BBC – Britain’s Anti-Russian Ministry of Disinformation

Graham Phillips

John Craven NewsroundAs most anyone in the UK, from the UK, I grew up watching the BBC. Blue Peter, Friday Film Specials, and news – John Craven. Going on to a lifetime of watching the BBC. I still watch news on the BBC, but in a different way now. I actually now feel involuntary twitches of disgust every time I watch a piece on BBC news.

Before, I’d watch BBC News as kind of an extended family member – the logo, the studio, all familiar like a father figure. But now, it’s like you’re one of John Darwin’s children, discovering that your father has lied to you, likely lied to you all his life. I can say this, having covered events myself in Crimea, Donbass, seeing first hand how things were, and then how the BBC made them out to be.

The BBC lie. They twist, contort, distort. And a particular bias of the BBC in recent times, has been a strident anti-Russian polemic which seems to effortlessly correspond with the UK government’s own. UK Prime Minister David Cameron has stated many times how he views Crimea’s 2014 reunification with Russia as ‘annexation’, ‘under the barrel of a Kalashnikov’ etc. Who did the BBC send to cover Crimea, only Daniel Sandford (who duly came up with all the ‘annexation’ stuff on demand), a man who makes no secret of detesting Russia. A long journey through Sandford’s tweets would be to try to find something positive about the country. A rather shorter one, to find the countless negatives Sandord passes on, despite not evening being Moscow correspondent anymore –
Fullscreen capture 03042016 001429.bmp Fullscreen capture 03042016 001336.bmp Fullscreen capture 03042016 001325.bmp Fullscreen capture 03042016 001306.bmp Fullscreen capture 03042016 001257.bmp Fullscreen capture 03042016 001208.bmp

Sandford also covered Euromaidan, and what was the BBC’s position on that? Blanket support at the time, only a year later getting round to admitting that things perhaps hadn’t been as they first portrayed them. But, by that time, protest had long turned into war in Donbass, as a result of the government Euromaidan put in power in Ukraine. What was the BBC’s take on that? The same as the UK government’s, against the Donbass uprising. They sent Daniel Sandford (pictured), who Daniel Sandford BBCeven trumped his Crimea efforts, with this, from June of 2014, containing the staggering line – ‘He is a 24-year-old who has taken up arms against the government in Kiev, after being convinced by the propaganda that they are fascists who hate Russian-speakers.’

‘Convinced by the propaganda’??? So now we’re just calling things ‘propaganda’ then, without any actual analysis or example? Is that what the BBC has come to, tragic irony of it therein.

EuromaidanLet’s just stop for a minute to think about that – the BBC, and UK government supported Euromaidan – an uprising against a democratically elected government. But they opposed the uprisings in Crimea (which always had the right to hold a referendum), and then Donbass against an illegitimate, undemocratic government… (Euromaidan activist pictured here)

In Donbass, the BBC also conveniently forgot to do a hallmark of their Euromaidan coverage – speak to people on the street. As they found on the Maidan streets support for Maidan, they’dve found on Donbass the same for their own uprising. But, the BBC never did that. I know for a fact, from having worked in Slavyansk in spring of 2014, that the BBC were almost never on the scene. They’d sit in the hotel in Donetsk, calling me for updates from the scene, which I gave them right until I realised they were twisting and deceiving.

Fast forward to August, and I was working in Lugansk, with the Ukrainian military being pushed back further from the city every day. Where were the BBC? Nowhere near Lugansk, that’s for sure. What were they writing? The absolute opposite of what was happening, reporting that the Ukrainians were retaking the city ‘block by block’…. Nor were they making any mention of the relentless Ukrainian shelling pounding civilian areas of Lugansk.

As for MH17, naturally, the BBC towed the western line that it was a Fullscreen capture 04042016 021724.bmp‘Russian/separatist BUK‘, happy to take the bulk of their information from the fatally discredited Bellingcat agency, never once on the scene. Myself, around 60 hours on the scene, countless video material, witness interviews … didn’t seem of interest, until they did finally contact me in October of 2015. But, then, on Twitter, Eliot Higgins let slip (as per tweet here) this was only for a documentary they were making on ‘MH17 conspiracy theories’.

I declined to speak to them. I did record this video for them though – needless to say never used –

And in fact in any case I’d long since decided not to speak to the BBC, after their coverage of Crimea and Donbass left them not to be trusted. The final straw had been when a journalist I’d had contact with as a freelancer, seemed like a nice guy and all, contacted me in late 2014, early 2015 asking to use footage I’d filmed in the war-torn settlement of Nikishino, Donbass. I was reluctant, but he assured me over again, it was for a ‘truthful’ project, to show things ‘just as they were’ … and what happened? It came out as ‘Russia’s Imperialist Warriors’.

That was the final straw for myself and any working relationship, or agreement, with the BBC.

And on from there, of late, the BBC barely hid their delight as an Oxford University textbook which had showed Crimea as Russia was reprinted after Ukrainian complaints, highlighting the supposed ‘grave mistake’, quoting the Ukrainian side, not speaking to anyone from the Russian.

In mid-March, writing an effective press release for NATO’s training drills in Norway in the face of that beloved BBC buzz phrase ‘Russian aggression’.  In late March switching that to ‘aggressive Russia‘, as they were similarly supportive of US increasing its military presence in Eastern Europe.

Also in March, the BBC had made sure readers’ sympathy would not be with lawyer, Yuriy Hrabovsky, murdered in Ukraine, by blasting the headline ‘Ukraine crisis: ‘Russian soldier’s’ lawyer found dead’. As for Nadia Savchenko? A revealing BBC propaganda masterclass here, where they appear to give both sides, by speaking to both sides, but the key difference being they don’t ask both sides the same question.

So, the Ukrainians get to say why they think she’s not guilty, the Russian side never get their say on that. But, to the average viewer, both sides interviewed, job done.

What happens if you want to take issue with the BBC on this blatant propaganda? I did so in January – after this article went, I felt, way beyond all reasonable boundaries.


Complaint Summary: Biased, slanderous, unfair attack on journalist.

Full Complaint: This article only amounts to an attack on a Russian journalist – Yevgeniy Poddubnyy. It makes blatantly loaded statements which amount to an ad hominem attack on a journalist, and his work – ‘As with his coverage of the fighting in east Ukraine during earlier stages of the conflict there, Poddubnyy gave viewers a one-sided and misleading account of the military situation.’ Where’s the reference to his earlier reports there? In fact, where’s the direct reference even to what Fullscreen capture 04042016 022239.bmpPoddubnyy said in this report? Nothing, it’s just a cheap, personal attack on a working journalist in a conflict zone.

And this statement, suggesting that Poddubnyy is some harbinger of war ‘In recent months, Poddubnyy’s movements have tended to prefigure major military developments.’ The man is a war correspondent – it’s understandable he’s sent to where conflicts are. However, suggesting that his being sent to a place somehow presages war, as Ennis does here, is deeply manipulative, and misleading. No mention of Poddubnyy being in Donbass in times where there’s been little conflict, of which has often been the case – March, April, August of this year (2015) for example. Instead, a personal attack on a journalist working in a conflict zone, with Ennis seemingly relishing in the heightened danger this puts Poddubnyy in, leading up to the standard BBC rhetoric of Russian involvement in Donbass. The latter, as lamentable as it is, is sadly a given.

What is absolutely unacceptable here is the BBC authorising an article attacking an individual, a journalist working in a conflict zone – poorly sourced and referenced, the emphasis simply on assailing an individual and his work. I’ll openly declare that I know Yevgeniy Poddubnyy. And I also earlier thought I knew the BBC – how did it come to this, that the BBC has become simply a tool to attack individuals, without any attempt to conceal the bias of its rhetoric. I wish to complain in the strongest terms about this disgraceful article.

What happened? Well of course, none of the ‘escalation’ that the BBC had written so Cassandra-esque of, materialised. But nonetheless, they found nothing wrong with the article –

Dear Mr Phillips

Reference CAS-3637624-TCFN8H

Thanks for getting in touch regarding an article on the BBC news website.

We understand you feel this article is a biased and unfair attack on a Russian journalist.

This article pointed out that Yevgeniy Poddubnyy’s coverage of earlier fighting in the Ukraine suggested that violations of the ceasefire were being committed BBC Logoexclusively by Ukrainian government forces and that this was in contradiction to the findings of Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe which had noted violations on both sides.

The article also pointed out that Yevgeniy’s movements have at times anticipated Russian military actions and we wouldn’t agree that this amounted to an unfair or an ad hominem attack on the reporter.

We appreciate that you would like to have seen more detail given as to what was actually said in Yevgeniy’s reports and we appreciate your feedback about our article. All complaints are sent to senior management and our online news teams every morning and we included your points in this overnight report. These reports are among the most widely read sources of feedback in the BBC and ensure your complaint is seen by the right people quickly. This helps inform their decisions about current and future reporting.

Thanks again for taking the time to get in touch.

Kind regards

David Glenday

As Orwell wrote in 1984 – “If you want to keep a secret, you must also hide it from yourself.”, and there’s a lot more 1984 in the BBC, this agency of misinformation, this British agency of anti-Russian propaganda. Less than 7 years short of 100, the world’s oldest national broadcasting organisation is sadly now, just an agency of propaganda, lies, and misinformation. A boot stamping on the face of everything the BBC makes itself out to be.

The only question for lifetime BBC viewers is, was it ever thus? Has the BBC been lying to me all my life?

17 thoughts on “BBC – Britain’s Anti-Russian Ministry of Disinformation”

  1. Don’t forget that George Orwell (real name Eric Blair) worked for a few years as a producer at the BBC. No doubt he learned about propaganda from the best in the business.


  2. Calm down please Graham, most of us (other than sheeple) in the uk know that the bbc has become a mouthpiece for the nato nazies since it was turned into a poodle by the Hutton “Report”.
    And as for complaining to them, don’t waste your breath, they never admit they’re mistaken about anything!
    One good thing is that the bbc are so up their own a**e nowadays that you have to be pretty “tolstoy” not to see through their “news” reports!


  3. You are wrong. You are wrong when you say ‘I still watch news on the BBC’. Why would you do that? Do you live in UK? If so, why do you have TV license at home. During the live coverage of 9/11 BBC reported that WTC7 went down 20 min before it did then they spent more than a decade refusing to disclose who gave them the script. Whoever gave them the script new in advance that WTC7 will be ‘pulled’ and brought down through what today is widely regarded as controlled demolition. There are people in UK refusing to pay the license because of that, their argument is that by having a TV license you are practically supporting an organization covering up for the real terrorists. BBC not only lied but fabricated ‘evidence’ related to that has attack in Syria. Their lies almost plunged their country into yet another illegal war costing billions as well as thousands of lives. BBC lied during their coverage of the war in East Ukraine. Remember that video when residential building behind BBC reporter was hit by the Ukraine military? BBC was reporting 180 degrees opposite of what really was happening on the ground. One lie after another. by having a TV license you are openly funding and supporting a terrorist entity. I will let you have that on your conscience.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. “During the live coverage of 9/11 BBC reported that WTC7 went down 20 min before it did..”

      (Brains are of course optional in the uk)

      “Whoever gave them the script new in advance…”

      Really? How about you explain the slightest motivation for anyone to “give them the script in advance” (ie. “we are going to make wtc7 fall down too, at x hours pm”)?


      1. Well he does have a point about 911 – whose side are you on? It was a controlled demolition, and these things are not done in a short time, therefore somebody knew about the event happeneing before it did – read PNAC and their reference to a new ‘Pearl Harbor’ type event.


      2. There were no controlled demolitions involved in 9-11. Those who believe so are suffering from some disease which prevents them from seeing the stark disproofs long ago put on the internet. I do not propose to waste time discussing with you here because if you really need me to nanny you to the correct info then you clearly don’t have an open mind anyway.
        Whether there was collusion by the Military Industrial Complex, such as to not actually *prevent* the 9-11 planes, is a highly likely possibility for which some evidential support may indeed exist. But there’s no need for amateur would-be engineering expertise to be wheeled in in support. You have to be blind not to see that wtc1 and 2 buckled at the firepoint, then the enormous downweight generated enormous conversion of potential energy into heat, and WTC7 was already massively damaged by WTC1 debris and huge fires, and the penthouse collapsed first and none of them fell at g speed. End of the matter.


      3. And you haven’t found an answer to that question I asked. What possible point would there be in pre-informing the bbc? none whatsoever, therefore utterly stupid notion.


      4. You don’t get concrete powder at that height – at the base maybe, but not with all that dust and steel girders flying out, not to mention all the explosions the firefighters heard and reported on.
        Besides, bush twice stated he saw the FIRST plane crash into WTC2 LIVE…explain that, and why the pentagram removed a web page where they stated the fighter planes were travelling at sub-sonic speed, contradicting a pilot interviewed by I think it was Aviation Now magazine or some such, who said they went supersonic.
        Also, the fbi did NOT want bin liner for 911, got that?


      5. It’s so wonderful to know you got your PhD in engineering physics with such high grades and you’re now a professor at MIT with loads of working patents to your name. Or alternatively please carry on drivelling to yourself.


  4. Graham, I e-mailed the 6 main British newspapers an article on Kristina and Kira, who were murdered on Sunday 27 7 14 in Gorlovka, in Aug 2014. Not one of them published it, or even bothered to reply to me. So it’s not just the bbc.


    1. Indeed. But the bbc is supposed to be the ultimate impartial truth round here! The bbc was ok at time of 9-11 because it only became a poodle after the Hutton “Report” castrated it in 2003/4.


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  6. anybody that believes 9 11 was for real is an android a sheeple and get rid of your television and stop buying gutter press newspapers. I might not be here very much longer for saying this but we have been lied to all our lives. and you have been a victim of disinformation……waken UP


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