HAIR-RAISING NEW EVIDENCE – BERLIN HOSPITAL TEST REVEALS ALEXEI NAVALNY’S LITHIUM AND BENZO ADDICTION HIS GERMAN DOCTORS ARE COVERING UP — TROPICAMIDE POISONING ALSO HIDDEN

By John Helmer, Moscow
  @bears_with

German clinical evidence of Alexei Navalny’s chronic use of lithium and benzodiazepine drugs before his sensational collapse last year is being withheld and covered up by the Berlin doctors who obtained the evidence from testing a sample of Navalny’s hair.

The significance of the hair testing was identified this month by an expert toxicologist employed by the British government.  “[It] would be interesting,” he said, requesting his name not be released, “to see the hair test as this will reflect only the drugs given up to six days and more earlier in Russia.”

Dr Kai-Uwe Eckardt, the head of the team of German doctors treating Navalny in Berlin’s Charité University Hospital, reported publicly last December that “a hair sample obtained on day 4 confirmed the presence of several of the compounds detected in blood and urine.” Day-4 in Berlin meant August 24, four days after Navalny alleges he was poisoned in Tomsk by Novichok on orders of the Kremlin. Navalny’s allegation was endorsed by the German, British and US governments on the evidence, they said at the time, of Navalny’s tests in Germany.

This allegation was repeated last week at the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) in The Hague.  According to an October 5 statement by a group of OPCW member governments,  “it is now more than a year since Mr Alexei Navalny was poisoned with a nerve agent whilst travelling in Russia. The OPCW Technical Secretariat confirmed, following a Technical Assistance Visit to Germany, that Mr Navalny was exposed to a nerve agent from the Novichok group. This is a matter of grave concern.”

Led by Germany, the UK and US, the governments also charged that “the Russian Federation has not yet provided a credible explanation of the incident that took place on its soil.”

The Russian Foreign Ministry responded two days later, on October 7,  charging the accusers of “inconsistencies, contradictions, misinformation, shady developments that have yet to be clarified, insinuations at the highest political level and outright lies professed by the West… a provocation, crudely planned and coarsely executed by the special services of some Western countries.” 

The significance of the hair sample testing by the German doctors  is that the results corroborate lithium and benzodiazepine drug use in Navalny’s blood and urine found on his arrival in Berlin.

An independent British toxicologist adds that the levels of the drugs in the hair testing would also confirm Navalny’s dependence on these drugs in Russia, well before he arrived in Tomsk and long before the Novichok “incident” alleged at OPCW last week. “Without seeing the actual hair analysis report, we are guessing which specific drugs and compounds were common to the blood and urine and hair. The hair ones are all pre-attack compounds. If ‘several’ drugs were in the hair, as the Berlin report says, then Navalny would be described as a chronic abuser. That,  plus his multiple bacterial infections the Berlin report also identifies,  would make the trained professional clinician looking at the data believe that the patient was a down-at-heel street person with a serious drug problem and mental health issues.”

Medical psychiatrists and toxicologists acknowledge that the “cocktail” combination of drugs Navalny had been taking before he collapsed on August 20 may explain his subsequent symptoms and the cause of his collapse. Lithium, according to the British government  toxicologist reporting last week, “would not be detected by normal drug screening and must have been indicated for some reason to cause them [the Charité hospital doctors] to carry out as a special, targeted test. It would be interesting to know why it was tested for and the blood concentration – were the Russians treating [Navalny] for a bipolar disorder?”

Eckardt was asked to explain his reason for testing Navalny for  lithium and benzodiazepines. He was also asked what specific compounds were detected in the Day-4 hair sample testing he directed. Eckardt refused to answer, or to provide what OPCW called last week “a credible explanation”.

(more…)

BREAKING THE MOULD – A LESSON FOR TODAY FROM THE STAFFORDSHIRE POTTER OF TWO CENTURIES AGO

By John Helmer, Moscow
  @bears_with

When China was an empire in 1792, the emperor Ch’ieng Lung told the British ambassador to take his gifts and bribes back to London, along with this message for the British king: “we have never valued ingenious articles, nor do we have the slightest need of your country’s manufactures. You, O King, ought, looking upwards, to carry out our wishes, and for ever obey our edict, so that we both enjoy the blessings of peace…Do not say you have not been forewarned.”

When Russia was an empire in 1773, the empress Catherine the Great was persuaded by bribes to purchase from Wedgwood & Bentley, the Staffordshire porcelain manufacturer, the largest order of dinner and table plates in the history of British pottery.  After haggling over the price for the 944 pieces, the tsarina paid Wedgwood’s invoice at today’s equivalent of £4 million – the largest price ever charged and paid for such things until that time. Wedgwood lost money on the deal, though. That was because the bribery and costs of production and delivery turned out to be greater than Catherine’s payment. The way the bribes worked, Wedgwood told the British ambassador in St Petersburg and his wife to make gifts of expensive samples he had sent them, keeping some for themselves as commission. The ambassador’s wife wrote back: “Her Imperial Majesty has kept all the Vases and the Dejeuné [sic — luncheon plates] you sent me, as samples, and they were very much liked.”

There are political lessons in this – especially if you read them while eating your dinner off a paper plate or out of a cardboard box.

(more…)

RUSSIA’S SILENT MAJORITY OUTPOINTS THE ROBOT VOTE (CANADIANS TOO)

By John Helmer, Moscow
  @bears_with

Robots can be easily programmed to correct their mistakes; robot voters can be programmed to re-vote. But robots are missing the intelligence to cover up their tracks.

In the twenty-four hours since the Russian polls closed on Sunday at 8, the robot voters of Russia have exposed themselves to one of the most thorough analyses of their lack of intelligence ever produced by the mainstream Russian media, Russian election technologists and think tanks, and the Russian social media. Indeed, so swift and thorough have they been that protests of election-rigging from the Communist Party, the Navalny group and the State Department have proved superfluous. The silent majority of Russian voters had anticipated the outcome – they have already recorded their response.

(Something similar has happened at the University-Rosedale riding of Toronto. In Monday’s  Canadian parliamentary election, voters delivered a similar message of silent rebuke to Chrystia Freeland, chief Russia hater and Ukrainian candidate for prime minister of Canada.)

(more…)

NOVICHOK SECRET PARALYZES BRITISH DOCTORS FOLLOWING GERMAN DOCTOR’S DISCLOSURES

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

The leading hospital doctors on Novichok poisoning in Britain and Germany are not allowed by their governments to reveal publicly the medical information they have exchanged with each other.

James Haslam, the chief doctor at Salisbury District Hospital treating Sergei Skripal and Yulia Skripal for Novichok poisoning in March 2018, and Elspeth Hulse, an anaesthetist at Newcastle upon Tyne hospital and co-author with Haslam of a medical research paper on the Skripal case,  refused this week to say if they participated with German doctors in the treatment of Alexei Navalny for Novichok poisoning at Charité Hospital in Berlin in August 2020.   

According to Hulse, she has been ordered to keep silent by the British Ministry of Defence. Asked what communications and consultations on their expertise in the Skripal case they exchanged with the Berlin doctors treating Navalny, Hulse replied: “I have been advised that you should in the first instance go though [sic] the UK MOD press office. Press Office  020  7218 7907 I hope that this helps.”  

Haslam also refused to answer if he had communicated with Navalny’s doctors in Berlin, or when.

Cara Charles-Barks, chief executive of the Salisbury hospital, refused this week to say what collaboration there has been between Salisbury and the Charité — the only two hospitals in the world to claim to have successfully treated cases of Novichok poisoning.  

However, the British and Germans did collaborate in secret.  Last week Philipp Jacoby, the German doctor directing the medical evacuation of Navalny from Omsk Hospital in Russia to Charité in Berlin in August last year, revealed that when he brought Navalny to Charité, there was “a welcome committee (Empfangskomitee) of about 30 people present.” He added he didn’t know who they were except that they were an “international” group.

The lead German doctors treating Navalny, Kai-Uwe Eckardt and David Leindl, published last December a detailed clinical case report on the Navalny case; they reported the psychotropic drugs, lithium and benzodiazepines, in his blood and urine on arrival; his biochemical test scores for each of the days he was in hospital; and their course of treatment with atropine and blood plasma. Jacoby is one of their co-authors. This week Eckardt and Leindl were asked “to confirm the contacts and communications you had with British doctors of Salisbury District Hospital on the August 22 day of [Navalny’s] admission and subsequently?” They refuse to reply.

Since Jacoby’s fresh disclosure of the “welcome committee”, the record of what the British and German doctors did, and when they did it, is evidence of how the two governments planned the public disclosure of the two Novichok attacks and the Anglo-German allegation that the Russian government was behind both of them.

A leading British specialist on organophosphate poisoning commented: “Here is an irony.  Jacoby and the Charité hospital group published in The Lancet every minute detail about Navalny’s diagnostics. Now Dr.Hulse defers to the Ministry of Defence. What is the secret they are concealing — that the British treatment of the Skripals for Novichok exposure was different from the German treatment of Navalny? Or is the secret that there was no Novichok in either case?”

(more…)

GERMAN DOCTOR TREATING ALEXEI NAVALNY MAKES NEW DISCLOSURES

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

Philipp Jacoby, the only German doctor treating Alexei Navalny for alleged poisoning to have testified publicly, has given a new press interview to alter the interpretation of the evidence he gave last week. “People close to Navalny”, he now says, “warned me about John Helmer”.

In two telephone interviews on September 6, Jacoby revealed that the planning of his medical evacuation flight to Russia began in Shannon, Ireland, on August 19, 2020, the day before Navalny fell ill on a flight between Tomsk and Moscow on the morning of August 20, 2020.

Jacoby also testified that Maria Pevchikh, one of Navalny’s staff, had been the first to mention Novichok when they were talking together at the intensive care unit of Omsk Emergency Hospital Number 1, where Navalny was being treated, after his flight had been diverted for an emergency landing at Omsk. Later, Jacoby added, Pevchikh and Yulia Navalnaya, Navalny’s wife, had asked him — and he had agreed with them — to conceal their backpack containing water bottles from Navalny’s hotel room in Tomsk on to the German medevac aircraft, making it appear to be his own luggage and thereby avoid Russian detection at Omsk airport.

In a fresh interview for almost ninety minutes on Thursday evening, September 9, conducted in German, Jacoby did not claim his earlier interviews had been misquoted or misinterpreted. Instead, he revealed how close he has been to Navalnaya, corresponding by email with her after Navalny arrived in Germany for treatment.

Jacoby also issued the first personal attack by a German doctor or German government official on the medical expertise and truthfulness of the Russian doctors treating Navalny at Omsk. “The doctors in Omsk told us a cock and bull story [die Ärzte in Omsk haben mir einen Bären aufgebunden],” Jacoby now says, claiming they didn’t tell him the full truth. He adds that handwritten records of Navalny’s clinical tests he was shown by the Omsk hospital doctors “were unprofessional and could easily have been faked.” Jacoby did not acknowledge the papers he was shown were handwritten in English because the Omsk Hospital doctors believed Jacoby could not understand computer printouts in Russian.

On the evidence of the German clinical test records, published last December by Jacoby with thirteen of the treating doctors at the Charité hospital in Berlin, Jacoby confirms that lithium and several benzodiazepine drugs were found in Navalny’s blood and urine. In his first interview, Jacoby said he “had no idea where the lithium or benzodiazepines came from. Maybe he took it on a daily basis.”

In his new interview Jacoby said “either he took it regularly himself or the doctors in Omsk gave it to him to distract from the poisoning.”

(more…)

HOW THE NAVALNY NOVICHOK OPERATION WAS PREPARED — NEW EVIDENCE FROM GERMANY

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

The planning to fly Alexei Navalny (lead image) from Russia to Germany, and there to accuse the Kremlin of trying to kill him with Novichok, started before Navalny himself knew he was ill.

The new evidence comes from records of the German medical evacuation team based in Nuremberg. This five-man team  —  two pilots, two paramedic nurses, one physician specialist in emergency medicine —  flew from Nuremberg to Omsk; collected Navalny, and with his wife Yulia Navalnaya and assistant Maria Pevchikh, flew to Berlin, where Navalny was revived.

But the evidence reveals their mission began with orders to the aircraft and to the team members when they were at Shannon airport, western Ireland, on the morning of August 20, 2020; those orders were first issued the day before, on August 19. That’s the day before Navalny collapsed on a flight between Tomsk and Moscow, and then following the emergency diversion of the aircraft to Omsk,  before he was taken to Omsk Emergency Hospital Number 1.

The German evidence, newly obtained this week, also discloses that the first allegation that Navalny had been poisoned with the Novichok nerve agent came from Pevchikh. She told the German medevac doctor and paramedics when they were with Navalny in the intensive care unit at the Omsk hospital where Navalny was being treated. “She spoke English perfectly”, Dr Philipp Jacoby remembers.

The evidence of the poisoning was in several water bottles Pevchikh had taken from Navalny’s hotel room in Tomsk, and brought to Omsk after recording a film of herself and others from Navalny’s staff collecting them from the hotel room.  These bottles Navalnaya and Pevchikh asked the German doctor to take through the Omsk airport baggage check and on to the medevac aircraft in a backpack attached to his own luggage. “She didn’t tell us what was inside,” Jacoby said in an interview this week. “You could feel they were half-litre bottles, the hotel-room type, maybe five of them. The backpack was strapped to my bag and it went on board with me.”

When the aircraft reached Berlin, the backpack with the bottles was delivered to the Charité hospital along with Navalny. It had been unloaded from the aircraft and put on a German security lorry which took Navalny’s luggage to the Charité hospital. “I handed the bottles to the intensive care unit,” Jacoby says. “They were happy to get the bottles.” A German investigation followed later. “I got a phone call from the German security service asking how the bottles came to Germany,” Jacoby says. He also remembers an earlier concern about Pevchikh’s bottles at Omsk airport, before takeoff. “The [medevac] co-pilot was upset that we took on board someone’s luggage that wasn’t our own.”

(more…)

FIGHTING THINK TANKS & TROLL FARMS IN THE WAR FOR TELLING THE TRUTH ABOUT RUSSIA – HELLEVIG MEMORIAL LECTURE

By John Helmer, Moscow 
  @bears_with

In November 2001—twenty years ago — I gave a lecture in Moscow entitled: “Stealing the Truth – How to Read, and Not to Read, the Press In Russia”. The text has been lost. I am grateful to Ajay Goyal, the organiser of the Hellevig Lectures, for inviting me to bring the message back to life.  

In the interval, Jon Hellevig lived his productive life in Russia. He and I both wrote for The Russia Journal and he set many examples of disciplined investigation leading to fearless publication of the truth.  I salute him and his memory for what he achieved as an example to those of us who knew him and who live on.

In Soviet days, Russian reporters, editors and readers had shared an understanding of how to write and how to read the real message, the truth, between the lines of the printed text. This was a subtlety western readers have taken time to learn. The invention of the tweet struck with blunt force trauma; its unsubtlety came later. Then the US and the NATO allies opened the Ukraine front of their war against Russia in February 2014; the economic warfare sanctions followed the Ukrainian plot to down Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 in July 2014; the war on the Syria front escalated from September 2015; and the two Novichok operations were launched — the British one involving Sergei Skripal in March 2018, and the German one involving Alexei Navalny in August 2020.

In wartime, with Russia and the truth about Russia under the gun, you will understand me when I say I shall not allow my remarks to give aid and comfort to the other side. What I have had to say about domestic and internal Russian politics and the features of the Russian oligarchy are in print for all to read. There will be more to say — though not here, not today.

(more…)

NICK BAILEY “DOESN’T WANT TO BE KNOWN AS THE POISONED CUP” – BECAUSE HE WASN’T

By John Helmer, Moscow 
  @bears_with

Each time former Wiltshire police sergeant Nicholas Bailey (lead image, right) tries to advertise his availability to tell his story for the Crown and for the money, he adds tiny details contradicting the official British government narrative that he was the victim of a Russian state attempt to use the Novichok nerve agent to kill Sergei Skripal on March 4, 2018.

He also adds volumes to the evidence that it was the fabrication of the Novichok story, and the deceit and camouflage Bailey has been ordered to portray, which caused what Bailey now describes as “grieving for my former self”, “griev[ing] for my job as well”, “everything crumbling around me”, “massive impact on my marriage”, “major setbacks”, and “[being] consumed by this upset and anger”. He is emphatic: “I don’t want to be known as the poisoned cop.”  

Bailey is selling pep talks to managers dealing with disgruntled employees with lines like “give yourself a break… be happy and content with what you’ve got and who you are”.  What his lawyers and PR agents are telling the Wiltshire police and the Home Office in London is that lying requires much more than the medical retirement pension Bailey was paid last year when he was invalided out of the force.  

(more…)

EX POLICE DRUGS SQUAD SERGEANT NICHOLAS BAILEY PRESENTS 74 MINUTES OF PROOF THERE WAS NO NOVICHOK ON THE SKRIPAL DOOR-HANDLE — AND HE KNOWS IT

By John Helmer, Moscow 
  @bears_with

Nicholas Bailey (lead image) is the detective sergeant of Wiltshire county police whom the British Government says was poisoned by Novichok when he turned the front-door handle of Sergei Skripal’s Salisbury town house on March 4, 2018. Last Friday from London, in a 74-minute interview with Andrew Coulson, former press adviser to former prime minister David Cameron. Bailey gave the longest witness testimony he has given in three years to what happened to Skripal; to himself; and to Dawn Sturgess when, according to British Government statements which began on March 8, 2018, the Kremlin and the Russian military intelligence agency GRU used Novichok in an attempt to kill Skripal.

Bailey’s testimony is evidence, a leading British toxicologist says, that the physiological and cognitive symptoms Bailey describes in detail were not those of a victim of organophosphate poisoning, much less military-grade nerve agent Novichok.  “Basically, every orifice that produces a fluid, or can leak a fluid goes into overdrive,” the source comments. “I think Bailey would remember that.”

Soundtrack and voice analysis by another source indicates that Bailey knows he is lying. “Bailey is a bad actor,” comments a theatre voice coach, “reading from a bad script.” If Bailey is telling the truth now, the sources say, he is talking proof that there was no Novichok then.

(more…)

MOSCOW SINGS, WHERE ARE MY ANTIBODIES? NATIONWIDE PROTEST VOTE LOOMS FOR SEPTEMBER – THAT INCLUDES REFUSING TO VOTE AT ALL

By John Helmer, Moscow 
  @bears_with

When it comes to influencing how Russians will vote, the Anglo-American Navalny operation isn’t a patch on the Russian sense of humour. No amount of money which the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) and the Anglo-American info-warfare units can throw at  Russians can compete, let alone overcome it.

But it is no joke that the President’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov announced this week that people who refuse to get vaccinated “pose a threat to others” and deserve to be punished. That’s almost two-thirds of the country, according to the latest Levada Centre poll.

What Peskov means is that popular resistance to vaccination is a threat to the pro-government vote for the national parliament on September 19.

(more…)

WHAT PRESIDENT BIDEN AND HIS MEDIA CHORUS REVEALED ABOUT THEIR WAR-FIGHTING CAPABILITIES

By John Helmer, Moscow 
  @bears_with

President Joseph Biden spent 33 minutes speaking at his press confernce to a group of US reporters pre-selected, coached,  and programmed by name, organisation and text of question. This operation made it impossible to allow Russian reporters to attend.

Biden’s speech to his press was longer than he managed by himself in the restricted-format session with President Vladimir Putin and their two foreign ministers and interpreters, which began the summit on Wednesday, and lasted 108 minutes. The 33-minute performance was also longer than Biden managed at the expanded format of the talks, which included press spokesmen, national security advisers, deputy foreign ministry officials and the two state ambassadors. That session lasted 91 minutes.

Biden demonstrated he can rehearse, recite, repeat.

He added nothing, nor did he subtract anything from  the G7 communiqué of three days ago, in which he accused Russia of “destabilising behaviour and malign activities, including its interference in other countries’ democratic systems, and to fulfil its international human rights obligations and commitments. In particular, we call on Russia to urgently investigate and credibly explain the use of a chemical weapon on its soil, to end its systematic crackdown on independent civil society and media, and to identify, disrupt, and hold to account those within its borders who conduct ransomware attacks, abuse virtual currency to launder ransoms, and other cybercrimes.”  

Biden, together with the American journalists appearing at the two presidential pressers,  also repeated the accusations of the NATO communiqué of two days ago.

Biden’s 33-minute performance demonstrated the clinical motor and cognitive symptoms which remain state secrets in Washington. They are now better understood in Moscow than by US experts on the 25th Amendment.

In the few impromptu remarks Biden recorded there were flashes of hostility. About China’s President Xi Jinping, he said:  “Let’s get something straight. We know each other well. We are not old friends. It’s just pure business”. Asked what he would do if Alexei Navalny dies, Biden said: “That’s not a satisfying answer: ‘Biden said he’d invade Russia.’  You know, it is not — you know.  By the way, that was a joke.  That’s not true. But my generic point is, it is — it is more complicated than that.”

 “I’m not confident he’ll change his behaviour,” Biden rounded on a reporter challenging his capacity to deter Putin, as he tried to leave the press room. “Where the hell — what do you do all the time?  When did I say I was confident?  I said —  I said — what I said was — let’s get it straight.  I said: What will change their behavior is if the rest of world reacts to them and it diminishes their standing in the world.  I’m not confident of anything; I’m just stating a fact.”

When Putin was asked by a Russian reporter if he has “any new illusions as a result of this meeting?”, he replied: “ I didn’t even have the old ones, and you’re talking about the new ones. Where did you get the idea about illusions? There are no illusions and there can be no illusions.”

(more…)

PUTIN FANTASIES – HOW A NEW YORK PROFESSOR CALLED TIMOTHY FRYE DISCOVERED VIRTUE IN A WORLD FREE FROM US GOVERNMENT PROPAGANDA, MONEY & WAR FOR REGIME CHANGE

By John Helmer, Moscow 
  @bears_with

Inside a university on the upper west side of Manhattan island sits Timothy Frye (lead image, right), a professor who still likes to talk of the good times he had in the Soviet Union when he was a young agent in a propaganda touring show for the US Information Agency; and then, during the first post-Soviet years, when he was a broadcaster of good news at the US outlet, Radio Free Europe.

He is still making his living broadcasting the news about Russia. This is no less a product of the same US government money trail as his early efforts, although Frye’s title, those of his sources, and of the think-tanks and academic units which pay their salaries and finance their research are more highfalutin than they were.    

There is also no change in the source of this news about Russia. It comes second hand and by hearsay from US and British journalists in the mainstream media; from Russian reporters on stipend to US sponsors; and academic researchers on either side of the Atlantic, quoting each other.

In this world, all the warfighting objectives of toppling the Putin administration, defeating the Russian Army in the Donbass and Syria, and recovering Crimea for the Kiev regime, are endorsed by Frye. All charges of cyber attacks, media trolling and US election campaign intervention by Russian military intelligence agents; poison attacks against Alexander Litvinenko, the Skripals, and Alexei Navalny; the shoot-down of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17; the deaths of Anna Politkovskaya, Boris Nemtsov, and Sergei Magnitsky – in short, every evil Russian deed reported for the past decade is accepted by Frye as the truth,  together with the regime-change narratives of William Browder, Mikhail Khodorkovsky and Navalny.

But Frye’s book is more than a hackneyed replay.  It is evidence of what is in the mind of Frye himself, and of the Anglo-American academic establishment, as they work away at their war against Russia. Theirs is a virtuous cause, Frye thinks, because he and his peer group believe they are being scientific about the Russian enemy, and are certain they know the enemy better than he knows them.  

(more…)

ANOTHER SHAKE OF THE NOVICHOK MONEY TREE — POLICE SERGEANT NICK BAILEY THREATENS IF HE DOESN’T GET HIS PAYOFF

By John Helmer, Moscow 
  @bears_with

Nicholas Bailey (lead image), the Wiltshire county police sergeant who was a support player in the British Government’s first Novichok attack on the Kremlin, has demanded money for himself with the threat that if he doesn’t get it, and soon, he will go to the High Court in London. There, he is threatening to tell everything he knows about the alleged poisoning of Sergei and Yulia Skripal on March 4, 2018. That was one of the makings of the promotion of Prime Minister Boris Johnson, and the fattening of the pockets of the MI6 intelligence agency and the Cabinet Office. It was the prequel of the second Novichok attack on the Kremlin, staged by Alexei Navalny last August, in which he demanded to become president of Russia.

OMG!

If Bailey tells the truth about the fabrications in his case, will he trigger the downfall of the British government, the outgoing German government, MI6 , CIA, the German secret service BND,  the German Army laboratory in Munich, the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) in The Hague, everyone else who believes the Novichok story;  and put a stop to the allied war against Russia?

In stakes as mighty as these, how much money can Bailey’s silence be worth?

(more…)

LAUGHING ON THE MARCH UP TO THE FRONT

By John Helmer, Moscow 
  @bears_with

Russian laughter has weaponised – and that’s no joke.

Nor is it new. This month is the 185th anniversary of the first stage performance of The Government Inspector (Ревизор, Revizor), the work launching the fame of its author Nikolai Gogol. The laughter which the play, then the book drew from May 1, 1836, was followed by this autobiographical acknowledgement from Gogol six years later, when his equally famous book, Dead Souls  (Мёртвые души, Myortvyi dushi),  appeared.

“Lofty ecstatic laughter,” Gogol said, “is quite worthy of taking its place beside the loftiest lyrical gust and…it has nothing in common with the faces a mountebank makes. The judgement of [the author’s] time does not admit this and will twist everything into reproof and abuse directed against the unrecognised writer; deprived of assistance, response and sympathy, he will remain, like some homeless traveller alone on the road. Grim will be his career and bitterly will he realise his utter loneliness.”

Against US warmakers like President Dementia (старый маразматик  “Old Marismatic”  ) and the Blin-Noodle Gang, Chancellor Merkel,  Prime Minister Johnson, and their president-in-waiting-for-Russia, Alexei Navalny, Russian joke-making is a weapon against which the allies have nothing comparable, no counter-measure. Exceptional Gogol believed Russians to be, compared to Germans, French, British,  or Americans. Exceptionalist the latter believe themselves to be, compared to Russians. Still, the one uniquely exceptional weapon Russians wage in war is their laughter at their enemies. The others caricature or cartoon the Russians, but they hate too earnestly, so they can’t laugh at them.

The pranksters Alexei Stolyarov (lead image, right) and Vladimir Kuznetsov (left) – Lexus and Vovan are their respective stage names — explain that making jokes at the expense of those in power inside Russia had been worth doing until war was declared against Russia. Now, they say,  their jokes aim at laughing at those who are much worse.   Gogol didn’t get so far.

(more…)

THE NEW NAVALNY INDICTMENT – WHY ARTICLE 239 PROSECUTION IS WORSE FOR THE ANGLO-AMERICAN REGIME-CHANGE OPERATION THAN ARTICLE 275 (TREASON)

By John Helmer, Moscow 
  @bears_with

When Alexei Navalny and his aides met in Germany in January with the US, British and German intelligence services, they agreed that Navalny would cease to be what he imagines himself to be, the front-running candidate for president of Russia, if he followed Boris Berezovsky and  Mikhail Khodorkovsky into permanent exile abroad. The agents also reminded Navalny that his two predecessors could count on more of their own personal cash to pay for the standard of living and attention to which they were accustomed, than Navalny could.  On account of his vanity and their cash, they had Navalny over a barrel.

So return to Russia he must, they decided. They also agreed that if that happened, Navalny would go to jail.

Navalny was assured that if he could accept that, the western allies would do their best, as publicly as possible, to make his stay in prison as politically powerful as possible – and shorter than Khodorkovsky’s ten years.  Navalny was complimented that President Joseph Biden, Chancellor Angela Merkel, and Prime Minister Boris Johnson promised personally to say his name aloud,  not to mention the leaders of Estonia, Lithuania,  Latvia, and Australia, whose names and influence Navalny esteemed less. Turning the courtroom and then his jail cell into Navalny’s new political platform, he was convinced, was the necessary new stage since Operation NOVICHOK and Operation PUTIN PALACE were fizzling out.

Not for the first time, Navalny has miscalculated.

(more…)

WHEN PUSH COMES TO SHOVEKIN – LONDON PRIZE FOR THE BEST BOOK OF RUSSIA-IS-EVIL, RUSSIANS-DESERVE-TO-DIE-IN-HELL-FIRE

By John Helmer, Moscow 
  @bears_with

Russia-hating Russians have long made a business of selling their bile to Americans with a  profit that makes Israel-hating Jews, Greece-hating Greeks,  and Cecil Rhodes-hating South Africans quite envious, though not quite as lucratively as Russia-hating Ukrainians have been selling since they lost the last war in Europe.    

Sergei Lebedev (lead image, right) — “arguably the best of Russia’s younger writers” says a British historian with a history of regime-changing opinions – is doing well at this business. With a blurb endorsement by Anne Applebaum as “one of Russia’s most interesting young novelists”, and a translation into English by the former chief executive of the Soros Foundation in the Soviet Union, Lebedev’s place is assured in the market for information warfare against Russia.

His book, released in Russian as Дебютант (synonym Новичок, “Novichok”) by the Eksmo publishing group in 2020, was published in English this past February as “Untraceable”; the publisher is Head of Zeus. Eksmo, the beneficiary of Lebedev’s book sales in Russian,  is owned by Arkady Rotenberg, one of the better known friends of President Vladimir Putin who is sanctioned by the US. Head of Zeus is a branch of IPG, an international book distributor based in Chicago.  The book is the latest reprise of the CIA’s and MI6’s Nobel Prize-winning OPERATION BARRY PARSNIP (Boris Pasternak).   

(more…)

ROMAN ABRAMOVICH PUTS RUSSIA WARFIGHTERS TO THE TRUTH TEST

By John Helmer, Moscow 
  @bears_with

There have been only two painstaking records that an English journalist named Catherine Belton (lead image, centre) has been the fabricator of Russian oligarch and regime-changing plots when she was a Moscow reporter for the Financial Times, and since she moved to Reuters and published a book called  Putin’s People: How the KGB Took Back Russia and Then Took on the West.

The first record was mine, in print. The new one is Roman Abramovich’s – his is in the High Court in London.

The archive of my research started in 2008. Through 29 instalments  it has followed Belton’s associations with the oligarchs Mikhail Khodorkovsky, Oleg Deripaska, Suleiman Kerimov, and most visibly, Sergei Pugachev. In 2009 Belton won the Cat’s PAW (Personal Abasement Award) for publishing material about Kerimov, declining the efforts of the award committee to obtain verification of her claims.   The review of her book, published in April 2020, is the only one in print to identify its fabrications as a religious tract for “people who believe in the work of the devil, and who are paid to persuade other people to believe the same.” President Vladimir Putin is the devil in the Belton-Pugachev story. Casting him out is their mission.

Abramovich has come to the same conclusion. Starting a year ago, his representatives complained at Belton’s claims, and issued warnings to her that they would sue to stop the lying. Belton and her London publisher HarperCollins, owned by Rupert Murdoch (lead image, left), “refused to apologise for, correct or even suspend the continued publication of the words complained of, despite [Abramovich] placing them on notice of the false and defamatory nature of the allegations shortly after the electronic publication of the Book and prior to first publication of the hard copy version of the Book.” That was between April 2 and April 16, 2020, according to Hugh Tomlinson QC, Abramovich’s counsel.  

Almost a year later, on March 22, 2021, Abramovich filed suit in the High Court against Belton and HarperCollins. The text of the initial claim has just been released by the court registry.

“The political climate is one of deep suspicion and mistrust towards President Putin and the Russian State,” Tomlinson for Abramovich has written,  “with the result that allegations that the Claimant [Abramovich] has a close and corrupt relationship with President Putin and covertly acts under his direction will inevitably cause very serious harm to the Claimant’s reputation.” Belton and her publisher, Tomlinson charges, “have gravely injured the reputation of the Claimant and has caused him damage and upset.”

Abramovich is seeking damages, including aggravated or penalty damages; together with a stop to the circulation of the book, and all legal costs.  If Abramovich wins at trial, and depending on how long and expensive the proceedings will be, London lawyers estimate that Belton and Murdoch will face a penalty of up to £1 million. The combined legal costs, however, may reach £50 million.

The political risk for exposure of the Belton-Pugachev plot as a pack of lies is even more expensive. Not before has a British court adjudicated the truthfulness of these claims.  

(more…)

RUSSIA AND MYANMAR – BALANCING ON A KNIFE’S EDGE

By John Helmer, Moscow 
  @bears_with

“The person attempting to travel two roads at once will get nowhere”. It’s a well-known Chinese maxim, especially in Myanmar (Burma), China’s backdoor to the Bay of Bengal, the Indian Ocean, and the Indian Navy’s forward defence line.    

Russia’s policy towards Myanmar since the military takeover on February 1 is a case of proving the maxim mistaken. Although experts and officials in Moscow won’t say so aloud, it’s possible for Russia to pursue one strategy with two tactics; three more like.

(more…)

FIRST DAY SHOCK AT THE HER MAJESTY’S GOVERNMENT INQUEST – BELLINGCAT TO BE CALLED TO TESTIFY, BUT NOT SERGEI OR YULIA SKRIPAL

By John Helmer, Moscow 
  @bears_with

The first session of the inquest into the death of Dawn Sturgess, held in London on Tuesday, was almost entirely predictable.

The counsel for the coroner,  like the lawyers for the Sturgess family and for the Home Office, repeated without qualification the allegation that a Novichok poison weapon they say was produced in Russia and taken to the UK by Russian assassins, caused the unplanned  death of Sturgess. This followed twelve weeks after an attempt at assassinating Sergei Skripal with the same weapon on March 4, 2018. Sturgess was the unintended victim of leftover poison, they say.

In short, this is an inquiry into evidence everyone in court already agrees can mean only one thing, beyond reasonable doubt — the Russians did it. A court proceeding to demonstrate what has already been announced; aka a show trial.

There were  two surprises, though. These appear to have been as unintended by Her Majesty’s Government as Sturgess’s Novichok death.

The first was the disclosure by the inquest counsel from the pathologists’ post-mortem report on Sturgess, after her death was recorded at Salisbury District Hospital on July 8, 2018. The cause of her death, according to these medical findings, was “Ia Post cardiac arrest hypoxic brain injury and intracerebral haemorrhage; Ib Novichok toxicity”.  This is the first time the post-mortem results and the names of the two doctors who reached them have been disclosed publicly. The Wiltshire county coroner David Ridley, who conducted the case for almost three years, kept this secret.

The disclosure means that Sturgess died first of a heart attack, loss of oxygen to brain, and bleeding in brain, possibly at the apartment of her partner in Amesbury before ambulance men arrived, or on her way to hospital. “She was pronounced dead in hospital,” the lawyer added. Only later was “Novichok toxicity” discovered. But when?

For the first time, it is revealed that the post-mortem examination was done on July 17; the post-mortem report did not follow until November 29. The gaps in time, and also in biochemical and forensic meaning between “1a, cardiac arrest” and “1b, Novichok toxicity”, are so large, it is shocking that the presiding coroner, Lady Heather Hallett, indicated no plan to call the pathologists to testify under cross-examination.

The second surprise is not less of a shock.  It appears in the list of witnesses. “Our current intention,” the counsel to the inquest announced, “is to make disclosure requests to the following individuals and organisations following the PIR [pre-inquest review]”. Eighteen names of witnesses follow whose testimony is planned. They start with Sturgess’s family and her companion, Charles Rowley, allegedly a survivor of the same poisoning which killed her. The local and London police follow on the list; then ambulance crews; hospital staff; the secret intelligence agencies; the Cabinet Office in London; and finally, at No. 18, “Bellingcat”. This is the well-known NATO-funded evidence fabricator and cyber warfare unit.

The Hallett inquest will call Bellingcat to testify. Missing from the list, excluded from testifying in court, are two names – Sergei and Yulia Skripal.

Neither the coroner nor the lawyers in court explained this omission. The reporters attending the hearing for the BBC, Guardian,  and Salisbury Journal failed to notice.

(more…)

ALEXI NAVALNY’S WIFE IS IN GERMANY DISCUSSING A GERMAN GOVERNMENT OFFER TO THE KREMLIN FOR A KHODORKOVSKY-TYPE RELEASE INTO PERMANENT ASYLUM

By John Helmer, Moscow 
  @bears_with

In a series of moves coordinated with German and other NATO government officials, Alexei Navalny has released a fabricated internet message while his wife Yulia Navalnaya is in Germany to seek German, British and US Government aid for Navalny’s release from prison on terms that will end his political ambitions in Russia.

The details, confirmed by more than a dozen people familiar with the matter,   have surfaced just four weeks  after Navalny was sent to IK-2 Pokrov, a special-measures prison near Yaroslavl.  

In a March 26  Instagram posting made to appear as if Navalny himself had prepared it in jail,  two pictures reveal a foreign service fabrication with a coded message for the Kremlin. Navalny, the code reveals, is willing to accept terms for his release similar to those accepted by Mikhail Khodorkovsky in December 2013.   In return for a letter to President Vladimir Putin admitting his guilt on the offences charged, the proposal is for him to be released to Germany where Navalny would be granted permanent asylum, never to return to Russia.

(more…)

DONBASS – WHERE THE NEGOTIATIONS END AND WAR STARTS

By John Helmer, Moscow 
  @bears_with

The Kiev regime of Volodymyr Zelensky is now in the same strategically vulnerable position as Petro Poroshenko’s regime was after the presidential election of May 2014.

Both were facing domestic alienation and armed opposition, which for different reasons in the east of the country and the west, were impossible for the presidents to overcome, compose,  or coordinate.  Both have calculated they should provoke a military confrontation in the Donbass in order to draw the US Government and the NATO allies into rushing a combination of fresh money into Kiev and arms on to the line of contact in the east.

The shooting-down of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 on July 17, 2014, was a provocation planned to draw direct NATO military intervention on the ground; recovery of the MH17 victims’ bodies and aircraft black boxes was the cover story and camouflage.  But the scheme – devised by the US and Ukrainian secret services, adopted by Poroshenko, promoted by the Dutch, and manned by the Australians – failed; read the book explaining how.

The present situation in the Donbass is understood by the Russian General Staff, the Foreign Ministry, the intelligence agencies, and the Kremlin to be at this point of ignition. They also understand what has changed since mid-2014. The political capacity of the Germans to resist US folly has been eroded by the Navalny Novichok operation since last August,  and by party battles to replace Angela Merkel and her government at the September 26 election; so Germany is much weaker than it was seven years ago. The Dutch, having just re-elected Mark Rutte and continuing the MH17 show trial, are exactly where they were then. Everyone else in Europe, including the British, are more uncertain and unconfident than they were. Joseph Biden was Kiev’s principal ally in Washington then; now he’s mentally less capable of calculation or control.

An unusually detailed presentation of the Russian positions, as well as the Russian interpretation of the positions of the other sides in the conflict, was published this week in Kommersant. Reporter Vladimir Soloviev has transcribed what his source, the chief Russian negotiator Dmitry Kozak (lead image, right), deputy chief of the presidential administration, has provided verbally and in documents.

The current map of the war zone (lead image, left) can be expanded for view here.  A semi-official Russian military situation report can be read here.  

This is the Russian text of Kozak’s briefing.  Here is my translation, unabridged and unedited.

(more…)

REUTER’S RUSSIA LIES PUT TO TRUTH TEST IN UK HIGH COURT — RUPERT MURDOCH, SERGEI PUGACHEV & CATHERINE BELTON CHARGED BY ROMAN ABRAMOVICH

By John Helmer, Moscow 
  @bears_with

For the first time, the US-based international media agency Reuters is being sued for lying about Russia in the British High Court. The three defendants in the dock are Catherine Belton (lead image, right); her source, runaway bank robber Sergei Pugachev; and Rupert Murdoch’s publishing house, HarperCollins.

Roman Abramovich (left) has launched the case almost a year after Belton, Pugachev and Murdoch published a book entitled  “Putin’s People: How the KGB Took Back Russia and Then Took On the West”.  According to Abramovich, he  has initiated the lawsuit in defence of his personal reputation and that of the Chelsea Football Club he owns. “It is my hope that today’s action will not only refute the false allegations in regard to my own name, but also serve as a reminder of Chelsea’s positive footprint in the UK.”

(more…)

NOT SHOCK & AWE, US WAR AGAINST RUSSIA IS WOOZLE & BAMBOOZLE

By John Helmer, Moscow 
  @bears_with

How many times must we repeat: in this war which the US and NATO have started against Russia, force will decide the outcome, not words. So if President Joseph Biden (lead image, centre) and his Secretary of State Antony Blinken (left) are afraid of running the risk of losing the former – watch the Donbass in the coming weeks — they will stick to wars of words; that’s propaganda, info-war, cyber-war.

In wars of words, truth isn’t the first casualty.  It’s the first weapon – that’s to say, our side’s truth is our weapon; the other side’s truth is a pack of lies (aka deception, disinformation, active measures, trolling). By the way, the US Constitution’s free speech amendment is a two-edged sword in this war-making.  Our side’s freedom to speak the truth or to tell lies is lawful; the other side’s freedom to speak their truth on our side of the front is an indictable crime, according to the Department of Justice. It’s foreign agent influence peddling,  election interference, sedition, or (if Julian Assange did it) espionage.

In propaganda warfare, one of the rules of combat as the Germans, British and Americans have all practiced it, is that repeating a lie often enough will conceal the truth. In British and American libel courts, truth isn’t a defence for publishing lies about public figures. It’s enough for the liar to demonstrate that the fabrications were already in circulation to legalise repeating them in media. Repeat our side’s lie often enough and this will erase the truth of the other side’s as if it had never existed. Novichok, for example, is a war-fighting word — NATO side claims it was a poison to kill Sergei Skripal three years ago; that was a lie. NATO side has repeated that it was a poison to kill Alexei Navalny eight months ago. It’s still a lie, but as a war-fighting word, it has managed to kill the truth on our side of the front. Almost.

In war-fighting with words like this, the big gun of the US and NATO alliance is the woozle. Novichok is a woozle.

(more…)

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.

(more…)

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.

(more…)

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.

(more…)

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.

(more…)

HOLD THE FRENCH FRIES, MAKE THAT RUSSIAN FRIES – POTATOES AND THE SEPTEMBER RUSSIAN ELECTION

by John Helmer, Moscow 
  @bears_with

The Russian potato is a hot potato politically for President Vladimir Putin. Much hotter than Alexei Navalny, and for a genuine, homegrown reason.

The Russian potato harvest suffered its worst fall last year since 2010. And the political chips will fall just as they did before – the public approval rating for the president, as well for  government ministers, is falling. The outcome in the State Duma election of 2011 was a swing against United Russia, the government party, of 15%; the swings in favour of the Communist Party and the Liberal Democratic Party were 8% and 12% apiece. That was the worst electoral rebuff Putin has suffered since he started in the year 2000.

Russian voters are like everyone else the world over. They blame hoarders and speculators when the price of staples starts to jump, and then government corruption for failing to stop them.  In January, compared to a year ago, the wholesale price of potatoes was up 75%. And it is getting worse. By April, the wholesale price is expected to grow by another 20%. Between now and next September, when the parliamentary election will be held, Putin must solve the potato problem.

(more…)

OLIGARCHY IN RUSSIA – ALEXEI NAVALNY’S TELLING MISTAKE

by John Helmer, Moscow 
  @bears_with

On the subject of oligarchy and the treasure storehouses which oligarchs build for themselves, Alexei Navalny reveals that he’s following a US and NATO script: this takes no account of how President Vladimir Putin rules Russia, or the choice most Russians believe is the preferred alternative to Putin – that’s rule by a combination of officers and civilians acceptable to the military. In the past, the name for that was the Stavka

Most Russians believe the Army abhors the oligarchs and will eliminate them, along with their corruption, unless Putin can be persuaded to do so himself.  For more than twenty years now he has been reluctant; but there is still time. In this effort Navalny’s films are a useful tool – a Russian one, but not one contrived with the assistance and operated for the benefit of Navalny’s foreign supporters.

(more…)

BIDEN’S RUSSIA WARFIGHTERS PROTECT RUNAWAY RUSSIAN BANK FRAUDSTER VADIM BELYAEV IN NEW YORK

by John Helmer, Moscow 
  @bears_with

US Government officials are protecting some of the largest Russian fraudsters and bank robbers on condition they invest their ill-gotten gains in US real estate, bank accounts, and businesses paying US tax; and also publicly attack the Putin administration for “victimising” them. The latest of these oligarch-sized accused,  Vadim Belyaev (lead image), is facing trial in the New York State Supreme Court.

Belyaev is being sued by the state-owned Moscow banks, National Bank Trust and Otkritie Bank, for the return of about $1.2 billion in fake loans, fraudulent bond and debt-pyramid transactions he is alleged to have arranged for his own benefit, when he controlled the two banks and more than 150 offshore front companies through which he directed the cash to himself. His subordinates at the time are facing prosecution in Moscow for criminal fraud. The banks, which went bankrupt as a result of the asset stripping, remain under the administration of the Central Bank and the state  Deposit Insurance Agency (DIA). The Central Bank is the 98% shareholder of Trust Bank and 100% shareholder of Otkritie.

Belyaev, say the banks, “exercised close control over Otkritie Holding and its subsidiaries, and repeatedly used his control to misuse assets of entities owned by Otkritie Holding, and often to siphon off those assets for personal use and the use of his associates.”

Among the homes he purchased in the US, one in Westchester county of New York state accommodates his ex-wife and children. Another, a ski chalet, in Aspen, Colorado, he recently sold for $12.5 million. Another of his homes has been identified in a suburb of Phoenix, Arizona.  The town house in New York City where Belyaev and his current wife live, is palatial; Belyaev is paying rent of $80,000 per month.

Belyaev has yet to file a full statement of his defence in the New York court; that is due on February 5. He is asking the court to throw the case out on several grounds. One is that he has been victimised by the Central Bank’s bankruptcy procedures which he calls illegal “nationalization” of the banks. His second claim is that there is no proof that he controlled the banks or that fraud was committed in the alleged loan schemes. The third of Belyaev’s defences is that the court in New York has no jurisdiction over him, even though he lives a 10-minute walk from the courthouse.

The US Government is protecting Belyaev so far by granting him and his wife residency papers, together with Social Security and tax status. His name was omitted by the US Treasury when it published its list of Russian oligarchs on January 31, 2018; read that list here.  Several Russian bankers were listed, including three on the run in Cyprus and London; their banks were not as large as Trust and Otkritie when Belyaev ran them, nor are their crimes as expensive as Belyaev’s.  

The New York court is due to rule on dismissal on February 22. If  the court allows Belyaev to continue living in the US, but protected from being pursued there for his crimes in Russia, it will amount to a declaration that oligarchs who steal but pay tribute in the US will be safe. By contrast, oligarchs who stay in Moscow but pay tribute to the Kremlin will be targeted by US sanctions.

This is also the catchcry of Alexei Navalny (lead image, 2nd from right) who has called for the US and European Union to “be very clear dividing two things: Russian people who must be welcomed and treated very warmly from European Union from my perspective,  and Russian state [oligarchs who] must be treated like a bunch of criminals.”

(more…)

SWEDISH LABORATORY, STOCKHOLM COURT CONFIRM ALEXEI NAVALNY PREPARED NATO SECRETS, ADDING EVIDENCE FOR TREASON INDICTMENT IN RUSSIAN COURT

by John Helmer, Moscow 
  @bears_with

A ruling by the Administrative Court of Appeal in Stockholm last week to keep the biochemical contents of Alexei Navalny’s blood secret has created new evidence for Russian prosecutors in Moscow that Navalny has actively collaborated with foreign governments to fabricate the  allegation that President Vladimir Putin attempted to kill him with a Novichok nerve agent.

Responding to a request by Mats Nilsson, a Stockholm lawyer, the appeal court ruled that a multi-page report on Navalny’s blood sampling and testing by the Swedish Defence Research Agency (FOI) and communications interpreting Navalny’s blood contents between Swedish analysts, the German Defence Ministry,  and other NATO officials, are state secrets. They cannot be released publicly, the court wrote Nilsson on January 14, because declassification and publication “will damage Sweden’s relationships with a foreign power”.

The Stockholm appeal court did not identify the foreign power; it is clear from a public statement by the Swedish laboratory official in charge of the testing, Åsa Scott, that it is definitely not Russia.  Scott is head of FOI’s department for Chemical Biological Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) protection and security.  

The Stockholm court also rejected Nilsson’s request for release of all Scott’s emails between August 20, the date of Navalny’s collapse on a flight between Tomsk and Moscow, and September 15.

On September 15, Scott issued a press release announcing:  “FOI confirms German results on Novichok”. According to Scott, “I can confirm that we at FOI in Umeå have conducted an analysis on behalf of our German partners. Our analysis confirms the earlier German results. The blood sample from Mr. Navalny did unequivocally contain a nerve agent from the Novichok group.”

What the Swedish government officials did not anticipate at the time was that on December 22, a group of German doctors who had been treating Navalny at the Charité hospital in Berlin, would release their own biochemical analysis of Navalny’s blood, tested by the Germans on September 5; that was the same day the Swedes have reported taking their blood samples from Navalny in Berlin. The German testing, published in the British medical journal The Lancet, on December 22,  revealed that Navalny’s blood on September 5 showed a level of butyryl cholinesterase so close to normal  it would have been impossible for the Swedish laboratory to substantiate Scott’s press announcement.

The Swedish secret,  which last week’s Stockholm court ruling has attempted to make lawful,   is that there was insufficient evidence of Novichok as the cause of the cholinesterase inhibition effect which Navalny has called a Kremlin assassination attempt.

Independent toxicology and biochemistry experts believe the comparison of Navalny’s blood testing by the Germans on September 5 and by the Swedes on the same day proves there was no discoverable trace of Novichok in his blood that day. They also believe that by the time the Swedes began their analysis of the blood, there would also have been no trace of the lithium, benzodiazepamines and other drugs in Navalny’s blood, which, two weeks earlier,  may have caused the sharp drop in his cholinesterase scores and triggered his collapse.

The Swedish black-out is of a black hole — the state secret is that the Swedish laboratory found  no evidence of Novichok.  

But now, for Navalny to continue making his allegation is exposed by the Swedish court judgement to show he is providing “assistance rendered to a foreign State, a foreign organization, or their representatives in hostile activities to the detriment of the external security of the Russian Federation, committed by a citizen of the Russian Federation”. This is the wording in the Russian Criminal Code Article 275 for the crime of treason.  If convicted, Navalny faces a prison term of 12 to 20 years.

(more…)

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.  

(more…)

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.  

(more…)

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.

(more…)

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.  

(more…)

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.  

(more…)

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.

(more…)

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.

(more…)

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

By John Helmer, Moscow
  @bears_with

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

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

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

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

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

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

(more…)

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

By John Helmer, Moscow
  @bears_with

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

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

(more…)
Categories
Archives

Copyright © 2007-2017 Dances With Bears

Copyright © 2007-2017 Dances With Bears

Education Template