The New Gonzo Journalism

By Graham Phillips

Working in Donbass, I had the chance to see traditional  journalism in action. Or rather, far away from the action, calling me to ask what the action was.

I used to try to help Daniel Sandford of the BBC, as here, on the phone, from Slavyansk –

However, I soon realised, it made no difference. Daniel already had his news, sitting rewriting press releases with much of the other western press pack in an air-conditioned hotel bar.

Old-school journalism clearly wasn’t the answer in covering the Donbass situation, it was the opposition. The nature of the conflict there, events flaring up everywhere, entirely unpredictably, technology, a multi-platform media making it possible for a citizen to turn into a citizen journalist at the upload of a clip to YouTube. Blogs often quicker, sharper than established news portals.

For journalists, it presented true opportunity to adapt, embrace the demands of covering the highly volatile situation in Donbass using new techniques. Best suited, an adaptation of Hunter S. Thompson’s famous Gonzo journalism, invented in the 70s.

Gonzo1As for the original Gonzo (pictured here) – defined as journalism  ‘without claims of objectivity, often including the reporter as part of the story via a first-person narrative…. an energetic first-person participatory writing style in which the author is a protagonist, and it draws its power from a combination of both social critique and self-satire’.

To make Gonzo suitable for mass media, of course the correspondent needs to be objective. Yet the journalist getting right involved in the mix was something we saw in Donass, although sadly from very few western correspondents. Instead, its exponents were Russian journalists. Here, Semen Pegov of Life News, noted for always throwing himself into the hottest spots, getting totally involved in the action –

More on Gonzo –

Gonzo journalism involves an approach to accuracy through the reporting of personal experiences and emotions, as compared to traditional journalism, which favors a detached style and relies on facts or quotations that can be verified by third parties.

Clearly, this method needs to be adapted to be compatible with the standards of broadcast media. The ‘New Gonzo’ can invest personal experiences and emotions into reporting, but it also needs to show facts, speak to people at the scene. This, my own piece, recorded for the Zvezda news channel, with Debaltsevo – sharing of emotion, personal experience, but also facts, interviews from the scene –

More on the original Gonzo –

Gonzo journalism disregards the strictly edited product favored by newspaper media and strives for a more personal approach; the personality of a piece is as important as the event the piece is on. Use of sarcasm, humor, exaggeration, and profanity is common.

Twitter has given metier to this form of Gonzo, sarcasm, joking generally tools of any modern journalist, not just the ‘New Gonzo’ exponents. Which shows just how much the original Gonzo precepts have influenced conventional journalism.

As for what marks out a true ‘New Gonzo’ journalist, coming next…. The ‘New Gonzo’ is here –

Join the Facebook group here!

Миссия Невыполнима? – Обновление из Алексея Мозговой

Алексей Мозговой в очередной раз выступил с инициативой встречи с представителями ВСУ по согласованию разграничительной линии и определению допустимого поведения представителей воюющих сторон с учетом подписанных Минских соглашений.

Посредником в организации встречи и переговоров выступили представители миссии ОБСЕ.

В последний момент представители украинской стороны от встречи отказались… Алексей Мозговой продемонстрировал международным наблюдателям ситуацию на позициях, занимаемых его бойцами, и попросил аналогичной открытости от противоположной стороны.

5 Существенных Отличий Шотландского Референдума от Крымского

Официальный Твиттер Соединенного Королевства подает информацию об Украине так, как будто это пишет тринадцатилетний проукраинский радикал. Недавно вещали это-

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Все очень удобные для ретвита. Но, к сожалению, полная чушь – ни один из авторов не был даже поблизости от Крыма во время проведения референдума там. Я тогда там был, и вот 5 существенных отличий –

1. Шотландский референдум не проводился после насильственной революции (Евромайдан – фото ниже), в результате которой к власти пришло крайне правое правительство, нацеленное прежде всего на разрушение культуры и истории страны (от сноса исторических памятников до вывода Черноморского Флота).

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2. Евромайдан свергнул президента и правительство, демократически избранных в том числе и крымчанами, которые решительно не поддерживали Евромайдан. Почему их заставляли принять террористический переворот? (Еще фото Евромайдана)

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3. Въезд в Крым был беспрепятственным для всех, кто хотел наблюдать за проведением референдума. Я въехал на автомобиле без номерных знаков и без какой-либо журналистской аккредитации.

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4. Притеснения или угрозы направлялись в адрес тех, кто хотел поддержать Россию, вопреки указаниям не делать этого. Несколько крымских татар сообщили мне, что их предупредили о том, что их дома сожгут дотла, если они проголосуют за Россию. Некоторые татары даже попытались утащить избирательные урны-участки не охранялись, но им помешали местные жители. Однако некоторые татары открыто поддерживали Россию.

5. Никаких солдат, и никакого оружия ни на одном из избирательных участков не было. Люди голосовали свободно, а результат голосования отразил пожелания подавляющего большинства жителей Крыма.

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Спасибо Света за помощь русского языка

My 10 Pieces of Advice on Being a Journalist

By Graham Phillips

1. Studying journalism is good, but not essential – a proper journalism course unquestionably gives you a grounding in journalistic protocol. It will save you a few rookie errors you’d otherwise make, take out obvious pitfalls. Experience in the field is unquestionably the best teacher, at times it can be a tough one, but let it teach you all the time. From how to get a better response from witnesses, to being tardy to a press conference and still finding a top vantage point.

For those who haven’t done a journalism course, even those who have, a fresh approach which comes of not being limited by strictures is an exciting thing. Don’t be bound by conventions, Geneva or other, have strong ethics, but be unorthodox if that gets the best work.

Twitter2. Twitter – it’s how you are judged by your fellow journalists, employers, potential employers, your audience – your number of Twitter followers. Either as a student, or starting out, cultivate it, understand it, work it. Your career is right there in your Twitter followers.

3. Not just Twitter – Facebook, too allows you to communicate with your audience on a different level. Be accessible, when people know you, they approach you with stories, give them every chance to do this, make yourself as accessible as possible. And don’t forget offline, getting out, speaking, meeting, developing relationships with people is still king.

4. Learn to love your trolls – but don’t tell them that (ok, I just told them). I put out an announcement that I’d taken part in City University’s Question Time today, put on by the journalism department. I knew there’d be some troll comeback from this, there duly, swiftly was –

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And this is mild, I couldn’t even begin to count the threats, death threats I’ve had before even starting on the abuse. I’m on 34.5k Twitter followers now, daily interactions are in the thousands – trolling ranging from professional insult to personal maligning – ‘leukemia boy‘, ‘baldy’ well represented in there.  I’ve had, have, several accounts set up specifically to troll me.

I don’t tell them this, but I like it. It’s a sign that my work is hitting home. Real journalism should expose truths that many badly want concealed. They will take to Twitter to attack you for telling them. Learn to love your trolls, it means you are doing right. Also, if you do make a typo or so, they’ll tell you, perhaps not in the nicest way, but still useful –

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5. Don’t limit yourself – in the past decade, traditional patterns of journalistic employment have drastically altered. That idea of working for a local paper, building your career there, moving up through the ranks, it’s gone the way of faxing in copy.

Modern journalism is multi-platform, multi-employer. You can work for any channel in the world, you can work for yourself, work with every channel, agency in the world. You can do photo, articles, photos – it’s the most exciting time ever for journalism, it can all be yours.

SimonOstrovsky6. Don’t expect too much of people you’ve seen on the tv – they seemed so nice when you were watching their reports on tv, now you’re introduced to them at a press conference … and it isn’t so. I remember watching Simon Ostrovsky‘s dispatches, thinking of him as a cool, friendly, down-to-earth dude. I met him in person in Lugansk last April, he’s one of the most arrogant people I’ve encountered in my life. Aloof, pompous, stuffed with self-importance.

Daniel Sandford of the BBC, such a nice presence on screen, fairly nice in person too, but such a snipey, bitchy man on Twitter.

7. Always get to the place you are reporting from – there is no authority like being where the event itself is. TV companies will often have you in the town something is happening, but hamstrung to a hotel, tied to satellite link-up. Speak with them, emphasise the importance of your being on the scene, one hourly ‘live’ from a pavement would be much better missed if you can get to the scene, do a ‘live’ if possible, if not ‘as live’ from there.

8. Report what you film there, and accept a hard truth – that if you don’t have it on camera, you can get yourself into problems reporting it. I reported last year that Ukrainian soldiers had shot at me, but made a textbook error in not having captured it on camera, leaving myself wide open for a flailing. It was true, but I shouldn’t have reported it. It was a rookie error, hard at the time, turned out to be one of the most useful experiences in my career. After that, I never again reported what wasn’t on camera.

If you are quoting witnesses, be sure you’ve got them on camera saying that, if you don’t, a gaping opportunity for your opponents to say you ‘made it up‘.

9. Be aware of the tactics your opponents will deploy, don’t be phased – given my position, working for Russian media, seen as being ‘pro-Russian’, I was described as a ‘propagandist’ from early on. A simple tactic to discredit your work. Don’t be scared of it. Filming 1000 people saying they are pro-Russia isn’t Russian propaganda, it’s reporting.

Graham tanksWhen I filmed one ‘pro-Ukrainian’, my opponents seized on it for the next tactic, that you ‘cocked up’, ‘inadvertently’ ‘showed that which helps the pro-Ukraine side’. When I filmed tanks by Debaltsevo, again I’d supposedly ‘cocked up’, exposed ‘Russian tanks’. It was news to me, if you always film exactly what’s there, it’s impossible to ‘cock up’.

Of course, no proof at all these were ‘Russian tanks’. Don’t expect your opposition will apply the same professional standards that you do.

Covering the Donbass conflict as a correspondent, it was impossible not to be polarised on one side. And your opponents love nothing more than making hay on your supposedly showing that which aids the other side. Your supporters meanwhile may even question for you that.

Take it all in your stride. People may put you on one side, but the only side you should be on is that of showing all that’s there, and to 10.

10. Tell the truth, show the truth – the old maxim about the ‘camera never lying’ – it doesn’t need to lie, but it can easily show only part of the story. I watched James Mates of ITV march alongside a peaceful Ukrainian march headed by violent extremists, in Donetsk. His camera chose not to show any of the extremists, describe the entire march as ‘peaceful’.

What Mates showed –

What he didn’t –

Your intention as a journalist, in fact what you live for, should always be showing the whole story, the whole truth.

Bonus – 

Never give up. If you’re a good journalist, doing work to expose truths, those for whom the truth is an enemy will do whatever they can to stop you – abuse, threats, I’ve even had a harassment letter served against me by the chief suspect in a murder investigation – something then thrown back in abuse.

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Don’t let any of that stop you, or even discourage you. On the opposite, embrace it, let it make you a stronger, better journalist. You may get actual awards as a journalist, you will surely also get kind words, but the attacks of people afraid of your work, doing what they can to stop the truth getting out, is its own form of award.

How I Felt When Max Seddon Buzzfed Me (and the ‘Tripwire’)

By Graham Phillips

A little less than 10 months ago, I came out of Ukrainian captivity, and among all the other things waiting for me, was the article written on me for Buzzfeed, by Max Seddon – How A British Blogger Became An Unlikely Star Of The Ukraine Conflict — And Russia Today

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10 months on, it still gets brought up somewhat more than from time to time. However, this is the first time I’ve told the story behind it…

I’d been following Max on Twitter since Euromaidan, had even done a bit of reading up on him, Buzzfeed’s first foreign correspondent, from the US, a former Oxford student. My journey to Donetsk to begin reporting with RT had been with a friend of Max’s, David Patrikarakos, with whom I’d chatted about Max, even been present at phone calls to.

I had the distinct feeling, it must be said, that Max didn’t like me, that being he knew who I was by this stage, but didn’t follow back on Twitter (how you measure these things). This feeling was confirmed when we met at the hotel journalists were staying at in Slavyansk, and Max more or less cold-shouldered.

Fullscreen capture 20032015 013734.bmpI had a good idea why too. I knew Max was good friends with Kyiv Post, at that time, journalist Chris Miller. I had, it must be said, gone for Chris during the time of Euromaidan, incensed by his support of something I saw as leading to catastrophe.

At the time, let’s be clear, I was pretty much a no one in terms of status, under 100 Twitter followers (how you measure these things). I’d had only negative experiences of, with Chris, back in Kiev as we worked for ‘rival’ publications – myself for What’s On, his for the Kyiv Post, but now, I watched on from Odessa, where I was living, at him making it big off the back of something I saw as entirely wrong. More, I saw Chris, and others, fuelling it along with coverage designed to foment rather than report.

The lack of voice I had against Chris at that time manifest in such voice as I had being as loud as I could, I took to ‘trolling’ Chris, writing blogs against his actions, his support of Euromaidan, what I took as egotism, preening, blatant careerism. I followed Max’s articles at this time too, not agreeing with much of what he wrote, but never getting into any Twitter contretemps.

I met Chris Miller in person in Kramatorsk in early May 2014, an offline encounter as acrid as online, albeit one which ended in my proposing to Chris that we bury the hatchet, something agreed to only with mutual bitterness,  a clear enmity cutting through all exchanges.

So, when Max followed, then started writing to me on Twitter in April, I expected the very worst. I was working for RT at that time, hit jobs on RT employees were already stock-in-trade for the western press, despite its ‘trendy’ stylings, in terms of Ukraine coverage, Buzzfeed, founded in 2006, had fairly faithfully towed the conventional western party line – support of Maidan, anti Crimean referendum, anti Donbass uprising, very much anti-RT.

Added this to whatever personal rancour Max held towards me, emanating from wherever else, surely in part from my own spats with his friend Miller, and I was Fullscreen capture 20032015 014902.bmppleased when Max seemed to lose interest in the article after our first messages mid-April. But then, early May, suddenly Max was back on it, big time. Messages, request for phone number followed by immediate phone call, entreaty to accompany me on an assignment.

That didn’t happen in the end, but in early May, we spoke for at least a couple of hours on the phone.  I knew Max had also been speaking to friends and acquaintances of mine at that time. I decided to be completely open with Max, lay it all out to him, and in goodfaith, hope for the best. I like to be as open as possible in any given situation, and in Max, I had an intelligent, attentive audience as I laid out everything from my early years right up to the events of that day.

We then spoke again in mid-May, after one of the hardest days of my journalistic career, May 16th. The day I shot a video from Kramatorsk airfield, titled it as ‘Ukrainian
Soldier Shoots at Me
‘, only for what felt like the entire world to tell me I’d stood on a tripwire. Most hurtful at that time, along with Interpreter Magazine, a pro-Ukraine propaganda outlet, going for my blood, trying to get me fired, was Fullscreen capture 20032015 015630.bmpmy own channel, RT, actually changing their article to match the story I stood on a tripwire.

My actually standing on a tripwire to cause the effect in that video is impossible. I was shooting with an 18-135mm lens, pointing towards the ground, which starts picking up only a couple of metres in front of me. What landed, a signal flare, landed in front of me, less than a metre, making smoke visible to the camera. More, no tripwire was visible in the video, there was none there. I never claimed the flare was the shot. But none of that seemed to matter at the time.

My claim that Ukrainian soldiers shot at me was based on a simple thing – that’s exactly what I’d seen. There were two soldiers ahead of me, when they saw me, and I identified myself, one picked up his gun, pointed in my direction, the other went behind a wall. Next I knew, I’d heard a shot crack, and a flare go up by my feet.

The night I spoke to Max, in the aftermath of that, was the toughest of my career. I stuck by my story of having been shot at, under immense online onslaught of attack from the pro-Ukraine side who already took me as an enemy at that time due to my RT work. But no one from my side came to bat for me, no one came to support me. Max was himself actually the most supportive of all, by listening, letting me tell my story.

Looking back on that day, as tough as it was, it was the best, the hardest lesson of my journalistic career. Since then, I’ve never reported anything I haven’t actually captured on camera, never had a similar situation. As a rookie correspondent, there was a key lesson to learn – you don’t say you were shot at, you let other people watch your video and say that. Hard as it may be, if you didn’t capture it on film, then reporting it puts yourself right in the firing line, so to speak.

Fullscreen capture 20032015 020040.bmpOn the day, I just remember feeling incredibly bruised, abandoned. And I spoke to Max that night, the next, in that vein, opened my soul to him. I knew it would be in the article, I knew that however nice he was being, Max wouldn’t take my side on this, actually of course I knew all along at some level the entire article was going to be a ‘hatchet job’, it was just a case of how much hatchet Max would wield.

The Interpreter Magazine liked the ‘tripwire’ story so much they ran, along with numerous tweets, not just 1, but 2 stories, delighting in pronouncing my downfall. Actually I remember being shocked at the time at just how many people came for my blood, and how few really stood up for me. I was new as a correspondent, had been working in Donbass for RT for just a month, and in the equation of many it seemed easier to throw me under the bus than get my back. Everyone it seemed wanted me just to ‘admit’ the tripwire, but I wouldn’t, and didn’t.

The whole situation, I confess, got my back up. The best weapon your opposite number can have against you, the most damaging for you as a journalist, is to make you a figure of ridicule. And more, I’d been flying high at that point, this to my opponents was my big comeuppance, my crashing comedown. To fight back from that, as a correspondent, was I knew going to be tough. But, I was fired by anger. Anger that my ‘opposition’ wanted to bury me, indignation that my those on my side would let them. I made the decision to carry on, push on to new levels, knowing that everything I tweeted at that time would come back with a tripwire reference, a #tripwire event. It duly did.

The next day, I was in the trenches, got the strongest footage I’d done yet, warfare, live fire. Then, it was to Mariupol to continue my investigation into Fullscreen capture 20032015 025934.bmpevents of the recent tragedy on May 9th. Leaving here on May 20th, the Ukrainian military detained me, keeping me in captivity for 36 hours before freeing me in Kiev, with the demand I leave the country.

I came out to a flood of messages, mostly supportive (and I must say RT really got my back when I was in captivity), interview requests and Max’s article. So, to that article, and starting with the title, I felt it predictably undermining of Max to call me a ‘Blogger’ when I’d told him of my time prior employed as senior magazine journalist in Kiev, working for a tv news channel.

As for this, relating to Mariupol, ‘In Phillips’ version of events, Ukraine’s army was eager to cover up the massacre and so it bypassed morgues and hospitals and hid the bodies in the woods. Relatives of the dead were too terrified of reprisals to claim them missing, he said. Phillips’ interlocutors, whom he described as “well-informed local sources,” provided no evidence for these claims. He has yet to corroborate them. Nonetheless, Phillips soon appeared on Russian television promoting the unverified figure of 100 dead’ – written in the fairly standard Buzzfeed sarcasm, I felt Max was pretty much bandwagon jumping something I’d been given a hard time for – recording a video with a local man who said 100 had been killed on May 9th, a claim I heard from several other sources, but never ‘promoted’, simply reported.

As for the rest, Max’s description of me, my style of journalism etc – micro-celebrity on the streets of Ukraine….. marginal character like Phillips, 35, to become the unlikeliest of stars stringing regularly for RT….. kamikaze nose for danger and vocal support for the rebel cause, wide-eyed delivery and prolificness, seems unaware — either through gleeful disregard or rookie ignorance — of basic journalistic ethics, objectivity, or production values. He acts as if he has no concerns for his own personal safety, running across fields toward Ukrainian army installations, interviewing rebels as bullets fly overhead, and baiting militia manning rebel checkpoints …unconventional approach to journalism…

Well, fair enough, much of that not exactly complimentary, but I can handle criticism, adverse opinion of myself, and actually Max was rather nice in parts. The next part was, I felt, driven by a desire on Max’s part to push an agenda rather than facts – Keen, at 30, to give his life a fresh start and struck by the country’s “different and otherworldly” women, Phillips moved to Kiev the following year, finding work as an English teacher, then, later, on a television network and as a nightlife writer for an English-language entertainment magazine.

WhatsOnI’d mentioned the ‘women’ in a fairly long list of things which had attracted me to Ukraine, far from a standalone. As for being a ‘nightlife writer’, as I’d explained to Max, writing a column on nightlife was a small part of my retinue at What’s On magazine – which also included a weekly column, interviews, reviews, historical, political articles.

Similarly – Entries about prostitutes, students who moonlight as escorts, foreign-bride hunters, and other “sexpats” suggest he enjoyed a second adolescence common among Western expats in Ukraine. – entries on these subjects, of a carnal nature, accounted for less than 10% of content on my former blog, Brit in Ukraine.

As for – By the time mass protests in Kiev against then-President Viktor Yanukovych broke out last December, however, Phillips’ time in Ukraine had, by his own admission, “completely flopped.” He was unemployed. – there is a kernel of truth in that, but it’s a tough way to put it, not how I put it. I was living down in Odessa, not unemployed, employed as an English teacher, a freelance journalist. Yet true to say that my journalism career had ‘flopped’ pretty much, I pitched articles from down there, with little success. But in general life, I was happy, enjoyed my English teaching career, successful, enjoyed studying Russian, travelling the area, the writing of my blog.

When Euromaidan started, I opposed it and watched on as the careers of supportive journalists flew on the back of it. I figured my stance against Euromaidan rendered me pretty much unemployable, but kept on writing articles (‘online diatribes’ as Max calls them), for my blog, on the subject that I felt got across the truth of the situation, from one who had lived in Kiev, from one who knew what was behind Maidan. RT’s offer of me to appear on-air, initially as an interviewee, came completely unexpectedly, and things went from there (my first time on RT here).

As for ‘When pressed on how exactly he developed his political beliefs, Phillips is evasive,’ well, that may be Max’s impression, I felt I was candid, open, expansive with him on every point. Then we come to the inevitable ‘tripwire’, and Max duly didn’t defend me, but didn’t completely put the boot in either, and the sign off  which leaves with myself in captivity. Something Max reported factually, as opposed to The Interpreter, and other pro-Ukraine sources, that I’d somehow ‘staged’ the incident.

In my messages upon release, were messages from Max saying he hoped I was ok, sending me the link to his article. Now, I fairly often get it sent to me as proxy ‘abuse’ by my opponents, those looking to tear a strip off. But, the thing is, for all it is, I don’t mind Max’s article. Actually I respect Max for it, as evinced by the comments there are many who would have liked to see him go much harder Fullscreen capture 20032015 021815.bmpon me. I do believe Max’s instruction was to tear me apart, but while even my staunchest supporter, and I have more, stronger supporters now after my 10 months since covering Donbass, would never call it flattering, Max could have done far worse if he’d wanted.

Max ‘did a number’ on me, but he was fairer than I had expected in doing so. The day a positive article on Buzzfeed appears about an RT correspondent is the day said RT correspondent has ‘quit the channel and spoken out against‘ etc etc. So, Max did what he had to do, but invested some decency into the doing of it.

How do I feel about Max, I think goes back to that hardest night of my career when, in his own way, he was the one who supported me most. I still don’t, can’t, won’t agree with much of his journalism, but as a person, well, I like him. We met in person in November in Donetsk, were on different sides of a press conference, in every sense, Max even in the ‘western press pack’ with Chris Miller, but our own exchanges were pleasant, I felt well-disposed towards him. Certainly, no hard feelings for the piece.

Max made some cultural references in it, so here’s my own, that our dynamic has some similarities to the Robert DeNiro and Al Pacino characters in ‘Heat’. On ‘different sides’, with a job to do that often puts, pits, us against each other. But despite all that should preclude, an underpinning affinity, on a personal level.

In short, I’m cool about the time Max Seddon Buzzfed me, I’d do it all over again.

5 Real Differences Between Scottish and Crimean Referendums

The official UK Ukrainian Twitter feed, which reads as if it’s written by a 13-year-old pro-Ukraine radical, has recently been trumpeting this –

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All very convenient for a retweet. Sadly, complete gubbins – none of them were anywhere near Crimea at the time of the referendum. I was, and here’s the 5 real differences –

1. The Scottish referendum wasn’t held after a violent revolution (Euromaidan – pictured below) had installed a far-right government which had, as its defining aims the destruction of its history culture (from historical monuments to removal of Black Sea Fleet).

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2. Euromaidan deposed an elected president, and government, voted for democratically by the people of Crimea, who emphatically did not support Euromaidan. Why should they have been forced to accept a terrorist coup? (More Euromaidan pictured)

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3. Access to Crimea was free to anyone who wanted to observe the referendum. I entered in a car with no licence plates without any letter of journalistic accreditation.

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4. Any oppression or intimidation came on the side of those who wanted to support Russia, but were not allowed to do so. Several Crimean Tatars expressed to me they had been warned their homes would be burned down if they voted for Russia. Some Tatars even tried to remove ballot boxes, there was no security to stop them, locals stopped them. However, some Tatars openly supported Russia.

5. There were no soldiers or guns at any of the polling stations. People voted freely, the result reflected the wishes of the vast, vast majority of Crimeans.

Моя Жалоба Великобритании на Великобританию

Грэм Филлипс – Это вытекает из – https://thetruthspeaker.co/2015/03/06/velikobritaniya-i-grisha-chast1-2/

После предшествующей переписки между мной и министерством иностранных дел и по делам Содружества Соединенного Королевства, 19 марта я направил в их адрес письмо:

Сара,

Я был весьма удивлен, что после нашей переписки по открытой линии связи, вы не предупредили меня о том, что я буду задержан в Хитроу. Сотрудники полиции, направленные в аэропорт для моего задержания и опроса получили четкую инструкцию составит на меня полное досье, что заняло 4 часа, все это время моя мама была вынуждена ждать меня в аэропорту, кроме того вследствие этого события график моей поездки был нарушен и сорвались другие мероприятия.

Я не буду необоснованно жаловаться на полицейских, поскольку они действительно были вежливы со мной. Задание, которое они получили, включало в себя обвинение меня в том, что у меня “промыты мозги”, что я “русский шпион”, что я «поддерживаю террористов» и так далее. Все это сущие пустяки, но было бы очень обидно, если бы я воспринял это как всеобъемлющее нарушение прав журналиста и человека.

Для Великобритании это чрезвычайно опасный прецедент, заключающийся в том, что каждый корреспондент, работающий за рубежом и не поддерживающий правительственную точку зрения в отношении происходящих событий, по возвращении в страну будет допрашиваться в мельчайших подробностях и без сомнения будет что называется «взят на карандаш».

Как бы то ни было я не позволю ничему из того, что произошло в аэропорту Хитроу в среду 4 числа изменить мое поведение в той или иной степени. Журналистика – не преступление. Журналистика, которая не поддерживает позицию правительства Великобритании, – не преступление. Когда позиция правительства Великобритании ошибочна, основана на дезинформации, враждебна, как это есть сейчас, такая журналистика просто необходима.

Теперь мы подошли к главной причине того, почему я решил написать. Я был абсолютно потрясен, увидев твиты официального аккаунта посольства Великобритании на Украине – https://twitter.com/UKinUkraine

Бессмысленная циркуляция глупой, я бы даже сказал детской антироссийской пропаганды. Использование поверхностных и ура-патриотических хэштэгов, таких как #CrimeaIsUkraine, ретвиты любой даже самой малозначительной информации с проукраинской позицией – (от 9 марта Шон Уокер) – “Несколько смельчаков пришли, чтобы отпраздновать день рождения украинского поэта Тараса Шевченко в Симферополе – их около 30».

Кто на земле дал им право так позорить нашу страну? Легкомысленный тролль-аккаунт, представляющий Соединенное Королевство – вы это серьезно ?? Какого протокола они придерживаются? Каково отношение правительства Великобритании ко всему этому? Кто несет за это ответственность, и кому они подчиняются?

Во-вторых, я британский корреспондент с огромным опытом освещения конфликта в Донбассе (https://thetruthspeaker.co/2015/03/15/10-moix-foto-c-mest-cobitii-pervim/.). Так почему же никто из правительства Великобритании не связался со мной, чтобы услышать о происходящем что называется «из первых уст», от непосредственного свидетеля событий, вместо этого меня просто допросили в Хитроу, с целью составления досье.

Я открыт к разговору с любым представителем правительства Великобритании, начиная от Дэвида Кэмерона и заканчивая Филипом Хаммондом. Они оба публично несли такую чушь об Украине, что вряд ли их осведомленность об этой стране простирается далее знания о том, что приготовленная определенным способом куриная котлета носит название столицы Украины. И это глупое, неустанно повторяемое как мантра «Путин злодей», «сепаратисты злодействуют» на Донбассе. Я готов говорить и не с такими высокопоставленными членами правительства, если бы была хоть малейшая надежда, что эти беседы дадут пищу для размышлений правящей верхушке.

Мой номер телефона указан, сейчас я в Лондоне и готов встретиться.

Я с нетерпением жду приглашения, надеюсь, что описанные проблемы с Твиттер-аккаунтом Посольства Великобритании уже решены.

С уважением,

Грэм

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Спасибо Света за помощь русского языка!