ArchivedAugust 10 2022, 18:05 pm

UK Sanctions British Video Blogger over Pro-Russian Disinformation; First UK Citizen on Russia Sanctions List

UK media recent­ly report­ed that the UK gov­ern­ment has added a British video blog­ger based in Russ­ian-occu­pied ter­ri­to­ries of Ukraine to its Rus­sia sanc­tions list, say­ing his con­tent desta­bi­lizes Ukraine. Gra­ham Phillips became the first British cit­i­zen to be indi­vid­u­al­ly sanc­tioned by the UK for his role in the Ukrain­ian con­flict. Accord­ing to a report by the Guardian:

July 26, 2022 A British cit­i­zen who video blogs pro-Krem­lin mate­r­i­al from Russ­ian-occu­pied areas of Ukraine has been added to a UK gov­ern­ment sanc­tions list.  Gra­ham Phillips, who has been accused of being a con­duit for pro-Russ­ian pro­pa­gan­da, is one of 42 new des­ig­na­tions added to the UK’s Rus­sia sanc­tions list. […] Phillips – the first UK cit­i­zen to be added to the grow­ing sanc­tions list – has long been a con­tro­ver­sial fig­ure, receiv­ing medals from the Russ­ian state for his report­ing. He has con­sis­tent­ly toed the Russ­ian line on the war, sug­gest­ing in recent weeks that Ukraine is run by Nazis and that the mas­sacre of Ukraini­ans in Bucha was staged.  In April Phillips drew con­dem­na­tion from Boris John­son and oth­ers when he inter­viewed Aiden Aslin, a British mem­ber of the Ukrain­ian armed forces who had been cap­tured by Russ­ian forces dur­ing the siege of Mar­i­upol. Aslin is fac­ing the death penalty.

Read the rest here.

The UK sanc­tions list describes Phillips as “a video blog­ger who has pro­duced and pub­lished media con­tent that sup­ports and pro­motes actions and poli­cies which desta­bilise Ukraine and under­mine or threat­en the ter­ri­to­r­i­al integri­ty, sov­er­eign­ty or inde­pen­dence of Ukraine”. The Guardian report says that Gra­ham Phillips pre­vi­ous­ly worked for the UK gov­ern­ment Cen­tral Office of Infor­ma­tion and in moved full-time to Ukraine in 2014, where he rein­vent­ed him­self as a jour­nal­ist. The report also says he claims his work is self-fund­ed and that he reg­u­lar­ly solic­its dona­tions from his 325,000 YouTube sub­scribers. A recent report by the Cen­tre for Infor­ma­tion Resilience, a UK think tank, says Phillips “appears to “receive funds through pri­mar­i­ly US-owned crowd­fund­ing plat­forms, in appar­ent defi­ance of US sanctions.”Although Phillips has been per­son­al­ly placed under UK sanc­tions as of July 26, his Pay­Pal account appears to be still acces­si­ble to donors.

The Glob­al Influ­ence Oper­a­tions Report has exten­sive­ly report­ed on West­ern video blog­gers spread­ing Russ­ian pro­pa­gan­da, iden­ti­fy­ing for­mer US naval intel­li­gence offi­cer Patrick Lan­cast­er and Cana­di­an activist Eva Bar­lett as among the most influ­en­tial propagandists.


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