My New Film: The Final Story of a Young Journalist – Presentation in Lugansk

My new film, with Oleg Somov, as my first feature film, Aramis, is now ready, and the presentation will take place this Saturday, in Lugansk.

It’s a difficult film, and a personal one. But also a challenge, to make something personal into something which has resonance to a wide audience. It’s the story of a young journalist I knew in Lugansk, Irina Gurtyak, who was tragically killed  in a car crash in January of 2016. 

Ira wanted to be a journalist more than anything. To have her young life so full of potential, of dedication to her profession, taken away so cruelly was something I struggled to accept for some time. And then, the decision to make a film about her, and the challenge to make what she wanted come true – that her work would be noticed, that her voice would be heard, that her story would make a difference.

I’ve been hugely grateful for the support of Ira’s family in making this film. And not only, over 10,000 km travelled to make it, over 50 interviews filmed, 8 months of work, it’s been a huge project.

Now, the presentation of the film will take place in Lugansk, this Saturday at 15:00, at the Rus cinema. Entrance is free, all are welcome. 

There will only be one presentation, this is a film about a young lady who I’d only just met, but who gave me a huge amount of inspiration, and her life, her hometown, Lugansk, war in Lugansk, and tragedy. It’s a hard film, but one I put my heart, and soul into, to make Ira’s final story the one she deserved, one to be true to her, to make a difference to the world.

The film will then be released on my YouTube channel, and I’ll be adding English subtitles.

Trailer here –

A Graham Newsletter #29 – Serbia, Back in Donbass, and More

I’ve written a lot here on the Truth Speaker about my recent, fascinating trip to Serbia. I’ve not even released most of the reportage filmed there, as it was a documentary project about NATO’s campaign there in 1999.

However, I’m working on that now, with journalists Katerina and Dmitry Lane, and looking forward to releasing it soon. This will be the first documentary series of its kind looking at what is still a ‘war’ about which so many details are still unknown to a western audience.

It’s a very exciting project, with the potential to really bring a lot of new information to the world, and re-evalaute how that entire situation is viewed. And the way that the NATO 1999 situation is generally perceived, has sadly perpetuated many such situations since…

Speaking of conflict, and war, but not only that…

I’ve been back in Donbass for around 3 weeks now, and it’s been a hugely eventful time, have a look over that here –

https://thetruthspeaker.co/2017/05/30/10-key-pieces-of-reportage-since-my-return-to-donbass/

In my reportage in Donbass, I always aim to show the real, and full picture. That means going to places like the DPR frontier village of Kominternovo, to capture Ukrainian shelling as it hit –

It also means covering events like this, a youth football tournament in Donetsk – 

This school graduation in Lugansk – 

And it means covering everything exactly as it is, showing you the facts, as they are. 

And when there’s fake news, which there often is, taking issue with that –

https://thetruthspeaker.co/2017/05/30/more-western-fake-tank-news/

It’s really great to be back in Donbass, I’m really in the mood to do a lot here, at this hugely important time. So, be sure you are following me for updates from the ground, be sure I’m always very happy to hear from you, and always so grateful for your support – that’s what makes everything possible! 

More Western Fake Tank News

The phrase ‘fake news’ is one, but so much in the genre has been done on tanks in Donbass, it really deserves its own category, as per the above – and here below –
https://thetruthspeaker.co/2017/03/14/russian-tanks-in-ukraine-tony-blairs-weapons-of-mass-destruction-for-our-times/

https://thetruthspeaker.co/2017/02/11/are-there-russian-tanks-in-ukraine-the-definitive-answer/

So it was, the other day I went to the frontier village of Kominternovo, the edge of DPR territory, near Ukrainian forces. And there, I filmed a lot of reportage, including Ukrainian forces shelling a civilian area. Yet, all this western journalist could focus on was the tank I’d been photographed by, and how that ‘unwittingly documented a DPR Minsk violation’. 

The fact is that this is, or was, a Ukrainain tank destroyed in fighting in 2015. Something MacDonald, editor of the Kyiv Post no less, could have easily ascertained by writing to me. I’d even written about that myself in a subsequent post. 

But, he didn’t do that, went ahead, and published fake news. Why he did that, why anyone does that, I can’t exactly fathom. In being a journalist, surely you should want people to know more about the world, not less. In any case, I replied by sending these photos, clearly showing the tank in question.

This is far from the first time Euan has faked news, even tank news. But, this truly was a fake too far, and even he backed down –

Tanks a lot, indeed…

10 Key Pieces of Reportage Since my Return to Donbass

I’ve been back in Donbass for near 3 weeks now, here’s a look at 10 key pieces of reportage in that time.

1. A look at the difference in treatment of 2 British men who served for different sides in Donbass – 

2. A trip to the LPR frontlines to see what Victory Day means for the fighters there – full English

3. Full filming of Victory Day in Lugansk, here, the start of that event!

Here – a look at the ‘Immortal Regiment’ in Lugansk on Victory Day!

4. Republic Day in the Donetsk People’s Republic, which saw a turnout of some 60,000, but again, wasn’t covered by any western media! Here, a look at how it was –

5. Here on the Truth Speaker, I tackled the claims of Alexander Khodokovsky, a constant source of misinformation from Donbass.

6. And here, a debunking of more lies about Donbass from the Ukraine side – 

7. Here, covering the conflict, as civilians again came under fire from Ukrainian forces, with a woman wounded, here in Kominternovo – 

8. Here, a look at Lugansk, School 60, as the final bell of school sounded for sixth formers there – 

9. And, it was a return to Kominternovo, to spend a day there in that DPR frontier town, to see how exactly it is. See here, for full video reportage –

https://thetruthspeaker.co/2017/05/30/video-reportage-from-frontier-village-of-kominternovo/

10. And here, a revealing interview about the OSCE, with a Kominternovo woman –

All of this, and much much more, and it’s all been possible thanks to your support! To be involved in my new crowdfunding campaign, click here –

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/next-period-of-reportage-donbass-crimea-more-russia/x/12236308#/

To make an ongoing donation to my work, click here – 

https://www.paypal.me/grahamwphillips

Video Reportage from DPR Frontier Village of Kominternovo

Over the weekend, I went to the village of Kominternovo, on the frontier of the Donetsk People’s Republic territory, with Ukrainian forces at the nearby Mariupol, and around –

This, leaving Donetsk to go there – 

The journey there – 

This, an evening in Kominternovo – 

The start of the night there – 

Night, and the village comes under Ukrainian shelling – 

Night, and morning in Kominternovo – 

This, a night in Kominternovo – 

An interview with a local man, in the morning, who describes what happened – 

And, I describe the situation as it is – 

And there will be more reportage to come, from the DPR frontier village.