UPDATE: Thanks for all the questions..keep them coming. I'm going to grab a couple hours shut eye, but I'll be checking in on this intermittently throughout the day, so please do ask away.

Hello Reddit!

I'm a British filmmaker, who left my commercial filming job to travel to Ukraine, to report on the war here. I was inspired to do this after finding it almost impossible to find reliable & consistent English-Speaking videos from the region. I travelled here alone, without any language skills or contacts, but have since formed a local team. We're not sponsored or funded by any external forces (relying on my savings and crowdfunding), which enables us to bring transparent and unbiased updates from the front. Over the past 9 months I've had a lot of experiences on and off the frontline, from firefights in the trenches, interviewing volunteer battalions, witnessing failed and successful disengagement’s, visiting abandoned war-torn villages, and much much more.. So please do Ask Me Anything! P.S- I’ll be revisiting this thread again on Friday afternoon GMT, to answer questions from our European friends who will be sleeping now.

Proof: https://twitter.com/Reecelynch/status/1202694655441326093/photo/1

Our new YT channel is now live here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC5jPkhGESlrzaCNI0zo6S6g Our website: www.firstfocusdocs.com Our Patreon, if you wanted to support us: https://www.patreon.com/Firstfocusdocs

Our key work to date:

Ecology Documentary: https://youtu.be/ZGevOX4j64w Our Ecology documentary was well received on our original YT channel, and helped bring worldwide attention to one of Europe's most polluted cities. Through the doc we've been able to begin the process of linking US based NGO's to local activists here and through the use of satellites and sensors they'll be able to begin collecting accurate data on the pollution levels. While not a short term fix- this will allow for a stronger court case in 5 years when enough data has been collected.

Internally Displaced People Documentary: https://youtu.be/kyhJfpfMarU Our IDP documentary was hard to make, thousands of people left homeless by the war currently struggle with poverty. Our documentary helped rally the local community and NGO's which has led them to be included in weekly food and money deliveries, and receive a large sum that was raised internationally. These are not long term solutions though, and work continues through the Ukrainian Deputy PM to provide proper government assistance.

Weekly Update: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLVVE5gQcU_ZkAT4fCrMEIP89OxyYiWNQu Our weekly update is a brief overview on what's been happening the week before on and off the frontline, bringing English Speaking news to a western audience.

Other Links about us: http://euromaidanpress.com/2019/11/27/uk-film-director-drives-to-donbas-to-film-war-spends-almost-a-year-there/ https://www.derbytelegraph.co.uk/news/local-news/derbyshire-filmmaker-travels-war-torn-2901725

Comments: 91 • Responses: 34  • Date: 

Peacock-Shah19 karma

Hi Reece, I’m happy to have to opportunity to inquire! What is the most dangerous situation you and your team have been placed into while in Ukraine?

Barricade_builder29 karma

I'd say it was actually my very first visit to a forward position, we arrived right when a firefight began. I remember half crouching in a trench, running towards the dugout, as the sounds of bullets and mortars erupted around. In hindsight it was dangerous, but actually you do feel safe in the trenches, they're very well constructed.

Ninjoe4211 karma

Whats the morale of the Ukrainian army at this point? What resolution are they hoping for?

Barricade_builder23 karma

Morale is generally high, in terms of what they're fighting for, the belief of defending the homeland. It's no so high when talking about the upcoming peace talks. They fear they're going to be sold out and forced to fall back. The majority have a "why should we fall back on our own land" approach.

The resolution they want is simple.. russian forces to pull out of Ukraine, to secure the border, return Crimea and end the war. How they're going to get it.. not so simple and nobody can say. But they want something swift.. War fatigue is beginning to show.

Macedonian_Pelikan10 karma


Barricade_builder14 karma

Hey- Thanks for the support- much appreciated. 1) While we try through out contacts to report from the other side, it's not actually feasible for us to go ourselves for a number of reasons (including that we were once threatened with jail time by them), but from what we can tell and hear, there is a small element of truth to that. I've spoken to a number of organisations and NGO's who travel to that side, and the word they generally use is 'rag-tag' when referring to their soldiers.

2) Not as much as I thought it would. We tried to ask people as part of our weekly update, but no one really had much to say about it. The best answer we got was "we've got our own problems'. I know in the military the decision to hold up the aid did worry them, as it's crucial here, but in terms of the political fallout, that's not really their concern.

3) These far right fears aren't based on nothing, but they're certainly massively exaggerated. A good example of this is the recent election in which 2% of the population voted for far right parties. I don't have much experience with them to be honest, most of these far right groups are based more in Western Ukraine, and you're much less likely to see any here in Eastern Ukraine. People told me there were none at all in Eastern Ukraine before the war started.

Macedonian_Pelikan2 karma

Thanks again! One more question. What's it like as a foreigner to live in Ukraine? I've got things keeping me in North America for a few years, but I'd very much like to work in Ukraine at some point after that.

Also, you seem like you are moving around quite a bit - how's your living conditions?

Barricade_builder4 karma

Things are fine. I'm trying to learn the language but suck at it, so am pretty reliant on my translator. Over 9 months I have definitely began to miss general small talk and conversations with a range of people. The living is fine. I'd say basic compared to home, but really better than I expected. I do miss preservatives in food though. A lot of things are pickled here..

Apostle_Creed1 karma

As far as #2 how did they feel about Obama and his refusal to get involved at-least on the the Ukraine side.

Barricade_builder1 karma

It’s never really been mentioned to me. While they’re thankful for the Aid, the mentality here isn’t to expect other people to fight on their behalf. So I don’t think there’s any hard feelings.

PhoenixOfDarkness7 karma

Hey Reece! I live in Sevastopol and I was wondering: what is the general opinion out there on Crimea separating from the rest of Ukraine? Truth is, I consider myself Russian (but not zealously patriotic in any way, of course - I love my country, but I'm not a vatnik) and Sevastopol has been experiencing a rapid improvement in infrastructure over the last 5 years, but it pains me to see this conflict unfold because, the way I see it, it's kin killing each other. I might be wrong on this too, so I'm hoping to hear any insight on what the Ukrainian soldiers think of the war and whether they think it's fruitless or not. Best of everything to you and thanks.

Barricade_builder10 karma

Oh cool, Hi! Not often we get the chance to talk to someone from Crimea. How's it going down there? You're dead right about the war- it is painful to see! Everybody here wishes it could just end. The general opinion on Crimea is that it was illegally annexed and should be returned, and there is no faith in the referendum that happened there. I know from some sources the government have given up on hope of Crimea returning, but that's not their official position. The general populace still want it back. Many of them tell me it was the best place to holiday in all of Ukraine. You've probably seen the recent outrage of Apple maps marking Crimea as part of Russia, and just how passionate people got about it.

How is life there for you? Have you always lived in Sevastopol, and if so did you consider yourself Russian when it was part of Ukraine? Interesting you say about the infrastructure, do you have any pics you could send me? I'd be really interested to see. The last I heard from the city was that the port was run into the ground and the knock on effect was staggering. Thanks for reaching out!

XP_Studios7 karma

How democratic is Ukraine?

Barricade_builder21 karma

Well, it's had two elections this year, which led to a new president and a new parliament. It had international observers to monitor the vote, the transfer etc, and they've said it passed pretty well. So I'd put it up there!

bemosco7 karma

Have you dealt with any Nato troops in Ukraine? (Specifically Canadian or American troops)

Barricade_builder14 karma

We have some relations with the Canadian forces here, but only though online communications. They're based in Western Ukraine so not yet had the opportunity for a face to face.. although I would like to film some of their trainings. However we have met a lot of volunteers from such countries (actually now I think of it, I haven't met a Canadian yet), especially from US and UK.

Macedonian_Pelikan6 karma

What are the US and UK volunteers like? What are their reasons for fighting, and do they want to stay there long term?

Barricade_builder6 karma

All the ones we’ve met are decent, normal blokes you’d meet at home. They usually ex army who feel passionate about the cause and come to fight for it. I’ve not met any of tandhe volunteers from the other side, there are less U.K./US ones there but I’ve heard there are some. I’ve heard the odd story of the occasional volunteer who has a reputation for being here just for the blood and kills, but not met anyone like that. I think Syria still attracts the majority of that crowd. I think every volunteer I’ve met (bar 1 Italian) plans to stay in Ukraine long term, even after war. It’s a good country, I can see why it attracts people.

woah-there-satan5 karma

hi reece I've been following your videos on YouTube, what is the end goal of your doco series? its such a sad situation and its great that you are covering it all, so my questions are.

do you feel safe from day to day with how things currently stand, especially after your coverage on pollution in mariupol, i can't imagine they liked that.

dose your grans poor car still work or has it breathed its last breath?

what can an average person do to actually help the situation in Ukraine realistically?

how do you financially support such a big project ?


Barricade_builder10 karma

Hey, thanks for the support! The end goal is to stay here and continue our update videos, and documentaries until the ultimate end. It's a really interesting time here on the ground atm, with the implementation of the Steinmeier Formula and a Normandy meeting happening in days.. so I want to make sure that the potential end of this war is being covered.

Generally yes I feel safe, I'd say more than I did in London believe it or not. But yes, the pollution is bad in Mariupol. Hence why it's nice to leave the city.

The car still runs fine thanks! It's actually my car, I bought it off my grandma, but the press decided "drives nans car' made for a better headline. Its not really equipped for a Ukrainian winter though, so currently considering finding a driver with a 4x4, to ensure we can keep visiting positions over the winter.

In terms of help, not much, realistically! But by keeping yourself informed you can help dispel a lot of misinformation, and help others be aware of whats happening. The morale here is actually pretty good, but they do feel a bit cut off from the west and encourage anyone to spread awareness. Its not even a western problem though in my opinion. I've met and talked to just as many people in other parts of Ukraine who didn't realise the war still continued.

And as for funding, so far it's been from my own savings, the merch store and crowdfunding. Fortunately it's a pretty cheap country, but funding is becoming a big issue, so we're focusing on growing our Patreon so we can stay and carry on the work.

Thanks for the questions!

usnahx3 karma

Hello Mr. Lynch, thank you for your brave contribution by shedding light on this disgusting conflict.

I live in Yekaterinburg (Russia) and I've noticed something somewhat interesting.

The general populous has gotten kind of sick of the constant coverage of Ukraine, but they are still for the most part on Putin's side (it really depends on the demographic, but I'll just stick with the older generation for now).

Whenever I get close to de-brainwashing someone on Ukraine, the topic of the arguably infamous Azov battalion comes up and I'm back to square one.

The problem is that I cannot confirm or deny that they are horrible people. Sure, they are one the right side, but the logo and the nazi salute allegations are not doing them any favours. Sifting through tons of information and trying to distinguish propaganda from truth has become almost impossible.

It would be really great if you could provide some insight on the Battalion.

Are they as bad as some say?

Barricade_builder2 karma

Now that’s a good question! And hello. Nice to speak to someone from Russia. How is life treating you?

I think Azov have gone through radical change in the last few years, and made a real effort to purge this Nazi association. The difficulty is they are so closed off it’s hard to get them to talk about it. I spend a lot of time very in mariupol so know a lot of azov people. I think the majority are just normal people, come to fight for country, azov have the best kit, it’s a privilege to serve, good pay, etc, but it can’t be denied, the small minority are Nazi orientated.

It’s a curious relationship. Their achievements in Mariupol are almost folklore here, how they retook the city. They’re generally seen as heroes, but do need to shake off this Nazi reputation.

The ones I’ve met I’ve found to be helpful, but I won’t deny that there’s a small group of them who aren’t. One thing that is agreed though is strength. They’re known as a disciplined, organised and deadly brigade. They have a lot of strength on the field.

What do they say about them in Russia? I’m curious to know.

Thanks for reaching out!

usnahx1 karma

Thank you for answering! It makes a lot of sense for Azov to do that.

To answer your question:

The Azov battalion is treated the same way the Svoboda party and the Right Sector are in the news: Nazis. Period.

Ukraine as a whole is treated with a bit more context, but only when it suits the "evil Lviv / poor Donbass" narrative.

What is unfortunate is that they show that small minority of Slavic Nazis (a walking paradox lol) and say something along the lines of "See what the Ukrainians are fighting for? If you don't support Crimea you're pretty much a NAHTZEEE!" That way, they are stigmatizing support for the Ukrainian government (and Crimea). It does not really matter that the Right Sector is a small group of radicals whose power has significantly waned over the years, they will push the narrative that they are what the people want. Granted, they have seemingly moved away towards other aspects of Ukraine. But whenever Svoboda or the Sector organize, you bet every state-owned news channels will be blaring it when they get the chance.

Whenever Azov comes up, they like to show crying women and children talking about how their school or home has been destroyed by Azov or the regular army (That is the hardest part to argue about since I can't disprove the footage and just have to cross my fingers that it was either staged or an accident).

They also like to talk about the Ukrainian Government with a patronizing manner. They do it a lot. And by that I mean A LOT. As a rough estimate, ~20% of their nightly news cover Ukraine. From how bankrupt and poorly managed they are, to how close they are with NATO, Russia 1 (main state channel) never seems to run out of content. People are now making jokes that they might as well just be a Ukrainian TV channel.

One prominent example from the top of my head that comes up is when Poroshenko was opening a road, he had selected a road sign to unveil for the ceremony. Russia framed it as he was celebrating an installation of that exact road sign. Here is one of the headlines from that day. They want the viewers to feel schadenfreude and/or anger whenever Ukraine comes up.

Naturally, the president is also targeted. Back then they have portrayed Poroshenko as a Chocolate psycho with no Charisma, now we have a clown backed by Kolomoyskiy with no charisma. They cover Zelensky the same way Fox News cover AOC. In a Patronizing, nitpicky manner that always implies that he cannot be reasoned with and he's pretty much a US puppet. Never mind his explicit calls to peace and dialogue.

That reminds me of something that happened a month or so ago: Zelensky was in the area of conflict and he had gotten in an argument with an Azov operative (Please turn on the English Captions). And sure, the president could have handled it better, BUT OUR NEWS SIDED WITH AZOV JUST SO THEY COULD STICK IT TO ZENENSKY! They called his act "unprofessional" IIRC.

They also liked to approach Poroshenko at international conferences and be outraged whenever he declined to comment. They also did that to Zelensky to some extent but seemingly stopped since he actually commented. Sometimes I feel like they actually rooted for Poroshenko during the elections since he's more hateable.

But yeah, how is the front line looking? Please stay safe out there man.

Barricade_builder2 karma

Oh wow that was an interesting read! Thank you for taking the time to answer. I did laugh at one part, I’ve heard many names for Zelenskyy and insults as some people here don’t like him, but I’ve never heard him called uncharismatic before. He’s a former actor. His whole campaign was won with charisma- it’s The policy that was lacking.

Interesting how they played his trip to the frontline. That guy wasn’t even Azov. Azov are part of the national guard, this guy was a volunteer. Azov is just a blanket term now days to anyone who’s a volunteer or a nationalist.

I’ve just looked at the links you sent. The life.ru was particularly interesting. In their “news from around the world” section they have 5 stories on Ukraine. Very small world.

I fear this kind of news whitewashing won’t stop even with the war. And it’s on both sides. Disinformation is the new weapon. Hence why we’re here, trying to make a difference.

usnahx2 karma

Yeah, to expand on my charisma point, what they like to do is to show him as overly sweet/teacher’s pet kind of manner whenever he interacts with a western leader. Auch footage comprises 60% of their coverage on Zelensky.

And it seems that the propaganda machine has temporarily swallowed me when I thought that the volunteer was from Azov. Woohoo.

One more blanket term that they also like to use is “radical”.

Life.ru is pretty much a Putin-praising machine. They produce the Sun-tier content which is quite frankly too embarrassing to link. They particularly like to create scandals out of nowhere. They even went as low as to barge prostitutes into Navalny’s (main opposition leader) HQ and somehow tried to implicate him for that. Their extensive coverage on Ukraine is not accidental, they just really want to make people take their side.

They all want to make patriotism and criticism of Russia’s foreign policy mutually exclusive.

As for your conclusion, yeah definitely. I’ll drink to that.

Barricade_builder2 karma

It was nice talking to you! Thanks for the good conversation. Stay safe

bipolarthrowaway2223 karma

ive seen a few of your vids on YouTube are you planning on doing another full scale doco or just video updates? i imagine it isn't easy to fund a whole doco on funding.

have you witnessed anything you would consider traumatic or life changing while on the front? and do you plan to return to london eventually

Barricade_builder6 karma

Thanks for the question! We have more documentaries planned and are creeping towards completing them. Some subjects are The minefields of Luhansk, Life in the frontline villages, and Winter in the trenches. And also there will be our main, feature documentary which will hopefully wrap in March, which will show a full year in the life on the frontline.

Traumatic no, life changing- kind of. But not in a bad way. But more in a "I grew up a lot and really opened my mind, and also learnt to question everything" type of way. Just the nature of experience.

And yes, I would return to London, but not for a while. Ideally I'd like to stay here full time if funding allows and continue to document the fascinating stories here. Thanks for the support.

baulrog753 karma

Uuuhhh forgive me what war? Who are the Ukrainians fighting and why? I mean ive heard there is a conflict there but i thought it ended?

Barricade_builder8 karma

No, its be happening since 2014. Since late 2015 it's been trench warfare, with not much movement, but it still continues to claim lives of soldiers and civillians alike. Ukraine is fighting Russian-backed separatists (and pretty strong evidence for Russian military/volunteers) in Donbas, which is the eastern part of the country. It's pretty complicated, I'm actually working on a brief overview article on it, which i'll put out this weekend. I'll send you the link. Cheers

nasirulniza2 karma

How doese it feels to constantly trying to report on this conflict? And what do you think is a good approach to end this war as a leader? thanks

Barricade_builder2 karma

Sometimes it’s a bit like talking to a wall. But we’re slowly finding an interested audience. Whenever I get demoralised, I’m usually rescued by support emails or messages, so overall I’m really proud of what we’re doing. But I admit, I thought more people would be interested. And honestly, I’m not entirely sure. If I was Ukraine, I think I’d be prepared to take the loss, end the war and join NATO and EU and focus on growth. I can’t see how they can overcome Russia. I actually just released a video discussing the biggest obstacles to peace of you’re interested: https://youtu.be/o8lC5Px1GY8

GuangoJohn2 karma

Hi Reece,
How is the situation in the south in the Mariupol area? My ex and I have a summer cottage close by in Melekyne but have not been that way since the war started. She is afraid to go there since she carries a Russian passport and worries that she would be mistreated. Is she worrying needlessly?

Barricade_builder3 karma

Hey! Lovely village- I think of it fondly for having some of worst roads I've been on! But great village regardless. In terms of safety from the war, its totally safe! You'd not even notice a difference aside from a police checkpoint near Berdyansk. I made a video recently showing how safe Mariupol is, so you'll get an idea: https://youtu.be/SlwhkKZ5WV0

The Russian passport is something else. Where do you live now, in Ukraine? I think generally she'll be fine. I've met many people from Moscow in Mariupol, and the only thing they complain about is the long train journey they have to take. She might get some smart remark from a soldier or police officer at a checkpoint (sometimes my British Passport attracts them), but in terms of safety or mistreatment, I wouldn't worry. Especially as you're property owners. Are you worried about the state of the house? If so I could swing by prior and do a reconnaissance if you like, let you know how it stands? It's not too far, and I enjoy driving that road.

Gillesdelatourette2 karma

You looking for help Mr. lynch?

Barricade_builder4 karma

always, but unfortunately we can’t pay or hire anyone just yet, we haven’t got any funding in place to survive. Simplify sharing our channel would be a massive help though! Thanks :)

RollPlayingDad2 karma

Such a huge fan of what your doing! This would be a dream for me, I love the idea of documenting things through images and media that is outside of the normal realms of what we see in our own mainstream media, I am a photographer myself and pride myself in images that showcase real life, I would tour every battle ground taking images to provide history for future generations to learn from!

As a British man I can understand you wanting to leave, but what has been your biggest struggle so far? And is there anywhere else you would like to venture to next? last question, if you could go and document any place at any point in the world (past and present) where would you go?

Barricade_builder4 karma

Hey, yeah it can be pretty interesting, and it does feel very fulfilling being able to capture and immortalise such stories. I know it's obvious, but aside from the language the biggest problem is funding. There's always something, from broken equipment, to a damaged car that requires fixing.. it really makes it hard to budget and to get ahead.

But a more interesting answer would be the culture shock, it's very different from Britain. I find myself a bit more aggressive here.. especially along the front. You have to be loud to get things done.

As for the next journey, I would like to go to Yemen and see for myself the results of the Saudi-led intervention. And also to Africa, to document the french led battle against Boko Haram. But for that to happen I need the channel to take off first.

And good question.. I had to think for a moment, but I'd probably choose either Rome at it's height, or Henry VIII's court, but when he was in his younger days. When they boy assumed the crown. He somewhat fascinates me. Although victorian London also holds a certain sway. Thank you for your question. I'd love to see some of your photos sometime.

marmot1112 karma

Are the people defending against the Russians? Is there mixed feelings about defending themselves among Ukraine's citizens? Is there enough food for the citizens?

Barricade_builder13 karma

Well the Ukrainian Armed Forces are defending if that's what you meant? They've built a large army over the last few years, and have pretty much replaced the volunteer battalions that were common at the start of the war. Fortunately food is plentiful in most places, although a few villages along the frontline rely on aid and NGO's, which often leaves them needing more.

crazydaysthrowaway2 karma

What made you decide to up and leave for a war zone in another country? did you miss life in London much? how are you not crippled by money worries, has the war affected the cost of living much?

Its amazing how much you care for the Ukrainian people but it's something i find hard to grasp and i think many people do, its the whole mentality of, well what can i do? i can't help, but you just up and drove to a war zone, why?

i haven't seen all of your videos but definately plan on watching the rest, good luck

Barricade_builder7 karma

Well, I wanted to learn more about it myself, I definitely didn't intend to stay as long as I have. I thought i'd come, find a relatively inactive war, make a short doc and come home. Instead i've found a developing situation, really interesting people and stories, and such a welcoming attitude its been easy to stay. I do miss London life, but I have my whole life ahead of me to return there. At the moment I just feel right being here, trying to tell these stories. The cost of living is cheap here, thankfully. I am starting to worry about money, but I believe in what i'm doing and think it's important, so think something will work out. In western terms, we don't need much to operate here, and we're starting to gain an audience.

In terms of the mentality.. I guess I just felt like I was in a position to do something. I had the equipment, I had the idea of it.. and just went for it. Don't worry, people here are also just as confused as to why. But every time I start to think of calling it quits, we meet a new person, find a new story or video subject, or even get a supportive email from somewhere, and it just reminds me that some people do at least appreciate it. I hope that answers it.

PDCspartan1 karma

While in Ukraine, have you had the opportunity to learn, on a first-hand basis, how dependent Ukraine has been on other countries, EU or others, in funding their military in their fight in this war? If so, would you say that these foreign contributions make a big difference in how Ukraine has been able to stay in and fight this war?

Barricade_builder2 karma

I think dependant is a strong word..but yeah these contributions have made a massive difference. Really helped to jumpstart the economy which struggled at the outbreak of war, slowing bringing inflation back under control, and the military contributions are very much valued. There’s also the training that the army receives from certain nato members, they go down very well.

In terms of the aid, it’s not just military. EU is basically shaping Ukraine in terms of funding, institutions, infrastructure etc and slowly bringing it to the level needed for membership.

flerchin1 karma

What's your 00 number?

Barricade_builder1 karma

  1. For England James..

driftingfornow1 karma

Are you hiring? I am being serious.

My skillset is all over the place but I can do maintenance, sound editing, security, am former military, have been a professional photographer before and have a bit of writing experience.

Barricade_builder4 karma

Mate that would be great, but we’re just not in a position yet to be hiring anyone. We’re still chasing funding and haven’t even secured our own future here.. but once we do and are looking to expand I’ll be in touch! Thanks

MesWantooth1 karma

Have you seen a disheveled old American man in a wrinkled suit who is clearly disoriented, running around screaming into a cellphone? If so, that is Rudy Giuliani - do not approach him. But if you can get close enough, you will probably overhear some good intel - he's likely speaking to Putin or Trump or some Russian mobsters.

Stay safe and thank you for your reporting!

Barricade_builder1 karma

Hahaha! I started reading that and had no idea where it was going! I think we’d get some very good intel indeed. Thanks for the support

call_memike1 karma

What’s one major takeaway from what you ah e done or learned for this?

Barricade_builder1 karma

That people are strong! Humans can go through so much and keep going on. Some of the interviews and stories we’ve got are just insane, and I’m sure I’d have just given up way before a lot of these people. especially civilians, talking about their losses of sons, daughters, houses, dignity.

call_memike1 karma

I watched some go pro footage of a Ukrainian squad getting rely by some Russians. And then the Russians calling the mothers of the dead.

Barricade_builder2 karma

Damn that’s cold

call_memike1 karma

It’s cold, but at least they called the parents. I don’t have an opinion on the fight there but I was just diving into military GoPro style footage

Barricade_builder2 karma

Oh sorry I misunderstood, I thought I thought you meant called the parents to mock and say “I’ve killed your son”. Because that has happened before.

Izgoy1 karma

Would you say you approach your reporting with a certain bias towards the Ukrainian nationalist factions that are fighting there? Is it true that most of the fighters on Ukraine's side are non Ukrainian Army-based independent militias? I'm just curious because everyone who is a war reporter usually has a certain proclivity to sympathize with one of the sides of the conflict, and as Russian from Ukraine I would like to know if you find that the separatist fighting is just aggression toward Ukrainian sovereignty, or more like an essentially regional conflict by independent militias.

Barricade_builder1 karma

Hmm. Before I can answer I'll have to clear some things up. No, it's not true that the majority are Non Ukraine Army. It was true in 2014 when war broke out and the Ukrainian Armed Forces (UAF) were in disarray, volunteer battalions (not all nationalists, they came from all over the world) did a lot of the fighting. But they've seen all been brought under control of the UAF or disbanded. Less than 5 percent of people on the front are part of these now. Even Azov who are probably the most famous are now part of the National Guard.

I try and stay neutral, but probably do lean a bit towards Ukraine, largely because I'm more exposed to their side. I'm banned from the other side, they've sent me threats, so it's hard not to distrust them. And the things my contacts tell me from that side don't inspire much confidence. Lots of allegations of torture. Although that is to say, I'm know the civillians on that side (on both sides) are just normal people, they just want to work and live in peace. They were all fellow countrymen once.

necro_sodomi1 karma

This conflict has been on for 6 years now. Is it possible for Ukraine to defeat the Russian proxy in Donbass? Do the pro Russian forces have a just cause? The irony of this is that it will happen to GB in a decade or so. The factions will be different but the cause similar. Your new friends will demand separation with force.

Barricade_builder1 karma

If there was a guarantee of no russian involvement Ukraine would win easily. But that guarantee doesn’t and will not exist, so no. The more interesting question is who would win if Russia decides to attack full force.

And I doubt it. But that isn’t to say we should let the guard down.

its-ur-boi541 karma

How’d you DRIVE from UK to Ukraine, I don’t want to be r/facepalm ed or anything but can somebody explain please?

Barricade_builder1 karma

A ferry from Dover to Dunkirk..

MajorSecretary1 karma

What's street crime like in these places near the border?

Barricade_builder2 karma

You mean on the Ukrainian controlled side? Actually the lowest in Ukraine. Mariupol is the closest city and it’s got the lowest crime. Helps having thousands of soldiers nearby to help the police,

MajorSecretary1 karma

Nice, thanks for the insight.

Barricade_builder2 karma

No problem. I go into it in more detail here: IS MARIUPOL (UKRAINE) SAFE TO TRAVEL TO? https://youtu.be/SlwhkKZ5WV0

Jumlee77-2 karma

When can I join you, I need some film experience?

Barricade_builder8 karma

Haha! I'm sure you can find an easier gig for your first experience.