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’.

Moving on From Donbass, And Staying with Donbass

I’ve been open about the fact, that the angle of my reportage for the next period is away from Donbass, and I won’t return to report there until after the World Cup 2018.

For the last few years, most of my work has been from Donbass up to the point where I feel that I’ve done as much as can, for the time being. I’d always planned to do projects connected to Russia in the run up to the World Cup 2018, and it’ll be that way. 
 
As for Donbass, there are excellent journalists reporting from there, in English – Patrick Lancaster of course, there’s Janus, and more – and I’ll do as much as possible to promote their work, and support Donbass in a humanitarian capacity. 
 
On my return to Donbass to report, I don’t plan to return to reportage from the frontlines – if there’s still war there, and of course I hope there won’t be. I’ve done that really a lot of times, had more close shaves than could ever really say. It’s time to call it a day on that, luck only lasts for so long. 
 
And I’ll look forward to my return to my Donbass, reporting from there later in 2018. There’s lots to come before that!

 

Every Day Can’t be Three Years Ago… Remembering the Donbass War in 2014

From early August, I could write a post every day ‘3 years ago’…. 3 years ago it was the Lugansk blockade. August of 2014, Lugansk was surrounded by Ukrainian forces, shelling and death every day.

We would be in the admin building, it would hit, there’d be an order to take shelter. Then, it would abate, you’d run to the scene, but so much shelling, you had to choose where to run. One day, August 20th, 2014, I ran one way, to a church hit by shelling –

– volunteers ran the other way.

We convened after, compared notes. What did you see? My church up in flames. Them, a mother and daughter waiting for humanitarian aid when Ukrainian shelling had hit them. One of the volunteers had to take the wounded mother to safety, one of them get her daughter, and the other pick up her daughter’s leg, which had been blown off.

Marina was 7, she had been put into a coma. I went to see her mother Nataliya in hospital afterwards, and she cried that her daughter, who loved dancing, would never dance again.

But Marina never even emerged from coma, she died the next morning.

There are a lot of these kind of memories. And what happened must never be forgotten. But, as a person, of course, it’s difficult, emotionally, to think about them. I try to strike a balance between going forward, and also, so that these things are not forgotten.
3 years ago, the liberation of a lot of places in the LPR, I then head from Lugansk to Stakhanov, then to Donetsk. Motorola, Givi, Donetsk airport … a lot of adrenalin, but also a lot of shelling, a lot of death.
A lot of things which need to be remembered, but are hard to remember. Every day can’t be 3 years ago

Just How Silly is the Ukrainian Government? Name a Place…

Just how silly is the Ukrainian government? Well, with the country mired – miring Poroshenkoitself – in ongoing war with Donbass, and stricken economy beset by high-level corruption, and looting, you would think they would be engaging all of their efforts to tackle these, and the many more problems (healthcare, plunging population, etc…) afflicting the country.

But yet … in the midst of all of this, Ukraine has somehow found the time to, seemingly randomly, rename places in the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics. Republics which will clearly never return to Ukraine, as even most Ukrainians now accept. 

Here’s look at just a few: 

Torez, DPR – renamed to Chistyakovo.

where 1Krasnodon, LPR – renamed to Sorokino

Sverdlovsk, LPR – renamed to Dolzhansky

Kirovskoe, DPR renamed to Krestnaya

Stakhanov, LPR renamed to Kadievka.

And this list goes on, to 150 places renamed in the Donetsk, and Lugansk people’s republics – and Crimea. 

So, let’s make some points here – 

Absolutely no one who actually lives in these places calls them by their ‘Ukrainian names’.

Although lists were circulated, the renaming has hardly caught the public imagination, even in Ukraine, where the former names are still mainly. This Ukrainian ‘ATO’ resource, recently referring to Stakhanov, among other ‘Ukraine-renamed’ places, in a war dispatch.

However, some Ukrainians do use the Ukrainian names. So, fighting a war against places you’ve renamed yourself, some on the same side call them this, some call them the other … no one’s quite sure. Yeah, that’s a masterstroke, surely.

And if we’re speaking of maps, by the way, the maps printed out will all be in the previous place names. So what have Ukraine’s soldiers done? Tippexed out and filled in with biro? Or still using the names of the hated ‘occupiers’ (i.e. those people who actually live and are from the places)?

where.jpgBy the way – a Facebook comment when I mentioned this – Do you know how much money it costs to rename a street? You have to get all of the title documents changed on all of the paperwork for all of the residential and commercial areas. Then you need to update the cadastral plans, the city development plans and submit to the federal government for ratification. It is a logical and economic nightmare. Also, anytime there is this volume of paperwork there are bound to be errors. This means court cases, adjudication and all of the rest of that. Ridiculous.

More, it’s almost a form of self-trolling. How much more ridiculous can you get? Renaming places random names which they will never really be called? Causing untold expense, and confusion for yourself in the process…. is it some sort of new Ukrainian ‘victory’, if you can’t capture a place, just rename it? I mean, come on, this is supposed to be a serious country, we’re told, right? 

Oh, Ukraine, it’s just too silly….

A Graham Newsletter (#34) A Message from Donbass, and On to Russia!!

My last newsletter had me feeling a bit of pressure in, and from the UK: 

https://thetruthspeaker.co/2017/07/26/a-graham-newsletter-33-pressure-in-the-uk-ukraine-and-leaving-the-uk/

So, it was nice to be able to cool off a bit here in Donbass, and record this messsage for you:

For my countrymen in the UK, not only: Don’t Believe the UK Government Lies, come to Donbass

On the way to Donbass, I was delighted to finish filming of my documentary about the town of Belval, in Luxembourg, which I’m just finishing the edit for now.

I was happy to do an interview there with former West Ham legend, Sebastien Schemmel. And incidentally, something those in the BBC or wherever attacking me will never say, is that – did you know that a surprising amount of my work has nothing to do with Russia, or Donbass?

That said, of course a significant part of my work is from Donbass, Russia, and always will be – and I’ve written about why that is, here. And here, about covering all sides, in my reportage from Donbass – as well as moving onto a new project.

Here, a video from School 60 in Lugansk’s graduation ceremony:

Here, Yasinovataya’s machine engineering plant – 

To touch briefly on personal life, in my time in the LPR I’ve been pleased to announce my engagement to a beautiful young lady from Lugansk, Yulia, and to congratulate Patrick Lancaster on his own recent wedding!

3 1/2 years covering Donbass, and for a few reasons, it’s time to move on. What can be referred to as ‘low intensity’ warfare, goes on. There’s some shelling on the frontiers, some battle on the frontlines – and to be honest, with a few notable, tragic flare-ups, it’s been like that for over 2 years now.

Such news as there is from Donbass, is covered by journalists here, including Patrick Lancaster Graham Phillipsand others. I feel both that my contribution is more needed elsewhere, and also, I’m also in the mood for a new challenge. And there there is intense information war, there’s an opportunity to go and report the truth. Where’s the information war waging fiercest? Russia, and I’ve written of that here –

https://thetruthspeaker.co/2017/08/11/world-cup-2018-information-war-against-russia-game-on/

And that’s my project for the next year, as the western world attacks Russia, to travel all over Russia, filming you the truth about how Russia really is, for a series called ‘Real Russia’. 

https://thetruthspeaker.co/2017/08/11/my-project-for-the-next-year-russia/

It’s going to be a massive project, and you’ll hear more about it soon! As with all my work, it’ll be 100% crowdfunded, 100% independent.

This below isn’t a taster of that project, but, I have been getting in and about the minutae of Russian life, here, at the hot end of Russian bathhouse culture, for a series called War Gonzo –

For now, a new video from Donbass, as the Night Wolves pass through on their way to Crimea:

And my documentary from Luxembourg, Belval, will be up very soon!

If you wish to support my work, there’s always here – https://www.paypal.me/grahamwphillips 

And as ever, huge thanks for being with me!!!

My Recent Donbass Period of Work: 25 Key Moments

I recently completed a 2-month period of work in Donbass. There will be even more reportage to come from that, but I wanted to put together a ‘top 10’ of key moments, however so many there were, we’re at 25, and this just in English.

All my work is funded by your support, via crowdfunding, to be involved, click here. 

Huge thanks to all of you, who’ve supported my work. I’ll be doing a new video to thank you soon!

1. The completion, with Oleg Somov, of my film, Irina Gurtyak, a journalist’s story, now with full English subtitles, by Vitaly Chernichenko –

And presentation in Lugansk – 

2. Bringing you reportage from the frontiers, the places other journalists don’t venture!Graham – Special Reportage (#11) A Tour Through Donetskiy, LPR Frontier, After Ukrainian Shelling

One of my main points of focus, was bringing you as much English-language reportage as possible, to show you how things really there, in spoken English!

3. Ronald van Amerongen, the Dutchman in Donbass, speaks – 

4. An English-lanaguage interview with Donetsk residents, about how things really are in Donetsk!

I brought you unique reportage from the frontlines, and frontier settlements…

5. Graham in Donbass (#47) Going to the LPR Furthest Frontline Position Today

6. Graham – Special Reportage (#12) Trip to the Donbass Wartorn Village of Nikishino

7. Interview with a Russian Volunteer Fighter in Donbass, LPR (Eng subs)

And back to English-language interviews – 

8. English Interview from Lugansk – Miss Elegance, in Miss Lugansk People’s Republic

Back to the frontline – 

9. LPR Militia Fighters Talk about WWII Monument, by LPR Frontlines, Donbass

10. Graham in Donbass (#38) Donbass – LPR – Frontlines, and What Victory Day Means to the Militia

11. A couple of videos from a spectacular Victory Day, in Lugansk!!

12. And from an also spectacular Miss LPR contest, in Lugansk! Here, a Crimea tribute –

Here, interviews with 5 of the girls, with full English subs – 

13. Back to Donetsk, and a spectacular drone look as 1000 lanterns were released into the night sky to mark children killed in war, in Donbass.

On the theme of 1st June, International Protector of Children Day, I went to Gorlovka to speak to kids wounded in war, here, with English subtitles.

14. Gorlovka, Donbass Children Speak about Being Wounded by Ukrainian Shelling in War

15. Interview with Liza, 3, wounded by Ukrainian shelling, her mother killed on spot.

Knowing it was a hot-zone, I wanted to go to report from Kominternovo –

16. Driving over 100km in the Donetsk People’s Republic, from Donetsk to Kominternovo (frontier)

17. An Introduction Tour to the DPR Frontier Village of Kominternovo

18. 60 Seconds in the DPR Village of Kominternovo, under Ukrainian shelling



Night and Morning in the Village of Kominternovo, Donbass, DPR

19. Kominternovo man: “Shelling (by Ukrainian forces) started suddenly, without any provocation”

Kominternovo: “The OSCE said ‘everyone knows that Poroshenko is killing his own people'”

Showing you Donbass at work, here, Lugansk!

20. Graham – Special Reportage (#14) My Day in a Lugansk Bread Factory

A French delegation visiting Donbass!

21. French Delegation in the Donetsk People’s Republic (#1) Visit to a Donetsk Hospital

Debunking Ukrainian misinformation

22. Donetsk People’s Republic Reaction to claims by Ukraine’s Mariana Betsa

Bringing you breaking news reports of terrorist attacks in Lugansk –

23. Lugansk, Explosion Goes off in City Centre Today, 1 Killed, 5 Wounded

17:00 – Aftermath of 2nd Explosion in Lugansk, Donbass Today

Showing you real videos of how life really is in Donbass:

24. Last School Bell for Junior Class in Lugansk, Lugansk People’s Republic, School 60

Lugansk, The Final Bell for Sixth Formers, School 60, 60 Minutes Uncut

And with your help, helping children there!!

25. Lutugino Children’s Home, Donbass: My Most Recent Trip, How you Can Help

This, just a selection, and more coming soon. Once again, huge thanks for all your help, and support!

Breaking News: Ben Stimson: British Member of Donbass Militia, to Face Court in the UK, Plea of Guilty to One Charge

As many of you know, I’ve been actively involved in the case of Ben Stimson, the British man tried with terrorism charges for being a member of the people’s militia forces, in Donbass.

Last August, I made a documentary about Ben, from Oldham:

Today, a close contact of Ben’s, who has been helping him, Nicola Moore, wrote to me with an update on Ben’s situation. See here, Nicky’s post about visiting Ben in jail:
And to confirm that Ben knows Nicky, here:


I will show extracts of my messages with Nicky, with relevant information, and key points, in bold, and photos of Ben, for information purposes.

Hello Graham,

I have a message from Ben Stimson. He apologises for the way his email sounded in September, his head was up his bottom (see below) and he said he appreciates all you have done for him and your support. He said he will always have your back and he hopes to speak to you soon.

Great work by the way you’re very tenacious and dedicated. It’s nice to see someone beating the drum and showing ppl what’s happening in donetsk.

Nicola

My ability to give Ben my full support had been compromised by Ben’s email of September, and, I felt disloyalty towards me, of which I’ve written here. 

However, after Nicky’s words, I forgave Ben, and asked after after him: 

He’s ok- especially considering he’s on a terrorist wing with neo Nazis and jihadist being a partly Jewish man this can’t be easy, he’s been denied education and just started to be allowed going to the gym. He’s been denied visits and letters even of his own mp. He also isn’t allowed to ring me as lm classed as a political extremist which is ridiculous.

His hearing is tomorrow morning – the court rejected his plea of innocent in February and so it’s been dropped to one charge- he’s admitting guilt and looking to be out in a few years. He wants to return as well.

I’m off to Strangeways now to see him and he’s in court tomorrow morning at 10.

Obviously the key point point here, Ben has pled guilty, and is set to face prison. It was the first I’d heard of this. I asked Nicky more about this

If he doesn’t there will be a full length trial – and if he’s found guilty he could get over 10 years

I will add that, in no small part due to the treatment of the UK authorities in relation to him, Ben is in a emotionally vulnerable position, and thus susceptible to pressure to plead guilty to something of which he is entirely innocent.

Ben is pleading to:

Article 5(a) of 2006 Terrorism act of engaging in acts of terrorism was dropped, but he plead guilty to 5(b) of facilitating terrorism
One of the charges was dropped
(It carries) Over ten years in prison – he has a top terrorism barrister who’s been coming up from London.

It’s a shocking situation, for many reasons. Ben was stitched up by the BBC, as I filmed here:

The fate of Ben, who never fired in anger, is in stark contrast to the fate of Chris Garrett, the British man who fought, and killed, for the neo-Nazi Azov battalion – 

In light of his words, Ben now has my full support. I will be paying close attention to developments tomorrow, and ready to give my full support to Ben, and to what seems set to be a total miscarriage of justice in the UK, and a deeply worrying precedent set.

If Ben is indeed found guilty and sentenced to a prison term, there must be an immediate campaign to free him, and right this manifest injustice.