Why the BBC Have Come After Me…

The UK’s position on the Ukraine situation has been becoming increasingly aggressive:

The imprisonment of Ben Stimson:

https://thetruthspeaker.co/2017/07/18/rank-injustice-hypocrisy-in-the-uk-the-case-of-ben-stimson-and-chris-garrett/

Increasing their support of the Ukrainian military: 

https://thetruthspeaker.co/2017/07/21/united-kingdom-steps-up-support-of-ukrainian-army-still-shelling-civilians/

The case of Ben Stimson was a link up between the BBC and the UK government, with the BBC stitching Ben up – 

… and the government locking him up. 

That was the 11th, on the 17th, I got this email from the BBC (screenshots pictured).

Hi Graham,

My name’s Sam Bright – I work for the BBC in London.

I’m currently writing a story for BBC Trending about the work of individuals such as Patrick Lancaster, Russell Bentley and yourself in eastern Ukraine.

We would obviously be interested in speaking to you for this story, to hear your views. We would like to ask you generally about your experiences, and about how you use the internet to fund your work and spread your message.

Let me know if this would be possible. I look forward to hearing from you.

Many thanks,

Sam Bright

I replied:

Sam,

No offence to you personally, as I don’t know you, and you may be a nice guy, but the BBC are a shower of despicable, disgraceful, disgraced propagandists, not to be trusted in any circumstances. And so my response would be something like: shame on you bunch of lying, propagandising scoundrels for bringing journalism into disrepute, and my country into disrepute. Where are your morals, ethics, or integrity? How can you be so entirely dishonest in your coverage, and reportage? It’s rank deceit.

The BBC is fake news, outright lies, and I’m having absolutely no part of your odious operation, in any way. Actually, you disgust me. I always work to report the truth – that means I work against the BBC, who work to twist, and distort the truth, at every turn.

I think that covers it for now,

Graham

On the 20th, Sam replied: 

Hi Graham,

We’re planning to run a story on the BBC News website about your crowdfunding and activities in eastern Ukraine.

Specifically we’re reporting that since November 2013, you have been covering the conflict and that you were formerly employed by Zvezda. We are reporting that you have been banned from entering Ukraine on the grounds of national security and that the Ukrainian government has issued an open letter to the UK authorities condemning your activities.

We are also noting that you say you have financed your activities entirely through crowdfunding from January 2016, and that you have raised roughly £7,000 through crowdfunding websites since that time.

We are reporting that you have frequently travelled to Donbass, despite your travel ban. We are also noting that the site JustGiving removed one of your appeals in July 2015, because of your defiance of the travel ban. We are reporting that you have been filmed navigating a drone with the help of soldiers in Donbass and have interviewed Ukrainian prisoners of war.

If you have any comment on the above or would like to reconsider the possibility of an interview, please let me know.

Sam Bright
Reporter | BBC

So, it’s clear what line the BBC are going to take – that I ‘worked for Russian military tv channel Zvezda‘ – I did, briefly, at the end of 2014, start of 15. They gave me freedom as a correspondent (pictured in a Zvezda piece), I did my own thing, sent my pieces to them, had contact only with producers there, like any channel. Yet, still, I made the decision to end my working arrangement with them, and since March 2015, have been fully independent, worked only for myself.

Will the BBC cover this? They will, but they are clearly going to make out that I’ve only raised £7000 via crowdfunding, clearly that doesn’t cover costs, there must be some sort of shadowy, Russian sponsor etc…. the truth is much more prosaic, that I’ve raised a bit more via my Paypal, and individual donations, but actually I live modestly, and yeah, it is a sometimes a struggle to get by. But, that’s the life I’ve chosen, and I accept it.

Be sure that the BBC journalist penning the hatchet piece about me from an office in London is surely earning much more than myself, and will make no mention that I’ve sacrificed an apartment in Odessa, any number of material comforts offered by working for channels, to go it alone, and dedicate my life to reporting the truth. There will be nothing about the hundreds of videos I’ve made giving those in Donbass a voice, being first at the scene where no other western correspondents were, the many documentary films

No, it’s going to be that I’ve frequently ‘returned to Donbass while being banned from there’, that I’m some sort of a ‘risk to Ukrainian national security’, and the flying a drone with the help of soldiers, interviewing Ukrainian prisoners of war. As for the drone, I did fly that with members of the people’s militia around, and they could hardly not be, given that it was positions. And indeed, as I’ve been completely open about, as with everything – they advised me on where would be most interesting to fly it. And, really, so what?

And the interviewing Ukrainian prisoners of war – sure, I’ve done that a lot of times. But, Ukrainian forces have taken me captive twice, interviewed me at gunpoint, put a bag over my head for a day, kept me in a darkened room without food or water.  Not to mention stolen a great deal of my possessions. So, I earned my right to interview Ukrainian POWs the hard way, and actually, I always stay within reasonable boundaries.

But, all of that will be put forward to make me out to be some sort of a bad guy. No mention of the tens of thousands I’ve raised for humanitarian work in Donbass, the ongoing support of the children’s home in Lutugino, for example. And the rest, that I’m some sort of Russian spy, propagandist etc. Not mentioning that I’ve often spoken of not liking the RT channel, after how they treated me, and ended my own contract with Zvezda. And am, of course, British, with no connection at all to Russia, other than that it’s a country I’m interested in, like, like doing reportage from – as others, Serbia, for example.

So, why did I refuse to speak to the BBC, as some have asked? Because the story they have decided to write is pre-determined. Anything I say to them would only be turned around and used against me, and more, I would be complicit, thus compromised, in their hit piece on me, which all leads to the question – why are they doing it?

Clearly, the BBC have been tasked to do a hit piece on me, to set public opinion against me, so that if the UK government do try to take steps against me, there won’t be any public uproar, or outcry – as there wasn’t with Ben.

But, it’s a clumsy attempt from them, and it’s not going to work. However the fact they even tried it shows which way the wind is blowing in the UK.

I replied to Sam:

Samuel, again, this is not personal because I don’t know you, but the BBC are not to be trusted in any way. I’ve seen many times the deceit, and propaganda the BBC have, and do, perpetuate.

I’m not going to be any part of it.

So, it’s a no, and will always be that way. It is your right to reprint parts of these emails I have sent you. But, that’s it. I stand for honest, truthful journalism, of integrity. The BBC is fake news, lies, propaganda.

Regards, Graham

So, it’s their move now. But, I’m ready for them. Bring it on!

A Graham Newsletter #29 – Serbia, Back in Donbass, and More

I’ve written a lot here on the Truth Speaker about my recent, fascinating trip to Serbia. I’ve not even released most of the reportage filmed there, as it was a documentary project about NATO’s campaign there in 1999.

However, I’m working on that now, with journalists Katerina and Dmitry Lane, and looking forward to releasing it soon. This will be the first documentary series of its kind looking at what is still a ‘war’ about which so many details are still unknown to a western audience.

It’s a very exciting project, with the potential to really bring a lot of new information to the world, and re-evalaute how that entire situation is viewed. And the way that the NATO 1999 situation is generally perceived, has sadly perpetuated many such situations since…

Speaking of conflict, and war, but not only that…

I’ve been back in Donbass for around 3 weeks now, and it’s been a hugely eventful time, have a look over that here –

https://thetruthspeaker.co/2017/05/30/10-key-pieces-of-reportage-since-my-return-to-donbass/

In my reportage in Donbass, I always aim to show the real, and full picture. That means going to places like the DPR frontier village of Kominternovo, to capture Ukrainian shelling as it hit –

It also means covering events like this, a youth football tournament in Donetsk – 

This school graduation in Lugansk – 

And it means covering everything exactly as it is, showing you the facts, as they are. 

And when there’s fake news, which there often is, taking issue with that –

https://thetruthspeaker.co/2017/05/30/more-western-fake-tank-news/

It’s really great to be back in Donbass, I’m really in the mood to do a lot here, at this hugely important time. So, be sure you are following me for updates from the ground, be sure I’m always very happy to hear from you, and always so grateful for your support – that’s what makes everything possible! 

In Memory of Militsa Rakich – 3-Year Old Victim of NATO Bombing

Recently, as you may know, I spent 3 weeks in Serbia filming reportage. Most of that is as-yet unreleased, and will be to come. There will be a series of reportage on NATO’s campaign against Serbia, then Yugoslovia, in 1999, in which over 2000 civilians, including 88 children, were killed, by NATO bombing. 

Before leaving Serbia, I went to pay respects at the grave of Militsa Rakich, a 3-year-old girl, killed in her own home, by Belgrade, when NATO dropped a (forbidden) cluster bomb, on April 17th, 1999.

There will be documentary reportage to come on Militsa, actually the first interview with her father for many years.

RIP.

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.

Kosovo Politician Threatens to Take 1/3 of Serbia, Meanwhile US Sends More Troops to Kosovo

Ramush Haradinaj, leader of the opposition Alliance for the Future of Kosovosays Serbia should “delete Kosovo from the Constitution”, otherwise Kosovo will “reciprocally add one third of the Serb land to its map.”

Serbia maintains Kosovo in its national constitution, as it does not recognise the state created after the 78-day NATO bombing campaign against Serbia, then Yugoslavia, of 1999, of which the creation of Kosovo was the result. Kosovo is only recognised by 111 of 193 UN member states. 

NATO, and the US Army maintain a massive military presence in Kosovo, notably Camp Bondsteel – pictured.

Meanwhile, the US is preparing to send another 130 soldiers to Kosovo.About 130 soldiers of the Tupelo-based 1st Battalion, 185th Aviation Regiment are deploying for about 10 months in support of Operation Joint Guardian.

Officials say the troops will travel to Fort Hood, Texas on Sunday for eventual service in Kosovo. While there, the unit will complete required post mobilization training for duty in Kosovo….” 

Alexander Vucic and I

Alexander Vucic, the president-elect of Serbia. I was recently in Serbia for 3 weeks, with anti-Vucic protests ongoing, and heard a lot of pretty negative things said about him – here just a selection –

I had my own questions for the man Prime Minister of Serbia since 2014, Minister of Information under Milosevic even. And I obtained the correct contact to message him, ask for an interview, which I did –

Screenshot (1877).png

However, there was no response. 

I’ll try again next time in Serbia, which I hope will be soon, as I love reporting from there. Meanwhile I can say there, that the country may have its own issues, and Vucic indeed part of this, but I did feel free there to report what I wanted. While Vucic may not have accepted my request for interview, there was no attempt to stop, or restrict my work either.

And that covers that!