Graham and Crimea: The Story, the Work

If you follow my work, you will of course about my connection with Donbass – over 3500 videos, 50+ million views on my channel of reportage from Donbass.

But, there is also my reportage from Crimea: 300+ videos, well over 3 million views.

My work from Crimea has always been hugely important to me. In fact, in March of 2014, of my own volition, I went to Crimea to capture the moment in history, do reportage from there. From my first time in Crimea, March 1st: 

Actually, as you may gather from that, I wasn’t really doing video at the time, and was focusing on photos. Here’s some from that day, Sevastopol, March 1st, 2014, as a large-scale concert, and gathering, was held in the city’s central Nakhimova Square –

Returning for the referendum, on March 16th, 2014 – 

Crimea election posters

A look at, inside, a polling station – as it really was: 

The mood on the streets:

And reportage the west would never show you, like this Crimean Tatar, who’d voted for Russia:

And lots more reportage from that time, in fact you can find all of my Crimea reportage, in English, by clicking on this link.

I returned to Crimea in summer of 2015, for a month of reportage (all my reportage, as ever, completely crowdfunded, independent), which saw over 120 videos, including this, from Yalta beach, over 700,000 views, full English subs: 

This, also from 2015, an English interview with Maria, from Dnipropetrovsk:

And Dima, I am a Crimean – 

I returned in April of 2016, for another month of work, which culminated in a film ‘Crimea: Victory Day 2016’.  Highlights in that time:

An interview with Natalya Poklonskaya – couple of extracts here: 

Evpatoria, and what needs done to improve Evpatoria – in the words of locals:

Showing you exactly what it’s like at the border between Crimea, and Ukraine: 

And much more. In 2016 I also filmed the first part of my upcoming film a ‘Brit in Crimea’.  In 2017, I’m now back in Crimea completing filming of that, as well as working on a host of other reportage projects.

Here’s just a selection of what I’ve released so far:

A video showing you the western false narrative on Crimea:

And the Ukrainian false narrative:

Interviews with Ukrainians in Crimea, telling you the reality of how it is here. 

And there is lots, lots more to come!!!

 

The Benefit of my 2 Week Ban from YouTube?

Never to say there’s a benefit to my current 2 week block from YouTube, but it feels like the period will represent a transition from one period to the other in my career.

Have been looking over my videos, and am happy with some of the work, but would really like to do everything a lot better. A lot of times I just uploaded material.

Going on, I’d like every video to have some real resonance, the potential to make a real difference. The next period of my career is the biggest, most ambitious yet. To go all over Russia, to show the world the truth about Russia, before the World Cup 2018.

I’m in a fantastic, fighting mood to do it all better, make better videos, set the world to rights. Thanks for being with me!

Here, Artek, Crimea! Lots more to come from here, and indeed all over Russia, before the 2018 World Cup!

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 –

LITTLE GREEN MEN

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 –

PUTIN’S BRIDGE TO CRIMEA IS DOOMED TO COLLAPSE – Newsweek, 2017

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 Stuff.co.nz – 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. 

Where the UK got it All Wrong on Crimea…

The UK followed up on getting it completely wrong about Euromaidan, with … getting it completely wrong about what happened in Crimea, in 2014.

Blanket support for Maidan, meant that the UK’s position was, from the start, against those in Crimea protesting against the coup in Kiev: Maidan – good. Against Maidan – bad. Went the UK’s thinking.

However, there was something interesting in this, the BBC, ever the faithful mouthpiece of the UK government in international affairs, actually veered from the Crimea narrative, in the early days. Fresh from blanket coverage of the sunny side of Maidan, beautiful / heroic protesters speaking about their desire for a ‘free Ukraine’, to ‘be Europeans’ etc etc –

…none of the molotov-hurling terrorists or acknowledgement that the east of the country Daniel Sandford Crimeawas actively opposed to Maidan – the BBC’s Daniel Sandford (pictured) was down from Maidan, reporting from Crimea, on February 25th, 2014, that people there were ‘demanding Russian passports‘… ‘To the people of Sevastopol, it’s not a Ukrainian history, but a Russian one‘…. before adding the obligatory ‘if Russia wants to cause trouble (in Crimea), all the ingredients are there.’

Yet very quickly, even this tokenistic attempt at objectively from the BBC had been ‘corrected’, and their reporting had reverted to script, February 27th: Ukraine crisis: Russia warned against Crimea ‘aggression’

Out went the actually talking to people in Crimea, and by the way I was in Crimea myself at this time, finding people readily disposed to talking, and a very different picture to the one the BBC were depicting –

https://thetruthspeaker.co/2015/03/23/crimea-in-march-2014-the-real-story/

Over at the BBC, it was :

‘Russian troops’ guarding Crimean government HQ

Ukraine: Putin signs Crimea annexation

The BBC’s tone, as it invariably does, mirroring that of the UK government, with David Cameron coming out a few days before the Crimea referendum of March 16th, 2014, that it would be:

illegal, illegitimate and will not be recognised by the international community

Cameron of course, later, a few days after the referendum, upped that to that the vote had taken place ‘under the barrel of a Kalashnikov‘. Ridiculous, of course, and even very silly. I was in Crimea, visiting polling stations, on the referendum day.

The BBC, ‘strangely’, nowhere to be seen on that day, an entirely calm, jubilant even, day, where Crimeans, en masse, headed for the polling stations –

Start of the day: 

End: 

Street interviews with people in Simferopol:

Do these people really look like they’d need to be made to vote under the ‘barrel of a kalashnikov’? Was there any evidence at all of that at polling stations. Of course not, it was nonsense from the UK, who even admitted later they got it all wrong:

The British government was left in the dark during the Ukraine crisis because its diplomats can’t understand Russian

MPs says the lack of language skills in the Foreign Office is ‘alarming’

In the years since, neither language, or seemingly any other skills have improved at the Foreign Office. The UK have zoned in on the supposed ‘persecution’ of Crimean Tatars are the latest cause celebre of the day. I was in Crimea in 2016 filming the largest gathering of Crimean Tatars yet, at the Hiderlez festival –

Meanwhile the UK’s ambassador to Ukraine, LGBT obsessed Judith Gough – who’s never once been to Crimea in her time in the role, was tweeting this –

What does Boris do? Well, goes to Ukraine, meets up with Crimean Tatars in Kiev – who’ve been there for the past 3 years, making a comfortable living by speaking about how everything is dreadful in the Crimea they’ve not been to for over 3 years, and who their own people regard as traitors: (this, my interview with an actual Crimean Tatar leader, in Crimea):

Boris meets them, and mouths off a few buzzwords about ‘human rights’ etc, ‘Russian annexation of Crimea’ etc on his travels. There are clear signs of increasingly fewer people believing Boris, or the British position on Ukraine, and Crimea – however this doesn’t deter Britain from just blindly barrelling on with its pre-set polemic from a parallel reality.

What’s the problem then? Is it language skills? Is it mental skills? Or does the UK’s foreign policy bear a lot less relation to reality, than it does to UK business interests? 

Whatever the reason, Britain’s policy on Crimea is mistaken, misguided, deceitful, and mired in the kind of blinkered small-mindedness which currently condemns the UK to the tier of second-league nations.

I’m not the only British person who finds this all deeply embarrassing.

 

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 Project for the Next Year: Russia

Where there’s information war, there’s a job to do.

Graham PhillipsIn the run-up to the World Cup 2018, the information war has, and will go full heat, on Russia, of which I’ve written here – https://thetruthspeaker.co/2017/08/11/world-cup-2018-information-war-against-russia-game-on/

I’ll be in Russia, and reporting from all over the world’s largest country, to make sure that in the next year, you know the truth about Russia, rather than what the west wants you to believe.

My reportage will be 100% crowdfunded, independent as ever. Details to come!

It’s on!!