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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RUSSIAN REPORTING ON THE SECRETS OF THE COMMAND BUNKER UNDERNEATH AZOVSTAL



By Margarita Menshikova, translated by John Helmer, Moscow
  @bears_with

On the day before Good Friday (Orthodox), Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu reported at the Kremlin to President Vladimir Putin that at Mariupol,  inside the Azovstal steel works, about two thousand troops remain underground, including foreigners. Putin issued the following order: “There is no need to penetrate these catacombs and crawl under these industrial facilities. Seal off the industrial zone completely.”  

Four days earlier on April 17, the Defence Ministry spokesman Major-General Igor Konashenkov told the press that “up to four hundred foreign mercenaries were trapped [at Azovstal]… Most of them are citizens of European countries, as well as Canada. We have already reported earlier that radio conversations between militants in Mariupol are conducted in six foreign languages”  

Today, an unusually detailed report by the Moscow internet broadcaster Tsargrad was published to signal the strategic significance and political value of the NATO officers in their command bunker under Azovstal.

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THE UKRAINE WAR CLOCK IS A TIME BOMB – IT BLOWS UP ON NOVEMBER 8, US ELECTION DAY



By John Helmer, Moscow
  @bears_with

If you understand the war in the Ukraine as the US operation to fight to the last Ukrainian for as long as required to save the Democrats at the November election and conceal the most incapacitated president since Woodrow Wilson’s stroke in October 1919, how well is it going?

And if you understand the war as the Russian operation to defeat the NATO attack against Russia through the Ukraine, and its neighbours, what is the parallel answer?

In Washington, the war has steadied President Joseph Biden’s falling approval rating. If not for the war, Biden’s job approval on inflation and jobs, the direction of the country, and immigration would be crushing the small hope remaining that the Democrats can stave off the loss of both the House of Representatives and the Senate on November 8, and preserve their defence against the rising approval for Donald Trump’s re-run for the presidency in 2024. Biden is desperate for Ukrainian and Russian blood to keep flowing; and European too, if need be.

Score the war the best the Americans can hope for right now — but they have only six months left.

In Moscow, President Vladimir Putin and the Stavka  have completed their reassessment of Phase-1 of the campaign. As Putin told Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu in his report on the Battle of Mariupol on Thursday, “we have to prioritize preserving the lives and health of our soldiers and officers…. There is no need to penetrate these [Azovstal] catacombs and crawl under these industrial facilities. Seal off the industrial zone completely.” Putin explicitly identified the same territorial objectives as he had announced them on February 24 — “our people in Donbass [to] live in peace and to enable Russia, our country, to live in peace.”  

Score the war according to the Russian plan — also according to the clock.

Putin has just stretched the time for the American, Canadian and other NATO officers directing the war from their Azovstal bunker to take Marshal Friedrich Paulus’s way out of Stalingrad – surrender, not suicide; then on trial testify to the war crimes of their commanders-in-chief.

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NAÏVE QUESTIONS ABOUT RUSSIA’S WAR ECONOMY



By John Helmer, Moscow
  @bears_with

“Tell me, please, Grandpa,” the little boy asked the Red Army veteran, “what does a war economy mean and how is it different from now?”

“Well, Yegorushka,” replied the old man, “our beloved President Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin explained just this week: ‘I think commonsense should prevail, after all is said and done. And this is my great hope.’”

“But if the Americans want us to starve to death,” the little boy looked quizzical. “What does commonsense mean?”

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UKRAINE IS SMASHED – THIS IS HOW IT WILL BE REPAIRED



By John Helmer, Moscow
  @bears_with

It’s a mark of civilized people that they keep and honour their old things.   When the things are broken, they put the pieces back together again.

In the 19th century rural Americans of northeast states like Pennsylvania did this with their old tablecloths, dresses, and curtains, turning the remnants into patchwork quilts. Starting several  hundred years earlier, the Japanese, having to live in an earthquake zone,  had the idea of restoring broken ceramic dishes, cups, and pots. Instead of trying to make the repairs seamless and invisible, they invented kintsugi (lead image) – this is the art of filling the fracture lines with lacquer, and making of the old thing an altogether new one.

Quite quickly, the Japanese turned cheap lacquer fillings (urushi) into gold (kintsugi) and silver (gintsugi). In this way, a frugal custom of the poor working classes turned into conspicuous consumption of the rich leisure classes.*

The Ukraine is a new thing. Depending on which region, language,  religion, class, and ideology is displayed, it’s newness and oldness are disputable. New or old, however, the civil war in the Ukrainian east since 2014, Russia’s special military operation since February 24, and the US war — currently directed by US officers in the tunnels under the Azovstal factory — to destroy Russia in a fight to the last Ukrainian mean that the country cannot be put back together again the way it was. The Ukraine will have to be repaired and the damage replaced.

Kintsugi requires gold filling for the repaired cracks (lead image). This may not be quite the Ukrainian outcome the Americans, their German and British allies are insisting on, but they must contend with the Russian plan after the battlefield operations of Phase 2 are completed.  This, according to a Moscow source who knows it, is that the Ukraine will be destroyed and preserved in that state. “They don’t need to patch it,” the source says, “they need to keep it broken.”

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THE RUSSIAN REVOLUTION OF 2022 – CAPITALISM IN ONE COUNTRY

By John Helmer, Moscow
  @bears_with

Now that the US and the NATO allies have taken from the Russian oligarchs their cash in foreign banks, their mansions, their boats and planes, and blocked the export of all private and corporate Russian capital abroad, Russia is freer to decide how to organize the capital investment of the economy. Freer, that’s to say, than Russia was when the Bush, then Clinton Administration installed Boris Yeltsin and his cronies in the Kremlin at the end of 1991; destroyed the parliament in 1993, and rigged Yeltsin’s re-election in 1996.

Freer too than Russia has been under Vladimir Putin’s policy of deoffshoreization – that policy fell through a loophole in 2015.  The price of their combined failures over thirty years has been more than one trillion dollars. That’s the sum of Russian capital outflow which started in 1992 and accelerated since 2000.  

In the calculation of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Russia has been the only example in the world of an economy in which domestic economic growth has failed to reverse capital outflow, and to attract capital to return. Privatization in Russia has also been unique because it has accelerated the rate of outflow of domestic funds, enlarging the gap between domestic outflow and foreign inflow. Predictably,  this has led to the accumulation of a bigger Russian capital economy offshore than the domestic capital economy (except for housing); and a level of inequality of incomes which is today worse for Russians than it was during the last decade of tsarist rule ending in the world war and the revolution of 1917.    

Not so predictably, under the conditions of the war of the US and its allies to confiscate the offshore economy and destroy the domestic economy entirely, the Russian revolution of 2022 has commenced. It has begun with the passage through the State Duma last week of the new law to terminate all Russian share listings on foreign exchanges, and reorganize the Moscow stock exchange accordingly. Entitled “On Amendments to the Federal Law On Joint Stock Companies and Certain Legislative Acts of the Russian Federation”, and running for 22 pages, the revolution doesn’t start until Article 4 on page 14, buried under a series of articles revising the regulations for public company audits and accounts.

Also buried in the revolutionary new law is Section 9 of Article 6 on page 20. This provides the Russian government with the discretionary power to issue exceptions to the new law and allow foreign share listings, circulation and trade of securities for Russian companies which apply.

The Russian revolution of 2022 has a gaping loophole.

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IS SERGEI SKRIPAL ALIVE? IS YULIA SKRIPAL IN PRISON? WHO ENGAGED A LAWYER TO REPRESENT THEM AND WHAT DOES THE JUDGE KNOW?

By John Helmer, Moscow
  @bears_with

The allegation that the Russian leadership in Moscow ordered its soldiers to take a lethal nerve agent called Novichok to England and kill Sergei Skripal began on March 4, 2018, in the offices of the British prime ministry and the Secret Intelligence Service (MI6).  

Skripal himself and his daughter, Yulia Skripal, are the only direct witnesses of the alleged crime, of who committed it, what weapon was used, and what happened. Their names appear on the indictments and arrest warrants of the Crown Prosecution Service, and in statements to the House of Commons by the Prime Minister accusing Russian military intelligence agency officers of conspiracy to murder, attempted murder, use and possession of Novichok, and causing grievous bodily harm.  

For four years the Skripals have not been allowed by the British authorities to testify freely and in public. Sergei Skripal has not been heard or seen by his family members on a telephone for almost three years. Yulia Skripal has not been heard or seen on the telephone for a year and a half. Sergei Skripal may be dead; both of them may be in prison.

Can they, did they,  of their own free will recently communicate directly with a London lawyer named Adam Chapman (lead image, right), and request him to represent them in the official public inquiry, an investigation of the Novichok allegations opened last month by Lord Anthony Hughes, a retired judge (2nd from left)?

Are Chapman and Hughes the first public witnesses in four years that the Skripals are alive, well, free, and able to communicate without control or coercion?

Through his principal legal advisor Martin Smith (3rd left), Hughes was asked to say what he knows. His answers were given late yesterday. Judge what these answers mean, if anything.

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BRITISH GOVERNMENT ENGAGES SECRET LAWYER TO REPRESENT SERGEI SKRIPAL AND YULIA SKRIPAL IN PUBLIC INQUIRY – THE SECRET IS THAT THE SKRIPALS DON’T KNOW, CAN’T SAY



By John Helmer, Moscow
  @bears_with

The public inquiry opened in London on March 17 by Lord Anthony Hughes to investigate  allegations of the Novichok death of Dawn Sturgess in July 2018 will employ a secret lawyer to make sure Sergei and Yulia Skripal will not appear; will not answer questions in public; and will not reveal what they know to challenge the British government’s version of the Novichok plot perpetrated by Russian assassins acting on Kremlin orders.

Adam Chapman was appointed last week by Hughes, who is heading the public inquiry which has replaced the inquest into the death of Sturgess, allegedly from Novichok poisoning. The official document naming Chapman and his London law firm Kingsley Napley was published on April 4.   

Chapman  is currently absent from his office on sabbatical leave;  he and two of his assistants, Jo Dorling and Katie Baker, do not respond to emails. Chapman, the assistants, and the spokesman for the Kingsley Napley firm, Michael Rosen, refuse to confirm that Chapman has met with the Skripals or communicated with them in any fashion. The lawyers have not verified that either Sergei Skripal or Yulia Skripal or both of them want Chapman as their representative in the Hughes investigation. The first public witnesses aren’t expected to testify in front of Hughes  until 2023.  

The government’s payment to Chapman to act for the Skripals makes it appear they are alive and not in prison. Chapman’s secretiveness indicates otherwise. Speaking this week for Chapman and Kingsley Napley, Rosen said: “we will not be commenting on this matter.”

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A NEW WORLD ORDER IS ALREADY HERE



By R.K.Raghavan and Ajay Goyal, Mumbai*
  @bears_with

We now have a first-class international crisis on hand — a man-made crisis of the kind that comes once in millennia and causes empires to fall.

We may not, as some observers put it, be witnessing a world war. But we are certainly braving a “war of the world”. Though the guns have not yet fallen silent, a new world order is already here. While the war is taking place in Ukraine, which for centuries has been a battlefield between European and Russian armies, the real conflict is between the United States, its allies and Russia. US and NATO leaders have repeatedly stated that the western military alliance NATO has never been more united than it is now.   

Students of history and international relations will ponder through history to judge whether the Russian invasion of Ukraine was avoidable and why, despite its enormous power, the United States and Europe did not come to Ukraine’s aid. President Putin had conducted reluctant diplomacy last year with President Joe Biden over Ukraine’s “de facto” NATO militarisation; claimed continuing violation of Minsk agreements over the status of Donbass; Putin repeated the warnings he has been making for nearly fifteen years that NATO’s eastward expansion would  lead to a conflict. Western weapons, trainers and military experts have been making a beeline for Ukraine for the last eight years since the 2014 violent regime change which ousted the pro-Russia President of Ukraine from Donbass and set the stage for this conflict.

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HOW TO READ THE WAR IN REVERSE WITHOUT OUTSMARTING YOURSELF



By John Helmer, Moscow
  @bears_with

This is not, repeat not, the tar baby story of the Afro-Americans and American Indians. The US and NATO allies aren’t the fox, Russia isn’t the rabbit, except that the Ukraine is the tar baby.  

The reason US commanders were confident Russia would move into the Ukraine when they did was that they made certain the Russian General Staff understood that if they failed to move west, they would be attacked themselves east across the Ukraine front, north against Belgorod and Voronezh, south against Crimea and Rostov;  and at the same time the US would launch its blitzkrieg to destroy the Russian economy. The Ukrainian plan of land attack was the feint; the sanctions war was the main thrust at Moscow.  

In last year’s manual of what is called the Russian Strategic Initiative of the US European Command in Stuttgart, the Russian Army’s strategy of “active defense” was reported to start with “preventative measures taken before a conflict breaks out, to deter it”.  Thereafter  would follow “a defensive-offense that envisions persistent engagement of an opponent throughout the theatre of military action to include critical infrastructure in their homeland, executing strategic operations that affect an adversary’s ability or will to sustain the struggle.”  Aiming at “achieving surprise, decisiveness and continuity of strategy action”, the US command has been expecting Russian “warfighting defined by fire, strike and maneuver where tactical formations engage each other at distance”.

The Russian “calculus”, according to US Army figuring, “is that the center of gravity lies in degrading a state’s military and economic potential, not seizing territory.”

Since the war plan for the US to destroy Russia required eight years of fitting out the Ukraine as a gunship, what has been surprising in the first phase of the war? What can be anticipated to happen next in Phase 2, then Phase 3, and Phase 4 – that’s the long war President Biden, Chancellor Scholz, and Prime Minister Johnson think they can sustain in the belief the Russians cannot?

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THE RUSSIAN ARMY IS PREPARING ITS LARGEST OPERATION SINCE WORLD WAR II



By Yevgeny Krutikov, Daria Volkova, and Alyona Zadorozhnaya. Moscow – translated by John Helmer, Moscow
  @bears_with

Large units of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in Donbass will be cut into pieces, and then destroyed.

Russian troops, as well as units of the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) and Lugansk People’s Republic (LPR), are moving towards each other from the north, east and south, and will soon be able to close a huge cauldron in which the 50,000-man Donbass group of the Armed Forces of Ukraine (AFU) will be. These are the most trained units of the Ukrainian army – they have been in the combat zone since 2014, well trained and strengthened. But only the defeat of the AFU in the Donbass will allow us to solve other military and political tasks in Ukraine. How will the offensive develop?

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ROMAN ABRAMOVICH IS THE JOKER IN THE PACK – BUT WHAT IS THE END GAME?

By John Helmer, Moscow
  @bears_with

Roman Abramovich (lead image left) is the most indiscreet back-channel, flaunting go-between in the history of secret diplomacy. The Russian oligarch, now a citizen of Israel and Portugal, could not have made himself more visible this week at the Istanbul round of negotiations between Russia and the Ukraine than if he had danced for the cameras in a jester’s costume with ninny stick and bells.

According to the Turkish protocol in the conference room on March 29, the businessman whom a decade ago Boris Berezovsky accused of cheating him out of a fortune, and then out of the judgement of the High Court in London,* was seated as President Vladimir Putin’s personal advisor next to Ibrahim Kalin, President Tayyip Recep Erdogan’s advisor.

That was the Turkish signal that Abramovich outranked the official Russian delegation which included a Kremlin staff assistant, a deputy foreign minister, a deputy defence minister, an ambassador, and a member of the State Duma. Erdogan (lead image, 2nd from left) sent a second signal of Arbamovich’s seniority when he and his foreign minister, Mevlut Cavusoglu, posed talking with him ahead of the other Russian negotiators.

Two days later in Moscow on March 30,  in a letter to the Foreign Ministry, Sergei Obukhov, a leader of the Russian Communist Party and State Duma deputy, requested “information about the status [in the Istanbul negotiations] of the famous Russian-speaking oligarch and today’s citizen of Portugal and Israel.”

Reflecting the hostile reaction in Moscow, Obukhov asked if “the Foreign Minister of Russia is planning to involve in participation [in the negotiations with the Ukraine] other Russian-speaking oligarchs, for example MB Khodorkovsky, MM Fridman, PO Aven, and others like Abramovich, who have their own interest in relation to the special military operation for demilitarization and denazification of Ukraine. And does MiD [Foreign Ministry] of Russia have the plan or the intention of involving for participation in the negotiations people who represent patriotic parties and social organisations who introduce the interest of the state-supporting Russian people who are recognised for their firm stance in the protection of the national state interests of historical Russia.”

Ukrainian officials have also attacked Abramovich’s involvement in the negotiations, suggesting he had bribed his way into the talks to save himself from US sanctions.  “I don’t know if he’s buying his way out somehow or if he’s really useful, that’s very difficult to tell,” the BBC reported the Ukrainian ambassador to London as saying. The Murdoch press in New York have claimed Abramovich had persuaded Ukrainian president Vladimir Zelensky to lobby in Washington for sanctions relief on his behalf.

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WORD RUNNERS, GUN RUNNERS — WHEN JOURNALISM IS A WEAPON OF WAR, JOURNALISTS ARE BOUND TO GET RICH



By John Helmer, Moscow
  @bears_with

In the history of journalism in Moscow, before there were Vladimir Pozner,  Valentin Yumashev,  Derk Sauer,  Alexei Venediktov,  Margarita Simonyan,  and Vladimir Soloviev,  there was Victor Louis. He was the best known of Soviet journalists, and the richest of them by a long shot.    

According to a newly published Swiss biography, Louis’s dacha at Bakovka included a heated swimming pool under cover, a tennis court, a wine cave, and a gallery of icons and paintings.  He also had a collection of cars – Peugeot, Bentley, Mercedes-Benz, Porsche, Ford Mustang, Land Rover, Volvo, Rolls Royce , and a chauffeur to drive them. In photographs he displayed himself at the bar of his apartment in Moscow dressed as an English country squire – houndstooth pattern jacket, paisley pattern cravat. He sent his three sons to Eton and Oxford; his money to an account and safe deposit box at a Zurich branch of the Swiss Bank Corporation, attached to which were his Diners Club and American Express credit cards.

Louis was well known in his time;  after 1991 and the end of the Soviet Union, quite forgotten. He died in July 1992 and is buried in the elite Vagankovskoye cemetery in Moscow.

The new book by Jean-Christophe Emmenegger  reveals for the first time the hustle which Louis operated in order to earn large sums of money from the governments of the US, the UK, and Israel, and their media corporations, in exchange for materials supplied to him by the KGB, GRU, or other Soviet government agencies, with whatever purpose these suppliers were planning at the time.  Word running mostly – Central Committee documents, speeches by officials, intelligence active measures, disinformation, memoirs, book manuscripts.

Louis also ran several side-earners: the most lucrative was taking cash from Israel to buy Soviet exit visas for selected Jews whom the Israelis wanted to emigrate. Next came American media like CBS Television, Look, Time Life, and enterprising American journalists not unlike himself – Murray Gart,  Daniel Schorr – who paid him fees to fix “exclusive” meetings and interviews with senior Soviet officials. Then there was his accreditation as Moscow correspondent for the London Evening News (Evening Standard).  There may also have been a little gun-running in the record of his visits to Mozambique and Angola.

British intelligence reports – opened in this book for the first time — described Louis as a “megalomaniac” and an “egoist extremely fond of money of which he placed considerable quantities abroad.”

Naturally he shared the proceeds with the KGB men who supplied him with the goods he traded. But compared with CIA and MI6 operations like the publication of Boris Pasternak’s Doctor Zhivago, and the rigging of his Nobel Prize, the Louis hustles were cost-free to Moscow.  

Louis was nothing if not a patriotic hustler. With that combination, the likes of him have not come again.

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FOUR YEARS LATER: THE SKRIPAL CASE IS WEIRDER THAN EVER

By Matt Ehret, Montreal
https://twitter.com/ehret_matthew

While navigating through today’s propaganda-heavy world of misinformation, spin and outright creative writing which appears to have replaced conventional journalism, it is most important that two qualities are active in the mind of any truth-seeker. The first quality is the adherence to a strong top down perspective, both historic and global. This is vital in order to guide us as a sort of compass or North Star used by sailors navigating across the ocean. The second quality is a strong power of logic, memory and discernment of wheat vs. chaff to process the mountains of data that slap us in the face from all directions like sand in a desert storm.

As the fourth anniversary of the poisoning of Sergei and Yulia Skripal has arrived and as accusations of biolabs, and chemical warfare are again on people’s minds with Victoria Nuland’s recent admission of US “bioresearch facilities” spread across Ukraine, it is a useful time to take these qualities and revisit this bizarre moment of modern history which took place on a park bench in Salisbury UK. This fraud played a major role in destroying Russian relations with the west which drove the world into the currently disastrous cataclysm now unfolding.

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SERGEI & YULIA SKRIPAL – LEGAL REPRESENTATIVE APPOINTED IN LONDON IN NEW BRITISH GOVERNMENT DECEPTION OPERATION



By John Helmer, Moscow
  @bears_with

Lord Anthony Hughes (lead image, left), the chairman of the newly appointed inquiry into  allegations of Novichok plots and death in England in 2018, revealed on Friday that a British lawyer has been engaged to represent Sergei (centre) and Yulia Skripal (right) in the investigation he is conducting. This may mean they are alive.  It does not mean the Skripals will be allowed to appear and to answer questions freely in public.

Sergei Skripal has not been seen in public since the day of the alleged Novichok attack, March 4, 2018. He has not been heard on the telephone by family members since June 26, 2019.   Yulia Skripal was last seen in a British and US directed interview at a US bomber base  in May 2018;    her last telephone call was heard on November 20, 2020.   

Hughes’s staff and spokesman refuse to identify the Skripals’ lawyer by name.

At the London court session on March 25, Hughes was told by the counsel to the proceeding that earlier this month a letter had been received “from legal representatives of Sergei and Yulia Skripal, representing their designation as core participants in the inquiry. They had not sought interested person status in the inquest. In any event, since the terms of reference for this inquiry expressly require you to investigate the events surrounding their poisoning, we submit that their significant interest in the matters to which the inquiry relates is self evident and, accordingly, we support the that matter of core participant status, but that is all I was proposing to say about that issue.”

Hughes then read the proposed list of core participants, including the Skripals. “I designate core participant to all those listed in paragraph 14 of your written submissions and outlined to me orally just now,” he said.

An hour later Martin Smith, the solicitor to the inquiry, was asked to name the legal representative of the Skripals; he refused. Hughes, he said, “will need to designate the lawyer concerned as the Core Participants’ recognised legal representative following this hearing. When he has done so, the Inquiry will publish this information.”

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SIMPLETON’S PRIMER ON THE LONG WAR THE US AIMS TO WAGE AGAINST RUSSIA

By John Helmer, Moscow
  @bears_with

In the history of the world wars, or the last century of wars in Europe, or the wars the US has waged since 1945, it has never happened that what the President of the US says, and what the head of the front-line country which the US is fighting to defend says, have mattered less than what Joseph Biden and Vladimir Zelensky say now.

The reason is that no US president running a war has ever been as incapacitated in command and control as Biden, nor as impotent among his own officials as Zelensky. Rule by crock and rule by stooge aren’t rule at all.

US public opinion polls measuring Biden’s job approval rating demonstrate that most American voters already realize this. The growing spread between American voters’ disapproval and approval of Biden’s performance since the Russian operation began on February 24 indicates also that this understanding is growing.

But this isn’t anti-war sentiment, let alone an American stop-the-war movement. At present US officials headed by Secretary of State Antony Blinken aim to fight the war to the capitulation or destruction of Russia; they will fight to the last Ukrainian to achieve this goal; they will negotiate no end-of-war terms;  they are not influenced or constrained by American public opinion or votes. Not yet.

Zelensky has declared he is in favour of negotiations to end the war; he has declared he is opposed to the terms which President Vladimir Putin and the Russian leadership have made clear, long before the war began and ever since, were the casus belli, the objectives for which they are fighting. The reason Zelensky regularly contradicts himself is that his power – his survival in office – depends on the Galician faction headquartered around Lvov, whose  only occupation is permanent warfighting, and whose only income flows from the US and the NATO alliance. They are as committed as Blinken to operating the Ukraine as a gun platform targeted at Russia; the Galicians will destroy all of eastern Ukraine as they withdraw, in order to keep firing. The Germans thought and did as much on the same battlefields eighty years ago.

Biden, Blinken, Zelensky, and the Galicians also hate Russians with more racial virulence than has ever been shown by Americans towards a European enemy in the history of American wars.

Race hatred towards Russians now far exceeds American public opinion measured towards Germans during World War I or World War II.  It is only matched, according to the US War Department’s surveys of American soldiers, by hatred towards the Japanese. During that war, six times the number of GIs polled said they “would really like to kill” a Japanese soldier as said the same for a German. When combat veterans were asked “what would you like to see happen to the Japanese and the Germans after the war”, almost one in two GIs from the Pacific theatre supported wiping out the entire Japanese nation; one in eight from the European theatre said that of Germany. During the Vietnam War, US race hatred for the Vietnamese was even less

If these lessons are true, or if the commands in Moscow and in Washington believe them, what end to the war can be negotiated short of the destruction of one side or the other?

The simpleton’s conclusion is none – there can be no end to this war unless the Ukraine is destroyed, or Russia, or Europe, or the US. How simple-minded is that?

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NEW YORK COURT REOPENS TRIAL OF LEONID LEBEDEV’S $2.7 BILLION ATTACK ON VICTOR VEKSELBERG AND LEN BLAVATNIK



By John Helmer, Moscow
  @bears_with

One of the peculiarities of the NATO alliance’s sanctions war against Russian businessmen is that the biggest of Russia’s bank robbers and corporate thieves have not been targeted by the press nor by the US Treasury. Indeed, the more criminal their conduct, and the more money they have stolen from Russia, the more welcome and secure the US, British, French, and Cypriot governments have made them and their bank accounts feel.

This is known as the Lucky Luciano gambit in the current war. Originally, between 1942 and 1946 that was an agreement between the imprisoned New York mafia boss Luciano, his treasurer Meyer Lansky, and his chief mobsters Albert Anastasia and Vito Genovese to assist US military intelligence, Army and Navy operations in their invasion of Sicily; and to go on helping the US prevent the Italian left from winning the postwar elections. In return, Luciano’s imprisonment was made more comfortable, then stopped, and in 1946 he was released to live in Italy (lead image, Luciano at home in Naples in 1948).

In the new Russian deal, the terms are that the runaway robbers must publicly blame President Vladimir Putin for prosecuting them for their crimes; declare themselves in support of regime change; assist MI6 and CIA; and pay for opposition propaganda. The case of Sergei Pugachev, who stole $1 billion from the Central Bank of Russia, is the best known of these deals. Convicted in the British courts of lying and protected by asylum in France, Pugachev has been promoted by the Financial Times of London and the Murdoch media group.  His story has turned into a well-known book, and expensive out-of-court retractions.  

The case of Leonid Lebedev, robber of Russian oilfields and electricity utilities,  has been waged to failure in the London and Cyprus courts. It has just restarted in the New York state Supreme Court. New York is where Lebedev has banked his cash. It’s where he has pursued since 2014 his claim to be paid $2.7 billion for a stake in Russian oilfields for which he was paid, and signed off,  years earlier.

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SLOVENIAN PRIME MINISTER AND POLISH GOVERNMENT REPLY TO ZELENSKY MEETING REPORT WITH NEW CLAIMS – NO EVIDENCE OF KACZYNSKI’S TOOTHBRUSH



By John Helmer, Moscow & Stanislas Balcerac, Warsaw
  @bears_with

In almost a thousand years of military history, the proverb has been a reminder that an apparently tiny omission or detail overlooked on the battlefield can have ruinous consequences for the kingdom. “For want of a nail”, the saying goes, “the shoe was lost. For want of a shoe the horse was lost.” Until the end: “For want of a message the battle was lost. For want of a battle the kingdom was lost. And all for the want of a horseshoe nail.”  

The story of the Polish, Czech and Slovenian prime ministers who messaged that they had travelled to Kiev last Tuesday to meet Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky is one of these proverbials – it is missing the details which prove the meeting took place in Kiev, where they claim they went, and not in Przemysl, Poland, where the details prove they were.

In response to the first report  revealing this evidence, the Slovenian prime minister Janez Jansa told Slovenian state television RTV he had met with Zelensky on the “first floor of the presidential palace, not in the basement, but under strict security measures.”  He added that Kiev was not surrounded despite the Russian forces attacking from both the west and the east, air raid alarms, and citywide curfew after dark.

Jansa faces a national election on April 24, and over the past month he has lost his lead in the polls.   He had announced he would visit Kiev on February 24, but that visit was cancelled on March 1 because it was judged to be dangerously unsafe.     In the interval, Jansa’s SDS party dropped another two points in the election polls to the rising new opposition party, the Freedom Movement (GS).  According to N1 Info, a Balkan news platform affiliated with CNN, Jansa’s “advisers…had been in the Ukrainian capital city to prepare a meeting of PM Janez Jansa with the Ukrainian top officials, which was due to have been held on 24 February, and was cancelled [on March 1] due to the start of Russia’s invasion.”

Jansa was asked directly on Saturday to “clarify why you judged you must cancel your planned trip to Kiev on March 1 because of the security risks at the time, but judged the security risks to be less in order for you to proceed to Kiev on March 15? What lessened the security risks to you and your delegation in the interval?”  Jansa was also asked to explain “since the Slovenian Embassy in Kiev was closed and evacuated on March 15, where did you spend the evening of March 15, before your return to Poland? With whom did you have dinner that evening?”

Jansa has refused to answer. His spokesman Uros Urbanija has accused journalists asking the questions of working for the political opposition.

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WHAT HAPPENED – MORE EVIDENCE ON THE ZELENSKY SUMMIT MEETING



By John Helmer, Moscow & Stanislas Balcerac, Warsaw
  @bears_with

On Tuesday March 15, the leaders of Poland, Czech Republic, and Slovenia met the Ukrainian President, Vladimir Zelensky (lead image, right), in a room.

Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki (left) and Deputy Prime Minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski, together with Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala and their Slovene counterpart Janez Jansa insist in unison that their meeting room was located in Kiev; that they got there by taking a 7-hour train ride from the Polish railway station of Przemysl, and that they returned the same way after 24 hours.

In yesterday’s report  we presented the evidence available at the time to indicate there was no geolocational evidence that the room was in Kiev, and that the summit meeting took place there. This account is being disputed by some sources; corroborated by others. A Warsaw government source who reviewed yesterday’s report comments: “we will probably never know the truth.”

According to another Polish source, “no head of the Polish security detail would allow the PM and the Deputy PM to travel together to a theatre of military operations. Especially after the close encounters in Georgia in 2008 when [President Lech]  Kaczynski blamed the Russian Army for shooting at him.   And if the head of the SOP [Polish State Protection Service, Służba Ochrony Państwa], allowed it, he should be fired.”

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THE ZELENSKY SUMMIT MEETING IN KIEV ON MARCH 15 WITH POLISH, CZECH AND SLOVENIAN PRIME MINISTERS WAS A FAKE DEVISED IN WARSAW – THE MEETING WAS AT PRZEMYSL, POLAND; ZELENSKY ALSO



By John Helmer, Moscow & Stanislas Balcerac, Warsaw
  @bears_with

The summit meeting of East European leaders, hosted in Kiev by Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky on March 15 was fabricated by the Polish government, with Polish secret service agents playing the part of journalists, and fake photographs of the meeting, press briefing, and train journey prepared by Zelensky’s press office.

The operation was designed by the Poles to promote their role in support of the Ukraine, the Ukrainian refugees, and in defence of Europe against Russia, and seek new European, American,  and NATO alliance funds and military equipment.

According to the Ukrainian publicity, the operation was designed to promote the appearance that Zelensky’s regime is in control of Kiev, and to accelerate their application for admission to the European Union (EU).

The Anglo-American media have reported the meeting, as announced by Petr Fiala, the Czech  prime minister, with “the aim…to express the European Union’s unequivocal support for Ukraine and its freedom and independence,”    

The result of the summit meeting, according to the Financial Times in London, was “a show of European solidarity even as Russian shelling continued on residential neighbourhoods in the Ukrainian capital. The trip by the prime ministers of Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovenia is the most high-profile visit to Kyiv since Russia invaded the country on February 24.”  

 “It is here, in war-torn Kyiv, that history is being made,” the Polish prime minister Mateusz Morawiecki announced. “It is here that freedom fights against the world of tyranny. It is here that the future of us all hangs in the balance.”

Morawiecki and the western press were lying – there was no meeting in Kiev. Instead, the meeting was staged at the Polish rail junction town of Przemysl, 95 kilometres west of Lvov (Lviv), and 20 kms inside the Polish frontier with the Ukraine.

In a report published by the Associated Press (AP) bureau in Warsaw, “the long journey over land from Poland to Kyiv by Morawiecki, Poland’s deputy Prime Minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski and Prime Ministers Petr Fiala of the Czech Republic and Janez Jansa of Slovenia sent the message that most of Ukraine still remains in Ukrainian hands.”  

The evidence gathered from sources in Warsaw and from analysis of the videos and photographs published on the meeting proves there was no “long journey”; no meeting in Kiev or in Lvov, the Galician region capital, which is the operating headquarters of the Ukrainian government. From the evidence provided by the Poles and also by Zelensky’s publicity staff, it is now clear that only a small part of western Ukraine remains in Ukrainian hands.  Zelensky himself is now in Polish hands.

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CHUMAKOV’S COVIVAC – UPHILL RUN FOR RUSSIA’S THIRD VACCINE



By John Helmer, Moscow
  @bears_with

Nothing is more certain than that wars make fortunes for gunmakers and pandemics make fortunes for vaccine makers.

It’s uncertain whether it’s the market, the politics, or the science which advances some vaccines at the expense of others.  In the 150-year history of medical markets, the Covid-19 vaccines have been fastest from the science to the money – faster and further ahead of the vaccines for measles, hepatitis, cervical cancer, and polio.  At this speed, profit and share price have done most of the talking, followed by the politics of regulator approval. It’s too soon for science to measure and report the long-term benefit versus harm of these Covid-19 vaccines, especially the genetic engineering types known as messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA).  

After two years of the coronavirus, the World Health Organization (WHO) reports there are 148 vaccines currently under clinical testing.   It’s quite late for most of them to make back their cost, let alone earn super profits.

The US has developed two of the vaccines, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson (Janssen), and with German science, produced and marketed a third, Pfizer-BioNTech. China has developed and marketed three major vaccines – Sinopharm, CoronaVac, Convidecia – and several minor ones.  India has produced more than three, as have Cuba and Iran. Turkey, Kazakhstan, and the UK have produced one each; the last of them, Oxford-Astra-Zeneca is the runner-up to Pfizer in  reach worldwide.  France’s Sanofi has produced one, but it has yet to reach market.  

Russia has produced three Covid-19 vaccines – Sputnik (Sputnik V and Sputnik Lite), EpiVacCorona, and CoviVac.  

Vaccine market entry decided by national and international regulators is a measure of political and corporate power; global dosage totals are the result. Pfizer has dominated the European Union market with roughly three times the number of doses administered than all its competitors combined. In rank order after Pfizer come Moderna, Astra-Zeneca, Johnson & Johnson, Sputnik, Sinovac and Sinopharm.   In the US market, Pfizer dominates with a 59% share; Moderna with 38%; Johnson & Johnson with just 3%. Non-American vaccines have been kept out of the American market entirely. That isn’t the result of science.   

But in the world as a whole, China and India lead in the aggregate of doses; Cuba, the United Arab Emirates, and Chile lead in the number of doses administered per hundred people.  

By contrast with the global and European standards, Russians have been more resistant to vaccination and more skeptical of the science. With a dosage per hundred people of 111, the Russian vaccination rate has been half the European Union average;  a third the US rate; about equal to Honduras or Pakistan.  

In the Russian market this is the short story of CoviVac —  the vaccine which has tried to make its way against oligarch money, Moscow politics, and the paradoxical contest of one of  the most advanced vaccine science establishments in the world with one of the most coronavirus skeptical  of populations.

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THE NEWCOMER & THE NOVICHOK – NEW ENGLISH JUDGE FOUND TO INVESTIGATE THE CAUSE OF DAWN STURGESS’S DEATH AFTER THE GOVERNMENT HAS ALREADY DECIDED



By John Helmer, Moscow
  @bears_with

A new judge has been appointed out of retirement by the British Government to run a public inquiry into the cause of death of Dawn Sturgess in July 2018.  He is Anthony Hughes, Lord Hughes of Ombersley, 73, who retired as a judge of the Supreme Court, the highest of the British courts, in 2018. A specialist in criminal law, he was a Court of Appeal judge between 2006 and 2013, and a High Court judge from 1997 to 2003.

The Hughes appointment was announced in the House of Commons on Thursday.  

The cause of Sturgess’s death was declared by British government officials before the medical evidence and witnesses had been examined and tested in court and in public. The government has published its conclusion on the website of the Sturgess inquest. “Dawn Sturgess was pronounced dead at Salisbury District Hospital on 8 July 2018. The post mortem indicated the cause of her death was Novichok poisoning.”  

This allegation has been part of the government’s narrative that the Russian-made nerve agent Novichok was brought to London, and then to Salisbury, by two Russian soldier assassins as part of a plot ordered by the Kremlin to kill double agent, Sergei Skripal. The attack on him on March 4, 2018, failed.

Skripal, as well as his daughter Yulia Skripal, survived, although not to tell the tale.

For four years now they have been held incommunicado by the British secret services; they may be imprisoned; they may be dead.  They have been excluded from giving any evidence in court on what happened to them. They have been prevented from contacting their family in Russia, and speaking in public and to the press.

Hughes’s appointment this week follows the controversial and unexplained replacements of two coroners investigating the chain of Novichok allegations leading to Sturgess’s death. Hughes himself was not picked for the post for several months

With an unusually modest public career record and no media reporting of his judgements over his  21-year career on the bench, Hughes appears to be about as obscure a figure as the government could have found.

However, the archive of his Court of Appeal judgements reveals that Hughes is a stickler for the criminal law rules on the inadmissibility of tainted and hearsay evidence,  and on rejecting faulty directions by judges to juries before their verdicts.  Whether Hughes has been selected for the Novichok job  because officials believe he can be counted on to stick to the official narrative, or whether his record for quashing unsafe convictions will prevail this time round is about to be tested.

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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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