John Oliver interviews Vice news journalist Simon Ostrovsky who was held captive in Ukraine.
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Just 90 Russians... hold on... just 91 Russians on YouTube?! Have you seen those dashboard cam videos at all? Which cave you crawled out of!? Oh... Birmingham. I'm sorry, mate, I'm sorry. I shouldn't have been so hard on you.
when George Lucas filmed star wars in Ukraine, he did not face the dangers that current exist in the country. I believe George Lucas is famous for saying "Ukraine is the most beautiful country in the world. Luke Skywalker uses the force but loves Ukrainian women."
It makes me so sad. I spent two summers there, we lost the contact info with the friends we made there. But I hope they are ok. We ran a kids summer camp, there were so many kids every other week from all over. I am sure some of them are effected, but in what way I will never know. I hate wars. I am sure everyone does, but still how are we as humanity going to move past doing these things to each other? :(
I the clarity with which Simon talks about such a controversial topic. I also like, that unlike most of western media he doesn't blame Russia (which somehow usually equals to Putin) for everything, because when the situation brakes into such a mess it's clearly everybody's fault. And I absolutely agree that everybody just needs to chill and not make the situation worse.
Sadly, noone seems chill yet.
As a Russian I am seriously afraid of Russia closing up, of the world deviding into Russia and everyone else, etc. But most of all I'm afraid of continuing civil war in Ukraine and of growing nationalism both in Russia and Ukraine. That's something that should have never happened.
As in I can find you famously Russia-controlled newspapers from the perestroika era where they were already inciting these tensions by circulating publications in Donetsk saying that anyday now the same thing would happen that they claimed would happen prior to their invasion into east Ukraine and Crimea. Every time they seem to target people not old enough to remember they've been selling the same lies for 20 years now and in this case rope them into VK pages for recruitment/rallying at the Moscow militia station to send them in there as mercs for an "unofficial" outfit headed by GRU. They actually have ads on VK openly asking people to join them and come to a Moscow address. While they do prefer combat exp. they'll go for anyone who takes the bait. Which would be divisive propaganda such as that, but spread using media yes.
Travis, the media has been the anchorpoint of KGB subversion since its existence. Yuri Bezmenov heavily goes into this subject and runs through the methods employed by him as a KGB subversive in India, and it's readily observable. An example is the Russian claim that the Russian language was getting banned in Ukraine - a claim they have been making in newspapers there since 1996.
@ZanoZik - if you don't believe Russia invading and annexing land, how about you just check out Vladimir Putin's formal declaration for the invasion forces to invade and do just that? This isn't some secret for your amerocentric conspiracies, you don't just kinda sneak an invasion army in.
oh yeah, your actual name, your actual family all in internet. We all love Russians..we just do not love imperialist thieves. Sorry, maybe you and your family love them..stop wasting my time. You are making yourself look more desperate now. Have some balls and accept the truth . You could not counter the facts I represented therefore your talking about pretty much everything from your so called 'family' to your 'actual name' to make yourself look credible. They are all tried and tested methods of trolls.
Before the conflict started Russians could never imagine killing Ukrainians. The Russian media demonizes the Ukrainian interim government but not the Ukrainian people whereas the Ukrainian media demonizes all of Russia throughout time immemorial and is constantly lying about The Russian army fighting in Ukraine even though the rest of the world knows that the Russian army isn't in eastern Ukraine. The goal of journalism isn't to be neutral it is to be truthful. By picking up position directly between two sides without looking at the objective nature of the situation your inhibiting solidarity in any course of action that might be seen as favoring one side or the other. It's hard to expect Americans to root for the Russians but you can at least expose the Ukrainian government's massive propaganda machine that's owned by the same oligarchs that have been in power for the last 25 years. Once again neutrality should not be a goal, truth should be a goal even if it means going against what people want to/are used to hearing.
Every time I see John; all I can think of is how he is an occasional part of the Daily Show. That being said, I always thought that he was fantastic in that show; and now he has become the most raw and honest editorial on TV. Sorry Stuart! Like in a Kung Fu movie, the student has surpassed the teacher. I don't agree with everything John Oliver stands for, but I must say that his presentation is so well thought out that it makes me think about things in a way that simply didn't occur to me. Keep it up! Your the best British thing since the Beatles and Monty Python!
+Javier Torres I agree that John Oliver has surpassed Jon Stewart, both in comedic presentation and in the substance of the stories. I have learned a LOT from watching This Week Tonight, much of it shocking, like about how U.S. territories are treated, and the many other injustices in the world. Oliver's show introduces me to topics I've never even thought about, and their stories are so well-researched. It's real reporting about IMPORTANT issues in the real world, and yet he makes all this news accessible to people who are just looking for entertainment!! My housemate watches every episode of Democracy Now! w/ Amy Goodman, and I sometimes hear it when I am downstairs working in the kitchen. It is SO depressing. I've said several times that if I was Amy Goodman I'd have blown my brains out by now b/c of all the endless bad news & negative perspective on the world. I just can't handle that. Yet, I can watch John Oliver and laugh and come away feeling good, despite the bad news, and that is so important, b/c you can't do anything to help anyone or to correct the wrongs in the world if you feel overwhelmed and hopeless.
I used to watch the occasional Jon Stewart or Stephen Colbert segment when someone recommended it on Facebook or another site, but I want to see EVERYTHING John Oliver does! His segments on "How is This Still a Thing? are hilarious! I even created a "Best of Last Week Tonight w/ John Oliver playlist on my channel here on YT.
Simon Ostrovsky's coverage of Ukraine, not to mention his work in other areas, is just tremendous. He is a fearless, resolute, and determined investigative journalist the likes of which we do not see anymore. Sadly, he is a dying breed that we need more now than ever before.
Either way, keep up the great work, Simon! Anyone interested in more of his work, check out VICE. He is a frequent correspondence with them, and he has been covering the Ukraine since the very beginning of the Crimean annexation. It's their Russian Roulette series. I'd recommend watching it, no matter your interest in this issue, just because it is the weirdest situation you have ever seen. Local citizens walking into military bases and police stations (often led by under cover Russian agents), unarmed, to physically disarmed heavily armed soldiers and police officers. To say that could never happen in America or most of Europe doesn't even begin to understand how crazy it is to see that happen.
+RandomTXDude210 I am from Donetsk. You seem very knowledgeable on the subject of Ukraine. Could you kindly tell us all what was the very first law passed by the new democratic Ukrainian Parliament (Верховна Рада) in February 2014? Thank you.
Simon is a biased piece of shit. He is not a reporter but a manipulator and creator of Fabricated Information. His whole ordeal about being detained in Ukraine got him so much spotlight while he was freed unharmed, but reporters such as Graham Philips from England was beaten and tortured by several of his captors, he (Graham Philips) also reported literally on the front lines in some cases and interviewed individuals from not only one side of the conflict. Interesting enough all that Simon has talked about in regards to his treatment can not be even confirmed, but in the case of Philips several American journalist that where also detained by the SBU could confirm the reports of screams and torture, as well as some of those soldiers that where later captured.
I agree that some of Simons western bias comes out in his reports. But, it is impossible to do long material such as his without total objectiveness. His stuff is great. It seems like he does his best to interview both sides when he can gain access. Nothing like a little kidnapping to make you a little boast, right?
November feels so different from May. Things have become clearer now, order has been more or less restored by the existence of the DPR. Less chaos. I hope that nobody takes events early this year for an indication as to what's happening now.
I have been doing a John Oliver Marathon watching the video playlist. Hours and hours of endless enjoyment, laughter and wondering where the world has gone wrong. I'm currently on video number 72, and only just now does it want to confirm my age due to some content being inappropriate. Video 72....
I was quite impressed with the rationality expressed by Simon on the interview. I have seen most of his on the scene reporting and his questioning was extremely provocative and very biased towards the Kiev Junta.
I'd love to know what steps Europe is taking on this matter. Unfortunately, so far my news sources are only American ones. Anyone got some links I can follow on the European response? Google just gives me an overload.
wow wow wow, i love this show but hold on... there is a man, who kidnaped the female govoner of a town raped her ( most likely, unless she got off easy and they simply killed her) then killed her and took over a town.. and we havent gone seal team 6 of his ass and put his dead body on the towns pouch step? wtf america... we have droned... from utah... we dont have to leave the state. GET THIS SHIT HANDLED LIKE THE OVERREACTING WORLD POLICE WE ARE.
Simon is really far from being objective. he usually presents only kiev's point of view. For example, it is completely nonce that russian media demonize ukrainians. I've never seen any proof of that. Russian media is speaking about victims among civil population, about thousands of ukranian refugees hosted in russia, but they even never say about level of hate that ukrainians have for russia that i usually read at the pages of my ukranian fb "friends". For russians it is really painfull to see how state army of Ukraine attack civilians who is completely apolitical and don't care on Maidan or joining Russia.
Simon Ostrovsky sounds a lot like actor John Malkovitch. If there is ever a movie made about Simon Ostrovsky, I would suggest John Malkovitch as the man to portray him. I probably wouldn't go see it though.
YOU FUCKING LIAR!!!!! ODESSA ISNT GOING CRAZY THIS PLACE IS CALM AS SHIT! !! We had one bad day... ONE FUCKING DAY!!!! YOU FUCKING LIAR. I CANT BELIEVE I ACTUALLY WATCHED VICE TV AND LISTEN TO YOU GUYS. This city is the best place to be in the whole fucking country. Now I'm wondering if what you said is true at all
Well, I simply see that West started this mess by promising good life if they had signed the association with EU (which is a doubtful outcome of such agreement because they would loose a lot of benefits they got from Russia). People made a decision on where they stand based on selectively (and sometimes untruthfully) fed information. If you would ask people from Euromaidan what they were expecting after, I think most of them would say they thought Ukraine would become new Germany. Needless to say that is utter BS. They would become Poland at best and Poland is a weak economy with many people leaving the country in search of a better living conditions.
P.S. they had Orange revolution something like 10 years ago. People went out, made Yanukovich sign the leave expecting a turn for better and what do you think was the outcome? Better economy? No, it was the opposite. Oligarchs don't care about the country, they care about their money. And top Ukrainian politicians are all oligarchs that made money on oil transit in the 90s, rackets and some other suspicious activities. Yanukovich was busting a lot of balls, being greedy and other oligarchs (Yuschenko and Timoshenko) decided to overthrow him and share the power. Some time after they (Yuschenko and Timoshenko) started fighting each other because that is just nature of greedy people - they can't share. As a result Timoshenko was imprisoned. At that time Yatsenyuk and Timoshenko were on opposite sides.
I guess what I'm trying to say is that these oligarchs don't care about people, economy or the country. They change their partners like gloves and have no allegiance.
I simply see what is happening, this isnt about Western values or Russian ones, its about the West and Russia playing cold war with the Ukraine, with the corrupt pro west on one side, and the corrupt pro Russian on the other, all it will achieve is civil war.
Don't start with the referendum, start with illegal coup d'etat. How does all you said disproof the fact that Yanukovich was illegally kicked out of the country by a minority that didn't represent the will of majority? Violation of laws seems to concern west only when it goes against their interests. *I would appreciate if you don't go off topic and answer this* but as you made a long and quite thoughtful post I feel obliged to answer you. *Again, please, do not use this as escape from my initial point that is the fact that this is all a product of illegal coup d'etat*.
My point wasn't that referendum was completely fair and I even said that Russia most definitely had a hand in it although most people attribute much more to them than I think is their share.
So in Crimea the referendum violated the laws of Ukraine and it is a problem. But in Kosovo, where referendum violated laws of Serbia it wasn't. Funny thing, these double standards.
In Ukraine pro-Russian presidential candidates were physically attacked by far-right party activists and denied in police protection despite having strong base. There were multiple cases when a person "signed" a leave from high authority position under a gun point including top editors in media. That is OK for West as well.
Fair enough, the observers were bought by Russia because the ones that are bought by West wouldn't go and weren't welcome there, I hope you agree. And let's not kid ourselves by saying that west doesn't have the same policy of buying people. Otherwise how come referendum in Kosovo was OK I have no idea. Pretty much all of the political analysts and political observes serve some power. If you look at this guy's blog, he would never say anything against western policy despite the fact that there is quite a lot to write about. He is an agent of west and pushes western interests the same way George Galloway pushes interests of Muslims by pretending to be telling truth. While he does say a lot of facts that are not told by the western media, he still conceives the same amount of facts that would discredit his agenda.
All I see is that Russia used the same dirty tricks that west has been using for decades. They're not as good at it, they didn't have as much experience, with that I agree.
I think you decided that because I have a Russian name and wrote something that discredits the west I must be on Russia's side (or in their pocket?). Well, actually I'm not, I despise both sides and feel sorry for the people of Ukraine. I see news from both sides, both having propaganda. Anyone who thinks there is no propaganda in either western or eastern media is blinded by patriotism. I tend not to trust anyone nowadays. That especially includes professional bloggers who get their paychecks from foreign ministries of different countries.
Lets start with the referendum, http://blogs.fco.gov.uk/simonsmith/2014/03/17/why-should-the-crimean-referendum-not-be-recognised/
It might be added that the session under which the government of the region was gathered to vote on the issue of independence was held at gunpoint, with many anti Russian MPs denied entry, and many in session reporting being threatened and intimidated by pro Russian militias, who forced them to sign the documentation giving the new government power, a new leader who had minimal popularity when the last truly independent polls were held there 4 years ago.
It must also be noted that the referendum offered either independence or greater autonomy, with no option for remaining a part of the Ukraine, with many wanting neither option entirely boycotting the vote, the short time in which the vote was held and the nature of the voting in question was suspect http://www.upi.com/Top_News/World-News/2014/03/17/Crimean-referendum-vote-could-have-been-fixed-world-awash-in-faux-shock/1321395082619/.Might
It should also be noted that of the supposed "international observers" quoted, those present have been strongly linked to the far right and Fascism, as well as being well known as being in Russia's pocket, with genuine observer missions turned away.
Why did a content warning pop up when I clicked to watch this video? Content warning for a John Oliver episode?!?! I had to click a second time affirming my willingness to risk the content. ?!?!
Has anyone else run into this?
Really well done interview. Very similar to Jon Stewart's serious interviews at the end of his shows. It would have been interesting to delve more into highlights of what Ostrovsky had been doing prior to his imprisonment in Slovyansk, Ukraine. He initially was arrested with 3 other reporters including TIME correspondent, Simon Shuster, who were all released after an hour. Earlier in the evening the reporters had upset the gold toothed self-appointed mayor Vyacheslav Ponomaryov at a press conference when they asked if his people were holding the towns actual elected mayor Nelya Stepa as a prisoner. A lot of this is caught on film with a more complete (and intense) telling of the incident (https://news.vice.com/video/russian-roulette-the-invasion-of-ukraine-dispatch-thirty-one) as part of Ostrovsky's ongoing Series (38 episodes so far -can be seen at: https://news.vice.com/show/russian-roulette-the-invasion-of-ukraine ).
going by your first statement I can and will say that you are a bigot.
You are clearly forgetting (or unaware) how this all started: with a coup d'etat in February. Let me remind you: a group equal to about 0.1-1% of the overall population has gathered in Kiev and forced the official government to flee by using force against police that were unarmed. Then the same 1% appointed new government which immediately started proposing changes in legislation part of which were clearly against equality of Russians in Ukraine.
Then, when the eastern provinces stood up for their right to participate in the governing of their country, they were silenced as second-class citizens. After that easterners decided to fight these "revolutionists" the same way "revolutionists" fought the previous government. Except this time for some reason the west didn't mind government using brutal and lethal force against now called separatists.
The original coup d'etat was stimulated by some officials from EU countries leaking false information that Ukraine might become a candidate for joining the EU. Also it is no secret to anyone that USA had major financial investment (5 billion dollars only officially) in this coup d'etat'.
Russia might be meddling more NOW because western world just started a war right on its borders. But initially the whole situation was an attempt to increase influence in ex-USSR country by NATO and getting closer to Russian borders. It is no secret to any person capable of logical thinking that NATO is more concerned with Russia than any other Islamic or hostile country contrary to what they claim.
I'd love to see how USA would react if similar situation happened in, say, Canada and Russia suddenly would be so interested in safety of that region. Who would consider them as authority? Nobody. It's laughable and sad at the same time that USA can do that and, furthermore, be considered a higher authority than any other country.
+Marvin Julien think about it logically why fight head on getting many of your own people killed in the process when you can slowly take it over through plotting and planning reducing the amount of blood being spilt.
Going by the internet I would say that all Russians seem to be thugs. Simon said in the interview that both sides need dialogue. He is saying that Ukraine and the west need need to negotiate with the pro-russians. Those are reasonable statements which you reject. Putin himself admitted to putting troops in a foreign state- I would say 'meddling' is an understatement. You are a worse than a thug- you are a pussy. Why don't you go and fight in Ukraine if you feel so strongly, pussy?
I like how he says ''Russian propaganda'' demonising Ukraine and only Ukrainian media demonising Russia. Apparently propaganda is only coming from the Ukrainian side. This guy is a Vice propaganda tool himself only spreading more lies about how the troops are ''Putins troops'' when in fact they are not.
Vice News everyone, Vice news, on U-tube. Check it out for real news, up close and personal, from the hot spots around the world that commercial news won't cover because the government doesn't want you to be in the know...
Very happy that John Oliver interviewed Simon Ostrovsky - His reporting in Ukraine has been without of the doubt the most excellent and objective reporting to originate from there during these recent times.
I may be wrong, but it seems to me like mr. Oliver is doing what mr. Stewart was always afraid to do: embracing the fact that comedy has a huge power that can be used for good. Don't get me wrong, I love Daily Show, but Stewart always said: "I'm just a comedian". And maybe that's how he feels, but the truth is much more complex. Some of it is jokes, sure, but you can use this popularity and humor to talk about important (and not always serious ;) ) topics. Go for it, mr. Oliver, use your force for good! I'd like to think it's the european thing (being european myself), but it's probably just making myslef feel better :P
+Henning Pantke Never considered the venue element of it. U have a point there. Comedy Central has evolved into a very prudish animal in order to preserve the advertisers that feed it. They bleep so much within any single airing, I often end up switching out altogether. Check out any one of their stand-up offerings, theres's so much bleeping, it's an exercise in forbearance for the viewer.
Stewart has always held his punches and stopped short of any devastating effect. Why? only he knows. But now we have Howitzer Oliver, for whom nothing is (and hopefully will never be) safe from being fair game.
+snuphaluphugus you don't know who Simon is, well go watch his dispatches from Ukraine. pretty ballsy. his older stuff is good too. especially the one about Israeli settlements and I think he was in on the one about cannibal warlords in Liberia.
"This is still a comedy show, we promise." - who gives a fuck, the topic is important, the situation is serious. If you have a person like Simon there, you better not be just taking a piss. In fact, taking a piss seems grossly inappropriate.
wladwlad Lighten up. Yes, this is a programme with amazingly insightful reporting on very serious issues, but it is still a brilliant comedy show. As John Oliver says: "Everybody should chill the fuck up!"
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