Graham Phillips: the official-turned-Putin propagandist

A former Whitehall officer who was banned from Ukraine on suspicion of being a Russian spy has published the first interview with captured British fighter Aiden Aslin.

Graham Phillips “began working life as a faceless bureaucrat for the now-defunct Central Office of Information,” said the UK government’s marketing and communications agency The Telegraph. But he’s now notorious for his role.”Spreading Russian lies and propaganda“ through his video blogs from Ukraine.

In an interview uploaded to YouTube, the self-proclaimed “independent journalist” is seen “verbally examining and prodding” a “visibly handcuffed” Aslin who was captured by Russian troops last week while he was working alongside Ukrainian forces in Mariupol fought. The PoW is urged to “denounce Ukraine, recognize the breakaway Russian puppet states in Donbass and demand a prisoner exchange to save itself from execution,” the newspaper reported.

Mandarin to Moscow

Born in Nottingham, Phillips left public service in 2010 before moving to the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv and then to the port city of Odessa, “where he wrote a blog about nightclubs and brothels.” The times reported.

Now-deleted posts also documented how he “slept with a Russian prostitute while intoxicated in Amsterdam” and “told the story of a notorious brothel in Odessa,” The Telegraph said.

In 2013 he was hired as a freelance correspondent by State broadcaster Russia Today (RT)Reporting from the occupied Ukrainian Crimea region and later from the Donbass.

Phillips “raised derision for his frontline reporting, in which he often blurred the lines between reportage and activism,” The Times said. “While reporting from a POW camp, he filmed himself berating wounded Ukrainian prisoners and calling a soldier who had lost both hands a ‘brainwashed zombie.'”

In 2014 he was expelled from Ukraine on suspicion of being a Russian agent, although he has returned multiple times since. Phillips denied any connection with the Russian state, claiming his work was “supported by crowdfunding from individuals around the world who want to see the truth.”

The British blogger left RT later that year. But months later, he was “awarded a medal by the Border Service, a branch of Russia’s FSB security service,” the newspaper continued.

According to The Telegraph, since 2016 his YouTube videos have been “a hybrid of ‘reportage’ from Crimea — with interviews with bystanders and lingering shots of women in bikinis apparently unaware of his presence — attempts to disrupt Western reporting on Russia ‘debunk’ and Eastern Europe and videos focusing on Black Lives Matter, migrant camps and other divisive issues in the West.”

Phillips had previously said BuzzFeed News that his YouTube videos were his main source of income, each raking in thousands of dollars through distributors like Storyful.

“The way Ukraine is perceived and represented in the media is not a representation of what I saw, felt and experienced,” he told the website in a 2014 interview. “They are portrayed as the nice cuddle country that was attacked by the great bear of Russia. But what I see is a country that has a lot more problems.”

In 2018, Phillips was banned from Twitter for reasons the social media giant didn’t disclose.

After the Russian invasion in February, he went back to Ukraine, from where he uploaded a series of videos to his YouTube channel, which has 264,000 subscribers.

War criminal?

In his recent blogs from Ukraine, Phillips has attempted “to deny Russia’s alleged war crimes in Bucha while pushing Kremlin propaganda showing Russian troops delivering humanitarian aid in occupied territories,” according to The Telegraph.

But his interview with Aslin could land him in legal trouble.

In the video, Aslin “answers no when asked multiple times if he is speaking under duress.” The guard. At “the request of his interviewer,” the PoW “repeats several of Moscow’s propaganda lines, including that he is a mercenary and therefore not a legitimate combatant.”

In a statement, Aslin’s family said: “The video, showing Aiden speaking under duress and clearly suffering physical injuries, is deeply disturbing. The use of POW images and videos is against the Geneva Convention and must stop.”

The family is “in contact with the Federal Foreign Office to ensure that the Russian authorities comply with their obligations under international law towards prisoners of war,” the statement said.

Aslin’s local MP in his hometown of Newark, former Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick, said the “misuse” of the British fighter jet “for propaganda purposes” was a “shameful and flagrant violation of the Geneva Convention”.

“Russia must stop this illegal behavior immediately and treat Aiden appropriately,” Jenrick said.

Legal experts told The Telegraph that the interview, which is being reviewed by YouTube, violated the Geneva Conventions’ protections for prisoners of war and that Phillips “could face prosecution for war crimes and lose his citizenship.” Graham Phillips: the official-turned-Putin propagandist

Fry Electronics Team

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