John Helmer: “Book announcement: The Man Who Knows Too Much About Russia”

Bookcase file photo, adapted from image at

Subject: Book announcement
Date: Wed, 26 Dec 2018
From: John Helmer

The Man Who Knows Too Much
About Russia
By John Helmer


John Helmer is the longest serving foreign correspondent in Russia; he has been reporting from Moscow since 1989, and on Wednesday, December 19, he published his memoirs.

Not by coincidence, at the same time the US Treasury’s Office for Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) issued its sanctions de-listing announcement for Oleg Deripaska’s main companies, Rusal, EN+ and Eurosibenergo.

When the original April 6 announcement of the sanctions against Deripaska was issued by OFAC — — attempted murder was mentioned, but it wasn’t Deripaska’s attempt on Helmer. Hillary Clinton and her deputy at State, William Burns, covered that up. The $1 million Clinton bribe; the plot to sell General Motors’ Opel division to Deripaska; the Australian Government’s involvement in the assassination attempt against the reporter to protect a multi-billion dollar alumina trade with Deripaska — all this and more in the book.

The only reporter to have known Putin in St. Petersburg 27 years ago, remembers: “My corpse managed to keep talking for twenty years. That’s the time it took between the Soviet KGB dosing my champagne with a near-fatal volume of a drug called SP-117, in order to get the truth out of me; and a Russian oligarch sending two gunmen to fire their pistols into me, to stop the truth getting out.”

“With hindsight, those who weren’t watching when Vladimir Putin was small insist he was bigger than he was, but good at keeping secrets. Big or small physically or politically, they have still been unable to fathom Putin’s character, or explain why, after so many years in power, Putin remains as characterless as when he started. I was watching from the beginning; the KGB elixir allowed me to see through the secrets to the truth of the matter.”

“This was that Putin has remained the nondescript I had first met, but that the potency attributed to him now was picked up from a group of men on whom he depended for his rise, and on whom he still depends for his power. These were, these are the Russian oligarchs whose stories I have been investigating and reporting every day. By penetrating their secrets, I measure how Putin rules Russia; better to say, how Russia is ruled, and with what effect.”

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[featured image of bookshelves is file photo]