Alexander Khodakovsky on Donbass – No Offence, But Do Not Believe a Word of It

As I went to write this, some on Twitter starting sending me the latest video from Khodakovsky, in which he, represented as a ‘Donbass commander’ claims that Ukraine would have long taken over were it not for ‘100,000 Russian soldiers’.  Add a ‘sigh’ emoji to that, and let’s get on…. 

There’s few things that the western, and Ukrainian of course, media love more than someone on the DPR / LPR side ‘speaking out of turn’. The war’s been 3 years now, and enough former leaders, and prominent figures have left the DLPR for various reasons, gone to Moscow with their various grievances, and been more than happy to sit in studios there and launch missives against the DLPR, notably former DPR commander Rebel commander Alexander Khodakovsky of the Vostok Battalion speaks during an interview with Reuters in Donetsk, eastern UkraineIgor Strelkov. Of course, what they’re actually doing is looking to stick the knife into those who wronged them, the reason they’re not there any longer.

But actually you’d really be hard pressed to find a figure who has given more headlines to western media than Alexander Khodakovsky, (pictured), founder of the Vostok Battalion, and actually still in Donbass himself – have a look –

Ukraine’s Eastern Separatist Leaders Turn on Each Other

Moscow is bankrolling Ukraine rebels: ex-separatist official

Exclusive: Ukraine rebel commander acknowledges fighters had BUK missile

And actually, this is just the tip of the iceberg, in as much as what makes it into maintstream western media. On his VKontake account, Khodakovsky keeps up a stream Rebel commander Alexander Khodakovsky of the so-called Vostok battalion - or eastern battalion - speaks during an interview in Donetskof posts detailing ‘heavy losses’ among DPR fighters, in his words, how ‘everything is terrible’ in the DPR command’, Moscow is controlling everything, and more – much of which makes it into Ukrainian, and Russian opposition media. However, here are 5 simple reasons why, as per the above, you shouldn’t believe any of it – 

1. Khodakovsky, in contrast to how he is conveniently described in the media, does not have any position in the DPR, he is not a ‘commander’ of anything at all, and hasn’t been since his Vostok Battalion were incorporated into the regular DPR army, in the latter stages of 2015.

2. Khodakovsky feuded with Strelkov for control of the DPR in 2014, and wanted to be succeed Borodai as leader of the DPR in October 2014, however Alexander Zakharchenko got the position, and since then Khodakovsky has pursued a campaign against KhodokovskyZakharchenko, and de facto, the DPR he heads.

3. Who is Khodakovsky actually working for? He has close ties with Donetsk billionaire Rinat Akhmetov, from Donetsk and known to be angry at the recent nationalisation of his businesses there, by the DPR.

4. Add to that, that Khodakovsky was once a senior member of Ukraine’s SBU Security Service, and talk lingers of ongoing connections.

Yet, this isn’t a personal attack against Khodakovsky, who I believe I even met some time in 2014, and who was perfectly civil with me. I have no personal issue with him, and I know a lot of men in Donbass who are still loyal to Vostok, and to him. And perhaps 3, and 4 can be explained, perhaps the Donetsk-native really does want the best for the DPR, as he claims, writes what he writes because of the ‘greater good’ etc. Yet, to reason 5, as to why what he writes, and says cannot be taken as anything more than comment, hearsay, or speculation.

5. Khodakovsky never provides any evidence of his claims. It’s all bare words. And they, particularly recently, are all from the same agenda – against the DPR authorities, Khodakovsky 1claiming ‘everything is terrible‘, etc. Khodakovsky makes no effort to correct the common misconception that he’s a ‘commander’ etc, rather he plays up to it. Where he’s writing this from? Seemingly, his home, apprently in Donetsk. And if he can’t, within his own sphere, find enough negative information, he’ll just assume the worst and write it anyway, as even he admits –

“I do not have the information about the losses in the other units, but I can guess that they are considerable too…

So, that’s that. Khodakovsky is a lot of things to a lot of people. But, with due respect to the man, and sad to say even about a man who made so many noises at the start about wanting to do the right thing etc, just do not believe a word he says about Donbass. 

Pro-Ukrainian Attitudes Towards Independent, non pro-Ukraine Journalism (aka Death Wishes / Threats)

Last week, we marked the second anniversary of the murder of journalist Oles Buzina, in Kiev.  Although the culprits are widely known, and known as Ukrainian nationalists, because this is Ukraine, there’s been no attempt to bring them to justice.

Moreover, because of the west’s desire to cover up that which happens in Ukraine and doesn’t suit the ‘Ukraine is good, Russia is bad‘ narrative, there’s been little coverage of the Buzina case in western media.

Ukrainians, pro-Ukrainian can usually be found occupying the moral highground, happy to bask in a world much believing all the above rhetoric about Russia, and Ukraine’s poor, put-upon people, only wanting their own land etc etc (the line endlessly pumped out by their government, and oft-repeated in the media).

But what if it’s really not like that at all? I’m an independent journalist, covering the Ukraine situation for over 3 years. And because I haven’t taken the ‘pro-Ukrainian’ side (I’ve reported facts), I’ve become a ‘hate figure’ for many in Ukraine (and I’m officially banned from there, for life, as I understand.)

I accept that sometimes my work can push some boundaries, but, I never go through them, in general always try to be a decent person. And, yet, it took me just a few minutes to assemble these tweets, and comments, sent to me, in English, by ‘pro-Ukrainians’, as they’d call themselves, thousands even (no exaggeration) more in Russian, Ukrainian, of course. Just 10 here, to get started!

So, let’s have a look and see how pro-Ukrainians respond to a journalist whose work they don’t like: 

           

After anyone is killed, or dies, I will get a swathe of messages from pro-Ukrainians wishing me the same.

So there we have it, pro-Ukrainian attitudes to a journalist they don’t like.

Poroshenko Arrives into London

What must be pretty much the last thing you want if you’re Theresa May? You’ve just announced a snap General Election, you’ve got literally a million things to do. And, there it is – a pre-arranged visit by Ukraine’s often inebriated, always crazy, president, Poroshenko. And you just know he’s not going to say ‘Theresa, you must be up to your neck at the moment another time?’ Petr’s got his invite, he’s coming!

What to expect? Will it be waving Russian passports around, waving bits of a bus around? Accusing Putin of killing the pharaoh (Poroshenko recently claimed Putin used the London terrorist attacks of March 22nd to murder someone on the sly in Kiev, no less).

Well, let’s see. Poroshenko arrives into London tomorrow. 

‘Sex Blogger’ Graham Phillips, and the Urban Environment…

I often read in Ukrainian, western media etc, that I was some sort of a ‘sex blogger’ etc before the Ukraine crisis. Well, I did indeed write about that theme sometimes, and why not? But no less, I wrote about a real interest of mine, urban environments. Especially ones with interesting stories, problems even. 

So, look out for the announcement soon of my next project, on the road in Europe, connected to that theme. 

Arriving in Donetsk, 3 Years Ago Today….

3 years ago today, I was arriving in Donetsk, for ‘one week’s work’, with the channel RT, in a bit of a panic at that time, as they couldn’t get their own correspondents into Donbass, calling me in Odessa, where I lived at the time, simply saying ‘get to Donetsk as soon as you can!!‘. I duly drove all night –

After a couple of days, RT managed to get their own correspondents in, and sent me down to Lugansk to see out the remainder of my contract. Then, on 12th April, I heard early on about something happening in nearby Slavyansk, called RT. The producer who answered first said ‘Where’s that?‘ Then ‘Graham, your contract’s almost up, just stay a couple days more in Lugansk‘. I replied that I was going to Slavyansk with or without them.

And there we have it. 

My UK Reportage: A Wrap-up!

As  prepare to leave – it’s been an enormously busy last 2 months in the UK, working on the edits of documentary projects, dozens of articles here on the Truth Speaker, and video reportage. There will be one more report to come from the UK, part 2 of this special reportage on the recent terrorist attack in London –

To recap, here was January when I visited the UK parliament to ask at a UK/Ukraine event if they would be mentioning Ukrainian shelling civilian areas of Donbass:

The introduction to my documentary about the murder of Barry Pring

My coverage of the anti-Trump protests in London at the start of February – 

A few days later, and I try to go to a Ukrainian event in London –

And here, I succeed in getting into a Ukrainian propaganda event at the LSE! 

The end of February here, and I visit the Ukrainain Embassy in London – 

March, and a look at what Women’s Day means in London!

Then, my day as a DPR tourist in London!

Masses of reportage from the March for Europe on March 25th –

And even a trip to Scotland to bring you the reality there of how people feel about a proposed new referendum!

It’s overall achieved hundreds of thousands of views, on my channel alone, coverage in mass media – and much more! I’m a completely crowdfunded journalist, and none of this would have been possible without your support. To be involved, click here!

Thanks again, and on we go!!

 

Just a Typical Ukrainian Soldier…

In the western media, we often ready about ‘brave’ Ukrainian soldiers, ‘defending their land from Russian invasion‘ etc etc. Yet, I know another side – due to my status as a ‘hate figure’ for some in Ukraine, because of their media’s campaign against me due to my work not matching their own version of events – Ukrainian soldiers not infrequently contact me, often through the ‘Russian Facebook’, Vkontakte.

This happened again just a few days ago, when a man called Ivan Oguta sent me some messages, asking for my phone number to ‘ball me out’ – 

Screenshot (1720)Ivan is a 23-year-old man,  his Vkontakte profile gives his hometown as Brest, as in Belarus, but it’s not definite he’s from there, and in any case he’s clearly serving in the Ukrainian army –

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Text in Ukrainian here, about a soldier’s life – 

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‘One country, one Ukraine’ – written here – 

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Lots of standard-style soldier snaps: 

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And then…

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Ivan clearly likes the ladies:

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And his friends:

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And his friends seem to share his own political views!

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And just in case there were any, any doubt of his affiliations, Ivan has posted these:

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Don’t just take my word for it by the way, click here to see for yourself.  And this is far, far from the first time I’ve written about neo-Nazism in the Ukrainain army, Ivan is far from an exception. And yet, the west just keeps on supporting Ukraine…