A Lot of ‘pro-Ukraine’ Videos for such a ‘Russian Propagandist’

I’ve recently announced that the next period of my reportage takes me away from Donbass, where I’ve extensively covered for the past, over 3 years. It’s an interesting part of this, that somewhere along the line, some decided that I’m some sort of a ‘Russian propagandist’ –

British Citizen Exposed as a Tool of Russia’s FSB

Pro-Russian propagandist Graham Phillips detained in Riga

Pro-Kremlin journalist Graham Phillips deported from Latvia and blacklisted for three years

Why some people have decided this? Well, I could say ‘I’m not sure’, and all that, but I know perfectly well. Because I didn’t report near universally ‘pro-Ukraine’ news – and in fact the bulk of my reports has always been letting people on the ground talk, and putting that out unedited. 

As it happens, people on the ground simply didn’t say what those in the western, Ukrainian media wanted to hear. To make matters worse, because of this, Ukrainian authorities deported me and banned me from the country, depriving me of the opportunity to, for example, go to Lvov, or Kiev, and find ‘pro-Ukraine’ people there to interview.

As it was, in Donbass, over three years, I only found a very few pro-Ukrainians to interview in Donbass. It’s not that they were there and ‘didn’t want to be interviewed’, etc, it’s that they weren’t there. And why? Well, when Ukrainian military have relentlessly targeted civilian areas of Donbass with shelling, as they did, and do, here, Lugansk, 13th August 2014, result of Ukrainain shelling:

When masses of civilians have been killed, lost relatives, been maimed by Ukrainian shelling … that will quickly eliminate any lingering ‘pro-Ukraine’ sentiment among the populace.

However, when pro-Ukrainians were there to be filmed, I always filmed them. Looking over my videos, I found these, from the end of April 2014, Donetsk, before war began:

If there had been more pro-Ukrainians to film, I’dve filmed them. However, I clearly couldn’t find enough pro-Ukrainians for people not to label me a ‘pro-Russian’. My reportage over 3 years in Donbass entirely reflected the reality of the situation there – the vast majority of people there support their republics, the mood is pro-Russian.

An interview from Donetsk in June of this year: 

The DPR Republic Day, in May: 

People on the war-torn perimeters of Donetsk, December 2015:

Flag Day in the DPR, 2015 –

It could go on, and on, and on… and it doesn’t make me ‘pro-Russian’ for reporting that, it makes me a journalist.

By any measure though, as above, I did indeed record a lot of pro-Ukrainian interviews for such a ‘Russian propagandist’.

Moving on From Donbass, And Staying with Donbass

I’ve been open about the fact, that the angle of my reportage for the next period is away from Donbass, and I won’t return to report there until after the World Cup 2018.

For the last few years, most of my work has been from Donbass up to the point where I feel that I’ve done as much as can, for the time being. I’d always planned to do projects connected to Russia in the run up to the World Cup 2018, and it’ll be that way. 
 
As for Donbass, there are excellent journalists reporting from there, in English – Patrick Lancaster of course, there’s Janus, and more – and I’ll do as much as possible to promote their work, and support Donbass in a humanitarian capacity. 
 
On my return to Donbass to report, I don’t plan to return to reportage from the frontlines – if there’s still war there, and of course I hope there won’t be. I’ve done that really a lot of times, had more close shaves than could ever really say. It’s time to call it a day on that, luck only lasts for so long. 
 
And I’ll look forward to my return to my Donbass, reporting from there later in 2018. There’s lots to come before that!

 

Every Day Can’t be Three Years Ago… Remembering the Donbass War in 2014

From early August, I could write a post every day ‘3 years ago’…. 3 years ago it was the Lugansk blockade. August of 2014, Lugansk was surrounded by Ukrainian forces, shelling and death every day.

We would be in the admin building, it would hit, there’d be an order to take shelter. Then, it would abate, you’d run to the scene, but so much shelling, you had to choose where to run. One day, August 20th, 2014, I ran one way, to a church hit by shelling –

– volunteers ran the other way.

We convened after, compared notes. What did you see? My church up in flames. Them, a mother and daughter waiting for humanitarian aid when Ukrainian shelling had hit them. One of the volunteers had to take the wounded mother to safety, one of them get her daughter, and the other pick up her daughter’s leg, which had been blown off.

Marina was 7, she had been put into a coma. I went to see her mother Nataliya in hospital afterwards, and she cried that her daughter, who loved dancing, would never dance again.

But Marina never even emerged from coma, she died the next morning.

There are a lot of these kind of memories. And what happened must never be forgotten. But, as a person, of course, it’s difficult, emotionally, to think about them. I try to strike a balance between going forward, and also, so that these things are not forgotten.
3 years ago, the liberation of a lot of places in the LPR, I then head from Lugansk to Stakhanov, then to Donetsk. Motorola, Givi, Donetsk airport … a lot of adrenalin, but also a lot of shelling, a lot of death.
A lot of things which need to be remembered, but are hard to remember. Every day can’t be 3 years ago

A Graham Newsletter (#32) The UK Ups Support for Ukraine, BBC Come After Me

This is a factual newsletter, lots of info, lets get right to it.

Ben Stimson was recently jailed in the UK for his participation in Donbass. The UK effectively use Ben as the fall guy to send out a statement: they are upping their support for Ukraine:

https://thetruthspeaker.co/2017/07/18/rank-injustice-hypocrisy-in-the-uk-the-case-of-ben-stimson-and-chris-garrett/

Shortly after, the UK update their travel advice for Ukraine, stating: “If you travel to eastern Ukraine to fight, or to assist others engaged in the conflict, your activities may amount to offences against UK terrorism or other legislation and you could be prosecuted on your return to the UK”.

https://thetruthspeaker.co/2017/07/22/update-uk-updates-ukraine-travel-advice/

The UK also announces the other day, that it’s stepping up military support to Ukraine: 

https://thetruthspeaker.co/2017/07/21/united-kingdom-steps-up-support-of-ukrainian-army-still-shelling-civilians/

And, in this time, the UK’s propagada agency, the BBC have come for me: 

https://thetruthspeaker.co/2017/07/22/exclusive-how-the-uk-are-trying-to-stop-my-work-full-story/

What do the BBC want? They want to do an interview with me, where I either state, or they make out that I stated, that I’m ‘returning to Donbass’, having done a hit on me as a ‘Russian propagandist, banned from Ukraine as a threat to national security’, etc.

Public outcry at the repression of a journalist deflected, by the BBC, onto ‘UK authorities stop Russian propagandist’. 

The UK have resorted to this now, because actually last September, UK ambassador Judith Gough stated, despite her opporbrium of my work that I hadn’t committed any offences in the UK, so they couldn’t touch me (although if Ukraine get me, they can do what they like).

Yet, things have clearly changed.  Ben Stimson hadn’t committed any offences in the UK, actually he hadn’t committed any offences anywhere given that he’d never fired a shot in anger, but they still got him.

So, they sent in the BBC to find something new to frame me with, in the light of Ben’s conviction, and precedent set. Would they jail me? Almost certainly no. Would they try to stop me leaving the country? They’d love to. 

By the way, you can read my recent article about Judith Gough, here:

https://thetruthspeaker.co/2017/07/22/uk-ambassador-judith-gough-having-a-gay-time-in-ukraine-while-war-in-donbass-goes-on/

And my recent reportage, from Moscow here:

https://thetruthspeaker.co/2017/07/20/my-visit-to-the-ukrainian-cultural-centre-in-moscow-special-reportage/

And a look at recent Donbass reportage here: 

https://thetruthspeaker.co/2017/07/17/my-recent-donbass-period-25-key-moments/

There’s a lot of reportage to come, but no longer in the UK will I write, or can I write about ‘reportage to come from Donbass, Crimea’. However, I’ll always tell the truth. I’m leaving the UK soon, to finish my documentary from Luxembourg, about Belval. After that, there will be reportage from Russia.

As ever, all my work is 100% supported by individual donations on crowdfunding, and I’m hugely grateful to anyone who helps keep my independent, objective journalism alive:

https://www.paypal.me/grahamwphillips

UK Ambassador Judith Gough: Having a Gay Time in Ukraine, while War in Donbass Goes On

The UK has had a particularly poor record with recent ambassadors to Ukraine. Simon Smith, in position between 2012 and 15, showed little real interest in the position, and his contribution amounted to little more than mouthing along with, and retweeting handed-down rhetoric:

Smith’s farewell tweet in September of 2015 gathered a paltry 25 retweets as he slipped out of position, just as he’d generally slipped under the radar in his weak, prematurely ended tenure –

Smith, who had clearly just been punching his timecard, was replaced by Judith Gough, (Wikipedia): born 1972, educated at the University of Nottingham (BA German and Russian, 1995) and at King’s College London (MA War in Modern World, 2012). She then worked as a Consultant in Emerging Markets and Financial Services at Ernst and Young.

Gough joined the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) in 2001. Gough then served at the British embassy in South KoreaStarting from mid-September 2010 she was Ambassador of the United Kingdom to Republic of Georgia, and served as such till she was released of her post early 2013.

She then became FCO’s Director for Eastern Europe and Central Asia.

In September 2015 Gough was appointed Ambassador of the United Kingdom in Ukraine.

Gough is openly lesbian and raises two children with her partner, Julia Kleiousi.

Gough began her tenure, in September 2015, with a tweet clearly meant to show that a stronger, more forceful player was in town:

And she’s continued in that vein. Endless tweets, retweets (as here) about Crimea, how it’s ‘Ukraine’ and everything there is ‘worsening’ etc etc – despite making no effort herself to ever actually visit Crimea, which she freely could.

Of course, the retweets about Boris Johnson and his parroting of ‘Russian aggression’ – 

Endless tweets about the ‘heroism of Maidan’ –

And Gough loudly trumpets UK and Ukrainian military cooperation, tweeting this out last month –

Gough is indeed very hawkish about UK / Ukraine military cooperation, and the UK’s recent pledge to increase that, tweeting on at every opportunity. 

What Judith doesn’t tweet: 

Anything about Ukraine’s ongoing shelling of civilian areas of Donbass

Anything about the general disorder in Ukraine, actions of the far-right, radicals, and so on. About this recently in Lvov, for example: Vandals Caught On Video Drawing Swastikas On Ukraine Holocaust Memorial

Nothing about that on Judith’s feed. And while the Campaign for the Protection of Journalists was writing criticising Ukraine for the lack of any result in the investigation into the murder of Pavel Sheremet, on July 12th, Judith was tweeting:

Gough, perhaps predictably, tweets lots about reform. Yet, it’s clear that neither ‘reform’ in Ukraine, nor recycling of endless anti-Russian propaganda is what really interests the 44-year-old is a theme closer to home. Judith clearly sees herself, as the UK’s first openly gay international diplomat, as a crusading figure for openly gay people in senior positions, a perception perpetuated by puff pieces such as this March 2016, adoring interview by Buzzfeed.

All of which would be fine, and wonderful, if Judith were doing a good job, which she’s not. At best, she’s just passing on UK propaganda. But worse, her aggressive tweets of stepped up UK military intervention push peace further from the agenda. And more’s the argument that Gough’s sexuality is perhaps not paramount in her position as ambassador to a country locked in ongoing civil war. Yet, since June 1st, Judith has tweeted, retweeted, over 15 times about issues relating to LGBT, but only 3 about Donbass….

Putting her LGBT activism to one side, looking through Gough’s Twitter, it’s clear that she’s fallen victim to the standard ambassadorial pitfall – virtue signalling charity events at the ambassador’s residence, in Kiev, from July 19th –

In fairness to Gough, in June she did actually visit Kramatorsk, Donbass, yet there’s no indication she spoke to anyone there, other than the inevitable NGO’s –

Before publishing this, I had a final look at Gough’s Twitter feed. Her last tweet was 2 days ago, a retweet:

Gough’s homosexuality and accent on that may actually be a blessing, as her focus on LGBT activism at least limits the harm she is doing in her position as UK ambassador to Ukraine.  Yet when history is written, it’s hard to believe that even the LGBT community will review Gough kindly. 

Terrorist Attacks Strike Lugansk Today – Full Details

At 15.30 today, in central Lugansk, Donbass, LPR by one of the main administrative buildings, an explosive device concealed in an urn on the street, outside a shop, went off. It killed a female member of the Lugansk People’s Republic forces, a medic, sitting on a bench on the popular central thoroughfare, and wounded 5, including civilians. Video here

At around 17:00, around 50 metres from the first explosion, another explosion went off, wounding a reported 2 civilians, and causing this damage to cars –

There has been a strong reaponse to this. Head of the LPR, Igor Plotnitsky, issued a statement condemning the ‘terrorist attacks perpetrated near a popular recreation area for civilians of the LPR, and children’. He added that those responsible ‘would be found and punished’.

All large-scale events planned for tomorrow in Lugansk, many to mark the day of the family, have been cancelled.  The LPR advised citizens to stay indoors if possible, avoid congregating in groups, and report anything suspicious immediately.

More details to follow.

A Graham Newsletter (#30) Back in the UK. Ukraine Ambushes. Donbass – English Interviews, Aramis, Miss LPR, New Film, Ukrops…

As I was starting to put this newsletter together the other day, I was reading about how British forces are training Ukrainian forces to fight against Donbass –

https://thetruthspeaker.co/2017/06/25/british-army-helping-ukraine-kill-civilians-in-donbass/

I’ll be back in the UK soon, and looking forward to taking up this theme in reportage. Of course, after a spate of terrorist attacks in the UK, it’s an ‘interesting’ time to be there anyway, and I’ll be bringing you reportage from the UK.

There was shocking news, from the LPR yesterday, which I brought you here on the Truth Speaker –

https://thetruthspeaker.co/2017/06/28/ukrainian-diversionary-group-attack-lpr-18/

It’s been a hugely busy time of late, here in Donbass, and I’ve been trying to do as much reportage in English as possible.  There’s this article, rounding up video reportage, in English, mostly subtitles, with Donbass children, here –

Interviews with Donbass Children –

https://thetruthspeaker.co/2017/06/11/interviews-with-donbass-children-english/

Here,

And here, 2 English-language interviews from Donbass! Donetsk –

Here, from Lugansk, Miss Elegance, of the Miss LPR contest

Here, by the way, all my videos from the recent, quite spectaular Miss LPR, in one place! 

And here, the return of Ronald, the Dutchman in Donbass!

Doing English-language interviews is a fantastic way of getting the truth out of Donbass, in a visceral way, although of course, often not possible.

Here, 3 of my recent spoken-English interviews together, in one place – 

https://thetruthspeaker.co/2017/06/14/3-recent-english-language-interviews-from-donbass/

When not, I add English subtitles to my reportage, as here, this recent special reportage, from the LPR frontier village of Donetskiy –

And here, my recent trip to the LPR frontlines –

https://thetruthspeaker.co/2017/06/22/my-most-recent-trip-to-the-lpr-frontlines-full-videos-english/

I’m also pleased to say English subs are in progress for this special reportage from a Lugansk bread factory, thanks to the work of Vitaly Chernichenko –

https://thetruthspeaker.co/2017/06/22/a-day-in-a-lugansk-peoples-republic-bread-factory/

Vitaly, working as a volunteer, to help bring the truth to an English-speaking audience, has also done subtitles for my film about the tragic story of a young Lugansk journalist, Irina Gurtyak –

https://thetruthspeaker.co/2017/06/14/my-new-film-irina-gurtyak-story-of-a-journalist-working-on-english-subtitles/

And, on English-language theme, the DPR have just released this documentary, with English subs, Children of the War –

https://thetruthspeaker.co/2017/06/29/children-of-the-war-donetsk-peoples-republic-documentary/

In Lugansk, I was very pleased, recently, to see the headstone for Aramis put in place, something entirely possible through your support. Read about that by clicking here, and a massive thanks to those of you involved!

Aramis 34It was also the 3rd anniversary of the tragic deaths of journalists Igor Kornelyuk and Anton Voloshin by Lugansk, and I visited their memorial on the day, here are more details about that. 

I’m working on in Donbass, with lots of reportage coming up, before a short trip back to London to renew my visa.

As for supporting my work, you can do so via my Indiegogo campaign here – 

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

Or Paypal here – https://www.paypal.me/grahamwphillips

And a huge thanks to all of you so far who have supported, who are making it all happen.

I’ve been keeping you up to date on what’s been happening here, on the Truth Speaker –

What Happened in the LPR This Week – ‘Invasion’ Etc…

Photos from Miss Lugansk People’s Republic 2017

Here, about Ukraine’s desire for NATO bases in Donbass –

https://thetruthspeaker.co/2017/06/20/neo-nazi-ukrainian-politician-calls-for-nato-bases-in-donbass/

Investing in the Lugansk People’s Republic –

https://thetruthspeaker.co/2017/06/20/investing-in-the-lugansk-peoples-republic/

Business in the Lugansk People’s Republic –

https://thetruthspeaker.co/2017/06/22/a-day-in-a-lugansk-peoples-republic-bread-factory/

Here, explaining the term ‘Ukrop’ –

https://thetruthspeaker.co/2017/06/11/what-is-a-ukrop/

The main thing perhaps – regular video reportage from Donbass, making sure you know the truth about what’s happening here. See my channel here. It’s a busy time, with a lot happening, and there’a  lot coming up, thanks again all of those who are with me for making it all possible! And on we go!