THE DONKEY TURD BOMB AND THE US EMPIRE IN EUROPE – HOW IT BEGAN, HOW IT IS ENDING

By John Helmer, Moscow
  @bears_with

During the US Army invasion of Morocco and Algeria in 1943, enroute to the invasion of Italy, the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), as the CIA was called then, came up with the donkey turd bomb for destroying the enemy. Since 2014, the CIA has come up with the modern equivalent – it’s called the Ukrainian bomb.  The first was designed to kill Germans. The second is designed to kill Russians. Both of them,   donkey turds and Ukrainians, are failing to hit their mark.

The donkey turd was the name and brainchild of a Harvard professor called Carleton Coon. In designing an American version of an improvised explosive device, Coon said that because  donkey turds were more common on the ground in Morocco than stones, bombs would be more effectively disguised to look like donkey turds.

The US didn’t fight any Germans in Morocco or Algeria. The US invasion promised the Arabs their national sovereignty and independence — — President Franklin Roosevelt was explicit on the point — but that was a calculated deception. The territories were returned to the French. After the US invasions of Italy, then France, the locals were again promised their national sovereignty and independence, but that too was an American deception. The territories were returned to those who accepted the terms of US occupation. They continue in their capitulation to this day, but the terms have been modified according to the American principle of US-directed and managed collective security. The North Atlantic Treaty Alliance (NATO) is the main organisation for implementing this.

The defeated Germans, half of them to start with, retreated back into the territory from which they had come, the western half of Germany that is, between 1946 and 1990. The Soviet Army had defeated the Germans who had invaded the Soviet Union and eastern Europe, and driven them back to the Berlin checkpoint. Until the Soviet terms were modified by Mikhail Gorbachev to accept Soviet withdrawal from eastern Germany, this is the way collective security operated in Europe — two opposing alliance forces confronting each other but deterring an attack from either side.

Gorbachev retreated on the US promise that NATO wouldn’t move forward. It was a promise Gorbachev was a fool to believe. He only had to ask the Moroccans or Algerians whether the Americans keep their promises, and he would have been told they don’t.  He wanted to believe otherwise. His successor Boris Yeltsin was just as ready to believe American deceptions until NATO invaded and bombed Serbia; both Gorbachev and Yeltsin believed they depended on the Americans to keep their power in Moscow.

Vladimir Putin tried to believe the promises until 2014 when the war to advance US occupation to the Russian frontier began in earnest. At that border, there is nowhere but inside Russia for the Russians to retreat to, just as they had when the Germans invaded in 1941. Putin announced there was no retreat in his speech to the Russian officer corps last month.   This marked the end of his accommodations with the advancing NATO forces and US nuclear warheads.  

In the line of this advance, the Russian Foreign Ministry proposed two treaties on the principle of indivisible security in Europe.  This principle means that one state cannot, and promises it will not,  increase its military capacities in such a way as to threaten the security of a neighbouring state in the same geopolitical space.   The treaties have also proposed there will be no more donkey turd bombs – no more Ukrainian, Romanian, Polish and other nuclear-armed missiles within close range of Russia’s capital, military command control centres, and land-based nuclear missile bases.

The principle of indivisible security, aka Russian self-defence, now confronts the principle of collective security, aka NATO forward defence, along a red line which runs from the Baltic Sea southward down the eastern Ukrainian border to the Black Sea, to Romania and the other littoral states, including Turkey. On Thursday the US rejected indivisible security, and thus the two draft treaties.  On Friday, at a 90-minute radio interview in Moscow, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov explained why the conflict of the two security principles cannot result in a Russian retreat.*  

This fight is now the last stand for the American empire in Europe which began with the donkey turd bomb 79 years ago.

Lavrov’s speech reveals that from the history of that period, from the destruction of Arab sovereignty, and through the destruction of European sovereignty, and through the near- destruction of Russian sovereignty by Gorbachev and Yeltsin, the Russians have learned a lesson which they cannot now unlearn and from which they cannot retreat. No retreat – that’s the lesson.

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THE DUTCH WRITING ON THE UKRAINIAN WALL – STEENHUIS RULING IN MH17 TRIAL PREJUDGES VERDICT

by John Helmer, Moscow 
  @bears_with

The ruling issued on July 3 by Dutch district court judge Hendrik Steenhuis (lead image, right) requires the Russian defendant, Lieutenant-Colonel Oleg Pulatov (centre), to prove his innocence with evidence prepared by the Ukrainian Security Service (SBU). By the standard announced a month earlier by the Russian Foreign Ministry, this is a fundamental violation of Pulatov’s legal rights, making a guilty verdict inevitable.   

Russian and international lawyers believe the defence lawyers should walk out. “In the conditions which the Dutch court has set,” comments Canadian Christopher Black, a veteran litigator in international war crimes trials, “this is now nothing more than the Ukrainian civil war fought by the Kiev regime with lawyers instead of soldiers. It’s a show trial. Nothing more than propaganda. No legal right for the accused is served by having his lawyers present. Since the defendants have refused to appear in person – three of them disputing the Dutch jurisdiction — the defence lawyers should withdraw.”

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MH17 TRIAL HITS UKRAINIAN WALL – JUDGE STEENHUIS REJECTS MAJOR-GENERAL KONASHENKOV FOR EVIDENCE OF THE UKRAINIAN ARMY’S BUK MISSILE WHICH SHOT DOWN MH17

by John Helmer, Moscow 
  @bears_with

The presiding judge in the trial of the shooting-down of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 announced on Friday afternoon that he will not allow the evidence of Major-General Igor Konashenkov and other Russian Defence Ministry officers on the Ukrainian Army’s possession of the BUK missile alleged to be the weapon which shot down the aircraft, killing all 298 people on board.

Judge Hendrik Steenhuis declared that the Russian evidence revealed so far of the parts of the missile is limited to the manufacture of the weapon in Russia in 1986, and delivery of the weapon to a Ukrainian Army unit between December 1986 and early 1987. Steenhuis refused to allow  Russian military intelligence to reveal where the missile was located between 1987 and July 17, 2014, when the Dutch prosecution claims the missile was fired by a Russian military crew at MH17.

“The defence wishes to interview these witnesses in order to establish the evidential value and credibility of the parts of the missile administration supplied by Russia,” Steenhuis announced. He refused to identify Russian Army generals Igor Konashenkov, the Defence Ministry spokesman,  and Nikolai Parshin, head of the Ministry’s Missile and Artillery Directorate, whose detailed briefing on the missile parts, their origin,  and their deployment in the Ukrainian Army was broadcast from the Defence Ministry in Moscow on September 18, 2018. “The court finds that the relevant records relate to the years 1986 and 1987. In that light, the court does not see how interviewing this witness [Gen. Konashenkov]  can contribute to the question of where a specific missile mentioned in that record is located in the year 2014. For that reason alone the court is of the opinion that interviewing this witness cannot be of importance for any decision to be taken in the criminal case of the accused. The request is therefore rejected.”

Steenhuis repeated to the letter the prosecution’s argument,  presented in court on June 23,    that the Russian evidence should not be allowed in the trial. The judge has opted to accept the Ukrainian Government’s claim that the missile was not in the Ukrainian Army’s inventory in 2014.

Steenhuis did not explain why he accepts the Ukrainian Army version; rejects all Russian Army evidence in advance of its presentation to the court; and will allow no further evidence or witnesses to explain how, according to the Dutch prosecution story,  the Ukrainian Army missile found its way from a Ukrainian Army base to a Russian Army base, before being sent back across the border into Ukraine to attack MH17.

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UKRAINIAN OLIGARCH VICTOR PINCHUK IS PUTTING HIS MONEY ON JOE BIDEN FOR PRESIDENT AT $40,000 PER MONTH – THAT’S $3,000 MORE PER MONTH THAN BURISMA WAS PAYING HUNTER BIDEN

 

By John Helmer, Moscow
  @bears_with

Joe Biden’s campaign for president, as well as his defence against charges of corrupt influence peddling and political collusion in the Ukraine, are being promoted in Washington by the Ukrainian oligarch Victor Pinchuk (lead image, right) through the New York lobbyist, candidate adviser and pollster, Douglas Schoen (left).

This follows several years of attempts by Pinchuk and Schoen to buy influence with Donald Trump, first as a candidate and then as president; with Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani; and with John Bolton, Trump’s National Security Adviser in 2018 and 2019. Their attempts failed.

Pinchuk has been paying Schoen more than $40,000 every month for eight years. The amount of money is substantially greater than Biden’s son Hunter Biden was paid by Pinchuk’s Ukrainian rival Igor Kolomoisky through the oil company Burisma and Rosemont Seneca Bohai, Biden’s New York front company.

Pinchuk’s message for the Democratic candidates and US media, according to Schoen’s Fox News broadcast in August, is: “Stop killing your own, stop beating up on your own frontrunner, Joe Biden.”  

On September 26, Schoen broadcast a fresh warning to the Democrats against the impeachment of Trump. “They stand to lose the presidency and the House. They could blow it all…There’s no slam-dunk here. If [the Democrats] go forward with the impeachment inquiry…and then vote, this could be curtains for the Democrats. And for Joe Biden this is calamitous news because it precludes him getting any positive message out.”   (more…)

THE UKRAINE ELECTION RESULT – GREEN & BLUE WIN FOR PEACE, RED IS DEFEAT FOR ADOLPH HITLER & CHRYSTIA FREELAND

By John Helmer, Moscow
  @bears_with

The new Verkhovna Rada (parliament) of the Ukraine, elected on Sunday, will have an overwhelming national mandate to negotiate peace terms to end the five-year civil war.

Sluha Narodu (“Servant of the People”), the party of President Volodymyr Zelensky, having won more than 43% of the votes countrywide, will now command majorities of both the party-list and the single-constituency seats in the new parliament; 253 seats altogether out of 422, or a “mono-coalition” as the party is calling the result, or as the hostile Ukrainian media term it, “a landslide [which] has never occurred in the contemporary history of Ukraine and it is more typical for post-Soviet Asian dictatorships.”  

This beats earlier pollster predictions that Zelensky would be forced into a coalition with Holos (“The Voice”), a US-invented spoiler organization of Lvov region (Galicia) led by pop singer, Svyatoslav Vakarchuk.  He ended up  with less than 6% of the national votes, fewer than forecast. Holos has proved to be neither the voice of youth, nor an organization without oligarch support (it was backed by Victor Pinchuk), nor a political party at all.

Polling better than predicted was the Donbass (Donetsk, Lugansk regions) party, Opposition Platform led by Victor Medvedchuk, which ended up with 13% nationally; 48% in Lugansk; 42% in Donetsk; 24% in Odessa; and 19% in Nikolaev. If the additional votes of the eastern Opposition Bloc of Boris Kolesnikov and Vadim Novinsky are counted with Medvedchuk’s aggregate, together they have drawn majorities of 53% to 54%, putting Zelensky’s party in the east in a minority.

This is the first time democracy has defeated a US Government-installed putsch and junta in Europe since the election of Andreas Papandreou’s Pan-Hellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK) in 1982. (more…)

MH17 EVIDENCE TAMPERING REVEALED BY MALAYSIA – FBI ATTEMPT TO SEIZE BLACK BOXES; DUTCH COVER-UP OF FORGED TELEPHONE TAPES; UKRAINIAN AIR FORCE HID RADAR RECORDS; CRASH SITE WITNESS TESTIMONY MISREPORTED

By John Helmer, Moscow
  @bears_with

A new documentary from Max van der Werff, the leading independent investigator of the Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 disaster, has revealed breakthrough evidence of tampering and forging of prosecution materials;  suppression of Ukrainian Air Force radar tapes;  and lying by the Dutch, Ukrainian, US and Australian governments. An attempt by agents of the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to take possession of the black boxes of the downed aircraft is also revealed by a Malaysian National Security Council official for the first time.

The sources of the breakthrough are Malaysian — Prime Minister of Malaysia Mohamad Mahathir; Colonel Mohamad Sakri, the officer in charge of the MH17 investigation for the Prime Minister’s Department and Malaysia’s National Security Council following the crash on July 17, 2014; and a forensic analysis by Malaysia’s OG IT Forensic Services of Ukrainian Secret Service (SBU) telephone tapes which Dutch prosecutors have announced as genuine.

The 298 casualties of MH17 included 192 Dutch; 44 Malaysians; 27 Australians; 15 Indonesians.  The nationality counts vary because the airline manifest does not identify dual nationals of Australia, the UK, and the US. 

The new film throws the full weight of the Malaysian Government, one of the five members of the Joint Investigation Team (JIT), against the published findings and the recent indictment of Russian suspects reported by the Dutch officials in charge of the JIT; in addition to Malaysia and The Netherlands, the members of the JIT are Australia, Ukraine and Belgium. Malaysia’s exclusion from the JIT at the outset, and Belgium’s inclusion (4 Belgian nationals were listed on the MH17 passenger manifest), have never been explained. 

The film reveals the Malaysian Government’s evidence for judging the JIT’s witness testimony, photographs, video clips, and telephone tapes to have been manipulated by the Ukrainian Security Service (SBU), and to be inadmissible in a criminal prosecution in a Malaysian or other national or international court.

For the first time also, the Malaysian Government reveals how it got in the way of attempts the US was organizing during the first week after the crash to launch a NATO military attack on eastern Ukraine. The cover story for that was to rescue the plane, passenger bodies, and evidence of what had caused the crash. In fact, the operation was aimed at defeating the separatist  movements in the Donbass, and to move against Russian-held Crimea.

The new film reveals that a secret Malaysian military operation took custody of the MH17 black boxes on July 22, preventing the US and Ukraine from seizing them.  The Malaysian operation, revealed in the film by the Malaysian Army colonel who led it, eliminated the evidence for the camouflage story, reinforcing the German Government’s opposition to the armed attack, and forcing the Dutch to call off the invasion on July 27.   (more…)

NATO AND CHRYSTIA FREELAND HAVE LOST UKRAINIAN HEARTS & MINDS, NEW DUTCH GOVERNMENT VOTER POLLS SHOW

By John Helmer, Moscow
  @bears_with

Five years of civil war have convinced most Ukrainian voters to vote for peace by negotiation and compromise with the regional governments of Donetsk and Lugansk, and with Moscow. Support for continuing the war until the eastern regions capitulate has now shrunk to the western region of Ukraine around Lviv, and among those in Kiev living off the flow of cash from the US, Canada, and the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Even among them, the war party is a small minority – 28% in favour in the west; 16% in the centre; compared to 13% in the east and 8% in the south. Altogether, only one in six Ukrainians (17%) now wants to fight on. Peace at any price is favoured by one in five (20%); peace on compromise terms by 49%.

 These are the new findings of countrywide surveys of Ukraine voters in June, commissioned and paid for by the Dutch Government. They confirm the results of a voter poll carried out in May for the US State Department.  

So far no Canadian, British or American newspaper or think-tank has reported on the shift in Ukrainian voter sentiment, although the country will hold its Verkhovna Rada (parliament) election on July 21. Nor have the Russian media noticed. (more…)

WILL THE UKRAINE PARLIAMENT ELECTION REVERSE THE MAIDAN PUTSCH, DRIVE THE GALICIANS FROM POWER?

By John Helmer, Moscow
  @bears_with

The US State Department, the Republican Party Institute and Igor Kolomoisky can’t all be wrong about what the overwhelming majority of Ukrainian voters is thinking – that there is a civil war in the Ukraine which cannot be won by US arms,  money, and putsches in Kiev.

The question to be decided on polling day, July 21, for the new Verkhovna Rada (parliament) is:   which side in the war, the eastern Ukraine including Odessa, or the Galicians around Lviv in the west,  will win power?

The answer already appeared in a May poll by the US Agency for International Development (USAID), and in the most recent June and July voter surveys by the local Ukrainian pollster Rating. A coalition of parties whose support is strongest in eastern Ukraine will control parliament and will back the new President, Volodymyr Zelensky (lead image, left), to negotiate terms with the breakaway governments of Donetsk and Lugansk (collectively, the Donbass), and with Moscow. On these polls, the Galician parties of western Ukraine will have no national party representation in parliament, no ministers nor high-ranking officials, and just a handful of constituency seats in Lviv, Brody and Ternopil.  

Last week, the Galicians held their election rally in Toronto, where their faction is headed  by Chrystia Freeland (lead image, right), Canada’s foreign minister, with financing from the State Department through USAID, and from Victor Pinchuk, a Ukrainian steel oligarch, supported by the Ukrainian Canadian Congress, a lobby group representing west Ukrainian refugees from the German Army’s defeat in 1945. Freeland, a Galician by origin, and Kurt Volker, a German by origin and the State Department’s Special Representative for Ukraine, gave the proceedings, entitled the Ukraine Reform Conference, an official government appearance.  So did appearances and speeches by President Zelensky and a handful of Baltic state politicians. 

But Toronto votes don’t count. If the domestic Ukrainian vote follows the current Ukrainian and US  polls, then Freeland’s Galicians will be forced to retreat,  just as her grandfather Michael Chomiak fled with the German Army as it was driven out of Ukraine and Poland by the Red Army. Chomiak ended up in Alberta, Canada. Freeland too.   After July 21, the last retreat for the Galicians is Canada. (more…)

THE KOLOMOISKY PYRAMID STARTED WITH HILLARY CLINTON AND VICTORIA NULAND OF THE STATE DEPARTMENT PLUS CHRISTINE LAGARDE OF THE IMF

By John Helmer, Moscow
  @bears_with

When Igor Kolomoisky (lead image, centre) financed anti-Russian units operating with the Ukrainian Army in the Ukrainian civil war, he was a staunch ally of Petro Poroshenko’s government in Kiev and the Obama Administration’s chief Ukraine policymakers, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (left) and her Assistant Secretary for European Affairs, Victoria Nuland (right).

They in turn dominated the voting on the board of directors of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), led by managing director Christine Lagarde. Following the US regime change which installed Poroshenko’s regime in the spring of 2014, the IMF voted massive loans for the Ukraine to replace the Russian financing on which the regime of Victor Yanukovich had  depended.  More than a third of the fresh IMF money was paid out by the National Bank of Ukraine (NBU), the state’s central bank, into PrivatBank controlled by Kolomoisky and his partner, Gennady Bogolyubov.

At the time, investigations of Kolomoisky’s business and banking practices, and the special relationship he cultivated with the NBU, reported he was stealing the money through a pyramid of front companies lending each other the IMF cash which was not intended to be repaid. Clinton, Nuland, Lagarde and the IMF staff and board of directors ignored the evidence, as they continued to top up Kolomoisky’s pyramid. Criminal investigations by the US Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) were also reported at the time; they were neutralized by their superiors.  

A new Delaware state court filing a month ago, triggering new US media reports, appears to signal a shift in US Government policy towards Kolomoisky. Or else, as some Ukrainian policy experts believe, it is a move by US officials to put pressure on the new Ukrainian President, Volodymyr Zelensky, whom Kolomoisky supported in his successful election campaign to replace Poroshenko.

In the new court papers, front company names and the count and value of US transactions between them,  which PrivatBank has dug out of its own bank records,  is published for the first time. But the scheme itself is not new. It was fully exposed in 2014-2015 in this archive.  Nor is it news, as subsequent US media reports  claim, that the FBI is investigating Kolomoisky and his US associates for criminal racketeering. The FBI investigation was first reported here

What is missing is an explanation of why it has taken so long for the PrivatBank case against Kolomoisky to surface in the US courts and in the US press. Also missing is a list of the accomplices and co-conspirators in the scheme. These include officials of the IMF,  the US and Canadian Governments who knowingly directed billions of dollars into the NBU,  from which, as they knew full well at the time, the money went out to Kolomoisky’s Privat Bank, the largest single Ukrainian recipient of the international cash. At the top of the list of accomplices, immediately subordinate to Clinton, Nuland and Lagarde, are David Lipton, the US deputy managing director  at the IMF, and the head of the IMF in Ukraine until 2017, Jerome Vacher. (more…)

CANADIANS LOSE UKRAINE ELECTION — CHRYSTIA FREELAND FOR PRESIDENT OF GALICIA

By John Helmer, Moscow

Chrystia Freeland (lead picture, centre), the Ukrainian-Canadian who is Foreign Minister of Canada, was at a loss for words at the outcome of the Ukrainian presidential election on Sunday. Instead, she re-tweeted Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s statement

 “Canada and Ukraine are united by a strong relationship, rooted in close people-to-people ties,” Trudeau declared, referring to the mostly western Ukrainians – now numbering three million, ten percent of Canada’s population. They had sided with Adolph Hitler and the German Army in World War II; after their defeat they were accepted by Canada as refugees.  Freeland’s maternal grandfather, Michael Chomiak from a village near Lviv, had served in the German Army as a spy and as press editor and propagandist for the administration of Galicia, which then included both Ukrainian and Polish territory, headed by Governor-General Hans Frank (lead image, left).

“We are unwavering in our support of Ukraine’s sovereignty and our enduring commitment to the rules-based international order,” Trudeau announced, and Freeland re-tweeted  in a formula broad enough to accept terms with Russia to end the five-year war in the east of Ukraine.  “I look forward to working with President-elect Zelenskiy to deepen our relationship and build a more secure, more prosperous future for people in both our countries.”

The only region of Ukraine in which the majority did not vote for Vladimir Zelensky was Lviv region and adjoining areas of old Galicia. There, if Freeland, who has tried but failed to challenge Trudeau for the Canadian prime ministry, were to run for election, she would be the favourite to be President of Galicia. (more…)

THE IMPROPER ASSOCIATION (MAYBE CRIME) OF VICTOR PINCHUK WITH HILLARY, BILL AND CHELSEA CLINTON, COVERED UP BY THE US MEDIA, US DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, AND THE INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND

By John Helmer, Moscow

Never in the field of American conflict with Russia has so much wool pulled over the eyes been owed to so few sheep.  That was during the losing presidential campaign of Hillary Clinton. Now, in the investigations of President Donald Trump and his family, it’s a case of so many sheep producing so little wool. (more…)

FLASHLIGHT FROM MH-17 INVESTIGATION — DUTCH, AUSTRALIAN AND UKRAINIAN POLICE ANNOUNCE END OF TUNNEL; RUSSIAN GENERALS ANNOUNCE TUNNEL VISION

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By John Helmer, Moscow

At a press conference of the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) in The Netherlands today, police, prosecutors and intelligence agents from The Netherlands, Australia, Belgium, Malaysia and Ukraine have revealed that they have found evidence from a freshly identified Ukrainian “mobile radar”, from secret Ukrainian air traffic controller tapes, and from secret US satellite imagery on the destruction of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17.

The conclusion reported by JIT is that a BUK missile caused the destruction of the aircraft; that it was brought into Ukraine from Russia and removed to Russia after launch; that it was fired from a patch of farmland near Snizhne, east of the approaching MH17; and that “one hundred persons can be linked” to the movement and operation of the BUK system. The JIT also announced that no identifications of these people have been made, and that at present there are no “official suspects” .

“We need a clear impression of the chain of command”, declared Fred Westerbeke, the principal Dutch member of the investigation and JIT spokesman. “We appeal for cooperative witnesses”, he said, adding “I can’t tell you how long this investigation will take.” According to the JIT presentation from Westerbeke and a Dutch police officer, Wilbert Paulissen , further investigation is expected to last until at least January 2018.

Westerbeke claimed his group, currently numbering “nearly one hundred”, is continuing to prepare “legal and convincing evidence meeting a very high standard”.

Lawyers and analysts observing the presentation have expressed doubt that the secret Ukrainian and American government evidence can be admissible in court. On questioning by a sceptical Dutch journalist, Westerbeke acknowledged that all the telephone intercepts and wiretaps reported as evidence of Russian involvement in the reported missile operation originated from the Ukrainian secret service. Evidence of the missile movement, ground launch, and smoke trail from social media, photographs and videotapes, and purported witnesses presented at today’s JIT session have all appeared publicly before; much of it already discredited as fakes.
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RADOSLAW SIKORSKI SEES THE LIGHT IN EASTERN UKRAINE – WHY HE DUMPED KIEV FOR WASHINGTON

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By John Helmer, Moscow

Radosław Sikorski (lead image, left), the ex-foreign minister of Poland, ousted Speaker of the Polish Sejm (parliament), and premature retiree from the Bydgoszcz constituency, doesn’t speak his mind so much as his interest. So why has he announced he is now in favour of leaving Crimea in Russia; a separate peace with the Kremlin for the Lugansk and Donetsk regions in eastern Ukraine, and a strategy for the government in Kiev to “concentrate on creating success for the 90 percent of the country’s territory which it controls”?

Sikorski has also publicly broken with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, who has been employing Sikorski as a foreign advisor, by declaring the Ukrainian president must make his own business dealings less illegal. “The fight against corruption must come from the top,” Sikorski has said of Poroshenko. “The people in the top layer must show that their finances are in order, they are open to scrutiny and lead by example.”
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AUSTRALIAN ARMCHAIR GENERAL WEAPONIZES HIMSELF IN WAR AGAINST RUSSIA

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By John Helmer, Moscow

Paul Dibb, the former head of two Australian spy organizations and a deputy defence minister, has just published a call for Australian troops to be ready to fight in Europe against “Russia’s refusal to act in ways consistent with international law and standards of behaviour.” Dibb is known in Australia as “the country’s leading Cold War Russia expert.”

The Dibb report appeared on June 29, on the eve of last week’s Australian parliamentary election, when voters repudiated incumbent prime minister Malcolm Turnbull. He had called the snap poll, confident of expanding his majority in the two houses of parliament. He has now suffered a 3% negative swing by the voters; the loss of at least 23 seats; and months of political uncertainty ahead, including the possibility his party will replace him as leader.

Among Turnbull’s last-minute ploys to attract votes, one was the leak last month of Australian cabinet plans for an Australian Army force to fight in eastern Ukraine, alongside Dutch and other NATO units, to destroy the Donetsk and Lugansk rebellion against the regime in Kiev. Turnbull’s leak had suggested that Tony Abbott, the prime minister Turnbull had pushed aside to take the job, dreamed up the plan of Australian war at the Russian frontier by himself. The new report by Dibb now corroborates the idea of an Australian military expedition against Russia, in exchange for improved American commitments to defend Australia from the Chinese closer to home, in the Pacific. “How things work out in Europe,” Dibb claims, “ will affect Washington’s ability to reassure allies and partners everywhere, including those in our region who must contend with increasing coercion by China.” Unless Australia does more fighting with the Americans on the Russian front, he concludes, “China will take advantage of this, and allies and partners of the US in the region—including Australia—would be subject to further uncertainty about American military commitments to Asia.” Combating “Russia’s aggressive military behaviour “is necessary because, otherwise, “both Moscow and Beijing will be seen as getting away with it.”
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THE OBAMA SHOE-BANGING MOMENT ON THE UKRAINE FRONT – DUTCH AND AUSTRALIAN TROOPS WERE PLANNING TO START WAR WITH RUSSIA AFTER MH17 WAS SHOT DOWN

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By John Helmer, Moscow

President Barack Obama (lead image, left) and his advisors (right) spent at least a week, and as much as three weeks, planning to send up to 9,000 combat troops into eastern Ukraine, on the border with Russia, following the shoot-down of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 two years ago. The scheme, which was to have involved Dutch and Australian army units, with German ground and US air support, plus NATO direction, has inadvertently leaked from the publication of a report this week by a former Australian Army captain.

The military plan, according to James Brown, now head of research at the US Studies Centre of the University of Sydney, “would have consumed the bulk of the Australian Army.” Captain Brown also claims “planning for these military options consumed Australia’s intelligence agencies. The National Security Committee of [the Australian ministerial] Cabinet met every day for more than three weeks , and staff and agencies produced a frenzied stream of briefings on Ukraine, Russia and the intentions of [President] Vladimir Putin.”

According to Dutch sources, the military plan of attack was aborted when Germany refused to participate directly, or allow its bases and airspace to be used. Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte announced the Dutch were pulling their troops out of the plan on July 27. He said at the time: “Getting the military upper hand for an international mission in this area is, according to our conclusion, not realistic.” That was ten days after the MH17 crash. But Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott and his cabinet continued, Brown and his sources reveal, to plan the operation with the US for another 10 days.
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HANDS UP, PANTS DOWN! THE RAIDER RAIDED AS TATNEFT LAUNCHES STEALTH ATTACK ON IGOR KOLOMOISKY AND GENNADY BOGOLYUBOV

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By John Helmer, Moscow

The Russian oil company Tatneft has launched a successful surprise attack in the UK High Court on the personal assets of Igor Kolomoisky (lead, left) and Gennady Bogolyubov (right). It is claiming $334 million in payment for crude oil Tatneft delivered in 2008 to a Ukrainian refinery which Tatneft controlled at the time. The two Ukrainian oligarchs subsequently took over the refinery with almost as much stealth as Tatneft’s retaliation in London.

The details of the case are being kept secret by Tatneft and the London lawyers for all sides. The case became public at a High Court hearing late last week when the court sustained a freeze order against Kolomoisky’s and Bogolyubov’s worldwide assets. This had been imposed on March 22, catching the two men unprepared. Kolomoisky lives in Geneva on a temporary residency permit; Bogolyubov lives in London. The High Court order limits ATM withdrawals for their personal expenses and transfers from their bank accounts to £5,000 per week.
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AUSTRALIAN POLICE, DUTCH PROSECUTORS BREAK WITH DUTCH SAFETY BOARD AT FIRST CORONER’S COURT INQUEST ON MH17 CRASH

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By John Helmer, Moscow

The Australian Federal Police and Dutch police and prosecutors investigating the cause of the crash of Malaysian Airlines MH17 believe the Dutch Safety Board (DSB) has failed to provide “conclusive evidence” of what type of munition destroyed the aircraft, causing the deaths of 283 passengers and 15 crew on board.

After testifying for the first time in an international court, Detective Superintendent Andrew Donoghoe, the senior Australian policeman in the international MH17 investigation, said a “tougher standard than the DSB report” is required before the criminal investigation can identify the weapon which brought the aircraft down, or pinpoint the perpetrators. Their criminal investigation will continue into 2016, Donoghoe told the Victorian Coroners Court (lead image) on Tuesday morning. He and other international investigators are unconvinced by reports from the US and Ukrainian governments, and by the DSB, of a Buk missile firing. “Dutch prosecutors require conclusive evidence on other types of missile,” Donoghoe said, intimating that “initial information that the aircraft was shot down by a [Buk] surface to air missile” did not meet the Australian or international standard of evidence.
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HOW IMF AND WORLD BANK REPAIR THE UKRAINIAN BANKING SYSTEM — KONSTANTIN ZHEVAGO LIQUIDATED; IGOR KOLOMOISKY, GENNADY BOGOLYUBOV, VICTOR PINCHUK, VASILY KHMELNITSKY ENRICHED

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By John Helmer, Moscow

The International Monetary Fund has decided to delay fresh loan payments of $3.4 billion to Ukraine. In the meantime the World Bank has given the Deposit Guarantee Fund in Kiev $500 million to keep the leading Ukrainian banks solvent. The two international agencies have also agreed to the seizure of $174 million in funds held in a Kiev bank by the London-listed iron-ore miner, Ferrexpo. The state raid on Ferrexpo’s corporate account in Finance & Credit Bank, one of the top-10 Ukrainian banks in asset value, is the first cash confiscation from a Ukrainian oligarch for the benefit of the Ukrainian reform programme.

According to sources close to Konstantin Zhevago, control shareholder and chief executive of Ferrexpo, and owner of Finance & Credit Bank, the money is being used to prop up the banks of rival oligarchs, Igor Kolomoisky and Gennady Bogolyubov, owners of Privat Bank; Vasily Khmelnitsky’s Khreschatyk Bank ; and Bank Dnepr Credit belonging to Victor Pinchuk.
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CHRYSTIA FREELAND DEMOTED IN NEW CANADIAN CABINET – SHE AND THE UKRAINE LOBBY HIT BY SIKLEBAUM DISEASE

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By John Helmer, Moscow

Noone holds Chrystia Freeland in higher esteem than she does. When she was the Financial Times correspondent in Moscow, she would react to correction or criticism by screaming down the telephone receiver. That’s when, among her fellow reporters, she picked up the Hysteria Freeland handle. That also is the assessment, according to two people familiar with the matter, of Canada’s new prime minister, Justin Trudeau, when he decided to drop Freeland from each of the cabinet portfolios she had proposed for herself, naming her instead Minister of International Trade.

Few of Freeland’s predecessors in that portfolio, first created in 1983, have lasted more than two years in the job; none has gone on to higher office or political prominence. To Canadian political analysts this is the prime minister’s intention for Freeland. “The point of no return”, cracks an Ottawa veteran. “Trudeau is making sure Freeland can’t challenge him or anyone else for the top job.” In Brussels, a central European diplomat adds: “Freeland is going down the Russophobic road the Polish Foreign Minister Radek Sikorski and his American wife, Anne Applebaum, have taken. That’s to say, down – and out. Is Russophobia out now in Canada?”
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DUTCH REPORTS ON MH17 HAVE MISTAKEN BUK MISSILE MODEL, WARHEAD TYPE — THE FOOTNOTE WHICH PUTS THE BOOT TO BUK

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By John Helmer, Moscow

The Dutch Safety Board (DSB) conclusion on the missile detonation which caused the crash of Malaysian Airlines MH17 is based on a report of the Dutch National Aerospace Laboratory (NLR), based in Amsterdam. The 66-page NLR report can be found as an appendix to the main DSB report. Combined in their release this week, the two Dutch organizations and the two Dutch reports claim that a Russian-made Buk missile of the 9M38 model series, armed with warhead type 9N314M, was fired at MH17, exploding to the left of the aircraft at about two metres from the cockpit. The blast and shrapnel spray from this detonation, the two Dutch reports claim, caused the break-up of the aircraft in the air, and the deaths of all on board.

From the evening of the crash day, July 17, 2014, western government officials and media reporters have blamed Russia for manufacturing the missile, ordering it fired, and causing the crash. They are now citing the Dutch reports as proof of the initial assignment of blame. This is despite the DSB’s reluctance to do so in its report; and despite the refusal to date of Australian and Dutch police, coronial investigators and pathologists to release the detailed autopsy evidence they have gathered of the shrapnel which struck the aircraft and the bodies of those on board. According to the DSB report, shrapnel killed the crew in the cockpit, and three pieces of shrapnel, characteristic of warhead type 9N314M , were found in the bodies of the pilot and co-pilot. No crew member or passenger in the aircraft, outside the cockpit, was struck by this shrapnel, according to the DSB.

On these three pieces of metal hangs the case for a Buk missile detonation as the cause of crash; the cause of death; and Russian culpability for the shoot-down. But a search through the DSB records, and through the technical reports of shrapnel impact and blast simulation on which the DSB has based its conclusions, together with interviews with spokesmen for the Dutch investigations, finds that the only evidence for the source of the three metal fragments turns out to be a classified military secret of the Dutch Ministry of Defence.
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AUTOPSY OF THE MH17 CRASH — DUTCH SAFETY BOARD REVEALS 3 POSSIBLE PIECES OF BUK SHRAPNEL IN THE BODIES OF THE COCKPIT CREW, AND CHEMICAL EVIDENCE IT CANNOT SUBSTANTIATE — AUSTRALIAN FEDERAL POLICE ISSUE PUBLIC REJECTION OF AUSTRALIAN GOVERNMENT ALLEGATIONS

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By John Helmer, Moscow

The Dutch Safety Board (DSB) reported yesterday that its evidence for concluding that a single ground-to-air Buk missile caused the crash of Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17 was an explosive blast of sound on the cockpit voice recorder lasting 2.3 milliseconds; a spray pattern of damage to the cockpit area of the fuselage; three distinctively shaped metal fragments (lead image) found in the bodies of the cockpit crew; a chemical analysis of explosive residues missing 2 out of 3 warhead explosives; and a match of paint samples collected up to 4 months apart.

The fine arithmetic of this evidence has convinced the Dutch to pinpoint the source as a Buk missile type 9M38, with a warhead model 9N314M. The larger arithmetic of the area from which the DSB has calculated the missile was fired – 50 square kilometres of crash area; 320 square kilometres of launch area – has proved to be inconclusive for a judgement of who fired the missile, and thus who is responsible for the crash and for the deaths of the 298 crew and passengers on board. That said, aviation lawyers close to the MH17 case now believe there is no evidence of a crime – a war crime, a crime against humanity, or a crime of terrorism — that would meet international prosecution standards. For what lawyers have done, or not done, to examine the case for evidence of a crime, or evidence of civil negligence, read this.

Just how circumstantial and inconclusive the newly reported Dutch results turn out to be was revealed two days before the release of the Dutch report, when the Australian Federal Police (AFP) released unusual criticism of Australian Government officials. According to the AFP, public Australian Government interpretations of the crash evidence and assignments of blame cannot be supported by the evidence the AFP’s officers had collected themselves at the crash scene in Ukraine, in the autopsy process in The Netherlands, and in the subsequent forensic testing of what was found in the bodies of the MH17 victims.
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WHAT AMBULANCE-CHASING LAWYERS REVEAL ABOUT THE MH17 SHOOT-DOWN – THERE IS INSUFFICIENT EVIDENCE FOR CRIMINAL PROSECUTION IN ANY NATIONAL OR INTERNATIONAL COURT

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By John Helmer, Moscow

A fight over fees by Australian lawyers claiming to launch a compensation claim on behalf of one of the victims of the MH17 shoot-down revealed last week in an Australian state court that the top officials of the Australian Government are unable to confirm evidence of what crime was committed, or who committed it when the aircraft was destroyed, and its 298 crew and passengers, including 38 Australians and 196 Dutch, killed on July 17, 2014.

In the Netherlands, meanwhile, a lawyer who has claimed to be representing Dutch kin in pursuing criminal and civil court suits on behalf of the victims, has declared: “Our government must clearly express that it is an illusion to believe that any study ever could lead to prosecution of the individual offenders.”

A secret file by the Australian Attorney-General to the Prime Minister, setting out the admissibility of evidence for prosecuting the crime, has recommended against a public declaration by the Government of what happened, and who is responsible. The disclosure of the file, though not of the secret evidence or of the internal Australian Government debate over its contents, comes just days before the Dutch Safety Board (DSB) is due to issue its final report on the causes of the crash.
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MH17 – WHY THE INVESTIGATION WILL NEVER END, THE EVIDENCE NEVER SEEN

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By John Helmer, Moscow

The Australian Government is sure the Dutch Safety Board (DSB) investigation of the downing of Malaysian Airlines MH17 will fail to identify the precise cause of the crash, and will be inconclusive on who and what were responsible. A report, termed final by the DSB, is scheduled for release on October 13.

So certain of the outcome are Australian officials that since May they have been negotiating with the Dutch Government to extend for another year until August 2016 a treaty agreement for Australian police, intelligence agents and Defence Ministry officers to operate in The Netherlands. Without Australian bodies left to identify or repatriate, and only the debris of the MH17 aircraft in partial reconstruction in a hangar at the Hilversum Army Barracks, Dutch and Malaysian sources are questioning what purpose is served by the treaty extension.

In July the Australian and the Netherlands governments signed a protocol for the extension of the Australian military operation on Dutch territory. The original pact of August 1, 2014, and its protocol also provide that while they in The Netherlands, even inside the Hilversum base, the Australians will carry arms, and employ other weapons, including explosives; the pact also protects them from Dutch law if they hurt locals while using their arms. “Are the Australians armed to guard the evidence in The Netherlands,” asks a Dutch source, “to prevent it from being disclosed publicly? Are the Australians arming themselves against the Dutch?”
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MH17 – THE LIE TO END ALL TRUTHS, AND THE NEW EVIDENCE

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By John Helmer, Moscow

Presidents Vladimir Putin and Barack Obama have on file three pieces of evidence showing both of them knew what had caused the crash of Malaysian Airlines MH17, and of the deaths of all 298 souls on board. They knew it little more than two hours after the crash had occurred in eastern Ukraine. They also knew each other knew it, because they discussed what had happened in a telephone call which took place before 19:45 Moscow time, 11:45 Washington time, on Thursday, July 17. MH17 was downed that day at 16:20 Ukraine time, 17:20 Moscow time, 09:20 Washington time.

The first piece of evidence is the agenda paper for the telephone call. This had been negotiated and formalized by the Russian Foreign Ministry, the Russian Embassy in Washington, the State Department and the White House before July 17. The second piece of evidence is the tape of the Putin-Obama conversation, as recorded by the Kremlin. The third piece of evidence is the tape of the Obama-Putin conversation, as recorded by the White House.

This evidence establishes that Putin believed, and Obama believed Putin would announce, not that a ground-to-air missile had brought MH17 down, but that other weapons had done so. The story that a Russian-made Buk missile had caused the disaster began after Obama had spoken to Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko at about 19:00 Kiev time, 20:00 Moscow time, 12 noon Washington time.
Take away that story, because Obama knew it to be false when he had spoken earlier to Putin, and what do you have? A war crime by two governments. How to prove innocence and guilt? The tapes at the Kremlin and the White House.
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MH17 – INADMISSIBLE EVIDENCE FOR WHAT CANNOT HAVE HAPPENED

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By John Helmer, Moscow

Political responsibility and legal liability, like fish rot, start at the head. President Barack Obama’s and President Vladimir Putin’s heads, to be exact.

For evidence of the destruction of Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17, and of the 298 people on board, what the two presidents knew from the start — before the start, in fact – was revealed in a telephone conversation the two of them held three hours after the crash. Today, fourteen months later, it is now certain what they didn’t know, and didn’t discuss, because it didn’t happen. One of those things was an explosion of a Buk ground-to-air missile on the port (left) side of the aircraft. Why that didn’t happen has now been revealed in the only direct physical evidence admissible so far in international courts of law. This is the post-mortem evidence of the 296 individuals, and 700 body parts recovered from the aircraft.

The coroners of the UK and Australia say they will not test this evidence for the foreseeable future; by a loophole in the coronial law they may refuse to consider it at all. In Germany and The Netherlands, lawyers say there is no independent coronial court for investigation of cause of death . German state police and the Dutch-led Joint Investigation Team (JIT) are not independent of their governments; nor of the Ukrainian Government’s right as a JIT member to veto what is investigated, what is disclosed, who to convict.

The only courts in which it will be possible to consider this evidence are the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) in Strasbourg, and the International Criminal Court in The Hague. The first is now the venue of a case brought by the daughter of Wilhelm Theodore Grootscholten, 55, a Dutch victim of the MH17 crash. The second is to decide who is responsible for the death of Fatima Dyczynski, 25, also Dutch. The defendants charged with culpability in the loss of their lives are the Government of Ukraine; Dutch officials at the time of the crash, Minister of Security and Justice Ivo Opstelten and Fred Teeven, the State Secretary for Security and Justice; the International Civil Aviation Organization; and the European Organisation for the Safety of Air Navigation (Euro Control).
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MH17 — DUTCH PREPARE MISSILE ATTACK ON MOSCOW

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By John Helmer, Moscow

The Dutch Government has decided to launch a missile attack on Moscow in October. By suppressing all evidence obtained from the bodies of victims of the crash of Malaysian Airlines MH17, officials of the Dutch Safety Board and associated Dutch military officers, police and prosecutors are preparing to release a report on the crash with a gaping hole in its veracity.

At the same time, and apparently unknown in The Netherlands, an Australian coroners’ report on the identification and forensic testing of the bodies carried out in The Netherlands reveals post-mortem evidence to show that in their public statements the Dutch government officials have been lying about metal evidence they claim to have found. This evidence has not only been buried with the passengers’ remains. It has been buried by the Dutch Government and by coroners in the UK and Australia, who are now legally required to investigate independently what caused the deaths of citizens in their jurisdiction. All are withholding the CT scans, X-rays, autopsy and other post-mortem results, including metallurgical assays, the documentation of which accompanied the coffins of the aircraft’s victims from The Netherlands to their homelands.
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FOLLOWING THE IMF BILLIONS IN AND OUT OF UKRAINE

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By John Helmer, Moscow

In Kiev on Sunday, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko complained that he isn’t getting cash from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) fast enough. Christine Lagarde, the IMF’s managing director, told him to stick to the Fund conditions, but she also promised to go soft on whether the IMF will stop the money if Ukraine decides not to repay the $3 billion bond owed for repayment to Russia in December.
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IMF OFFICIALS IMPLICATED IN THEFT, CONCEALMENT OF UKRAINE LOAN CORRUPTION, US JUSTICE DEPARTMENT INVESTIGATING

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By John Helmer, Moscow

Officials of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) are in flight from evidence of negligence, incompetence, and corruption in their management of billions of dollars in loans for Ukraine.

Nikolai Gueorguiev, head of the Ukraine team at IMF headquarters in Washington, DC, and Jerome Vacher, the IMF representative in Kiev, refuse to respond to questions on their role in the offshore diversion of IMF loan money through Privatbank and Credit Dnepr Bank, banks owned by Ukrainian oligarchs Igor Kolomoisky and Victor Pinchuk. The Fund’s Managing Director Christine Lagarde (lead image, front) and her spokesman, Gerry Rice (rear), are covering up evidence of conflicts of interest and multiple violations of the IMF Staff Code of Conduct which have been occurring in the Ukraine loan programme. Simonetta Nardin, head of the Fund’s media relations, refuses to explain her apparent violations of the Code, or respond to evidence that she fabricated elements of her career resume.

On Tuesday a spokesman at the US Department of Justice in Washington confirmed that an investigation is under way of the role played by US clearing banks in the movement of IMF funds through the Privatbank group and companies connected with Kolomoisky. Speaking for the Asset Forefeiture and Money Laundering Section, Peter Carr declined to give more details.
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FREE TRADE FOR THE BIRDS — HOW THE CANADIAN GOVERNMENT FORCES UKRAINE TO REPAY $400 MILLION IN LOANS, PRIME MINISTER HARPER COLLECTS UKRAINIAN VOTES, AND UKRAINIAN-CANADIANS GET RICH AT THEIR COUNTRYMEN’S EXPENSE

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By John Helmer, Moscow

Canada – bless its maple-leaf heart – has given Ukraine C$400 million in cash since last September to help the Kiev government finance its civil war and debts. This week in Ottawa, with the signing of a free trade agreement between the two governments, the Canadians aim to claw back the cash by obliging Kiev to allow a surge of imports of Canadian cereals, meat, timber and other products. Until now Ukrainian producers of these goods have resisted, blocking the Canadian imports for fear they will damage the Ukrainian market and domestic earnings.

Canadian officials acknowledge that for Ukrainian steel, which is currently barred from entering the Canadian market at dumping prices, there will be no change, and the new agreement will make no difference.

“Harper is saving the Ukraine by damaging its farmers,” a Toronto source says, “and keeping Canada’s steelmills protected from one of the few exports the eastern Ukraine can still turn out. If that’s not cynical politics for gullible voters, I don’t know what is.” According to another Canadian analyst of the Ukrainian conflict, “this is money-making for a small circle of Ukrainian-Canadian business figures, their friends in Ottawa, and the ultra-nationalists in Ukraine.”
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MOTHER GOOSE HAS COOKED HER GOOSE – HOW ANGELA MERKEL HAS BEEN ABANDONED BY JOHN KERRY, VICTORIA NULAND, AND VLADIMIR PUTIN

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By John Helmer, Moscow

Angela Merkel, the German Chancellor, would do almost anything to get and keep power. That, in the opinion of powerful German bankers, includes making herself look ready for war with Russia in order to make her political rival, Frank-Walter Steinmeier (lead image, right), the coalition Foreign Minister and opposition leader in Berlin, look too weak to be electable when the German poll must be called by 2017. So, sources close to the Chancellery say, Merkel insulted President Vladimir Putin and all Russians to their faces last week. This week Victoria Nuland, the junior State Department official who told the chancellor to get fucked a year ago, was in Moscow, replacing Merkel with a settlement of the Ukraine conflict the Kremlin prefers.

“We are ready for this,” Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said last Thursday after meeting Secretary of State John Kerry. Referring to Nuland, Lavrov added: “we were not those who had suspended relations. Those, who had done it, should reconsider their stance….But, as usual, the devil is in the details.” Lavrov meant not one, but two devils, who have sabotaged every move towards a settlement of the Ukraine conflict since the start of 2014 – Nuland and Merkel.
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AFTERSHOCK OF NORD STREAM EXPLOSIONS RUMBLES WARSAW — POLISH POLITICIANS GO “NUTTERS”

By John Helmer, Moscow
  @bears_with

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

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

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

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

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

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

By John Helmer, Moscow
  @bears_with

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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LEMONS, MIMOSAS, AND STALIN’S SHOVEL

By John Helmer, Moscow
  @bears_with

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

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

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

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

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

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AND THEN THERE WERE NONE

By John Helmer, Moscow
  @bears_with

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

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

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

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

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



By John Helmer, Moscow
  @bears_with

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

How little the Germans have changed.

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

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

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

By John Helmer, Moscow
  @bears_with

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

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

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

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

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

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

By John Helmer, Moscow
  @bears_with

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

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

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

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

By John Helmer, Moscow
  @bears_with

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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RUSSIAN AVIATION INDUSTRY CORRECTS YELTSIN YAW – BOEING, AIRBUS DITCHED



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

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

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

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

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

So has the Russian process of replacing foreign imports entirely.

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



By John Helmer, Moscow
  @bears_with

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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