Boris Burns His (Garden) Bridges while Crimea makes the Most

Apart from the rest, what have we come to know about former London Mayor, current Foreign Secretary, Boris Johnson, in recent times. Well, firstly, Boris’ profound loathing of Russian Crimea, something he takes every opportunity to vent, and vent.

And secondly, Boris’ love of bridges. Just a couple of months ago, Boris was declaring how he would like to build a bridge across the UK channel, to France, all 22 miles of it. That met with some discussion at the time.

But then, it turns out that Boris had been hiding from us just how deep his love of bridges goes. You see this week we learned that Boris, while Mayor of London, wanted so much to build a bridge crossing the Thames, between Temple and South Bank, that he poured over £40 million of taxpayers’ money into it. With not so much as a beam to show for it. Or rather not so much as a potted plant, perhaps, because Boris wanted to build a bridge … with a garden on it.

Perhaps like yourself, I’d never even seen a ‘Garden Bridge’ as a concept before, and after seeing the pictures, can clearly understand why. Gardens and bridges have distinct, and separate roles, something many could have surely explained to Boris for considerably less than £40 million of public money…

We learned all this with Boris called into a hearing as to where it all went wrong for that bridge, which will never be built. With his bridge, among other, credibility now in tatters, the ‘Boris Bridge’ over the channel will now surely stay as a bridge pipe-dream, albeit a far less expensive one than the Garden Bridge.

Meanwhile, in Crimea, president Putin has announced their epic, 19km bridge will open on budget, and around half a year earlier than had been projected, not December, but in the next few months. Think of all the tips Boris could have got from there, on his beloved subject, had he not, indeed, burned his bridges…

Crimea Bridge: A Real Exclusive, and more to come!!

As a journalist, of course, there are few bigger thrills than a real exclusive.

So recently, I was delighted to present you with an absolute exclusive from the Crimea Bridge, as the first western journalist there since the arches were installed!

Here, my special reportage on the bridge longer than Europe’s longest bridge – 

And here, a look at the bridge in more detail, with some surprising aspects to the mega-construction –

Some extras, here, a preview – 

Exclusive 360-degree footage –

There will be another exclusive report to come from the Crimea Bridge. And remember that all my journalism is 100% independent, crowdfunded. To be a part of making it happen, click here. 

How the Western Press Got, and Get, it So, So Wrong on Crimea (A Brief Guide)

Where to begin? Well, where they began, with the BBC blasting in March 2014 –

Why is Crimea so dangerous?

Here’s a couple of my videos from Simferopol in March of 2014, where it was less dangerous, and more just friendly, and optimistic.

And the famous, ‘little green men’, of which we’ve read so much about in western press – here, of the time, March 2014 – 

“Little green men” or “Russian invaders”?BBC

Selfskies from the frontline: People of the Crimea pose up with the masked Russian invaders – Daily Mail

The Mail headline even by western press standards a mis-step, given that even the Telegraph of the time was writing (while rather amusingly referring to the city of Sevastopol as ‘Sebastopol’ throughout) – Ukraine crisis: ‘Polite people’ leading the silent invasion of the Crimea

Patrolling the streets with the leisurely but deliberate pace of British police constables on the beat, the men with machine guns in Ukraine appear to be there to show their presence − not to fight.

And in case you’re thinking the author of that, Roland Oliphant may have been partisan or something, his subsequent work shows all the standard western media memes on Crimea in place – from March of 2014 –

March 2014 – Ukraine crisis: On Crimea’s new border the Russian Army waits

Ukraine crisis: This is the de-facto annexation of Crimea

Since 2014, there has been a deliberate, and repeated conflation in western media of the ‘little green men’, and ‘self-defence forces’, with the aim being to make out that Crimea was ‘taken’ by ‘Russian forces’, and there was no such thing as ‘self-defence forces’.

The Daily Beast, from 2017 even –


Putin’s Hidden Insurgency Tore Up Ukraine. Now It’s Coming for Your Inbox.

(Pictured, standard western portrayal of ‘little green men’ – here, BBC). 

Putin claimed ‘little green men’ in Crimea were pro-Russian locals. They were actually Russian forces laying groundwork for invasion—a playbook that’s taking over American media.

However, those of us who were here, know the difference. There were ‘little green men’, and this my GIF here, Crimea, March 2014 – 

They were clearly regular Russian troops, and with their black sea base, Russia was allowed to have 25,000 troops on Crimea. It was never a secret that these guys had been mobilised, so it’s a surprise when the west makes out it’s all surprised they’re Russian – Simon Ostrovsky of Vice, a key exponent of this. 

Yet, a couple of key points here. There were also local self-defence forces, clearly local, clearly not regular Russian military – my video here –

Both groups were perfectly approachable, filmable. And neither of them in any way played any kind of role in ‘forcing people to vote’ in 2014, as the west has led you to believe.

Ukraine crisis: David Cameron attacks Crimea vote ‘under barrel of a Kalashnikov

Britain warns Putin after ‘Kalashnikov referendum’ in Crimea

And on…

The subject of Crimean Tatars and the western press is so voluminous as to warrent its own entry, which will be. This touches on it, the Telegraph, October 2014 – 

Despair and euphoria in Crimea six months after Russian annexationDispatch: Tatars face campaign of repression after opposing annexation, while ethnic Russians rejoice at joining motherland

Other favourite themes in the western press are that building a bridge from one part of Russia to another is some sort of sinister and ominous act:

Two years after annexation, Putin seeks to bind Crimea by bridge to Russia – Reuters, 2015

Focus on the cost of the bridge, linking Russia’s mainland and Crimea:

Russia spends ‘fortune’ on bridge to Crimea –BBC, 2017

Predictions of doom –


Why Kerch May Prove a Bridge Too Far for Russia – Moscow Times, 2016

And the metaphors do go on, and on. 

A favourite new meme of the media is that someone things ‘aren’t going to plan’ with Crimea, it’s ‘not working out for Russia’, etc.

The Annexation of Crimea isn’t going as Planned – Foreign Policy, 2017 – in which there is a beyond tenuous linking of the trial of a Crimean Tatar extremist, and Crimea itself. A real stretch.

Lily Hyde: The annexation of Crimea isn’t going as planned

Another favourite, that Crimea is somehow, ‘hard to access’, is also a theme, see the BBC here, from 2017.

Do a search for flights to Crimea, from anywhere, on any search engine, see for yourself how many hundreds there are…

That Crimea is somehow ‘dangerous’, also a favourite Crimea-meme – even the UK’s official travel advice warns against visiting to Crimea and that ‘tensions remain high’…

Here we have leading New Zealand travel website – in 2017 – telling us that active war is going in Crimea,

Fighting between Ukrainian armed forces and Russian-backed armed separatists is common in both the eastern and southeastern regions of the Ukraine, more specifically, the regions of Donetsk oblast, Luhansk oblast, and Crimea. Civilians continue to get caught up in the fighting.

No kind of war ever took place in Crimea as it rejoined Russia in 2014. I’m in Crimea just now, and don’t take my word for how calm Crimea is just now – listen to some Ukrainains here:

However, one thing’s for sure, the information war wages around, and on Crimea, and the west have chosen their weapon – lies.