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By John Helmer, Moscow Over the weekend, Ukrainian reports indicated that the Donetsk steelmaking assets in Ukraine, which went into bankruptcy in 2009, have been bought by Russia’s Mechel group, owned by Igor Zyuzin. The deal cost is reported to have been $537 million, including assumption of debts. Confirmation of the sale appears in publication […]

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By John Helmer, Moscow The International Monetary Fund (IMF) often invoked its sovereign immunity to rape Russia’s governing institutions, including the Central Bank and the Supreme Soviet, in the years of collapse following the end of the Soviet Union. Michel Camdessus, a Frenchman, was the culprit then, instructed by the principal shareholders on the Fund […]

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By John Helmer, Moscow Vladimir Lisin (far right), owner of Russia’s powerful Novolipetsk steelmaking group and one of the country’s richest men, is the choice of Deputy Prime Minister Igor Sechin (3rd from left) for new board chairman of the state shipyard conglomerate, United Shipbuilding Corporation (USC).

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By John Helmer, Moscow The comic book character known as the Gambit was kidnapped from the hospital where he was born and raised by a gang of thieves. He got his way with unusual powers, like kinetic energy and hypnosis. He was also famous for his skill at card-throwing and combat with a long stick. […]

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By John Helmer, Moscow Despite the enormous publicity for Glencore’s initial public offering (IPO) on the London Stock Exchange this month, and participation in the underwriting and book-running of the Russian state savings bank Sberbank, the massive Glencore prospectus says almost nothing about the trading company’s Russian business. And on the key question grain traders […]

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By John Helmer, Moscow After the report appearing yesterday on Rusal’s negotiations with the Government of Guinea was published, the following fresh information was communicated by a member of staff of President Alpha Conde, and confirmed by other Guinean sources.

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By John Helmer, Moscow In a series of preemptory dismissals, the head of global alumina operations for United Company Rusal, Yakov Itskov (left image), and his chief executive Oleg Deripaska (right image), have been ordered out of the rooms of Guinea’s two mining ministers, Mahmoud Thiam, and his successor, Mohammed Lamine Fofana, after the ministers […]

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By John Helmer, Moscow When self-proclaimed strategic allies like Russia and China fail to see eye to eye, they do their best to mask their differences, issuing communiqués promising amicable solutions at the next round of negotiations, or the one after that. If Moscow and Beijing fall out, the cordiality dries up, and the mutual […]

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By John Helmer, Moscow If Yandex, Russia’s leading search engine and internet portal, tells potential share buyers and investors that it is at risk of a hostile takeover by a man like Alisher Usmanov, who owns a stake in the competing Mail.ru portal, then the charge is a serious one. And if to that, Yandex […]