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By John Helmer, Moscow Stealing diamonds is a common crime. Stealing diamond mines is not unheard of, particularly  in Africa. But the Grib diamond mine in the Arkhangelsk region of Russia is the only diamond mine to have been stolen four times in just twenty years. This is a record in the history of the […]

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By John Helmer, Moscow Alrosa, the largest diamond miner in the world, and a public shareholding company listed on the Moscow Stock Exchange, has replaced its chief executive, Andrei Zharkov (lead image, left) , twelve months before his contract was due to expire.  On Monday the company refused to announce the change, or explain the […]

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By John Helmer. Moscow Confidential subscribers to Dances with Bears have been provided with directions and codes required to find, then open, the dead drops for leaving and collecting the sensitive information on which this website’s investigations depend. This month the dead drop is a rat.  Inside the rat there is a moisture-proof container for […]

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By John Helmer, Moscow Yury Trutnev, the Kremlin’s special representative for the Russian Fareast, has come up with a scheme, starting this month, for storing the world’s most valuable art works in Vladivostok, one of the world’s smallest art markets, with the personal backing of President Vladimir Putin; and on the advice of Dmitry Rybolovlev, […]

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By John Helmer, Moscow The German invasion of the Netherlands in 1940 wiped out Amsterdam as the centre of the global diamond trade at the time. When the war ended, Antwerp, across the border in Belgium, was preferred by the diamantaires, and so it has remained. Until last week, perhaps. That’s when the Belgian courts […]

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By John Helmer, Moscow A federal US judge has dismissed a 17-year long attempt by Archangel Diamond Corporation (ADC) to recover damages for the alleged theft of its stake in a multibillion-dollar Russian diamond mine by two Russian oligarchs, Alisher Usmanov and Vagit Alekperov (lead image, left), and Alekperov’s company, LUKoil. The legal action protects […]

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By John Helmer, Moscow When a man falls on his sword, his demise isn’t usually blamed on medical reasons. A statement from the state diamond miner Alrosa on Monday reported that chief executive Fyodor Andreyev (image, lower right) “decided to resign from the post of ALROSA president for medical reasons. He announced about this decision […]

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By John Helmer, Moscow Diamonds are a bit like champagne: even in the worst of times, demand can grow among consumers, and for producers, sales revenues and profits too. Good news isn’t usually the honey which attracts this particular bear; and Alrosa has been producing plenty of it. Released early this month, the company’s financial […]

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By John Helmer, Moscow For the first time Alrosa, the state-owned diamond miner, has come out in public and said it wants to buy Grib, the only commercially developed Russian diamond mine owned by LUKoil and its chief executive, Vagit Alekperov. Why it should say so now, when earlier announcements by Alrosa have veiled the […]

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By John Helmer, Moscow If the US Government and Congress believe they have the right to impose sanctions on Russian individuals and companies for conduct that is legal in Russian and international law, what would happen if the boot were on the other foot – if the Russian Government imposed sanctions on US individuals and […]