Colin Freeman

Colin Freeman is former chief foreign correspondent of the Sunday Telegraph and author of ‘Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea: The mission to rescue the hostages the world forgot.’

Has the West forgotten about Ukraine?

When Hamas murdered 1,200 people on October 7, I was in eastern Ukraine, researching a long piece for the Telegraph on how the summer’s counter-offensive had gone. The death toll in Israel’s 9/11 was equivalent to just a week or two’s heavy fighting in the Donbas. Yet immediately it was clear that the massacre 3,000

The families of Israel’s hostages are living in hell

Yair Mozes, whose mother and father are among the 240 hostages kidnapped by Hamas, is trying to describe what it feels like. ‘It is hell,’ he says. ’You don’t go to sleep properly, then the minute you wake up, you’re bolt upright. I’m just about managing at present… then every now and then I fall

The Kremlin is sanctioning me – but why can’t they get my name right?

Journalists love being put on blacklists. In a profession that prides itself on holding the powerful to account, there’s no better accolade than being banned from a politician’s press conferences, put on some spin doctor’s dossier of ‘unfriendly’ hacks, or better still, declared persona non grata by some tyrant’s regime. It’s the hack’s equivalent of

Will mounting casualties change the debate in Ukraine?

At a small army field clinic outside Bakhmut, I watched as the body of a dead soldier was carried in. Two more soldiers followed, this time seriously injured – and this was what troops described as a ‘quiet day’. Ukraine doesn’t talk about its military deaths much and refuses to reveal any figures. There’s little

Confessions of a royal paparazzo

I can still remember the shock of watching the news on Sunday, 31 August 1997 and learning that Lady Diana had been in a car crash in Paris. The Beeb’s royal reporter, Nicholas Witchell, had just confirmed that she’d died, and that five French photographers who’d been chasing her had been arrested. My own feelings

Why ‘From Our Own Correspondent’ is still the best of the BBC

Radio Four recently broadcast a ‘Best of’ edition of From Our Own Correspondent, marking 100 years since the birth of one of its most distinguished contributors, the late Charles Wheeler. Listening to the likes of Allan Little reporting on the fall of Mobutu, and Brian Barron in Vietnam, one is reminded that however tedious Thought

Inside the court of King Zelensky

The first hint that my audience with Volodymyr Zelensky might not be what I’d hoped for came with the emailed invite. A few days before I’d been told I’d made the shortlist for a select presidential news conference marking the anniversary of the war. Not quite an exclusive interview, granted, but given current Zelenskymania, a

Where will Kherson’s freedom fighters go next?

When Vladimir Putin’s troops first invaded Kherson, they marched into Eugene Chykysh’s hipster coffee shop. ‘They all asked for cappuccinos with four sugars,’ Eugene told me. Later, another Kherson resident says that the soldiers who raided his house took ten kilos of sugar from him. Eugene is one of the few Ukrainians in Kherson who

Meet the British soldiers fighting in Ukraine

At his base near the frontlines outside of Kherson, an ex-British soldier named JK shows me a video of what looks like a scene from the world war one film 1917. It shows him and two other volunteer fighters walking through a burning, smoking treeline, having spent two hours pinned down by artillery and sniper fire

The West has left Armenia to fend for itself

Bomb shelters have come a long way since the Blitz. As missiles from Azerbaijan rained down on Nagorno-Karabakh a few weeks ago, Hayk Harutyunyan and his family took refuge in a basement with wifi, an ensuite toilet and a makeshift mini-bar. There were 12 people crammed in there every night, he told me, ‘but we

Will guns from Ukraine end up on the streets of Britain?

While visiting a Ukrainian militia this summer, I nearly trod on an anti-tank mine which was being used as a doorstop at the entrance to their HQ. ‘Don’t worry, it’s a broken Russian one that we found,’ said my breezy host, Eduard Leonov. ‘We’re trying to fix it so we can use it.’ Eduard’s militia

How Russian drones are being used to spy on Kyiv

‘That used to be my neighbour’s Skoda,’ says Alexei Marchenko, as he points to a twisted lump of metal in the wreckage of a row of garages. We’re standing in the courtyards of his housing estate in Kyiv, where a Russian missile landed overnight. One person has been killed and another dozen injured, although it’s a

The reality of being ‘under siege’ in Kyiv

Kyiv, Ukraine I’ve never commuted into a warzone by train before, but I can now recommend it. The express train to Kyiv from Lviv near Ukraine’s Polish border has several advantages over coming in by car. Firstly, it avoids a 14-hour motorway drive, where fuel is short and traffic jams are long. Plus, the online

Macer Gifford: My fight against Isis

In mid 2015, Macer Gifford, the City trader who went to Syria to fight Isis, got an unexpected phone call. He was in London for a break and busy doing media interviews as the unofficial spokesman for the Kurdish YPG militia. The caller, though, wasn’t just another hack after a quote. Instead, it was a

The Shia Krays: The whole of Iraq is being held to ransom

It’s been only six weeks since the death of the Iranian general Qassem Soleimani, but already there are a number of local hardmen vying to take his place. Most notable are his sidekicks, the Kray twins of the Shia world: Qais al-Khazali and his brother Laith. Qais and Laith who? Unless you’ve scanned Washington’s latest

How did my children become more middle class than me?

In a café in Norfolk last week, my seven-year-old son uttered words that mortified me. No, he didn’t comment loudly on someone’s weight, or ask why the lady next to us had a moustache. It was worse than that. Asked by a kindly man at the next table if he was enjoying his bacon sandwich,