Ukraine Suspends Trans American Spokesperson For Unapproved Statements, Launches Investigation

Public/Screenshot/Twitter — User: SarahAshtonLV

Ilan Hulkower Contributor
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Sarah Ashton-Cirillo, a transgender American-born military spokesperson for Ukraine, has been suspended over unapproved public statements, the Ukraine Territorial Defense Forces (TDF) announced Wednesday.

Ashton-Cirillo’s suspension was immediate and TDF said it would be launching an investigation, the post added.

“The statements of JSgt Ashton-Cirillo in recent days were not approved by the command of the TDF or the command of the AFU [Armed Forces of Ukraine]. When conducting military operations against the aggressor, the defense forces of Ukraine strictly observe the norms of international humanitarian law,” the post reads. “Sergeant Sarah Ashton-Cirillo will be suspended immediately pending the investigation.”

The announcement made no mention of what unapproved statements were allegedly uttered by the spokesperson. Ashton-Cirillo has not commented publicly on the matter at the time of writing.

Republican Ohio Sen. J.D. Vance called out Ashton-Cirillo over a recent speech, according to a Sept. 15 letter from Vance to Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin and Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines.

“In recent days, a video has circulated of an individual who claims to be an English-speaking spokesperson for the Ukrainian military. In the video, this individual, Sarah Ashton-Cirillo, looks directly into the camera and threatens physical violence to anyone who circulates ‘Russian propaganda’,” Senator Vance wrote in the letter. (RELATED: ‘American Citizens On The Kill List’: Ukraine Spox Who Pledged Global War On Russia ‘Propagandists’ Spars With Vance)

Vance further inquired whether Ashton-Cirillo was an American intelligence asset and whether Ukraine was planning to commit violence against those who engaged in speech they deemed was Russian propaganda.

Ashton-Cirillo appeared in a public video dated Sept. 13, 2023, saying “next week,” a “favorite Kremlin propagandist will pay for their crimes,” and that all such pro-Russian propagandists would meet the same fate of being “hunted down.”

Ashton-Cirillo doubled down in a video statement posted Monday, saying pro-Russian propagandists are “not journalists” and that such “enemies of freedom and democracy will have to answer for their crimes in a court of law.” Ashton-Cirillo tagged Vance in the post.

Vance called the statement “[d]isgusting.”