In my new, upcoming special reportage, I’ll be having a look at a BBC propaganda piece about Artek, the largest children’s centre in the world, in Crimea –
And how this compares with reality! I’ve already covered Artek here –
We did a distribution of humanitarian aid yesterday donated by people all over Russia, all over the DPR. A kind lady, Dasha (and I’ll mention here the help of Sean Taylor) got involved, so it got quite big scale, electrical appliances, wood, and more and went to places most in need – from Novoazovsk to Yasinovataya, to centres educating, caring for, and inspiring children here in Donbass.
I’m in the DPR for a few days, doing some more humanitarian work, then another working trip to Crimea. Sad to report that in the DPR, shelling goes on, in fact even as we were leaving Yasinvataya, early evening, it started, and by all accounts went on through the night. A young man was killed by Ukrainian shelling of Donetsk yesterday.
On a more positive note, thanks all those who made big-scale help to places for kids in the DPR today possible! I don’t collect financial donations for this, as sadly that simply leaves one open to allegations which, although they may be entirely untrue, are something I could do without, to focus fully on my work.
However, if you have items to donate, let me know, and I’ll think what we can do.
As a journalist, of course, there are few bigger thrills than a real exclusive.
So recently, I was delighted to present you with an absolute exclusive from the Crimea Bridge, as the first western journalist there since the arches were installed!
Here, my special reportage on the bridge longer than Europe’s longest bridge –
And here, a look at the bridge in more detail, with some surprising aspects to the mega-construction –
Some extras, here, a preview –
Exclusive 360-degree footage –
There will be another exclusive report to come from the Crimea Bridge. And remember that all my journalism is 100% independent, crowdfunded. To be a part of making it happen, click here.
Just a few hours ago, I read an article on the liberal Boston.com website, basically trying to ply pressure on YouTube to do something about RT’s popularity on the site. I was interested to see myself in this context, as supposedly some sort of YouTube hotshot RT had brought in to boost their presence on the platform.
Actually when I began with RT I was right at the start of doing videos, and in many of my early videos from 2014, there was an all-over-the-shop quality due to my trying to do videos, photos all at the same time.
Anway, it does also note my channel has more than 60 million views, and actually that would have been more still had I not had to remove all my 18+ content recently.
Anyway, more than 60 million it is, and I’m happy to say that also includes, as of yesterday, my first video outside of Donbass, to gain more than a million views! Here it is, Germany, August 2016 –
Crimea is of course, noted for its conferences, among them those which have shaped the world we live in today. In any case, not to be so grand, but I’m very
happy to have accepted an invite to the upcoming conference in Yalta, Crimea in the Modern International Context, to be held on November the 6th, and 7th, in Yalta.
The conference has invited journalists, politicians, academics, and more from all over the world, for plenaries, sessions, discussions about Crimea in the modern context, the Crimean referendum, and more.
I’m really looking forward to being there, taking part in it, and bringing you reportage from it. Let’s see who comes, and how it goes! Eyes down for Yalta!
Last week, the southern Russian city of Sochi hosted the World Festival of Youth and Students, with 25,000+ participants (a new record), and some 5000 volunteers, from 180 countries across the world taking part, in this epic event.
The regional part of the youth festival ran from October 14th to 17th, in 15 Russian regions, during which delegations visited 15 cities where participants took part in wide-ranging discussion, cultural and sports programs.
President Putin was there, speaking English even, there were concerts, mass events, and more. All in all, it seems to have been an epic event. I was sorry not to be able to cover it myself, but, committed to Crimea, and finishing my film, it just wasn’t possible. I was more sorry upon learning that seemingly not one other western correspondent had made the perfectly accessible journey to Sochi – a 2 and a bit hour flight from Moscow.
And we all know there is a veritable mass of western correspondents in Moscow. Because they all, for want of a better expression, crawl out from under their stone whenever opposition figure Alexei Navalny (maximum of 10% in the ratings, btw, despite the 100% positive western media coverage) so much as blows his nose. His gatherings typically have about 100 attendees, and 100 western correspondents covering them.
Yet Sochi, seemingly, with little prospect of finding anything negative to report there, the masses of Moscow-based western correspondents clearly didn’t deem it worth the plane fare. I can only apologise again myself for not going, if I’d really thought that not one western correspondent would go to cover this, I’dve had to go. But, live and learn, in this case not to expect even the minimum of the western press in covering Russia.
When Euromaidan kicked off almost exactly 4 years ago in Ukraine’s capital of Kiev, you could hardly move for western correspondents there covering it, telling us all about the heroic protesters wishing to overthrow the awful regime of Yanukovych and his government (both, democratically elected, btw) –
What happened next? Maidan and the west got their way, Yanukovych and his government were booted out, the west’s people were installed. What happened after that? Well, going on 4 years of chaos, inflation, unemployment, in Ukraine, and war in Donbass, of course. All of which the west have been a bit shy in telling you about, given it’s their guys at the wheel….
All of this has contributed to 80% of Ukrainians now being against president Poroshenko, again, something the western press are strangely reticent to report on. Actually, there’s a long list of things the west would rather you didn’t know about their new Ukraine. Such as this, on October 14th, that open neo-Nazis now brazenly march through Kiev in their thousands –
And that shortly after that, the new Maidan kicked off in Kiev, spearheaded by former Georgian president (now wanted on high-level charges there), recently of a disastrous reign as governor of Odessa, even more recently, September, simply barging over the Ukrainian border. Since that September border-barge, Saakashvili has been on a trouble-making tour of Ukraine, as he attempts to topple incumbent president Poroshenko.
All of which has left the western press in a bit of dilemma. Who to support – the western installed uber pro-west Poroshenko, or the darling of the west, wanting-to-be-western-installed Saakashvili, who has even gone to far as to be sleeping in the tents on the new Maidan. All of which would surely be screaming for sympathetic western media coverage. Yet, Saakashvili is going up against their man. So he’s out of luck. No fawning western coverage this time, no glorious new Maidan for him. Almost no western press coverage at all.
This has left Saakashvili rather pathetically pleading with the Ukrainian people to protect him against Poroshenko’s apparent wish to deport him back to Georgia. Meanwhile, Ukrainian ultra-nationalists storming and attempting to occupy a court in Kiev similarly find themselves out of luck – the west only supported that in Ukraine in 2013, guys. Now, the west supports Poroshenko, who seemingly entirely without irony, or memory, is attempting to deport the tent-dwelling Saakashvili for his attempt in an ‘illegal overthrow of government’.
Post-Euromaidan Ukraine is certainly never boring. Not so much a car crash, as a neverending demolition derby.