Ukraine's ambassador asks London to tackle Kremlin-backed propagandist Phillips
Ambassador of Ukraine to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland Natalia Galibarenko has posted an open letter, asking London to tackle Kremlin-backed propagandist, British national Graham Phillips after his attempt to verbally attack and abuse a Ukrainian handicapped hostage amid a swap operation with self-proclaimed republics in Donbas.
"I would like to draw the attention of the British side to the situation with continuous provocative and disgraceful behaviour of the UK citizen Mr. Graham William Phillips, who currently resides in the occupied by the Russian Federation territories of Ukraine," she wrote in an open letter on September 22.
"Mr. Graham Phillips, after his appearance in the eastern part of Ukraine in 2014-2015 on the side of pro-Russian terrorists and after been deported in July 2014 from Ukraine and in March 2016 from Latvia, has settled again in our country – this time in Crimea – another part of Ukrainian territory occupied by the Russian Federation," the letter reads.
Having moved to Crimea through Russia Mr. Phillips has bluntly violated laws of Ukraine regarding the entry procedures into the occupied territories of Ukraine, the ambassador said.
"He continues there his abhorrent behaviour and open public insults towards Ukrainian citizens and military men, who are defending Ukraine," the letter reads.
In her words, recently in front of OSCE representatives, humanitarian organizations and mass media this self-proclaimed journalist tried to disrupt a release from Russian captivity of the Ukrainian citizens. When speaking disgustedly to one of the exchanged Ukrainian prisoners – a non-combatant civilian, who was badly injured by a Russian booby-trap device and being blinded and maimed, has been imprisoned for more than a year by pro-Russian terrorists, "Mr. Phillips resorted to caddish harassments and insults about the disabilities of that person. Such behaviour is disgraceful and humiliating."
The ambassador recalled that in May 2014 Phillips was detained by security forces of Ukraine on the grounds of providing support to pro-Russian terrorists in the Luhansk and Donetsk regions of Ukraine and, following request from the British side, was released in July 2014 and deported from the territory of Ukraine. He has been forbidden to enter Ukraine for three years on the grounds of a threat to the national security.
Read alsoRussian propagandist Phillips breaks into German media outlet, prompts visit from policeBy violating the existing border regime with the occupied Crimea he brought upon him another qualification of criminal offence under the Ukrainian legislation. "It is regrettable to say that if he is found in the territorial jurisdiction of Ukraine he will immediately bear full consequences for his actions as it was in 2014. We will not hesitate to use all available instruments of international cooperation to make him accountable for his words and deeds," the open letter reads.
"Mr. Phillips' constant and explicit support of the activities of pro-Russian terrorists in the occupied territories of Ukraine and the demonstrated impunity has caused recently a wide resonance in the Ukrainian society and media and resulted in the petition of Ukrainian and British citizens to the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom to investigate and prosecute Mr. Phillips to the full extent of the UK laws for his reported terrorist ties and unlawful activities in Ukraine," the Ukrainian ambassador said.
"In this connection I would like to ask the British side to take all possible measures including with regard to his travel documents to stop Mr. Phillips's propaganda work for the Russian occupation authorities in Ukraine and for him to leave our country for good. Given that Mr. Phillips is proud to identify himself as a UK journalist, his actions are shameful and disgraceful, and make no good for the UK's image as a strong and consistent supporter of Ukraine in countering Russian aggression. By his action Mr. Phillips damages high standards of British journalism," she added.
On September 22, 2016, the letter was sent to the competent British authorities for their further reaction.