New Russian Visa, Leaving the UK, Back to Work, and UK, FYI….

Today, after filling out all the relevant documentation, submitting my application, payment, as each year in recent years, I received my visa for Russia, valid for the next year: 


My concrete plans are to go to Luxembourg, to finish my documentary there, on Belval. And then Russia, to start filming reportage about the World Cup 2018. Those are my only concrete plans at this time.

Just for the record, and I’m sure they regret saying this now, given the ramping up in their support of Ukraine, but in September 2016, the UK Ambassador to Ukraine, Judith Gough, said this: 

“Mr. Phillips did not commit an offense in Great Britain that could be a reason for the British government to make him forbidden to leave the country.”

Nor have I committed any offences since then. 

And on we go to work! It’s a huge year ahead, there’s so much to do, and I’m in the mood to do it!

How the UK Got it So Wrong on Euromaidan, and Ukraine

The UK, under then Prime Minister David Cameron, made their call from the start about whose side they were taking in the Ukraine situation. In March of 2014, then foreign secretary William Hague was lying to the UK parliament about Viktor Yanukovych having been ‘legimitately’ removed from power. He was actually removed by the violent coup which was Euromaidan.

Meanwhile David Cameron was telling parliament, in March of 2014: What has happened to Ukraine is completely indefensible. Its territorial integrity has been violated and the aspirations of its people to chart their own future are being frustrated.

This European Council sent a clear and united message to Russia that its actions are in flagrant breach of international law and will incur consequences. We agreed on a three-phase approach to stand up to this aggression and uphold international law: first, some immediate steps to respond to what Russia has done; secondly, urgent work on a set of measures that will follow if Russia refuses to enter dialogue with the Ukrainian Government; and thirdly, a set of further, far-reaching consequences should Russia take further steps to destabilise the situation in Ukraine.

It continues…

There was never an attempt to take into account the facts of Maidan:

A maximum of 500,000 (and that’s protesters figures, even) gathered on Euromaidan – that’s around 1% of the population of Ukraine.

But actually (and I was on Maidan), those who brought Maidan’s ‘victory’ (Yanukovych fleeing in fear of his life, government legitimately elected in 2012 just swept away) were not the mostly peaceful 500,000, it was the few thousand radicals, far-right, terrorists on Maidan.

So, take your pick: at best the UK supported the ‘right’ of 1% of the population of Ukraine on Maidan, over the 99% not on Maidan.

Or actually, the 0.01% who actually defined Maidan: the far-right, radicals, terrorists…

And Maidan ‘represented’ not the whole of Ukraine, in any way. Those there were almost exclusively from the west and centre of the country. Donbass didn’t take part, and was actually against Maidan, the South similarly.

So the UK chose to support a violent coup, dressed up as a revolution, in a country which had always had an east-west divide. And one which installed a government with an agenda dictated by ultra-nationals from the west, diametrically opposed to the life, history, culture of those in the east, who’d never voted for a Maidan government, and actually no one voted for a Maidan government. There were no elections, they just seized power. (Key figure in Maidan, and now chairman of Ukrainian parliament, founder of Ukrainian neo-Nazi Svoboda party, Andry Parubiy).

The UK chose to support a coup government, a junta, formed after a violent coup. Yet, all we were hearing about in the time in the UK was the BBC and co’s glowing coverage of the ‘revolution of dignity’ on Maidan, etc.

Most people in the UK know yet little about Euromaidan, the BBC, realising word was getting out, belatedly covered their proverbials with a documentary about the Maidan snipers.

Yet the general perception remains in the UK, is that if people know about Euromaidan, they generally subscribe to the narrative that it was a ‘revolution of dignity’, Ukrainians ‘fighting for their freedom’, etc – rather than a small proportion of the population in Kiev, peaceful maybe but supporting a minute proportion of ultra-nationals and radicals who overthrew a democratically-elected government before wanting to impose their own (unelected) agenda, on the east. And expecting that all to be ok.

If there’s an event about Euromaidan in the UK, be sure it will be universally pro-Maidan, that’s the only permitted position (this, the LSE from February of 2017):

Actually the unconditional support of the UK, US, Europe, was one of the fuelling factors in those on Maidan believing they could have it all their way.

And what happened after? Crimea, Donbass, war, mass loss of life due to war, ongoing misery due to war, which goes on to this day. And the UK? The position has remained set in stone = Maidan = Good. So everything against Maidan = bad.

This, despite the masses of evidence that a re-evaluation of Maidan is required. Because if Maidan wasn’t so good, then maybe all that went against it isn’t so bad…. that is a highly dangerous idea the UK is desperate to eliminate while still embryonic. The UK has remained entirely intransigent.

What have we had over the last few years?

Foreign Secretary William Hague taking a relentlessly pro-Ukraine, anti-Russia position.

Ukraine crisis: William Hague warns Russia

William Hague: Russia faces ‘isolation’ over Ukraine – BBC News

Russian actions over Ukraine may create new cold war – William Hague

Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond taking a relentlessly pro-Ukraine, anti-Russia position.

Philip Hammond: Britain not ruling out providing ‘lethal force’ in Ukraine

Philip Hammond: ‘No let-up’ in pressure on Russia over Ukraine

Foreign Secretary denounces Russia’s continued illegal annexation of Crimea

Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson taking a relentlessly pro-Ukraine, anti-Russia position.

UK’s Johnson reassures Ukraine of support after Brexit vote

Boris Johnson demands Russia end its ‘illegal’ annexation of Crimea during a visit to Ukraine

UK will not compromise on sovereignty of Ukraine: Johnson

Ukrinform: Boris Johnson says Britain will continue to provide Ukraine with non-lethal military aid

The position of Prime Minister Theresa May has hardly altered from Cameron’s. Lately, the UK has even been ramping up its support of Ukraine –

United Kingdom Steps Up Support of Ukrainian Army Still Shelling Civilians

A big question must be – why? That’s something I’ll be having a look at in the next Truth Speaker article.