by Tim Ogden
Thursday, 28
April 2022
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07:00

Meet Graham Phillips: Britain’s very own Kremlin mouthpiece

His 'journalism' amounts to pure Putin propaganda
by Tim Ogden
Graham Phillips

As the parallels between Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and WWII abound, there is one figure who has escaped notice: 2022’s Lord Haw-Haw, otherwise known as William Joyce. The 1940s voice of anti-Western propaganda was Joyce, a committed American fascist who fled to Germany at the outbreak of World War II — his modern equivalent is Graham Phillips, a so-called journalist who has served as a Kremlin mouthpiece since Russia’s original hostilities against Ukraine in 2014.

Phillips’ history of actively promoting the Kremlin narrative has not been limited to fringe social media activity. He has worked for Russian state media, and clearly retains official links with the authorities: in the last week, he has been given access to British-born Ukrainian prisoners of war, interviewing them for his YouTube channel. The video has since been removed, but third-party clips remain online. It would, however, be inaccurate to describe his video of Ukrainian Marine/Nottingham native Aiden Aslin as an interview; willing interviewees, after all, are rarely in handcuffs. 

In the first of many inaccuracies, it begins with Phillips stating — and making his subject confirm — that Aslin is a mercenary. By definition, this is simply not true. As a citizen of Ukraine and an enlisted member of the country’s Armed Forces, Aslin is neither a mercenary nor a private military contractor.

This sets the tone of the proceedings. Aslin resignedly agrees with whatever predictable Kremlin propaganda Phillips espouses (‘I was on the wrong side’/’I was misled’), but Phillips remains petty enough to sharply correct any Ukrainian pronunciation of regional locales — hardly the conduct, one could reasonably surmise, of an independent journalist.

However, his conduct in the Aslin interrogation is simply the latest example of his eight years of servitude to Moscow, work which began after he moved to Ukraine following a visit to the country to watch a football match. Originally a blogger with a sleazy focus on sex and prostitution, he became affiliated with Russia Today during the 2014 Euromaidan revolution and the subsequent conflict between Russia and Ukraine.

His journalistic narratives have always been word-for-word translations of premium Kremlin propaganda, lent faux legitimacy by a middle-class English accent: Ukraine has been taken over by Nazis; Georgia is a fascist state and a NATO puppet that provoked Russia into war in 2008; Russia is a liberator defending oppressed minorities under attack by the West and their Eastern European allies.

His activity has not simply been limited to uploading fake news online. He has been arrested on a number of occasions, in Ukraine, Estonia (from where he was deported), and in London itself, when he violently disrupted a display at the Georgian Embassy commemorating the Russian invasion of their country. In a low point during a career that has never lacked them, he also mocked a disabled Ukrainian civilian wounded by a Russian landmine who had been a prisoner of Russian forces for a year. Two years later, then-Ukrainian Ambassador to the UK Natalia Galibarenko called for his British passport to act on someone who has openly disseminated Russian propaganda.

Cancelling Phillips’ passport and revoking his citizenship would be the just consequence for his actions – and in the tradition of Kim Philby, leave him to enjoy a forlorn life in a country that has only made its mark as a European pariah state.

For his part, before his execution for treason, William Joyce warned against “the crushing imperialism of the Soviet Union”. As Russian forces openly fly the Soviet flag in their invasion of Ukraine, one wonders if at any point Graham Phillips will reconsider his choice of allegiance. 

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Francis MacGabhann
Francis MacGabhann
2 months ago

I don’t like the idea of politicians being able to revoke anyone’s citizenship, no matter what they do.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
1 month ago

Shamima Begum?

Jeanie K
Jeanie K
2 months ago

WRT the last paragraph concerning the flying of flags. I am sickened by the fact that most members of our House of Commons couldn’t wait to fly the Ukrainian flag and get lapel badges in blue and yellow. The first to do it were the ones who derided English People for flying the St George flag of England ( “Lady” Nugent).

Arnold Grutt
Arnold Grutt
1 month ago
Reply to  Jeanie K

In an unusual (for me) display of fairness toward the ghastly Thornberry, she is correctly styled ‘Lady’ as she is one (‘Nugee’ by the way). However she prefers not to use it, being a lefty.

Alan Prior
Alan Prior
2 months ago

What a disgusting piece of so-called journalism & bang in line with the woke attitudes of today – you don’t agree with me therefore you should be stripped of your citizenship & deported. Now all of us agree with the avalanche of right-wing propaganda that is passing for objective reporting on the situation in Ukraine. And before you decide that I have no right to an opinion because I disagree with you, I lived for a number of years in Russia & travelled extensively in Ukraine on business so just maybe I actually have more knowledge than you do about what is going on

Neven Curlin
Neven Curlin
2 months ago

I was glad to read the last paragraph and see that Tim Ogden and Lord Haw-Haw are on the same page.

Graham Stull
Graham Stull
2 months ago

This is an ugly hitpiece on a journalist whose biases indeed might not be on Mr Ogden’s ‘side’, but such is the case for every bit of reporting on the BBC, CNN or other Western outlets.
The proxy war in Ukraine is a war. There are sides. Mr Phillips is a mouthpiece for the Russians. Mr Ogden is a mouthpiece for the West. I don’t need to read UnHerd to know that. And this journalistic ‘doxing’ effort is particularly filthy.
Indeed, I feel dirty for having read this ‘article’.

Guy Aston
Guy Aston
2 months ago
Reply to  Graham Stull

Britain, via it’s elected parliament, has determined that Russia is a violent aggressor attempting to rebuild a past imperium by the use of force. The nation is therefore fully behind the Ukraine and very active in supporting the Ukraine’s efforts in facing off the Russian army. Graham Phillips is a British national effectively working for the ‘other side’. He is entitled to do this but must be prepared to suffer the consequences. 
Comparing Phillips to Lord Haw-Haw is a bit rich. How many have ever heard a Phillips video?

Andrew McDonald
Andrew McDonald
2 months ago
Reply to  Guy Aston

I agree with your general drift, but are we ‘at war’ with Russia? If we were, then you could judge this obscure geezer’s actions against legal standards for treasonable activity, etc etc, and take appropriate action. But we’re not, so the only consequences are general opprobrium and articles like this. As is the modern way, we feel a bit better, he gets the publicity he’s after, everyone’s a winner.

polidori redux
polidori redux
2 months ago
Reply to  Guy Aston

I wonder what happened to Lord Haw Haw

Linda Hutchinson
Linda Hutchinson
2 months ago
Reply to  polidori redux

He was hanged.

Larry Adlard
Larry Adlard
2 months ago
Reply to  Guy Aston

Well in the first instance, parliament is wrong, not for the first time (remember Iraq). Secondly, I am not bound by the decision of a gang of idiots. They are supposed to serve my interests not vice versa. When I vote I don’t grant the government carte blanche to do anything it wishes. I don’t agree with any government which prioritises overseas adventures over the welfare and concerns of the electorate and wasting taxpayers money on pointless exercises (eg Afganistan). Democracy? We are occasionally allowed to express an opinion on the conduct of a previous government, by which time the damage has already occurred. Voting is an act of faith equivalent to tossing a double headed coin in the vain hope the the result will be tails.
This article is a disgraceful, ad hominem attack on someone who holds a different opinion to the author. It is not objective debate. Perhaps the author may have some skeletons in his cupboard. At the height of WWII no attempt was made to jam the broadcasts of Lord Haw Haw and it was not illegal to listen. It was left to the judgement of the general public to subject it to ridicule. By contrast our government has banned the broadcasts of RT, Sputnik etc to ensure the opposing points of view cannot be heard. So much for free speech.
If you want to read an objective Op-ed you could do worse than read the following.
https://consortiumnews.com/2022/03/08/patrick-lawrence-the-casualties-of-empire/

Last edited 2 months ago by Larry Adlard
Andrew McDonald
Andrew McDonald
2 months ago
Reply to  Larry Adlard

The govt is not elected to serve your individual interests but the interests of the nation as a whole, and they are guided, generally, by what they put in their manifesto. If you don’t want a govt that has interests abroad, find or start a party that agrees with you and get elected. Oh, and you are indeed ‘bound by their decisions’, this being a parliamentary democracy, though ‘bound’ has different implications in different parts of the polity.

Iris C
Iris C
1 month ago

It is impossible to form a new political party with any prospect of getting a member elected, let alone the party achieving political power. Thus your argument is a non sequitur in the controversial issue being discussed..

Jeanie K
Jeanie K
2 months ago
Reply to  Guy Aston

I said some weeks ago that Boris had become the Lord Haw Haw for Saint Zelensky, coming on tv day after day telling us that zelensky and all Ukrainians are heroes and are thrashing the Russians.
I wondered, if the Ukrainian army (including the batt who wear WW2 german army badges) are doing so well, why do they need more and more, better weapons?
,

Last edited 2 months ago by Jeanie K
David Bell
David Bell
1 month ago
Reply to  Jeanie K

They are winning through dogged determination and the better weapons you would deprive them of.

Tim m Lever
Tim m Lever
2 months ago
Reply to  Graham Stull

Agreed this is sly and snide piece of “journalism”

Andrew F
Andrew F
1 month ago

I am not fan of Russia but Putin’s way of dealing with traitors is much to be recommended.

Last edited 1 month ago by Andrew F