(18+) Bodies of Ukrainian ‘Cyborgs’ Lie on the Ground as Ukrainian Forces Defeated at Donetsk Airport

I had to delete these videos from YouTube a long time ago. Now, in the light of Ukraine having released a film glorifying the ‘cyborgs’, which is what they called the Ukrainian soldiers who held Donetsk airport between late May of 2014, and mid-January of 2015, I republish them here.

This is the reality, Donetsk airport, January 22nd, 2015. Ukrainian forces crushingly defeated by DPR people’s militia forces led by Givi, and Motorola. Mass destruction, the only Ukrainian soldiers still there, in piles of bodies… it’s all here.


I don’t say these videos are pretty etc, but this is the reality, this is as it really was, not as it is in Ukrainian cinemas…

10 of my Firsts in Photos

By Graham Phillips

The pro-Ukraine side threw any number of insults at me in my time in Donbass (they still do), common being ‘Lord Haw Haw‘, or the standard ‘Kremlin propagandist‘ etc etc.

1first10That’s fine for them to say that, people who have achieved nothing in their lives naturally want to deride those who have. Why those on the ‘other side’ hate me is simple, they wish I were on their side.

How do you define ‘best’, in journalism – getting to the scenes first, the work you do once you’re there. The work, I’ll cover later in a video article to come – and I always reported the facts as they were, the firsts – I was the first western journalist (latterly there with Patrick Lancaster), at every major scene in my time in Donbass. Sometimes even the first journalist, or in the first batch.

Without ever wishing to boast, and just to state things as they are, I was the best western journalist in Donbass. My opponents don’t hate me for creating ‘propaganda’, they hate me for being the most effective in debunking their own propaganda. For being the best at getting the truth out.

There are many, for this article – here’s my Top 10 Firsts in Photos – 

1. Lugansk, mid-August 2014, the Ukrainians almost completely encircling the city, access through their lines a military operation. I was there when was just myself and Alexander Lanskov, his cameraman Roma, of Life News. In the month there, almost no western journalists at all for the first three weeks.

first14

first1

fust

fust3

2. I was the first journalist to film, and photograph, Russian humanitarian aid entering Lugansk, on August 22nd.

1humanitarian

3. NAF forces take Georgievka – September 3rd, was the first journalist to cross under the collapsed bridge, formerly a Ukrainian stronghold, over to the town of Georgivka, some 18km from Lugansk.

1bridge

1bridge1

first12

first2

1first3

first10

4. Lutugino, taken in the same early September wave which saw other villages, towns and territory around Lugansk taken, a couple of kilometres further down the road from Georgivka, a former major Ukrainian base, and I was the first journalist there, September 3rd.

first3

first9

first8

first4

first5

5. The taking of Lugansk airport. Life News were in there on September 3rd, but I was the first western journalist in on the 4th, with my colleague Sergei Sherov, and first journalist to go underneath the building, to where the Ukrainian base had been (photos of that here).

1Lugansk 1Lugansk2

1Lugansk4

1Lugansk3

1first8 1first9

1Lugansk5

first7

first6

6. Donetsk Airport – Old Terminal. December 19th, along with Patrick, I was the first western journalist in here, with Novorossiya flags flying, and to get right next to the new terminal, as Ukrainian forces hid from view there, with NAF forces already planning their move to take it.

1first1

1first6 1first5 1first4

7. Donetsk Airport – New Terminal. January 16th 2015, myself and Patrick the first western journalists in here, in fact the only in, along with Life News, Semen Pegov, and the Rossiya channel, Eugene Poddubny, as we went deep into the devastated new terminal. We returned on January 22nd, to every floor of the new terminal, and all over the territory.

1airport 1airport1 1airport2 1airport3 1airport4 1airport5 1airport6

8. Krasniy Partizan – I was the first western journalist, and in the first batch of journalists, including Life News, and the notable Alexander Kots, and Dmitry Stechin, to get into the village of Krasniy Partizan, of key strategic significance, on January 24th 2015, as NAF forces took control of it and the bodies of Ukrainian soldiers were removed –

1first 1first1 1passport 1first3 1first5

9. Chernukhino, February 19th. Patrick and myself, the first western journalists in, as this village near Debaltsevo is taken by NAF forces, with mass abandonment of Ukrainian positions, and military vehicles. Humanitarian aid was handed out to residents, the NAF were in buoyant mood –

1aid 1apc 1mine 1NAF 1NAF1 1NAF2 1tank

10. Debaltsevo, February 19th. With the first group of journalists into this liberated town of global headlines in recent weeks as its taking become a matter of when rather than if. The photo of myself, hands thrust up (photo with journalist Dmitry Kulko of Russian Channel 5), caused no small amount of controversy in the Ukrainian media – it was a genuine reaction of joy to the happiness of the townspeople, my own being first in.

fust1 fust2

1flag

I always was the first western journalist in, did the best work. The pro-Ukraine know it, they hate it.

The Day We Went to the Metro


IMG_5812
Along with journalists Patrick Lancaster, Max Clarke (read Max’s article on Vice about the day here), Valentin Trushnin, Pavel, we headed along on January 18th to Donetsk airport territory. A rumour was going around of Ukrainian troops somewhere on the large territory, which also includes megastore Metro, and a large car showroom just several hundred metres from the new terminal itself.

IMG_5800The story of Donetsk airport terminals old and new is one now oft-told, but every building, every part of the territory has its own story. After Ukrainian forces launched an air attack on the DPR controlled Donetsk airport, on May 26th, then stormed the site, DPR forces were pushed back and withdrew.

Скриншот 08.02.2015 181146.bmpThe next few days saw the airport site fall into chaos, as it was unclear where the territorial lines would be drawn. The raiding of Metro and the adjoining upmarket car showroom were something the Ukrainian press revelled in, with numerous articles on ‘DPR’ looters etc. So lawless were things at that time, 5 bodies were reported found in the Metro. Yet the facts are it was inevitable Metro would have been emptied, either by DPR or by Ukrainian forces, who had expanded their reach on the airport territory to include Metro, the car showroom and up to Putilovsky bridge, crossing into the city limits of Donetsk, by early June.

We were the first journalists to go to Metro and the car showroom for months, here’s how they were.

Car Showroom – 

IMG_5847

IMG_5840

Metro – 

IMG_5862

IMG_5857

Patrick

IMG_5854

Max

IMG_5868

IMG_5874

CNN Better Late Than Never…. Kind of

By Patrick Lancaster

CNN, it’s one thing to arrive way late at the scene (I filmed inside Donetsk airport new terminal on January 16th), “CNN goes inside destroyed Ukrainian airport“, but at least get your facts right.

Pro Ukraine forces have lost control of the Donetsk airport. After many months
Скриншот 03.02.2015 212515.bmpof the airport being the center and symbol of the intense war here in Donbass. The facts are that the Donetsk international airport has not been in normal operation and in fact has been a fierce battle field for over eight months since the 26th of May of last year.

In CNN’s Nick Paton Walsh piece it is reported that flights left Donetsk airport six months ago, and that fighting has only been going on there for six months. This is just not true. Maybe to some two months does not sound like a big deal. Well it is. People have died in this time. These facts will be studied in history books for years to come, and should be respected as such. Maybe if CNN would have given
more attention to this war they would have a better idea of the reality of what is going on here instead of just sending some people to do some war tourism for a couple of days.

The people here in Donetsk deserve the truth of what is happening here to get out to the world, not this –

http://edition.cnn.com/videos/world/2015/02/02/pkg-paton-walsh-ukraine-destroyed-donetsk-airport.cnn

Below you can find many of my reports and videos I have made on Donetsk airport in chronological order.

Follow my Youtube channel and on Twitter for more on Donetsk and how the war affects the people here.

Patrick Lancaster
Twitter @PLnewstoday
https://vk.com/id261193072
https://www.facebook.com/Plnewstoday
https://www.facebook.com/PatrickJohnLancaster
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCbjTWVaRx6jMN5ZYgbqe2_w

Donetsk Airport – October 5th to 9th 2014

Photos by Graham.

New and old terminal, plus tower, all still in control of Ukrainian forces, but under commanders Motorola, Sparta battalion, and Givi, Somali, large territorial gains had taken Novorossiya forces to the building directly adjoining the old terminal, and swathes of territory, including hangars, large areas of runway.

Airport and territory scene of constant battles each day.

1ap 1ap1 1ap2 1ap3 1ap4 1ap5 1ap6 1ap7 1ap8 1ap9 1ap10 1ap11 1ap13 1ap14 1ap15 1ap16

1ap18

1ap17

Observations from 24 Hours at Donetsk Airport (July 2014)

Originally published July 30th on http://worldtowrites.blogspot.com, minor change to title (below)

On July 22nd I was taken into captivity by Ukrainian forces at Donetsk Airport, along with ANNA News journalist Vadym Aksyonov. I spent the next 24 hours there, these are observations from that time…

– Despite Donetsk being in control of the pro-Donetsk/Russia side to a distance of 30km at points, Donetsk’s Sergei Prokofiev airport, just outside the city centre, is certainly held by Ukrainian forces. Information in Donetsk on that had been unclear, with reports differing on who controlled the large site, extensively rebuilt for Euro 2012.

– Which Ukrainian forces hold it is unclear, they wouldn’t identify themselves to me, and the Kiev government later said it was a unit which did not report to them.

– The road leading to the airport, completely dark at night with no lights, is lined with bombed out, burned out cars, blockades and, as a Ukrainian soldier told me later, is mined.

– There’s the rather surreal scene of Donetsk Airport carpark with about half a dozen cars in it, covered with dust, owners unable to collect them since the airport’s closure on June 3rd. It’s where Vadym and myself were detained –

– The mood of the Ukrainian soldiers the day I met them, July 22nd, was bad, with their saying the had sustained heavy casualties the day before, in excess of 12 as I understand. One soldier told me he ‘wanted revenge‘.

– When Vadym and myself had been detained initially, and several more soldiers burst on the scene, Vadym started speaking Russian and they immediately began beating him, as he lay on the ground. I began speaking Russian to them, asking them to stop, my accent immediately drawn attention to as they didn’t beat me, but began an interrogation, even an English lesson of sorts.

– Most of the soldiers spoke Russian, the one in this video, who smelt of alcohol and who had beaten Vadym, told me that I seemed to understand the Ukrainian language, but he was speaking Russian –

– The soldiers have a good idea who is on their side. The soldiers couldn’t understand why I was there, as an English correspondent who came from a country they all told me ‘supported Ukraine’. Even though most of them behaved ok, on some level (they did take my car, possessions and bullet-proof vest) with more extreme ones involved in Vadym’s beating, even among those seemingly more ‘normal’ ones there was a much sharper atmosphere than in my previous captivity. At one point in my makeshift cell I asked a soldier why I was being detained, he pushed me into my chair and shouting in my face ‘because you are a terrorist‘.

– I hardly saw any of the airport interior, as I was kept blindfolded in all the time I was being taken from place to place, yet there was clearly heavy damage there, and it had been effectively transformed into a military base.

– There was no running water in the airport and the toilet I was taken to was absolutely fetid, there was however electricity. The soldiers were accessing the internet, though whether from phones or wifi there is unclear.

– The soldiers seemed to be living mainly on in-flight products. All the bottles of water I was given were in-flight size, and the meal I was given was an in-flight meal.

– I was mainly kept in a cleared-out office room, its windows smashed, boarded up with Donetsk Airport folders and other items of office equipment. The room was next to a Ukraine artillery position and came under fire in the day.

– July 23rd, the day I was there, was calm during the day then fighting broke out early evening. The Ukraine side were firing heavily from their positions, and the pro-Donetsk/Russia side shelling, firing from theirs.

– Whereas 2 months before, the soldiers who captured me referred to ‘separatists’, this time the only description they used was ‘terrorists’.

– The Ukrainian soldiers believed everyone they were fighting against was Russian. They told me many times how all the fighters and equipment had come from Russia, despite my disagreeing with this.

– The Ukrainian soldiers further believe that all Russian news stations are ‘Kremlin propaganda’, and my working for one made me a Kremlin agent, Russian spy. They believe that Ukrainian news channels ‘tell the truth’, as they told me, a view explained to them that I did not share.

– The soldiers were a combination of those from the west, centre and east. To a man, they told me they were ‘patriots’, who believed they were fighting to ‘liberate’ Donetsk from ‘Russian terrorists’, and were uninterested in my different position on that.

– Things had changed since my last time in captivity, whereas the soldiers then were open to talking freely, showing their faces, this time all the soldiers I saw were in balaclavas, or I was blindfold.

– Although the airport is under siege by the pro-Donetsk side, there is a corridor of sorts as they were able to take me out, by armoured military vehicle, under cover of darkness.

– Finally, Donetsk Airport is a place I’d advise any journalist to avoid for now. My channel, RT, told me it was too dangerous to go to, they were right, and it was the closest I came to touching the void. It’s a serious theatre of mounting fatalities, and very hard to imagine when a plane will ever take off from, or land there, again.

Скриншот 28.01.2015 134711.bmp