A Graham Newsletter (#35) Misinformation, Disinformation, and how to fight all that.

Recent weeks have seen many developments, including the blocking of my YouTube channel, for 2 weeks, for a video from Donbass, from 2014, of which I’ve written about here – https://thetruthspeaker.co/2017/09/07/fighting-censorship-and-the-future-of-my-18-videos/

The actions of YouTube have forced me to remove all 18+ video material – from the war in Donbass, from my YouTube channel – I’ve written about that here, and will be posting the material here.

In removing this material, I removed an archive of over 100 videos, much of it documenting Ukrainian war crimes in Donbass. Millions of views, new views every day. Of course, people need to know this, to see this. I’ll be using this site, the Truth Speaker, where there’s no censor at all, to present these videos in the correct format. This video, result of Ukrainian shelling of Lugansk, August 2014 –

And here, information about, and context of this video – 

https://thetruthspeaker.co/2017/09/09/18-donbass-war-when-ukrainian-shelling-hit-lugansk-august-2014/

Not able to use YouTube, which holds an effective monopoly for videos, means we need to try that bit harder to get the word, the truth, out. Please, share, repost, like, do what you can – we need to be together in this goal, of more people knowing the truth! 

This was the video which started the problems with YouTube, with them removing this, then content featured in the video (already on YouTube for years)

I’ve now taken the necessary steps to bring my account in line with ‘YouTube Community Standards’, but the problem is that the ‘standards’ have changed – a video that was approved by them in 2014, and on the site for years, is now a ‘violation’. That video, my first to pass 2 million views, and rising all the time, one which had a real impact in showing people the realities of war in Donbass

Of course, it can be hard, emotionally, for me to remember these thing. I’ve written about that here. 

Censorship is just one of the issues facing journalists. There are the dangers inherent with the profession, for which some journalists have made the ultimate sacrifice. Here, I’ve written about US journalist Christopher Allen, killed while covering conflict in Sudan –

https://thetruthspeaker.co/2017/09/07/christopher-allen-kia-a-journalist-is-a-journalist/

And Kim Wall, recently killed while reporting on a homemade submarine, off Denmark. 

May they both rest in peace, and be remembered for their work. 

I’ve written about them both here, and about the role of a journalist, to go to where there is either the least information, or the most misinformation – https://thetruthspeaker.co/2017/09/14/the-role-of-a-journalist-to-go-to-where-there-is-the-most-disinformation-or-no-information/

The world has several current key epicentres of mis, and disinformation. North Korea is certainly one of them. I was very pleased to present an exclusive interview, on the Truth Speaker, with the guys who made this indie documentary, The Haircut, well worth a watch:

And the exclusive interview, with Alex and Aleksa – here! 

https://thetruthspeaker.co/2017/09/15/exclusive-interview-with-the-haircut-north-korea-documentary-guys/

As for me, I’ve written here, about moving on from Donbass, but staying with Donbass, when I’ll return there, and more. 

For now, I’m in another of one of the world’s disinformation capitals, Crimea!!

That began with, a simple, but effective, tackling of the constant rhetoric from Ukraine that the beaches in Crimea are ’empty’, ‘everything is bad’ etc... How better to do that, than to let Ukrainians in Crimea themselves, speak for themselves –

Full interviews here! 

And look out for much more reportage to come! Fighting information, and disinformation, on the beaches and on! 

A Lot of ‘pro-Ukraine’ Videos for such a ‘Russian Propagandist’

I’ve recently announced that the next period of my reportage takes me away from Donbass, where I’ve extensively covered for the past, over 3 years. It’s an interesting part of this, that somewhere along the line, some decided that I’m some sort of a ‘Russian propagandist’ –

British Citizen Exposed as a Tool of Russia’s FSB

Pro-Russian propagandist Graham Phillips detained in Riga

Pro-Kremlin journalist Graham Phillips deported from Latvia and blacklisted for three years

Why some people have decided this? Well, I could say ‘I’m not sure’, and all that, but I know perfectly well. Because I didn’t report near universally ‘pro-Ukraine’ news – and in fact the bulk of my reports has always been letting people on the ground talk, and putting that out unedited. 

As it happens, people on the ground simply didn’t say what those in the western, Ukrainian media wanted to hear. To make matters worse, because of this, Ukrainian authorities deported me and banned me from the country, depriving me of the opportunity to, for example, go to Lvov, or Kiev, and find ‘pro-Ukraine’ people there to interview.

As it was, in Donbass, over three years, I only found a very few pro-Ukrainians to interview in Donbass. It’s not that they were there and ‘didn’t want to be interviewed’, etc, it’s that they weren’t there. And why? Well, when Ukrainian military have relentlessly targeted civilian areas of Donbass with shelling, as they did, and do, here, Lugansk, 13th August 2014, result of Ukrainain shelling:

When masses of civilians have been killed, lost relatives, been maimed by Ukrainian shelling … that will quickly eliminate any lingering ‘pro-Ukraine’ sentiment among the populace.

However, when pro-Ukrainians were there to be filmed, I always filmed them. Looking over my videos, I found these, from the end of April 2014, Donetsk, before war began:

If there had been more pro-Ukrainians to film, I’dve filmed them. However, I clearly couldn’t find enough pro-Ukrainians for people not to label me a ‘pro-Russian’. My reportage over 3 years in Donbass entirely reflected the reality of the situation there – the vast majority of people there support their republics, the mood is pro-Russian.

An interview from Donetsk in June of this year: 

The DPR Republic Day, in May: 

People on the war-torn perimeters of Donetsk, December 2015:

Flag Day in the DPR, 2015 –

It could go on, and on, and on… and it doesn’t make me ‘pro-Russian’ for reporting that, it makes me a journalist.

By any measure though, as above, I did indeed record a lot of pro-Ukrainian interviews for such a ‘Russian propagandist’.

18+ Donbass War: When Ukrainian Shelling Hit Lugansk, August 2014

This is a Donbass video I’m no longer able to show on YouTube, but which needs to be shown.

In August of 2014, Ukrainian forces had almost surrounded the city of Lugansk – held at that time, still held by the Lugansk People’s Republic forces. The Ukrainian military’s closest stronghold to the city was Lugansk airport, some 10km from city limits, and from there, they rained shelling down on the city of Lugansk throughout July, and August of 2014.

This shelling, which hit all over the city of Lugansk, caused mass civilian loss of life. Here is an 18+ video, from August 13th, 2014.

Why did they choose to do this? Ukrainian forces knew perfectly well they couldn’t take Lugansk by force. Or, they were unwilling to try. Their intention was to terrorise the people of Lugansk into surrendering. That didn’t happen, but the legacy of their campaign is some horrific stories. Go to Lugansk’s southern cemetery, you’ll find this gravestone:

This was a family of 3, the Knishes. On the 14th of July, they were all packed, and ready to leave Lugansk, to escape the daily shelling of the city by Ukrainian forces. In a cruel twist of fate, shelling hit them just as they were about to leave.

And there’s thousands of other tragic stories of the results of Ukrainian shelling of Lugansk, 2014. I was there, witnessed it with my own eyes. The memories, losses, pain, anger, is there to this day in Lugansk.

As a military operation by Ukraine, it was a complete failure. Fired up by the actions of Ukraine’s forces against their city, Lugansk People’s Republic forces drove Ukrainian forces from Lugansk aiport, and other positions nearby, at the start of September, 2014.

More on that to come, in this series, of facts, from the ground, explaining to you what really happened in Donbass.

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. 

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

Givi, in Words and Video

Wondering why there’s not been more about legendary DRP commander Givi on social media? Well, as informed by several of my friends, anyone mentioning him there was blocked. Facebook ‘freedom of speech’ strikes again.

I’ve written about Givi here. 

And now, here it is, with full English subtitles, my documentary tribute to a great man.

 

‘Russian Tanks’, Euan MacDonald, and the Dutch conman

Graham Phillips

I saw this tweet today, by Kiev-based British ‘journalist’, editor at the Kyiv Post, Euan MacDonald
screenshot-906

euan-macdonaldNow, I generally try to avoid slinging dirt around, but given Euan’s persistent trolling, and open lying, I’ve decided it’s time to shed a little light on him. For in short, Euan MacDonald (pictured here) is quite a bit worse than simply a liar.

As for the ‘Russian T-72B3s’ in this photo. Firstly, where’s the actual proof that that it is that model? For that, you’d need more than a screenshot, however Euan has never bothered to leave his office in Kiev, and come down to do some actual reporting in Donbass. He’s always been ‘too busy’ to do that. 

StefanHujWhat Euan did do, was employ a Dutch conman, Stefan Huijboom, to write a slew of pro-Ukraine articles from Donbass. Relentless anti-DPR / LPR invective was indeed served up by Stefan, running in the Kyiv Post, in 2014 / 2015.

However, in early 2016, Stefan was arrested by Dutch police and is currently serving jail time in the Netherlands for a string of scams, cons, a web of lies, and deceit, stretching back years. I’ve written all about Huijboom here. 

Now it was Euan who employed Stefan, yet what’s Euan had to say about the fact that the Kyiv Post’s main Donbass journalist for over a year, was completely discredited, found to be a fraud, a liar. Euan’s never once apologised for that, never once brought it to his readers’ attention, that they were reading the words of a convicted conman. I’ve asked Euan about it here, here, here, and many more.

screenshot-907So, what is Euan? Well, apart from being blatantly pro-Ukrainian (his Facebook background a Maidan photo), he’s someone totally prepared to cover up a criminal. He was happy to employ a criminal to file articles for him, as long as they were pro-Ukrainian. Euan knew what Huijboom was writing was lies, yet, Euan, as a liar himself, was happy to go along with this.

And now, he’s happy to use a photo of me which doesn’t prove anything in particular, to prop up his latest, and oft-repeated lie on his Twitter, that ‘Russia has invaded Ukraine’ etc. Ok, Euan, fascinating. Now, tell me again about the time you employed, and covered up for, a Dutch conman?