South Ossetia! Welcome! And BBC / NATO Propaganda from here!

I’m very happy to present my first video report from South Ossetia, welcoming you to this remarkable country, and having a look at some of the propaganda about what happened here –

There’s a lot more to come, all independent, completely crowdfunded journalism! 

Brit in Crimea – Film Ready – Premiere in Moscow!

Brit in Crimea is a unique film project, which began in mid-2016 after I, Graham Phillips, British journalist, decided to see for myself what people in the UK knew about Crimea. As you can see from this video, it turned out, almost nothing –

So from there, was born the idea to do something, on the surface, quite simple. Take a British person to Crimea on holiday. A British person without any agenda, affiliation, predisposition. A British person who just wants a holiday, in a place almost no one in Britain would think of going on holiday.

And the aim – to make a film about Crimea devoid of any propaganda – be it western, or Russian. To make a film about Crimea exactly as it is.

Les Crimea photoAnd that’s exactly what we did. Of course, these things are never quite as simple in practice – not only a holiday, but a holiday filmed. Then edited into proper film format. We raised the budget of the film through crowdunding, but fair to say that all told, this film has more of an anti-budget than a budget – actually Les – our Brit, more specifically Scot, paid for most all of his own costs. As you would on holiday.

And then, the ambitions grew. I wanted to make it not just a one-season film, but to return to Crimea next year to show the difference a year on, and the difference in Les’s life. And more.

And we did all that. And the film will premiere in Moscow on Thursday January 18th at the Fitil cinema, reception at 18:30 (click on link for all cinema details). So why is a British film, with a British man, having a premiere in Moscow? Because as I know, from hard experience, there is no way you can Screenshot (1170)put on an event in London which doesn’t conform with the set narrative there. I could find a venue for this film in the UK, but the ‘pro-Ukrainians’ would start a campaign, the venue would cancel, and it would go on that way, sad to say.

But, let the ‘pro-Ukrainians’, and anyone, watch this film objectively. Because it’s a completely objective film, about Crimea. No financing by anything apart from crowdfunding, which raised enough to cover basic costs. A completely independent film, with one aim – to tell the truth about Crimea.

BritCrimeaposterThe video production has been done, as with my previous films, by Oleg Somov, in Lugansk, so there’s some Donbass there too. And full praise to Oleg for dealing with a mass of video material, and making a film I’m truly proud of out of it all. US journalist Patrick Lancaster helped with some of the camerawork.

Very much looking forward to seeing you at the premiere. The film is in English, but spoken Russian when we get to Crimea, for the most part. Soon after the premiere, the film will be released on my YouTube channel, with full Russian subtitles.

A Return to Lutugino Children’s Home, LPR, Donbass: Humanitarian Help at Christmas Time

It was fantastic yesterday to return, the orthodox celebration of St Nicholas’ Day, to a place I’ve been many times, Lutugino Children’s Home, in Donbass, LPR. And thanks to donations collected from many parts of Russia – however must also give a special shout-out to Sean Taylor here – really fantastic to be able to take so much stuff for the kids there –


Here, we can see the over 200 children of the children’s home, many coming from difficult backgrounds, including children who’ve lost parents in war in Donbass:

However, yesterday it was wonderful to be a part of bringing some happiness to these children!


Sad to say that this visit came at the time when Ukrainian forces had just unleashed their heaviest shelling in a long time on the LPR, with both Pervomaisk and Stakhanov coming under shelling the night before, with mass damage, at least one fatality, and injuries to civilians.

There are children in Lutugino, there are children in Pervomaisk and Stakhanov – let’s hope in 2018 they can live free of the fear of Ukrainian aggression, and Ukrainian shelling.

Google Maps on Donbass – Can it be Trusted?

What’s the first thing you do when you look for a place? Of course, Google Maps, the world’s leading most popular online map, not only that, the world’s most popular app, with 54% of smartphones having it installed at least once.

Yesterday I wrote about Denmark, and despite all, the first thing I did was go to Google Maps. The ‘despite all’ part, is the following – that I’ve serious questions about the impartiality of the internet’s most comprehensive web-mapping service. The other week, I went to do a search for a place in Lugansk, this, th centre of the city of Lugansk, Donbass (now, ok, Google Maps are not going to describe it as the Lugansk People’s Republic, that’s not up for discussion now)


Here, a closer look, and we can clearly see a ‘Monument of victims of ‘russian world’ terror’ marked – 

Clearly, Russian written as ‘russian’ as a mark of disrespect. But that’s an incidental, because this monument, and let’s have a look at the satellite imagery here, for which Google Maps is renowned –


And here is the monument itself, in the centre of Lugansk. But it is not a monument to anything connected with ‘Russian terror’ – it’s a monument to victims of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army – who fought with the Nazis in WWII. 

There are a few things to take into account here. A feature of Google Maps is indeed the ability to add, or name landmarks there. But is there really no limit? Could you just go to the Statue of Liberty and just name it as, well, take your pick… could you just go to Jerusalem, Palestine, etc….

More, I submitted a correction about this to Google a week ago, and they’ve done nothing about it yet. How long has it even been there? Clearly, providing accurate information here is not a priority for Google Maps – so the question is, in how many other places don’t they care about what’s on their maps? 

This is Google Maps, over 7000 employees, constantly investing millions in adding new features – soon they’ll be able to tell you when to get off the bus. And they are so uninterested in checking their maps not only for accuracy, but for that which is clearly grossly offensive….

As for the sheer, crass cynicism of the ‘pro-Ukrainian’, to call them that, who renamed this to attack Russia, without any thought not only for the victims of the UIA, but more for the hundreds killed in Lugansk itself by Ukrainian shelling of the city, in 2014…. well, from them, that’s probably to be expected.

But from Google Maps, we should either expect more, or be aware that when we look at Google Maps, we may be looking at the work of fine geographers and cartographers. Or it could just be some angry activist running amok….

Why Would Street Reportage from Denmark Get 100,000 Views?

I’ve made thousands of videos of reportage, and yet each time one is released, it can’t quite be predicted how it will fare out in the unforgiving world of YouTube, where cats on skateboards, make-up tutorials and reactions to Lady Gaga videos score millions of hits, but reportage can just disappear into the ether…

As a benchmark for reportage on YouTube, 10,000 views is a decent one. Look at this, a typical BBC propaganda piece from Crimea, 3 years ago, and for a pretty big revelation, 26 thousand views.

This report of mine, from Denmark, June 2016, about what people there think of Brexit, if they wanted a ‘Dexit’, and the Denmark-EU border, is soon to pass 100,000 views: 

What’s the story behind it? I was travelling around Europe doing reportage on a Brexit theme, and had just come from Latvia –

The trip hadn’t exactly gone to plan, with my car smashed into in France, so driving thousands of miles around Europe with a taped over window, not exactly conducive to an unfrayed state of mind, but anyway, the show really did have to go on. Stopping briefly to make the montage, from Latvia it was a 1600km drive, to Denmark, and to the town of Sonderberg, where this was filmed – the first sizeable town near the Danish border, population around 28,000.

What happened next? I made the edit swiftly after filming, and released. And then, nothing much at all. After a few days, it sat at 1000 views, making it hard to think it hadn’t been a lot of effort for nothing much at all. But then, out of nowhere – without it ever featuring in media as far as I know, it began to climb and climb.

Why the popularity? Firstly, the excellent level of English has clearly enthralled many, if you look at comments. Otherwise, the general geniality, openness of the Danish people. There also isn’t that much competition, as in there’s not much reportage from Denmark, which may have implied a lack of audience for it, but here, clearly not the case.

It was also on theme at that time, with everyone wondering what would come next, after Brexit, which has continued to be a talking point. As you can see from this video, while there was some sympathy from the Danish streets, there was no real sign of a movement there mounting for the next Brexit. Although, another point, the presence of a border did catch attention.

As it prepares to pass 100,000, it joins only a few of my reportages to make that milestone. Of course I’m pleased with that achievement, very grateful to all who have viewed, liked, left comments. Of course, when I look at it now, a year and a half on, I think ‘gosh if I did it again, would do this better, that better‘, I’ve got a year-and-a-half more experience of video editing to call on. Or, I may just do it completely unedited, But, generally, I’m fairly pleased with the piece.

I’d imagined it may get around 10,000 views, so to say it’s overperformed is an understatement. YouTube may be random in a lot of ways, but clearly this report has caught the imagination, and made its contribution to delivering information, just as it was, to a wide audience. Due to monetisation, I’ve earned $35.33 from this video, however due to a simple bit of lunch for myself and colleague Michael Spekkers, who helped me film this, coming to around 30 Euros, you could hardly say I’m raking in the financial rewards 🙂 But of course, none of what I do is for that anyway.

It certainly gives some appetite to return to do more in Denmark, perhaps more ambitious reportage even, knowing there’s an audience for it. Although perhaps if you’re reading this the word is already out and other news crews will be headed to Aarhus, Odense, Aalborg and more, for a slice of the hot Danish pie!

I’d like to say thanks to all the kind, friendly people of Denmark who gave interviews for this, and a gentleman called Viktor from Denmark, who for many years has been a supporter of my work from Donbass, and more! 

(18+) Bodies of Ukrainian ‘Cyborgs’ Lie on the Ground as Ukrainian Forces Defeated at Donetsk Airport

I had to delete these videos from YouTube a long time ago. Now, in the light of Ukraine having released a film glorifying the ‘cyborgs’, which is what they called the Ukrainian soldiers who held Donetsk airport between late May of 2014, and mid-January of 2015, I republish them here.

This is the reality, Donetsk airport, January 22nd, 2015. Ukrainian forces crushingly defeated by DPR people’s militia forces led by Givi, and Motorola. Mass destruction, the only Ukrainian soldiers still there, in piles of bodies… it’s all here.


I don’t say these videos are pretty etc, but this is the reality, this is as it really was, not as it is in Ukrainian cinemas…

Video Reportage in English regularly passing 10,000 Views!

With my video reportage in Russian, literally, they sky can be the limit – this from August, Crimea, soon soaring over 700,000. It’s a Russian theme. Of course, getting views in English can be harder – firstly the videos need to be subtitles, and I try to properly subtitle the videos, not just YouTube subtitles.

So, I set a benchmark, in English, of 10,000 views as being a decent benchmark. Why this? Well, this BBC reportage, typical BBC propaganda, about Crimea 3 years ago, for example, just over 30,000.  (Of course, some BBC pieces have more, but others also less, this from a year ago, 24,000)

So, it’s been great to see recently English-language reportage from Crimea consistently reaching, surpassing 10,000 views! Not all, yet, but a lot, have a look:

This, from the Crimea Bridge, almost 17,500 views – 

This, from the new airport in Simferopol, over 12,000 views – 

Here, development in Crimea – roads, bridge and airport, near 13,000 views – 

And this, from Artek, almost 12,000 views – 

And views are rising all the time, from all over the world. Of course, the more views, the more resonance, the more capacity to make a meaningful difference! So it’s a wonderful thing to notice a real upturn in that sphere!

Thanks again for watching, supporting my reportage, lots more to come!