Gas Pipeline  opens, someone is most likely committing an act of sabotage. This shows what means the Russians can resort to in order to destabilize Europe. They are to blame for the very high gas prices”.   The truth bubbling up from the seabed at Bornholm is the opposite of what Morawiecki says.

But the political value to Morawiecki, already running for the Polish election in eleven months’ time, is his government’s claim to have solved all of Poland’s needs for gas and electricity through the winter — when he knows that won’t come true.  

Inaugurating the 21-year old Baltic Pipe project from the Norwegian and Danish gas networks, Morawiecki announced: “This gas pipeline is the end of the era of dependence on Russian gas. It is also a gas pipeline of security, sovereignty and freedom not only for Polish, but in the future, also for others…[Opposition Civic Platform leader Donald] Tusk’s government preferred Russian gas. They wanted to conclude a deal with the Russians even by 2045…thanks to the Baltic Pipe, extraction from Polish deposits,  LNG supply from the USA and Qatar, as well as interconnection with its neighbours, Poland is now secured in terms of gas supplies.”

Civic Platform’s former defence and foreign minister Radek Sikorski also celebrated the Bornholm Blow-up. “As we say in Polish, a small thing, but so much joy”.  “Thank you USA,” Sikorski added,   diverting the credit for the operation, away from domestic rival Morawiecki to President Joseph Biden; he had publicly threatened to sabotage the line in February.  Biden’s ambassador in Warsaw is also backing Sikorski’s Civic Platform party to replace  Morawiecki next year.  

The attack not only escalates the Polish election campaign. It also continues the Morawiecki government’s plan to attack Germany, first by reviving the reparations claim for the invasion and occupation of 1939-45;  and second, by targeting alleged German complicity, corruption,  and appeasement in the Russian scheme to rule Europe at Poland’s expense. .

“The appeasement policy towards Putin”, announced PISM, the official government think tank in Warsaw in June,  “is part of an American attempt to free itself from its obligations of maintaining peace in Europe. The bargain is that Americans will allow Putin to finish building the Nord Stream 2 pipeline in exchange for Putin’s commitment not use it to blackmail Eastern Europe. Sounds convincing? Sounds like something you heard before? It’s not without reason that Winston Churchill commented on the American decision-making process: ‘Americans can always be trusted to do the right thing, once all other possibilities have been exhausted.’ However, by pursuing such a policy now, the Biden administration takes even more responsibility for the security of Europe, including Ukraine, which is the stake for subsequent American mistakes.”

“Where does this place Poland? Almost 18 years ago the Federal Republic of Germany, our European ally, decided to prioritize its own business interests with Putin’s Russia over solidarity and cooperation with allies in Central Europe. It was a wrong decision to make and all Polish governments – regardless of political differences – communicated this clearly and forcefully to Berlin. But since Putin succeeded in corrupting the German elite and already decided to pay the price of infamy, ignoring the Polish objections was the only strategy Germany was left with.”

The explosions at Bornholm are the new Polish strike for war in Europe against Chancellor Olaf Scholz. So far the Chancellery in Berlin is silent, tellingly.

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LEMONS, MIMOSAS, AND STALIN’S SHOVEL

By John Helmer, Moscow
  @bears_with

The only Russian leader in a thousand years who was a genuine gardener and who allowed himself to be recorded with a shovel in his hand was Joseph Stalin (lead image, mid-1930s). Compared to Stalin, the honouring of the new British king Charles III as a gardener pales into imitativeness and pretension.   

Stalin cultivated lemon trees and flowering mimosas at his Gagra dacha  by the Black Sea in Abkhazia.  Growing mimosas (acacias) is tricky. No plantsman serving the monarchs in London or at Versailles has made a go of it in four hundred years. Even in the most favourable climates, mimosas – there are almost six hundred varieties of them — are short-lived. They can revive after bushfires; they can go into sudden death for no apparent reason. Russians know nothing of this – they love them for their blossom and scent, and give bouquets of them to celebrate the arrival of spring.

Stalin didn’t attempt the near-impossible, to grow lemons and other fruit in the Moscow climate. That was the sort of thing which the Kremlin noblemen did to impress the tsar and compete in conspicuous affluence with each other. At Kuskovo, now in the eastern district of Moscow, Count Pyotr Sheremetyev built a heated orangerie between 1761 and 1762, where he protected his lemons, pomegranates, peaches, olives, and almonds, baskets of which he would present in mid-winter to the Empress Catherine the Great and many others. The spade work was done by serfs. Sheremetyev beat the French king Louis XIV to the punch – his first orangerie at Versailles wasn’t built until 1763.

Stalin also had a dacha at Kuskovo But he cultivated his lemons and mimosas seventeen hundred  kilometres to the south where they reminded him of home in Georgia. Doing his own spade work wasn’t Stalin showing off, as Charles III does in his gardens, like Louis XIV before him. Stalin’s spade work was what he had done in his youth. It also illustrated his message – “I’m showing you how to work”, he would tell visitors surprised to see him with the shovel.  As to his mimosas, Stalin’s Abkhazian confidante, Akaki Mgeladze, claimed in his memoirs that Stalin intended them as another lesson. “How Muscovites love mimosas, they stand in queues for them” he reportedly told him.  “Think how to grow more to make the Muscovites happy!”

In the new war with the US and its allies in Europe, Stalin’s lessons of the shovel and the mimosas are being re-learned in conditions which Stalin never knew – how to fight the war for survival and at the same time keep everyone happy with flowers on the dining table.

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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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