Donbass, Referendums, and a Truly Horrible Situation

A few words about the complications of filming in Donbass, early 2014. I made hundreds, really hundreds of videos from there, which were seen all over the world, on the news, and more, of people saying they didn’t want Ukraine, wanted a referendum, wanted the Donetsk, Lugansk People’s Republic, and more.

Had a referendum, voted for the DPR, LPR. No one in the west listened, actually they supported Ukraine against them.
Then, in July of 2014, Ukrainian forces took a lot of these towns and cities – Mariupol, Slavyansk, Kramatorsk, and set about a campaign of ‘cleansing’ of separatists. People were beaten, people disappeared.
I removed all the videos I’d made which may have put people still there in a position of danger. But, my videos had already been put everywhere, I wrote to people asking them to remove them. And of course, not only my videos – there were many, many videos made at this time, and most still online.

A video which one month tells the world the truth, the next month can put their life in danger. A really horrible situation.

Here, Slavyansk, April 2014: 

Ukrainian Diversionary Group Attack in the Lugansk People’s Republic, (18+)

The Lugansk People’s Republic report today: 

A diversionary group from the Special Operations Force (SSO) of the Ukrainian military penetrated into the territory of the LPR on June 24 in the area of ​​the T-1303 highway Lugansk-Lisichansk, known as Bakhmutka, and attacked a group of servicemen from one of the logistics support units of the people’s militia. As a result of the incident, two servicemen of the People’s Militia were killed, four captured by the Kiev forces.

 

The investigation conducated  with the involvement of forensic experts and officers of the Prosecutor’s Office revealed a number of details of the capture of servicemen of the People’s Militia of the Lugansk People’s Republic:

– On June 26, the Stakhanov branch of the forensic medical examination carried out a study of the bodies of two dead servicemen. The following bodily injuries were found during the examination of the body of one of the dead LPR soldiers: multiple bruises and abrasions of the head, torso and limbs, fractures of the bones of the facial skeleton, fracture of the left shoulder, three stab wounds to the chest, twelve bullet wounds to the torso and limbs, said forensic expert Dmitry Malovichko.

Upon examination of the body of the second victim, forensic experts also established a series of injuries: bodily injuries in the form of multiple bruises and abrasions of the head, the torso and limbs, fracture of the ribs on both sides, bullet bullet wound to the abdomen and chest, and gunshot bullet wounds in the head region.

“All the injuries are intravital, these men were repeatedly tortured while injuring them,” Malovichko said. Forensic medical expert Denis Mosin noted that the LPR soldiers who were captured by Ukrainian punitive forces were brutally murdered.

Head of the Investigative Department of the Office for Supervision of Compliance with Laws in the Military Sphere of the General Prosecutor’s Office of the Lugansk People’s Republic, counselor of justice Leonid Tkachenko stressed that when taking military servicemen, certain physical methods of influence were applied to them, as evidenced by the situation from the scene and the numerous traces of blood on clothing.

– After the delivery of servicemen to Severodonetsk they were tortured and tortured to give some kind of information that interests the Ukrainian side, – Leonid Tkachenko summarised.

According to the representative of the Prosecutor General’s Office, such actions clearly indicate that the Ukrainian side does not observe the norms of international law, in particular, in the field of human rights. Also, the Ukrainian side grossly violated the rules of warfare, which are established by the rule of International Law.

The above facts will be investigated in the framework of a criminal investigation, initiated by the use of means and methods of warfare prohibited by the international treaties, by representatives of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, volunteer battalions and mercenaries acting on the side of Ukraine, and their armed aggression against the civilian population of the people of the Republic, and on the fact of genocide against the inhabitants of the Lugansk People’s Republic.

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

With no notable war action, or shelling in the Lugansk People’s Republic since the end of last year, the flare-up this week, on Wednesday June 7th, came as a surprise. The Lugansk People’s Republic reported on the 7th, 27 homes damaged, in the LPR frontier settlements of Kirovsk, Zholebok, and Donetsky, with 1 resident injured, a Ukrainian drone shot down.

This is where the action took place, all around 50km North-east of the city of Lugansk. (Note, Ukraine renamed Kirovsk ‘Golubovky’, in 2016). 

Screenshot (2345)

This video, damage to domestic property in the town of Kirovsk, from the LPR press service, on the 7th – 

This was accompanied by reports of Ukrainians mounting an attack on Zholobok, on the morning of the 7th. The LPR reported this attack as repelled, with a figure given today of 11 Ukrainian servicemen killed, 18 wounded. The LPR have reported 3 wounded on their side, and photos were released today of the Red Cross removing a body, identified as a Ukrainian soldier, from a neutral zone.

Red Cross photo
Red Cross photo1
A wounded Ukrainian serviceman, meanwhile, has described the battle as ‘hell’, and an attack from the LPR forces ‘from all sides’.  The LPR have released this video, with coordinates, and details of what took place – 

What’s the reality? Well, both sides have given their own versions of events, and losses. And things got weirder still, when Ukraine accused the LPR of ‘setting it all up’ for my benefit, so I could ‘film it for Russian tv’. Not only do I have nothing to do with Russian tv, but I didn’t even film it, it was so unexpected no journalist did.

As we move into the weekend, things have settled down, and what took place seems clear. Ukraine mounted an attack, accompanied by shelling of civilian areas, it was repellted. Territory is as it was before, figures of losses given by both sides, about both sides, are as ever to be regarded as the information of that side.

My special reportage this weekend, which will have full English subtitles, will focus on the situation in the frontier village of Donetskiy, one of the hotspots of action.


To support my work, click here – https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/next-period-of-reportage-donbass-crimea-more-russia#/

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

Kosovo – Western-Approved Separatism, DPR and LPR – Non-Approved…

It was a week in which the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics both pulled off huge victory days, huge concerts on their republic days, mass crowds, and all without a hitch. Here, the concert in Donetsk for DPR Republic Day –

So, you might have thought that these republics managing that despite both still being on a war footing, with the Donetsk area in particular still under regular Ukrainian shelling, may have managed a word of two of appreciation of their achievements?

Well, of course, not a bit of it. All the western press did was either ignore the celebrations – the largest yet in the republics, formed after Ukraine’s Euromaidan placed an unelected, far-right government in power in 2014 – or go negative, focusing on the military vehicles on display and how that supposedly represented a breach of the Minsk agreement.

It may almost give one the idea that the west, and western media don’t like ‘separatism’. Yet, that’s clearly not the case. In 1999, western governments, here the UK’s Tony Blair, used a civil war in the Kosovo region of Serbia, as an excuse to launch a NATO attack on all Serbia, and create Kosovo as an independent state, for Kosovo Albanians.

The history of Kosovo is long, complicated, bloody, and interpretations differ vastly, However, as a part of Serbia, it has both a deep-rooted and symbolic significance to the country, with Serbian Orthodox monasteries there dating back to the 12th century. As for the civil war, which NATO used as cause to intervene there in 1999, to brutal effect, there were wrongs being committed there by both sides.

Yet, NATO stepped in against the military of a sovereign state, Yugoslavia, at that time, and on the side of the separatist Kosovo Liberation Army, an organisation the USA themselves declared a terrorist organisation, after a series of terrorist attacks, in 1998, noting further “We would be remiss to dismiss allegations that between 30 and 50 percent of the KLA’s money comes from drugs.”

What happened after, is widely known, NATO launched an attack against Serbia which, while it may have started by targeting military objects, soon started targeting civilian areas, to deadly result – over 2000 civilians killed, including 88 children. And Kosovo was created as a state separate from Serbia.

Now, although Kosovo is only a partially-recognised state, 111 of 193 UN members, it’s one the western media actively, enthusiastically endorses. Just have a look at some of the headlines –

Kosovo: what to see in Europe’s newest country – Telegraph

How Kosovo is producing the best female pop stars

Rita Ora’s new music to pay tribute to her native Kosovo – Mirror Online

The Guardian writes promo-articles about Kosovo.

And Rita Ora, UK pop star who was born there, but left when she was one so clearly doesn’t remember it for herself, releases an epic, pumped-up, dream-espousing song in Kosovo’s honour, given mass PR across the western media

So, it’s clear, the west can, and does, support separatism, but only its own separatism. Sadly for the Donetsk and Lugansk people’s republics, still under attack by Ukraine’s west-backed forces, their separatism wasn’t west-endorsed, so no sexy videos, fairytale headlines, just constant shelling by Ukrainian forces, and attacks by western media.

Updates from the DLPR (#8) Leaving and Returning to the LPR, and the difference…

I left the Lugansk People’s Republic a couple of weeks ago, to go to report from the DPR for a period. The LPR I left was at that time, almost entirely quiet, in terms of war. Events were of a more positive nature, this flashmob in Pervomaisk –

And here, Lugansk schoolchildren sing ‘Imagine’ to me!

Returning to Lugansk – with an evacuation taking place from a frontline village, and the reason clear in this video report, huge thanks to Sergey Yermolayev for English subtitles here –

Back in Lugansk, it was immediately thrust into reporting of a different kind, as Ukrainian forces had fired 7 times into villages by the perimeter. I go there to report on it, and ask why the OSCE are there, but don’t seem to be doing anything –

Here’s a look at the frontline, and the distance between sides –

And here, with full English subs, again thanks to Sergey Yermolayev, an exclusive English-language interview from the LPR frontlines –

We go on here, in the LPR for now, with more reportage to come, but let’s hope for a return to the positive, rather than the latest.

Updates from the DLPR (#3) A Visit to a Lugansk ‘Gulag’ (as the BBC said).

A recent BBC article blazed

Human rights activists in eastern Ukraine say they have evidence that slave labour camps reminiscent of Soviet gulags are operating in rebel-controlled areas. A newly published report alleges that 5,000 people in the self-declared Luhansk People’s Republic are held in solitary confinement, beaten, starved or tortured if they refuse to carry out unpaid work

However, the BBC had made a few fundamental ‘mistakes’ here –

  • They’d never once visited the prison in question they wrote so much about
  • They took an interview from a blatantly ‘pro-Ukrainian’ former inmate, and took his word about the terms of his detention as gospel
  • They took the word of a ‘Human Rights Group’ based in Kiev, with clear links to the Kiev government as gospel
  • There’s no evidence, videos, photos, to back up the extremely extreme claims that they make

In my new special reportage from Lugansk, now with full English subtitles, I go to visit the prison the BBC described as a ‘gulag’ here –