Ukraine’s military has said US-born Sarah Ashton-Cirillo, a spokesperson for Ukraine’s territorial defense forces, has been suspended from her role after she made statements that were not approved by the military hierarchy.

“Sarah Ashton-Cirillo has been suspended from the duties of the spokesperson of the (territorial defense forces of Ukraine) while an investigation is underway,” Ukraine's defense ministry said on social media.

Ukraine’s Territorial Defense Force (TDF) elaborated further, saying recent statements “were not approved by the command of the TDF or the command of the Ukrainian Armed Forces (AFU).”

It added: “When conducting military operations against the aggressor, the defense forces of Ukraine strictly observe the norms of international humanitarian law.”

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After coming to Ukraine to report on refugees, Ashton-Cirillo ended up fighting for Ukraine and became a spokesperson for the country’s territorial defense forces.

A trans woman, she told AFP in a recent interview that she had learned to “embrace the hate of the Russians” who have mocked her gender identity.

It was unclear which statements provoked her suspension, but it is believed a recent spat with a US senator could be behind the move.

US Senator J.D. Vance, a vocal opponent of Ukraine whom the New York Times has tied to business interests that advance Russia’s propaganda efforts abroad, said Ashton-Cirillo had called on the assassination of Americans abroad.

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Vance’s letter references a recent video from Ashton-Cirillo in which she says: “Russia hates the truth that their obsessive focus on a Ukrainian volunteer [Ashton-Cirillo], is simply allowing the light of the Ukrainian nation’s honesty to shine brightly.

“Next week, the teeth of the Russian devils will gnash ever harder, and their rabid mouths will foam in an uncontrollable frenzy as the world will see favorite Russian propagandists pay for their crimes.

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“And this puppet of Putin is only the first. Russia's war criminal propagandists will all be hunted down, and justice will be served. As we in Ukraine are led on this mission, by faith in God, liberty, and complete liberation.”

Ashton-Cirillo hosts live YouTube shows from her studio called “Ukraine in the Know” and “Russia Hates the Truth.”

She also constantly posts on Twitter, where she has 156,000 followers.

In an interview with AFP, she said she had editorial control of her own production and aims to avoid a dry, number-based approach to covering the war.

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Comments (4)

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JMiguel
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Weird how Ukraine top decisors went along with putting this rabid radical individual, who spout ingrained hatred as a PR representative. Well, who am I kidding, I know why. 1st it's an American, 2nd the urge to be seen as "modern" and accepting trumpeted common sense.

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Laura Valan
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Trans is not the majority in this world. Live your life but do not push it as if it is the only way to live. You are NOT the majority and should not act as if you are. We accept you all, but you do not speak for us. Few of you have chosen to act as the many that want to say that we are all racist because we are Not "you". We are everyday people getting sucked into something that most of us "are not". Stop shaming us for what "you" feel that we are not. We are all allowed to live our lives...stop pushing yours all the time and just live "YOUR" life peacefully. It is time to stop this madness!

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Joseph Swanson
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There should be zero tolerance of white supremacist=mentally ill people (russians, tucker carlson, trump, vance, peterson, jones, hannity, and the list goes on) living in any society.
lgbtqpi people are not mentally ill. In this war, they have shown great courage by voluntarily joining the UA military, fighting AND beating allegedly "normal straight sane russian men." The irony.

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Paul Neubauer
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There should be zero tolerance for having mentally ill people in the military.

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