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By John Helmer, Moscow Igor Zyuzin (lead image) is the first Russian oligarch to face prosecution for polluting the air around his factories. The announcement of criminal charges last week comes as Chelyabinsk regional and city officials escalate a war against lobbying by well-known names around President Vladimir Putin to save Mechel, Zyuzin’s coal and […]

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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 […]

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By John Helmer, Moscow Not since the German government arranged for Vladimir Lenin to return to Russia, crossing German territory in a sealed train on April 16, 1917, has a foreign state at war with Russia done something as revolutionary as the US Senate did on June 15, 2017.  That is when, by a vote […]

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By John Helmer, Moscow Oleg Deripaska (lead image, right), the controlling executive of Rusal, Russia’s state aluminium monopoly,  has run into difficulty winning the approval of the British Government’s stock exchange regulator, the UK Listing Authority (UKLA),  for an initial public offering (IPO) of shares in EN+. This is the holding unit through which Deripaska […]

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By John Helmer, Moscow Mikail Shishkhanov (lead image, left and right) is the chief executive and control shareholder of B&N Bank (Бинбанк, BiNbank), one of the fastest growing banks in Russia today. What is driving that growth, however, is a combination of state money and influence in circumstances open to challenge from government regulators for […]

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By John Helmer, Moscow Alexei Mordashov (lead image, top left), the mining and metals oligarch, promised President Vladimir Putin (centre) that in future he would stick to investing in Russia. “We did a great deal of work abroad,” he told  the President, “but came to the conclusion that our future lies primarily in Russia, in […]

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By John Helmer, Moscow Oleg Deripaska, control shareholder of Rusal, the Russian state aluminium monopoly, is the leading investor of Russian funds in offshore businesses which have failed. He is also Russia’s largest corporate debtor.  Noone else in the circle of President Vladimir Putin has performed so improvidently and unpatriotically. When the costs are counted […]

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By John Helmer, Moscow  It’s the job of the Dorchester doorman to know his hotel guests’ sins; cater to them discreetly; but  keep them under his top-hat, forever secret. During more than a decade of Sergei Frank’s trips to London to direct High Court litigations against the men he succeeded at Sovcomflot, the Russian state […]

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By John Helmer, Moscow As war and economic recession eat into their incomes, Russians are making fewer trips to restaurants and cafes. But because the tab is smaller, fast-drinks vendors are taking a larger share of the retail market than fast food. That ought to be good for Shokoladnitsa, Russia’s leading chain of hot-drinks and […]

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By John Helmer, Moscow In “Any Old Iron”, a popular British music-hall song of a century ago, the cockney comedian Harry Champion made audiences laugh at the vanity of people showing off wealth they don’t have, and at pretentiousness in general. In our century there’s said to be a homosexual come-on in the words of […]