By Graham Phillips
There has, of late, been a series of attacks from the Ukrainian, pro-Ukrainian media launched in my direction. Kyiv Post journalist Olga Rudenko recently took to Facebook to pen the pro-Ukraine version of my life ‘before the war’, something then run by various pro-Ukraine media.
Looking through Olga’s diatribe, I recognised certain elements of my pre-war life, but all purposefully bent and twisted out shape. I have no real feelings on Olga, she’s just one of any number of relentlessly pro-Ukraine, Kiev-based journalists. We exchanged a few messages a couple of years ago on work, that’s that.
I’m a little surprised in Olga’s intense interest in me, even on her own Facebook putting out calls for further information, answering herself when no one responds. Having me down as quite a list – a ‘loser’, ‘schizophrenic’, ‘sexpat’, and then the inevitable ‘sex blogger’.
One thing the pro-Ukraine side often bring up is that I supposedly kept a ‘sex blog’. Actually, they bring it up with all the predictability of a man with a Ukraine flag parroting ‘Slava Ukraine’ before too long.
Well, about that ‘sex blog’, it’s true I kept a blog, it’s true that some of the posts were about sex –
To name 3. The list goes on, but not that much, of all the posts on my site, fewer than 10% were about the ‘s’ subject. You could find almost as many on abandoned buildings and artefacts in Ukraine –
There was also ample posting on Ukrainian history, politics –
True, there was a fair bit about my ex-girlfriend, Ira, but I found writing about Ira an enlightening way to broach broader subjects in Ukraine –
My blog had posts about an ongoing murder investigation –
And some just about football –
I enjoyed, enjoy writing about a broad range of subjects. I enjoyed taking an analytical look at a subject intrinsically associated with the former Ukraine, sex. I liked teasing with titles, so – Ukrainian Girls are Smokin’ – was actually about Ukrainian girls smoking. How to Pick Up Ukrainians was about hitching a lift.
It’s more prosaic than that, in some way. My former site – http://www.grahamwphillips.com – was a premium domain, with high storage. I didn’t want to have a site in my own name anymore, letting the domain lapse would have automatically removed some of the content due to excess, so before ‘closing’ that site, I took much of it down. You can see the skeleton version at – https://gwplondon.wordpress.com/
I’ve republished some of the other posts, but why not the ‘sex blog posts’? Well, honestly, I don’t feel that’s appropriate for me now. There was a time, before the war, when you could write about these things in Ukraine and it had a relevance. Now, with war, they simply have no importance anymore.
War has changed Ukraine, Donbass, forever. It’s changed me as a person. I’m not going to republish blog posts which have no relevance either to the current context, or who I am now. In war, what matters are literally matters of life and death.
There was a time when it was fun to write about fun things in Ukraine. That time has gone. I’m not trying to hide anything in the past – all the blog posts are easily findable. Nor am I going to put them up now when they belong to a past life, for Ukraine and the former Ukraine, for myself as a person and journalist.
I’m not ashamed of anything I’ve written, am happy for people to read them wherever. As for people using what was previously written as a means of attack, in my case. I was never a ‘sex blogger’. I was a journalist, who kept a blog, part of which had articles on that theme.
But I also think this, that if a war comes into your life, then what you do in the war means a lot more than what you did before. Those who try to bring down a person who has risen to the challenges of war, on the basis of what they did before, are just those people who have been found wanting when the moment came.