Andrei: For those who don’t know about your work, can you explain how and why you ended up reporting from the Donbass?
Graham: Well, to be succinct, i moved to Kiev in the run up to Euro 2012, as a football fan, also to reboot my career, as a journalist. I worked there, in Kiev, for What’s On magazine, wrote freelance articles for several western publications also, and generally had a great time. But, i also noticed the rise of ultra-nationalism in Ukraine, in Kiev in particular, didn’t support this, and so left Kiev for Odessa in early 2013. Then, when everything began, in November of 2013, i was in Odessa, immediately spoke out against Maidan, so i was blacklisted by western media. So, i started writing blogs on the theme, one came to the attention of Russia Today, RT, they asked me on to do an interview, which i did. It went from there, developed a relationship with RT, over the months, doing interviews etc. Then, when they couldn’t get their correspondents into Donbass, Ukraine wasn’t letting Russians cross the border, in April of 2014, they contacted me in Odessa, told me to be in front of camera in Donetsk the next day, and stay there for a week’s work. So, i got in my car, made the 750km drive, got to Donetsk early morning of 8th April 2014, and went from there. For a few months i continued with RT, freelancing, then our relationship ended after my second deportation, in mid 2014. Actually, i felt they treated me badly at that time, i was deported from Ukraine by the SBU, after 3 pretty hellish days held captive by Ukrainian forces at Donetsk Airport, dumped at the border of Poland, banned for Ukraine for 3 years. I’d lost basically everything, including my apartment in Odessa, and RT also at this time basically abandoned me, on the streets of Poland, in late July / early August 2014. Actually, RT told me at this time i had ‘served my purpose’. I disagreed, continued myself, and have continued for the last 8 plus years, doing what i love, reportage, from the place i love, Donbass.
Andrei: You are now clearly persecuted by the British authorities, have you considered taking legal action in the UK or do you believe that the British courts are hopeless (as the case of Assange suggests)?