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APPEAL: Let's Help this Alternative Ukraine Reporter Crowdfund a Camera!

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This post first appeared on Russia Insider


We've worked a lot with George over the past year, and can recommend him wholeheartedly.  

He's risking his life to get the truth out.  It doesn't get much more real, or more admirable, than that.

<figcaption>Citizen journalism is changing the world</figcaption>
Citizen journalism is changing the world

We were never able to pay him, and he never asked, just did what he thought was right.  Now we have a chance to help him.

If you can, please share on social media - it really helps.

Recent developments suggest that the ruckus WE have been raising in alternative media has really made a difference in the Ukraine.  

This is how alternative media happens - regular folks, giving a few bucks at a time, or volunteering a few hours.  

Here at Russia Insider, we understand that very well.  So let's keep up the pressure.  

We are making a difference.

Here is his crowdfunding appeal on Indiegogo.

I supported it, I hope you will too.

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/donbass-war-journalism-and-humanitarian-aid

Here is the full text of it:

Put yourself in the seat with us as we document the Ukrainian war in Donbass. I was the first western journalist writing about Ukraine from Donbass and the only one that has been here the entire time. I live here.

Over the past year, the one thing that has been made clear is the lack of unbiased western journalism and news coverage in Donbass covering the war. Kiev admits to propagandizing everything it releases to western media.

There have been no efforts to getting dedicated English language news video directly to western news and media from inside the LNR and DNR on a continual basis. Most efforts are geared for Russian speaking audiences first with English versions following as an afterthought.

Together we can change that!

What We Need & What You Get

We need funding for a news quality camera and accessories. With the camera, we will be able to bring substantial English language documentary video to the west and put you right there with us.

Our goal is to bring video footage to good news and alternative media websites that otherwise would not have access to video, documentaries, and commentary from Donbas in English direct to them- Free of Charge.

For the past year that’s where most of our own income has been going and we are not going to change that. We plan to continue helping the humanitarian effort in Donbass and expand on it by selling some of the news footage to news agencies. That will help fund the humanitarian effort locally on a continuous basis.

We have been fortunate enough to be involved in humanitarian aid and distributing medication locally. We are also painfully aware of what happens when aid doesn’t get to where it is needed. Together we can help change this for the better.

For the camera and the needed accessories, we will need $4500. This will cover all the transfer fees and give a complete news camera set up that is ready to go. We don’t need the top of the line options but do require a camera with a lot of versatility to gain war footage and do interviews that has high resolution and is still unobtrusive.

Funding beyond that will go into the humanitarian effort and help fund documentary work directly in between news events. Documentary work by itself is an expensive endeavor if just transportation costs are added in. We will take you directly to the places that are being affected hardest by the war and let people speak for themselves.

The Impact your Funding will Make

Your funding will make a large impact in western media by making quality video footage continuously available to websites you know and trust. Currently its the lack of direct English language news coverage from the war that is the biggest news about it in the west. If a picture is worth a thousand words how much are direct footage and witnesses from the scene worth when the alternative is Ukrainian propaganda?

With your funding it will become very hard to keep the real facts out of mainstream media because they will have to start looking at English language video from someone that has lived and reported from here the entire time. We will be providing quality news websites with interviews and asking their involvement on select interviews as we go. In many cases, this will mean the journalists you currently read will have input on the questions asked to the people shaping both the war and beginning of Novorussia.

Can we make an impact across the world together? The answer is yes, we can!

The Bakery Project

At the beginning of the Ukrainian war, Kiev started to blockade even critical medications like insulin and heart medications. When the fighting started it became a common practice for them to mine the grain fields across Donbass. By mid-summer, this happened in such a widespread pattern that it was easy to forecast a food shortage in Donbass through the winter and increasing until the next harvest happens. The fields had to be demined and thousands of acres remain unplanted today.

Nearby our location is a bread bakery that has been sitting idle for 2 years. The bakery is capable of providing bread for thousands of people continually if opened up again. Our plan to sell video footage to news agencies for resale originated in starting a self -sustaining humanitarian effort supported by news video footage sales.

This way the project may become self sustaining and help build the local economy by purchasing grain locally from farmers in need of cash, using the local grain mill, and hiring local people to work in the bakery itself. We will be able to provide a continuous  supply of bread where it is needed.

This is ultimately what your generosity is funding. Contrary to the Minsk Agreements Kiev is still blockading food and medication from entering Donbass. The aid Russia is giving will never be enough.

Together we can make a difference.

About Us

 

For the past year, I have been writing breaking news and background articles about the events in Ukraine and Donbass including the earliest articles about the Ukrainian Nationalist coup in Kiev. I’ve provided a lot of background articles so journalists could get their heads around what was really happening here.

When Kiev started mobilizing tanks and soldiers to Donbas I wrote the first articles to appear in the west. Starting with a mid-February article detailing why the war was coming and genocide with it I wrote about the importance of understanding the Ukrainian political program and how the Banderavites could not change.

I broke the news about the beginning of the war from the Good Friday attacks in Odessa through the Easter attacks in Slavyansk. We spoke to people on the ground throughout the region the whole time getting their real opinions out during the build-up to the referendum on May 11th and afterward.

I wrote the first detailed articles about the Odessa massacre to appear in the west and follow-ups as Kiev’s complicity came into focus through evidence.

After that time we were able to provide first hand coverage of what it was like to be in an area under attack and then under the control of Pravy Sektor, the Natz Guardia, Donbass Battalion, etc. We gave first hand accounts of what it was like to be in a zone that was slated to be cleansed and only got a reprieve when the battle that turned the tide of the Ukrainian war happened literally one bus stop away from us.

When I’ve written about any Russian invasion never happening it’s because the great “stealth invasion” of August 2014 would have knocked over the tomato plants in my garden to happen at all. In articles from that battle site, I took photos clearly showing how close the Russian border was to the site and noted my own location was directly in line of sight to it. In other words the invasion didin’t happen.

I was the first western journalist to do invasive passport checks on soldiers in Donbass documenting where they were from. I believe I am the only western journalist to do weapons checks for fabrication dates. These both provide the necessary proofs against a Russian invasion and modern Russian weapons in Donbass.

During this time, my wife has become very involved and helps in research and documentation. Together we’ll be making the documentaries. Together we will do the interviews. Making the humanitarian effort succeed is personal to her. She grew up in Donbass and we have many relatives and friends here.

Risks & Challenges

It’s a war zone. The risks are real. The death and destruction are real and so are the crimes against humanity being perpetrated here. The challenges are multifold. Interviewing people and trying to protect their dignity or demand for privacy is paramount. We won’t victimize our neighbors further any more than you would your own under these circumstances. Getting the truth out will happen but it can be done respectfully with people that have been hurt in this war already.

I think that is another point that separates us from other efforts. We were here before all of this started and we’ll be here after it all ends.

Maintaining our own safety while collecting the documentary stories, war footage, and interviews takes planning and coordination. We already have that support structure in place as well as field helmets and vests. Part of the coordination effort is to know where the front line is at all times so you don’t get caught on the wrong side which is bad, or in between which is worse.

We are planning on documenting the humanitarian aid effort that will stem from this effort after it gets going. Ultimately that is the larger goal for us. We feel that by providing the video proof of delivery on that end and with a little help we can build a close to self sustaining effort quickly. Initially we wanted to do this as a private effort. The situation made that impossible.

With only the camera in hand it will take a little time but we will be able to make a difference on that end. Our goal is to reopen a local bread bakery and bake humanitarian loaves. This was the initial reason behind the fund raising effort.

How fast this part starts is directly dependent on whether or not our initial goal is reached to purchase the camera and how far beyond that donations will go. If we fall short we will work with what we have to start with. This is too important not to get started.

If we go past our goal the total of the funds will determine how they will be allocated. If there is enough to reopen the bakery then we can get started with that project directly. If there is more then we can put more money directly into purchase of medications.

If there is extra funding but not enough to start this effort we will put funds into other existing local aid we are working with. This way the aid reaches the people it needs to.

Other Ways You Can Help

If you want to help but can’t contribute please ask people you know to get the word out. Use the idiegogo share tools. The more people that help the lighter the load will be. Help by putting this throughout your social media.

Remember the closer we get to the goal the harder it is to reach. People get complacent when the finish line’s real close and it looks like we’ ll finish the race a winner. Please remind your friends as the campaign winds down to consider donating.


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