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The PALADINS mission to Kherson


UPDATE 25 SEPTEMBER 2022


The name of the documentary it is proposed to produce is to be tentatively entitled 'The real war in South Ukraine', and it will focus on the actual facts on the ground on both sides of the front line in southern Ukraine, and the impacts the war has had on the lives of people.


Our interests are more in the facts of the matter, about which the reader will form their own inferences. We are keen not ro appear to be a mouthpiece for the political positioning or propaganda of one side or the other.


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ORIGINAL ARTICLE 24 SEPTEMBER 2022 BELOW


The PALADINS Organosation, a professionally neutral group of mediators, announce their forthcoming mission to Kherson, in Russian-occupied south Ukraine, to begin in the week commencing 26 September 2022.



The reason we announce this mission in advance is so that nobody can accuse us of espionage or of hiding our intentions, which are:


  1. observing professional neutrality, to undertake an assessment of the economic social and political conditions in Kherson under Russian occupation;

  2. to form a view about the consequences and impact of the referendum currently underway in Kherson as to whether the people of the oblast (region) wish to form a political unit separate from one existing under the sovereignty of the Ukrainian state;

  3. to speak with both military personnel (on both sides, as may be appropriate) and resident civilians about their impressions of the Russian Armed Forces special military operation in Ukraine, both for themselves, their region and Eastern Europe more generally;

  4. to create a short documentary film about life in Kherson, a copy of which we will proffer to both Ukrainian and Russian authorities for their observations and consultation.



We would like to reveal the following details of our mission:


  1. We will be travelling unarmed, without carrying any equipment of a military kind, and with no intention of providing active support towards the armed forces of either side in the conflict.

  2. We will not be travelling using funds supplied by either side to the conflict or their proxies or domestic or international supporters. No government money is being used to fund this mission.

  3. We will be presentng ourselves at all borders, frontiers or celheckpoints of any kind where it is mandatory for us to do so.

  4. We will comply with all relevant laws and regulations that it is reasonable to expect us to know about or of which we are informed by an appropriate member of the authorities on either side of the conflict.

  5. We will consent to any searches of our persons or belongings that either side in the conflict may wish to undertake of us.

  6. Aside from travel to and from the city of Kherson, we will not cross the limits city of Kherson without having first sought and obtained the approval of the occupying Russian authorities.

  7. We have made no commitments in advance to any person government or organisation about our conclusions or the tenor of the documentaey we anticipate videoing.

  8. In the documentary and any other materials we may publish at the conclusion of the mission, everyone we speak to interview film or photograph will be afforded strictest anonymity unless they expressly inform us that they waive it. In this way we hope to be able to persuade people go speak freely.

  9. Our accommodation arrangements are pre-reserved, to ensure maximum transparency.

  10. We will cooperate fully with all instructions given to us by the authorities on either side of the conflict, in the areas of territory that they appear to control.

  11. Nobody will be videoed or photographed in such a way that it is possible to identify them, without their knowledge and consent. Where either a private person or a public authority asks us to delete footage or photographs, we will comply with those requests.

  12. We will carry no flag or other emblem of nationality or allegiance.

  13. We have no association with any domestic or international media organisation whether in the region or elsewhere. We will not suffer as a condition of publication of our materials arising out of the mission selective editing to give our perspective a spin one way or the other. We will retain copyright in the materials we produce in terms such that we may withdraw it where third parties are not making fair use of the materials we have created.



We also wish to make the following political statement. In order to preserve professional neutrslity, in neither the documentary nor any other materials we may publish as an outcome of the mission will we express any views, one way or the other, of the Russian special military operation or of the conflict in Ukraine more generally. Our materials will uphold the highest standards of neutrality.



Our purpose in this mission and in the record we make of it will be to assist the observer to draw such conclusions az they consider appropriate from the materials we record and the experiences we have of life in Kherson under the political conditions applicable in late September 2022.


We respectfully expect both sides to the conflict to grant us free passage for these purposes, unrestrained by law enforcement, military, security service or other authorities;, and for both sides to take every measure to ensure our security during the course of the mission and travel to and from our destination.


We also respectfully ask both sides to the conflict, and their allies, not to attempt Signals electronic interception of our communications and other electronic materials. We will not be building a hidden dossier, but rather a documentary that it is intended will become public.


We anticipate publishing our documentary and any associated materials in the English language only, in the interests of preserving professional neutrality (the greater majority of our materials are in English only, for this reason). Others may translate what we produce as they may see fit but we will take no responsibility for that.



Should anyone at all have any queries about our forthcoming.mission, they should write with those queries to thepaladinns2021@gmail.com remembering to inform us whether or not they wish to remain anonymous. We will publish any and all such questions on this webpage, together with our answers to them.


The PALADINS. We are here to serve.