Coming up to a year since the liberation of Debaltsevo (and I’ll be doing a special series of video reportage, with English subtitles on that), it’s inevitable that western and Ukrainian media will bring up the ‘that time Graham Phillips showed Russian T72 B3 tanks‘ thing.
Here’s what I think about that –
1. I’m not bothered about it. I don’t think anyone in Russia is bothered about it, no one’s ever said anything to me about it.
2. They think I’m really bothered about this – ‘let’s show there was a ‘Russian invasion’ in Donbass, and really wind up Graham too‘.
3. I’m very proud that in my work in Donbass, I always reported and filmed everything there.
5. Where’s the evidence that these tanks are ‘Russian’? I mean real evidence, not just arrows pointing at things. There is absolutely none, it’s pure speculation. What happened to Bellingcat (main proponents of the T-72 B3 nonsense) actually doing their own, real, investigation? Serial numbers? (The OSCE checked all of this stuff by the way, no report of Russian tanks in Donbass).
No, not one Bellingcat representative has even set foot in the Donbass they claim to be ‘expert’ on. Instead we have the the trendy ‘open source‘ tag, making out that making stuff up from screenshots is somehow something more than that.
6. Ok, let’s imagine that the tanks I filmed are T-72 B3s (above). Where’s the evidence that they were sent into Donbass in time of war? I keep asking Eliot Higgins of Bellingcat that. He never answers.
7. You do know that Bellingcat, so keen to spread this ‘fitting the Western narrative’ story everywhere, are funded by Western agencies, and governments, to generate material to fit the Western narrative?
8. It’s clearly a personal vendetta with the main purporters of this nonsense – Eliot Higgins has taken pains to include this in as many of his presentations, articles, tweets, as possible –
Davis calls me ‘Fiblips‘ by the way, because that’s clearly how rational, serious ‘journalists’ behave…
9. It’s a real shame, that some people actually believe these lies, and these lies are spread on by people representing (unfortunately) widely-believed sources. Jumping to major conclusions based on some screenshots … it’s not journalism, it’s warmongering propaganda.
10. And this all ties in to the latest western attempt, a mishmash of screenshots, extensively from social media, various geo-location, a watch, and enormous, extraneous conclusions derived from each of the fore-mentioned, to show that apparently Putin himself ordered the operation on Debaltsevo.
This attempt to expose myself, ‘Russian involvement in Donbass‘, instead exposes the desperate tactics deployed by western, and Ukrainian propaganda. All, of course, carried off with ‘expert’ affectations, and lots of shiny screenshots to lure the gullible into believing that indeed this is something more than 21st-century snake oil.
Sadly, some have fallen for this, some who should know better. On any reading more cursory than that on a smartphone as one exists a tube train, this ‘expose’ exposes itself for what it is – deceptive, manipulative, malevolent propaganda, perpetrated by the dishonest, believed by the easily deceived.