Ukrainians ask British PM to punish Graham Phillips for tormenting a mutilated PoW

Ukrainian PoW Volodymyr Zhemchugov during exchange of hostages near Shchastya, Ukraine, 17 September 2016. Photo: Oleksandr Klymenko, published at 

International, More, Ukraine, War in the Donbas

British videoblogger Graham Phillips, known for his cooperation with Russian occupation regimes in Ukrainian Donbas staged out a crooked provocation at an exchange of hostages, tormenting and humiliating a mutilated prisoner of war. Ukrainians are now addressing UK officials with a demand to punish Phillips for psychological torture and cooperation with terrorists.

Mocking an armless PoW

“Who brainwashed you? You speak like a brainwashed zombie… Who needs you now, with no arms?” These are not the phrases a maimed prisoner of war is supposed to hear minutes before reuniting with his family after almost a year of captivity. Neither could such questions be qualified as a part of an interview by any war correspondent working on a story about the release of hostages.

However, this is exactly what Ukrainian soldier Volodymyr Zhemchugov had to go through as he was waiting for his release by the “Luhansk People’s Republic” (“LNR”) on 17 September in Russia occupied Donbas.

Odious British blogger Graham Phillips, known for cooperation with the Russian-backed separatist “republics” in Donbas, was deported from Ukraine back in 2014. On 17 September, he found himself in an ambulance that brought a seriously ill soldier to exchange of hostages. In a five minute video uploaded to Phillips’ YouTube channel the blogger repeatedly addresses the soldier as a “zombie,” claims he is “no intelligent man,” and insults Ukrainian journalists present at the exchange. Zhemchugov, who has spent almost a year in captivity, states he is an educated man, a patriot, and assures that “Ukraine doesn’t leave its own people.”

For Phillips, such an approach to “journalism” (as he calls it) is no exception. For instance, on 22 January 2015, he was filming a “parade of prisoners” of the military personnel of Armed forces of Ukraine, with a couple of “active citizens” shouting and throwing something at the POWs. In fact, the scene turned out to be a plot – the few “active citizens” were driven in specially to be filmed by the Russian media, and filmed at angles to make their number appear larger than they were.

The video with Zhemchugov, however, doesn’t seem to have received an expected reaction from YouTube audience. As of 21 September, it received 3,829 “dislikes” compared to 1,341 “likes” and got bombed with pro-Ukrainian comments. “What a miserable ‘journalist,’ I think he will be prosecuted as a terrorist after the liberation of Ukrainian territories, in case he won’t be eleminated by Russian terrorists, or it will run away terrified by punishment for its crimes,” a comment by Kolya Shcherbina states.

Suicide attempt to avoid “LNR” captivity

On 28 September 2015 Volodymyr Zhemchugov, who calls himself „a Luhansk partisan of Ukrainian underground” got injured due to an accidental tripwire detonation. A local of Luhansk with Russian citizenship, he decided to join Ukrainian Armed Forces as an intelligence agent and later went on as a partisan fighting Russian soldiers in an occupied Luhansk oblast.

After detonation, Zhemchugov started crawling towards the road nearby hoping to get run over by a car. There he was found by “LNR” militants who put him into reanimation, under interrogation and under arrest.

Read more: Kremlin-backed militants demand amnesty, put hostage without arms or eyesight on trial

“There is a route Krasnodon-Luhansk there, and at night Urals [freight vehicles – ed.] from Russia carrying shells for… [separatists’ – ed.] warehouses follow that route. At night those convoys are being redeployed further here, to Luhansk, to Stakhanov. Indeed, when I realized I wasn’t dying, I decided to commit suicide. I crawled to the road not to be saved, but to be killed. I didn’t want to be taken captive,” he explained in an interview for TSN.

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In captivity, both of Volodymyr’s arms were amputated, he almost lost sight after a retinal detachment, was suffering a damaged eardrum, part of his intestine was removed, and shrapnel still remained in his body. As a hostage, he only received emergency treatment and was constantly under psychological pressure such as threats with a gun or threats of killing his family.

Volodymyr’s wife pleaded to the European court of Human Rights, the EU delegation to Ukraine, to the heads of the Normandy Four, President Poroshenko, and even to the Pope and Queen of Great Britain to help her husband be exchanged while still alive and finally on 17 September 2016 the exchange was arranged.

Zhemchugov will now undergo medical treatment and rehabilitation. However, his slim chances of regaining vision are severely undermined by nearly year he spent in “LNR” prisons without treatment. Had the exchange taken place on 17 November 2015, as it was planned before the arrangement was disrupted from the side of the “LNR,” those chances would be much higher, Gerashchenko said.

Punishment for Graham Phillips

“When Zhemchugov came out of an ambulance and leaned on our guys from Security Service of Ukraine, a humanlike creature jumped dancing towards him,” Ukraine’s First Vice Speaker of Parliament Iryna Gerashchenko wrote on Facebook after an incident with Phillips. According to Gerashchenko, “’LNR’s’ negotiator was happily laughing at the scene behind Phillips’ back, and OSCE monitors present at the exchange didn’t intervene in the provocation. The Vice Speaker stated that Phillips’ goal was to disrupt the exchange.

On 19 September, Ukrainian parliamentarians and journalists presented Phillips’ video at a PACE session. According to Gerashchenko, such behavior of Phillips can be classified as forbidden methods of influence, mockery of a hostage, and psychological torture. Volodymyr Ariev, Ukraine’s MP and the chairman of the Ukrainian delegation to PACE, is of the same opinion. Gerashchenko has suggested filing an appeal to the British Court regarding torturing of a war prisoner.

A similar initiative came also from outraged Ukrainian citizens. On 18 September, Ukrainian activist Ludmila Elbourne living in London addressed the new British prime minister Theresa May, commenting on a post on May’s Facebook profile.

“Given that Mr. Phillips is proud to identify himself as a UK journalist, and that the UK Government is providing support to the legitimate Ukrainian Government, maybe it is possible to withdraw Mr. Phillips’ travel documents? His avowed support for terrorism in East Ukraine alone surely makes this possible?” Elbourne requested.

Within three days, the comment collected up to 20 thousand likes and sparked further angry comments by Ukrainians demanding punishing Phillips for his behavior, serving Russian propaganda, and shaming the British Crown. May has not yet addressed this issue neither on Facebook, nor in an official statement.

One more call for bringing Phillips to responsibility came from a Pentagon officer David Jewberg. On 20 September, he posted a letter addressed to the British officials urging them “to investigate and prosecute Mr. Phillips to the full extent of UK laws for his terrorist ties and unlawful activity in the occupied Ukraine.”

On 21 September, Ukrainian police reported that 1,5 thousand people went missing since the beginning of the conflict in eastern Ukraine. In the beginning of September, Gerashchenko said that 498 people still haven’t been found. According to official information of the Security Service of Ukraine, as of 14 September, 112 Ukrainians remain in captivity of the so-called “LNR/DNR.”

If you wish to donate towards Volodymyr Zhemchugov’s recovery, you can do so here:
For donations in EUR:
Corresponding bank: PJSC CB PrivatBank,
Swift Code: PBANUA2X
Intermediary bank: Commerzbank AG
Account number in intermediary bank: 400886700401
Payment note: Zhemchugov Volodymyr
INN 2581705837
Card number 5351 4527 0048 2935


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  1. Avatar Richard Hoover says:

    This piece of SHIT graham Phillips also was stirring up lies and propaganda in Maidan revolution KIEV,,2014,,,Yes i saw this Creepo Graham Phillips ,,a scumbag journalist weasel shit liar and met him briefly,as he nosed around ,,about where I was from etc,,,,he had the air of an arrogant ego maniac ,,mr know it all pig sand o full of himself,!!!,A skin headed” wanna be Russian loser “” desparatley trying to score points with the Russian ladies is what i smelled,,but he smells like shit and is shit,,Hes a waste of HUMAN SKIN! lock this fucker up!! id love to be in a boxing ring with him,,or alley way even better,KO his ass in two seconds i guarantee!!! then id piss on him and sleep like a baby all my life! The hero Volodymyr god bless his soul,,and his family,,what a real man Ukraine must file charges against this Phillips asshole and the hero Volodomyr as well he must file charges I hope with his strong wife and family and friends at his side!!! Slava Ukraini ,,Slava Volodoymyr !!Canada is at your side and all Ukraine patriots!,

    1. Avatar Randolph Carter says:

      Personally, in my mind I see a car battery, some wires and Phillips’ testicles (assuming he has any). Darn car won’t start, no matter how many times I turn the key. We also used to start cold cars using ether and a match. Maybe that would help…

      Volodymyr Zhemchugov will receive (and deserves) a hero’s welcome. Many years from now, his children and grandchildren will speak his name with pride.

      Phillips is a scumbag and a traitor who will be met by other scumbags and traitors. He will probably wind up living in some shithole in Moscow working as a male prostitute.

      “Cowards die many times before their deaths. The valiant never taste of death but once.” from the play Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare.

      1. Avatar Richard Hoover says:

        Iron words buddy,,,,the people have to help the underdogs that cant do it here,,,Rage on Rage on win the good fight !

  2. Avatar Richard Hoover says:

    Smack this Graham Phillips ego maniac journalist wanna be Vladimir Lenin slash Russian terrorist ,,Wimp ass around like a rag doll and and lblow him up with a grenade and lay him on a road armless bleeding to death and lets see how he likes it!! The man isnt even a BRIT PATRIOT ,,hes a traitor of freedom and democracy ,,what Brits and westerners and Europeans believe in and are paid for in a democratic mindset and world ,yes in their work too,,,this asshole should beg Britain to have a passport on his hands and knees ,,then piss on his head! revoke his rights and passport ,,,put him in Siberia with the Russian Tundra wild bears ,,Putin and him can sleep in the same tent!! They will love it!

  3. Avatar Terry Washington says:

    I agree that Mr Phillips behaviour is tasteless but I am not certain if he has broken any existing UK(as opposed to Ukrainian) laws- perhaps refusing him entry to Ukraine would be the best punishment!

    1. Avatar Richard Hoover says:

      Hes already restricted from entering Ukraine two years ago for working the spin doctors together in Moscow ,,the media machine pays his ass ,,,Propaganda espionage shit!Putin and scum like this Graham Phillips ,,a Cocky smug punk ass wimp ,,,traitor of dignity traitor of democracy and human rights ,,Russian Kremlin pot stirring RAT ,,Pervert of truth of Ukraines hard times ,,again ! Putin must be his mentor ,,,Virtual mentor of evil ,,stirring up wars ,,,their weak card is they are over confident,,sewer on the 8 ball ,,,bullshitters ,war mongers killers ,,,SCUM!!! A WASTE OF SKIN!

      1. Avatar Terry Washington says:

        Much like those “useful idiots” who flacked for Soviet policies during the Cold War( Paul Robeson, Hewlett Johnson, Beatrice and Sydney Webb), perhaps the wisest thing to do would be to ignore Mr Phillips!

        1. Avatar Richard Hoover says:


          *Richard Bachynsky HooverGOLDEN TRIDENT FILMS*

          *[email protected] *

  4. Avatar Matt Franklin says:

    May this reptile die a violent and painful death along with Motorola and Zakarchenko. Evil quislings that will spend their lives avoiding karma.

    1. Avatar Richard Hoover says:

      if that big,,,,,Putins is just solid evil compressed ,,,,,,,hope he blows a valve ,,!! Cardiac arrest! ker Plunkin Putin!

  5. Avatar Victor Victory says:

    Let’s wait until someone chops off both of his arms and mocks him.

  6. Avatar Bohdan Wynnycky says:

    They invented tar and feathering for repulsive human beings like Graham Phillips, and that is exactly what he deserves (and much more).

  7. Avatar Cargocat says:

    This “man” is detestable. What kind of human being engages in this behaviour? Does he not realize that even prisoners of war have basic rights? He is the lowest sort of creature that respects no one and he should get no respect in return. There are no words suitable to describe his actions and anyone with a beating heart is disgusted by his actions!

  8. Avatar Terry Washington says:

    I’m not certain if Graham Phillips has broken any UK laws per se, never mind how reprehensible his mockery of an armless POW may have been. If of course he has broken any Ukrainian laws then the authorities are entitled to deal with him as they see fit! Perhaps the best response to Phillips is to ignore him entirely!