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!

Neo-Nazi Ukrainian Politician Calls for NATO Bases in Donbass

Andriy Parubiy1Ahead of Ukraine president Poroshenko’s visit to Washington, in which security issues will be discussed, senior Ukrainian politician, chairman of the Ukrainian parliament, Andriy Parubiy (pictured) has written on Twitter, calling for NATO bases there ‘once Ukraine regain control’ of the DPR and LPR, in the republics, as a ‘guarantee for the safety of Ukrainian citizens’.

It’s the most overt statement of intention made yet, on an official level, of how far Ukraine wants to go with NATO.

Andriy Parubiy, by the way, is the co-founder of the Ukrainian neo-Nazi Svoboda party, as I have written here –

https://thetruthspeaker.co/2015/10/20/the-uk-gets-set-to-welcome-ukrainian-neo-nazi-andriy-parubiy/

Report, UK Citizen Chris Garrett: War Criminal

An Austrian man who fought for the Ukraine side in Donbass has been arrested in Poland, for war crimes committed in Donbass. However, a British man, Chris Garrett, has gone for more than 2 years unpunished, for offences just as bad. Here is a brief report, more to come soon. 

Name: Chris Garrett

AKA: Swampy

D.O.B: 1984

From: Isle of Man

Crime: Served with Ukraine’s neo-Nazi Azov battalion, responsible for mass war crimes in Donbass, from October 2014 to April 2015. Is now back serving for Ukraine in Donbass (see below).

Evidence:  His own testimony, in interview. ‘Chris Garrett, a 31-year-old British tree surgeon, knows what it’s like to shoot a man dead.’

Video of Garrett in Donbass: Mariupol after shelling, January 24th, 2015 –

Supporting video: My interview with Ben Stimson, British man arrested in the UK for serving with people’s militia in Donbass, despite never firing a shot in anger there –

Background to Garrett: (from Newsweek, April 2015)

His dream since the age of 12, when he first joined the Army Cadet Force—a voluntary youth organization set up by the British army and Ministry of Defense—was to be a soldier. At 16, he left school and enrolled in Britain’s Army Foundation College, which trains 16- and 17-year-olds to become future soldiers. While at the college, he suffered a serious physical attack, details of which Garrett prefers not to discuss. The assault prompted him to cut short his service and return home. He never achieved his goal of becoming a soldier. On December 29, 2003, Garrett attempted to rob a gas station and was subsequently convicted and imprisoned for 19 months. His criminal record ruined his chances of joining the British army or from getting private security work. An injury that shattered his left heel ruled out the French Foreign Legion—the French army’s legendary force made up of foreign nationals.

In 2008, he made his way to the border of Thailand and Myanmar to join the Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA), a rebel group whose goal is to establish an autonomous state in Myanmar for the ethnic Karen people. Garrett bounced between his home on Britain’s Isle of Man and Myanmar. He assisted with training, rebuilding projects and land mine clearance, but fighting wasn’t an option. Then, in August 2014, a friend in Ukraine, whom he had met online, suggested that he join the battalions there. “When I realized everything in Ukraine had kicked off,” Garrett says, “I thought, I’m in the right mindset; I might as well go.” He didn’t expect to be involved in fighting, but Garrett did think he could help with removing munitions.’

Current location: Believed to be Donbass again, as per this photo posted on April 22nd, on his own Facebook account.


His contact details: https://www.facebook.com/chris.garrett.16503

The Paradox of the OSCE Death in Donbass

Yesterday, shortly after 11am local time, an OSCE member, male, paramedic was killed in the Lugansk People’s Republic, near the small village of Pryshyb, and two injured, as their armoured vehicle went over a landmine. Initial reports that the victim was British, were later found not to be case, two OSCE female members were injured – one German, female, one Czech, male, (both reported as now having been discharged from hospital).

Of course, from the start, attempt to vilify the Lugansk People’s Republic for this, with Ukrainian propaganda publication the Kyiv Post doing that, citing Ukraine’s advisor to Ministry of Internal Affair, Anton Gerashchenko, blaming Russia, Gerashchenko always on hand with a quote about the ‘evils’ of Russia, and the People’s Republics of Donbass – while himself running the Myrotvorets site, arranging bounties to kill ‘separatists’ and on.

However, the OSCE convoy had in fact deviated from main roads,  and gone down sideroads. Why it did this, who knows, but it did, and has resulted in the first death of an OSCE worker since war began in Donbass, over 3 years ago.

The death has brought mass attention from the media, and drawn comment from everyone from US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, to German PM Angela Merkel. Austria’s Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz, pictured, whose country holds the rotating presidency of the 57-nation OSCE, demanded a thorough investigation, adding that those responsible ‘would be held accountable’. All of which is way, way more attention than is ever given to the thousands of civilian deaths in Donbass caused by Ukrainian shelling. 

More, the amount of times I’ve personally witnessed the OSCE either ignore, or actually even cover up for the Ukrainian shelling which has taken the lives of thousands of Donbass civilians now –

But it seems the life of one OSCE worker is an international incident, the lives of thousands of Donbass civilians, seemingly, hardly worth a mention.

On the Russia side, Russia’s Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov, has called for a full, transparent investigation into the incident. Russia has stated it believes the incident to be a ‘provocation’. 

Who did it, will indeed hopefully be ascertained. But that there are Ukrainian terrorists working in the Donetsk, and Lugansk, people’s republics is well known. I even interviewed one here, last September –

In any case, I send my condolences to the family of the victim, this is a sad incident, and one which raises a lot of questions, and throws up a paradox about the value of human life.