This Wednesday, UK MP Neil Parish raised in parliament the murder of Barry Pring, a UK citizen killed 9 years ago near Kiev, all evidence shows, by his Ukrainian wife, Anna Ziuzina. The Ukrainian investigation has gone nowhere, covered up at every level from police to political, even more aggressively covered up now in post-Euromaidan Ukraine.
The case has now attracted a very high profile, going even higher with the first mention in UK parliament, and in fact in our earlier interview, Neil Parish went so far as to stay it was of key significance in overall relations between the UK and Ukraine. So, what was the Ukrainian reaction after the matter was raised at Prime Minister’s Questions? Well, the Ukrainian Embassy indeed rushed to release a statement about it, the first time Ukraine has responded to the matter in 9 years.
And it was a (short) statement, saying they would be doing nothing about it. So, why would the Ukrainian Embassy, always keen to exalt relations between the UK and Ukraine, be doing nothing to assist an investigation clearly going nowhere, of a UK citizen in Ukraine? Why won’t they, as requested by Neil Parish, with the support of Boris Johnson, at least raise the matter with Kiev?
Are they too busy? Well, let’s have a look at the actions of the Ukrainian Embassy, in London. I know this first-hand, being a freelance journalist who’s covered the story from Donbass which the Ukrainian powers would do anything for you not to hear – that most people in the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republic do not want to be part of Ukraine, that Ukrainian forces have relentlessly targeted civilian areas of Donbass with shelling. Further, I’ve reported from Crimea, as it is.
All of which has attracted the ire of Ukraine, and their embassy in London, which is actually perhaps the most active Ukrainian embassy of all, sending out a stream of letters, putting on events, and more. When I took a tough stance in an interview with a Ukrainian terrorist last September in Donbass, they boiled over, with the Ukrainian embassy in the UK sending out this missive, 22nd September 2016:
I would like to draw the attention of the British side to the situation with continuous provocative and disgraceful behaviour of the UK citizen Mr. Graham William Phillips, who currently resides in the occupied by the Russian Federation territories of Ukraine.
Mr. Graham Phillips, after his appearance in the eastern part of Ukraine in 2014-2015 on the side of pro-Russian terrorists and after been deported in July 2014 from Ukraine and in March 2016 from Latvia, has settled again in our country – this time in Crimea – another part of Ukrainian territory occupied by the Russian Federation. He continues there his abhorrent behaviour and open public insults towards Ukrainian citizens and military men, who are defending Ukraine.
Recently in front of OSCE representatives, humanitarian organizations and mass media this self-proclaimed journalist tried to disrupt a release from Russian captivity of the Ukrainian citizens. When speaking disgustedly to one of the exchanged Ukrainian prisoners – a civilian non-combatant, badly injured by Russian booby-trap device person, blinded, maimed and imprisoned for more than a year by the pro-Russian terrorists, Mr. Phillips resorted to caddish harassments and insults about the disabilities of that person. Such behaviour is disgraceful and humiliating.
Having moved to Crimea through Russia Mr. Phillips has bluntly violated laws of Ukraine regarding the entry procedures into the occupied territories of Ukraine.
In May 2014 he was detained by security forces of Ukraine on the grounds of providing support to pro-Russian terrorists in the Luhansk and Donetsk regions of Ukraine and, following request from the British side, was released in July 2014 and deported from the territory of Ukraine. He has been forbidden to enter Ukraine for three years on the grounds of a threat to the national security.
By violating the existing border regime with the occupied Crimea he brought upon him another qualification of criminal offence under the Ukrainian legislation. It is regrettable to say that if he is found in the territorial jurisdiction of Ukraine he will immediately bear full consequences for his actions as it was in 2014. We will not hesitate to use all available instruments of international cooperation to make him accountable for his words and deeds.
Mr. Philips’s constant and explicit support of the activities of pro-Russian terrorists in the occupied territories of Ukraine and the demonstrated impunity has caused recently a wide resonance in the Ukrainian society and media and resulted in the petition of Ukrainian and British citizens to the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom to investigate and prosecute Mr. Philips to the full extent of the UK laws for his reported terrorist ties and unlawful activities in Ukraine.
Ukraine has full respect for a risky work of independent war journalists in Ukraine who broadcast truth on the ground, but we will never tolerate any pseudo journalist who undermines our national security, openly declares racial discrimination ideas and hatred, expresses support for terrorist methods and makes provocations with the only aim to spread violence.
In this connection I would like to ask the British side to take all possible measures including with regard to his travel documents to stop Mr. Phillips’s propaganda work for the Russian occupation authorities in Ukraine and for him to leave our country for good. Given that Mr. Philips is proud to identify himself as a UK journalist, his actions are shameful and disgraceful, and make no good for the UK’s image as a strong and consistent supporter of Ukraine in countering Russian aggression. By his action Mr. Philips damages high standards of British journalism.
* On September 22, 2016 this Open Letter was sent to the competent British authorities for their further reaction.
Let’s look past all the hysteria in this dispatch, from a clearly emotional ambassador, 38-year-old Natalia Galibarenko (pictured), all the lies, the obsession with Russia, to what it was. A strident attempt to halt the work of an independent journalist. An attempt to have the passport of a UK citizen, myself, taken by his own country.
It didn’t work. The UK may be deeply mistaken in their policies on Donbass, Crimea, Russia in general, but the UK is at least a serious country. They simply told Ukraine that I hadn’t broken any British laws, and that was that.
In January, I returned home, to the UK, and attended an event organised by the Ukrainian Embassy in London, at Westminster, marking 25 years of diplomatic cooperation between the UK and Ukraine. I raised the question as to whether the event would be mentioning Ukraine’s shelling of civilian areas of Donbass, with mass civilian casualties and fatalities.
I was ejected from the event for asking this question. The Ukrainian Embassy then went on to write (another) long letter to the FCO complaining about me:
This came into my possession when journalist, Max Clarke, doing a documentary on me, contacted them. They added a lengthy email to this, and I understand they regularly send out emails to anyone who’ll read them, about myself. As the above letter, they are now rather desperately urging, with their now trademark hysteria, for anyone just to do anything to stop me.
So, we’ve established one core component in the workflow of the Ukrainian Embassy in London – a steady stream of letters to stop the work of a journalist they don’t like. When I recently asked them for an interview, to discuss the murder of Barry Pring, their response came in the form of a threat, suggesting I go for an “interview” at the special services office in Kiev:
But, of course, this isn’t all they do. The Ukrainian Embassy in London send out a constant torrent of tweets about all the bad stuff they allege Russia has done, blaming Russia for all their problems.
And that’s just a selection from the last couple of days, as it really does go on, and on, and on….. Clearly, Ukraine’s Embassy in London, for the UK, are far too engaged in harassing a journalist, and relentlessly trolling Russia, to give dealing with a serious diplomatic issue, such as the Barry Pring case, anything more than a cursory moment.
And by the way, to show you these tweets, I had to log out of my own Twitter account as, that’s right, after their campaign against me, the Ukrainian Embassy in the UK have now indeed blocked me on Twitter.
So, the Ukrainian Embassy in London pumps out endless pro-Ukraine propaganda, attacks any who challenge that, and when all that fails, blocks them. Let’s see how that works out for them.