In Crimea, Ukraine

News compilation on New Cold, Oct 3, 2017

Catalonia versus Crimea: The world of difference between referendums

By Graham Phillips, published on his website The Truthspeaker, Sept 30, 2017  (and see additional readings further below)

On the October 1, Catalonia is due to hold a referendum on secession from Spain. Catalonia has been an autonomous region of Spain since 1932. Its population is 7.5 million, its territory is 32,000 sq kilometres, and the region has a distinct language and identity from the rest of Spain.

Flags of Crimea (left) and Catalonia

Does this remind you of anywhere? Crimea: distinct identity from Ukraine, distinct language being Russian. Crimea had a real reason not to want to be a part of Ukraine in 2014 after a terrorist overthrow of the government in Kyiv in February of that year put far-right Ukrainian ultra-nationalists in power who were bent on eliminating the language, culture, and history of Crimea—the very essence of Crimea.

[View: Graham Phillips’ three-minute video ‘The Truth About Europmaidan‘]:

In Spain, a democratic process in June 2016 elected the government currently in power, returning the conservative People’s Party of Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy. Here are a couple of photos of that election [see photos at original weblink].

Meanwhile, here are a couple of photos which I took of the kind of people who decided Ukraine’s new government in February 2014 [see photos at original weblink].

That’s right, after the ‘Euromaidan’ overthrow in Ukraine, there was no election, nothing of the kind. The ultra-Ukrainians who forced out a Ukrainian president democratically elected in 2010, and Ukrainian government [Parliament] democratically elected in 2012, simply seized power.

They then immediately set about implementing their radical ultra-national manifesto, which would have done away with everything constituting the basis of Crimea – Russian language, Russian history,  Russian Black Sea Fleet, Crimean people who are mostly ethnically Russian. This led to Crimeans calling their own referendum, which was held on March 16th, 2014.

Now, of course, both cases are specific and have their own nuances. And I, personally, generally support the right of Catalans to hold their referendum on self-determination. I’m not alone in this; let’s take the Guardian, one of the UK’s main newspapers and, though it pains me to say, one of the country’s most influential newspapers. The Guardian has given generally blanket favourable coverage to Catalonia’s referendum. See:

Guardian editorial: ‘Spain’s mishandling of the referendum movement in Catalonia’, Nov 11, 2014

Spain’s attempt to block Catalonia’s referendum is a violation of our basic rights, op-ed by by Carles Puigdemont, President of Catalonia, Sept 21, 2017

Yet, look back to 2014 and it was a very different story from the Guardian on Crimea’s referendum:

Crimea’s referendum was a sham display of democracy, Guardian news report, March 17, 2014 (note the use of photos in the Guardian, as well, with photos of Catalonia being bright and numerous while those of Crimea are few and gloomy… not a propaganda trick is missed)

And the newspaper really went on and on with the same theme in this and many similar news reports:

Crimea votes to secede from Ukraine in ‘illegal’ poll, Guardian news report, March 16, 2014

While the Guardian has given screeds of coverage to the impropriety of the Spanish government, back in 2014 there was barely a whisper of the fact that Ukraine’s new government was formed by a terrorist overthrow which Crimea had emphatically rejected and which was spearheaded by a Euromaidan movement heavily comprised by the role of a neo-Nazi party. Also hardly mentioned was the fact that the people of Crimea may perhaps have the right to protest against this. (See this report in Foreign Policy Magazine, March 18, 2014).

The Guardian was not alone in this, either. There will be more on the theme. In the western media, there really is a world of difference in coverage of the two referendums.

Graham Phillips is a 38-year-old journalist based in the UK. He is best known for his coverage of the war in Donbass, eastern Ukraine in 2014 and 2015. He works in Russia and across Europe, entirely crowdfunded, independent of any channel or affiliation.

Related readings:
Catalonia referendum and the double standard applied to the Donbass referendum of May 2014, by Graham Phillips (with video reporting from 2014), published on Truthspeaker, Oct 2, 2017

Catalan referendum: a ‘democratic tsunami’ rises against Spanish state siege, by Dick Nichols, Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal, Sept 24, 2017

After Catalan referendum, divisions in Spain will deepen, op-ed commentary by Antonio Cazorla-Sanchez and Adrian Shubert, Globe and Mail, Oct 2, 2017  (Antonio Cazorla-Sánchez is professor of History, Trent University; Adrian Shubert is professor of History, York University)

Double standards as politicians and editorialists condemn neo-Nazism in Charlottesville, embrace it in Ukraine, by Roger Annis, New Cold, Aug 23, 2017

A Brit in Crimea: Documentary film by Graham Philips, to premiere in Moscow in January 2018

By Graham Phillips, published on Truthspeaker, Sept 30, 2017 (full text follows)

As many of you know, I’ve been working on a documentary film about Crimea, for well over a year now: A Brit in Crimea. It’s a completely crowdfunded film, in English, about my reportage in Crimea from 2014-2017. A new person. A new adventure. His life after that adventure. And much more.

I am happy to say the premiere will be in Moscow, on January 16th, 2018. More details to come.

I would, of course, like to show the film in the UK, but every time I’ve booked a venue to do something there, the ‘pro-Ukrainians’ bombard the venue with threats, hate and everything else they can throw at it. In the end, it has always come down to venue saying ‘Sorry, nothing personal, we just don’t want the trouble.’

Meanwhile, of course, Ukrainians–pro-Ukrainians–hold any number of events in the UK telling people about their ‘revolution of dignity’ and the ‘annexation’ of Crimea, etc, etc. Hence the premiere in Moscow, of a British film, made by a Brit, with some help from an American, and a chap from Donbass, and featuring a Brit.

If anyone has any ideas of a place for a presentation in the UK which wouldn’t go yellow, let me know. Otherwise, the film will of course be on YouTube. I’ll let you know more about the premiere in due course!


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