Donbass, Referendums, and a Truly Horrible Situation

A few words about the complications of filming in Donbass, early 2014. I made hundreds, really hundreds of videos from there, which were seen all over the world, on the news, and more, of people saying they didn’t want Ukraine, wanted a referendum, wanted the Donetsk, Lugansk People’s Republic, and more.

Had a referendum, voted for the DPR, LPR. No one in the west listened, actually they supported Ukraine against them.
Then, in July of 2014, Ukrainian forces took a lot of these towns and cities – Mariupol, Slavyansk, Kramatorsk, and set about a campaign of ‘cleansing’ of separatists. People were beaten, people disappeared.
I removed all the videos I’d made which may have put people still there in a position of danger. But, my videos had already been put everywhere, I wrote to people asking them to remove them. And of course, not only my videos – there were many, many videos made at this time, and most still online.

A video which one month tells the world the truth, the next month can put their life in danger. A really horrible situation.

Here, Slavyansk, April 2014: 

A Headstone for Aramis

Last year, some of you may recall, I ran a campaign to raise funds for a headstone for the hero of my film, Aramis

Campaign here https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/a-grave-fit-for-a-hero/x/12236308#/

I’m very happy to say that the monument was put in place here in Lugansk this Saturday, and as you can see, it means a huge deal to his family – parents, brother, daughter and wife – who now serves in the militia – here.

A massive thanks to all of you who made this possible!

Aramis 1Aramis 2Aramis 3Aramis 4Aramis 5Aramis 6Aramis 7Aramis 8Aramis 9Aramis 10Aramis 11Aramis 12Aramis 14Aramis 15Aramis 16Aramis 17Aramis 19Aramis 20Aramis 21Aramis 23Aramis 24Aramis 25Aramis 29Aramis 30Aramis 33Aramis 34

What Happened in the LPR This Week – ‘Invasion’ Etc…

With no notable war action, or shelling in the Lugansk People’s Republic since the end of last year, the flare-up this week, on Wednesday June 7th, came as a surprise. The Lugansk People’s Republic reported on the 7th, 27 homes damaged, in the LPR frontier settlements of Kirovsk, Zholebok, and Donetsky, with 1 resident injured, a Ukrainian drone shot down.

This is where the action took place, all around 50km North-east of the city of Lugansk. (Note, Ukraine renamed Kirovsk ‘Golubovky’, in 2016). 

Screenshot (2345)

This video, damage to domestic property in the town of Kirovsk, from the LPR press service, on the 7th – 

This was accompanied by reports of Ukrainians mounting an attack on Zholobok, on the morning of the 7th. The LPR reported this attack as repelled, with a figure given today of 11 Ukrainian servicemen killed, 18 wounded. The LPR have reported 3 wounded on their side, and photos were released today of the Red Cross removing a body, identified as a Ukrainian soldier, from a neutral zone.

Red Cross photo
Red Cross photo1
A wounded Ukrainian serviceman, meanwhile, has described the battle as ‘hell’, and an attack from the LPR forces ‘from all sides’.  The LPR have released this video, with coordinates, and details of what took place – 

What’s the reality? Well, both sides have given their own versions of events, and losses. And things got weirder still, when Ukraine accused the LPR of ‘setting it all up’ for my benefit, so I could ‘film it for Russian tv’. Not only do I have nothing to do with Russian tv, but I didn’t even film it, it was so unexpected no journalist did.

As we move into the weekend, things have settled down, and what took place seems clear. Ukraine mounted an attack, accompanied by shelling of civilian areas, it was repellted. Territory is as it was before, figures of losses given by both sides, about both sides, are as ever to be regarded as the information of that side.

My special reportage this weekend, which will have full English subtitles, will focus on the situation in the frontier village of Donetskiy, one of the hotspots of action.


To support my work, click here – https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/next-period-of-reportage-donbass-crimea-more-russia#/

Or here – https://www.paypal.me/grahamwphillips

10 Key Pieces of Reportage Since my Return to Donbass

I’ve been back in Donbass for near 3 weeks now, here’s a look at 10 key pieces of reportage in that time.

1. A look at the difference in treatment of 2 British men who served for different sides in Donbass – 

2. A trip to the LPR frontlines to see what Victory Day means for the fighters there – full English

3. Full filming of Victory Day in Lugansk, here, the start of that event!

Here – a look at the ‘Immortal Regiment’ in Lugansk on Victory Day!

4. Republic Day in the Donetsk People’s Republic, which saw a turnout of some 60,000, but again, wasn’t covered by any western media! Here, a look at how it was –

5. Here on the Truth Speaker, I tackled the claims of Alexander Khodokovsky, a constant source of misinformation from Donbass.

6. And here, a debunking of more lies about Donbass from the Ukraine side – 

7. Here, covering the conflict, as civilians again came under fire from Ukrainian forces, with a woman wounded, here in Kominternovo – 

8. Here, a look at Lugansk, School 60, as the final bell of school sounded for sixth formers there – 

9. And, it was a return to Kominternovo, to spend a day there in that DPR frontier town, to see how exactly it is. See here, for full video reportage –

https://thetruthspeaker.co/2017/05/30/video-reportage-from-frontier-village-of-kominternovo/

10. And here, a revealing interview about the OSCE, with a Kominternovo woman –

All of this, and much much more, and it’s all been possible thanks to your support! To be involved in my new crowdfunding campaign, click here –

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/next-period-of-reportage-donbass-crimea-more-russia/x/12236308#/

To make an ongoing donation to my work, click here – 

https://www.paypal.me/grahamwphillips

Kosovo – Western-Approved Separatism, DPR and LPR – Non-Approved…

It was a week in which the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics both pulled off huge victory days, huge concerts on their republic days, mass crowds, and all without a hitch. Here, the concert in Donetsk for DPR Republic Day –

So, you might have thought that these republics managing that despite both still being on a war footing, with the Donetsk area in particular still under regular Ukrainian shelling, may have managed a word of two of appreciation of their achievements?

Well, of course, not a bit of it. All the western press did was either ignore the celebrations – the largest yet in the republics, formed after Ukraine’s Euromaidan placed an unelected, far-right government in power in 2014 – or go negative, focusing on the military vehicles on display and how that supposedly represented a breach of the Minsk agreement.

It may almost give one the idea that the west, and western media don’t like ‘separatism’. Yet, that’s clearly not the case. In 1999, western governments, here the UK’s Tony Blair, used a civil war in the Kosovo region of Serbia, as an excuse to launch a NATO attack on all Serbia, and create Kosovo as an independent state, for Kosovo Albanians.

The history of Kosovo is long, complicated, bloody, and interpretations differ vastly, However, as a part of Serbia, it has both a deep-rooted and symbolic significance to the country, with Serbian Orthodox monasteries there dating back to the 12th century. As for the civil war, which NATO used as cause to intervene there in 1999, to brutal effect, there were wrongs being committed there by both sides.

Yet, NATO stepped in against the military of a sovereign state, Yugoslavia, at that time, and on the side of the separatist Kosovo Liberation Army, an organisation the USA themselves declared a terrorist organisation, after a series of terrorist attacks, in 1998, noting further “We would be remiss to dismiss allegations that between 30 and 50 percent of the KLA’s money comes from drugs.”

What happened after, is widely known, NATO launched an attack against Serbia which, while it may have started by targeting military objects, soon started targeting civilian areas, to deadly result – over 2000 civilians killed, including 88 children. And Kosovo was created as a state separate from Serbia.

Now, although Kosovo is only a partially-recognised state, 111 of 193 UN members, it’s one the western media actively, enthusiastically endorses. Just have a look at some of the headlines –

Kosovo: what to see in Europe’s newest country – Telegraph

How Kosovo is producing the best female pop stars

Rita Ora’s new music to pay tribute to her native Kosovo – Mirror Online

The Guardian writes promo-articles about Kosovo.

And Rita Ora, UK pop star who was born there, but left when she was one so clearly doesn’t remember it for herself, releases an epic, pumped-up, dream-espousing song in Kosovo’s honour, given mass PR across the western media

So, it’s clear, the west can, and does, support separatism, but only its own separatism. Sadly for the Donetsk and Lugansk people’s republics, still under attack by Ukraine’s west-backed forces, their separatism wasn’t west-endorsed, so no sexy videos, fairytale headlines, just constant shelling by Ukrainian forces, and attacks by western media.