Sen. JD Vance (R-OH) wrote to senior Biden administration officials demanding that the White House reveal whether Sarah Ashton-Cirillo, a transgender person claiming to be a spokesperson for the Ukrainian military, has ties to U.S. intelligence services and if U.S. funds are currently subsidizing Ashton-Cirillo’s apparent role in Ukraine after the personality went viral vowing that “Russian propagandists would be hunted down.”
In a letter, seen by Breitbart News, to Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin and Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines, Ohio Sen. JD Vance requested any information the government American features a former independent journalist apparently born in the United States. Sarah Ashton-Cirillo – born Michael John Cirillo – who reportedly became a spokesperson for the Ukrainian military earlier this year.
Appearing in front of a backdrop emblazoned with the logo of the Territorial Defense of Ukraine (TDF) – a branch of Kiev’s military – Ashton-Cirillo posted a video message earlier this week on social media declaring that Ukraine “ would track down alleged Kremlin allies operating in Ukraine as “propagandists”.
“Next week, the teeth of Russia’s demons will grind even louder and their enraged mouths will express an uncontrollable frenzy as the world watches a favorite Kremlin propagandist pay for his crimes. And this Putin puppet is just the first. Russian war criminal propagandists will all be hunted down and justice will be served as we in Ukraine are led in this mission by faith in God, freedom and complete liberation,” the Ukrainian spokesperson said. warned.
Since many people are asking for this video and many are discussing it on Telegram and social media, here is my latest episode of Russia Hates the Truth.
The Russians and their supporters are gnashing their teeth as expected.
– Sarah Ashton-Cirillo (TDF Ukrainian Media) (@SarahAshtonLV) September 13, 2023
The disturbing post, which quickly went viral, sparked numerous questions about Ashton-Cirillo’s background and alleged current role in the Ukrainian military, including from Senator Vance.
“In recent days, a video has circulated of an individual presenting himself as an English-speaking spokesperson for the Ukrainian army. In the video, this individual, Sarah Ashton-Cirillo, looks directly at the camera and threatens physical harm to anyone who circulates ‘Russian propaganda,'” he wrote in a letter to Sec. Blinken, Sec Austin and Director Haines.
“A number of reports purport to offer additional, mostly unconfirmed, information regarding Ashton-Cirillo. I have seen claims that this individual is an American, a former intelligence agent in the United States, and a Ukrainian government employee. Others argued that Ashton-Cirillo was pulling an elaborate prank. If so, congratulations on the high-quality humor,” Vance continued, apparently referring to Ashton-Cirillo’s direct lobbying of the U.S. Congress for military aid to Ukraine last December.
The freshman senator from Ohio then requested information from the White House, asking:
- “Is this individual employed by the Ukrainian military, and do we have reason to believe that he is being paid using American resources?
- Is this individual a US citizen? Have they ever served, in any capacity, the American intelligence services?
- Do we have reason to believe that Ukrainian forces or intelligence services are planning to commit acts of violence against those who engage in “Russian propaganda”?
The Republican lawmaker then expressed concerns that U.S. taxpayer dollars support violence or the threat of violence against people who speak their minds, noting that U.S. journalists and even current presidential candidates have been “slandered” as propagandists of Russia.
In comments provided to Breitbart News, Senator Vance said, “If the Ukrainians want to hire weirdos to threaten Americans and others who speak their mind, I guess that’s their right.” They shouldn’t be using our tax money to do it. And we should not pretend this is a war for freedom when our so-called ally threatens violence against anyone who opposes the war.”
“You’re a guy…Go to war” – Ukrainian trans woman on the run turned away at borderhttps://t.co/iQyKXPuDJ0
– Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) March 23, 2022
On Thursday, Pentagon Deputy Press Secretary Sabrina Singh was pressed on whether the U.S. government could confirm whether the transgender person in question was indeed a spokesperson for the Ukrainian military, as News week reported, to which Signh simply responded: “I can’t confirm that. »
It also remains to be seen exactly which alleged Putin propagandists Ashton-Cirillo said would be “hunted down.” However, on Tuesday, Ashton-Cirillo claims having testified in the case of Gonzola Lira, a dual American and Chilean citizen, accused by the Zelensky government of spreading pro-Russian propaganda after publishing videos critical of the Ukrainian government from inside the country.
In other video Published this week, Ukraine’s alleged spokesperson said that after Ukraine retakes the lands currently occupied by the Russian army, the Zelensky government will prosecute war criminals involved in the invasion of Moscow, which Ashton-Cirillo said would include “propagandists.”
“Russian propagandists are war criminals, spreading a narrative of genocide, death and ultimately harm directed at them by Vladimir Putin and his entourage. They will not escape justice. You can’t hide behind the title of journalist, you can’t hide behind the title of the fictional meaning you ascribe to it when you work for Vladimir Putin and his terrorist regime,” Ashton-Cirillo said.
On Sunday, Ashton-Cirillo took aim at Maria Vladimirovna Zakharova, a spokesperson for the Russian Foreign Ministry, warning that she would also be tried as a war criminal. Zakharova reportedly criticized Kyiv’s apparent spokesperson for not producing social media videos in the Ukrainian language, something Ashton-Cirillo, while appearing to speak on behalf of the Ukrainian government, does not appear to be able to speak .
The Kremlin also said it intends to raise the issue of Ashton-Cirillo and “threats” against Russian journalists Zakharova and foreign election observers at the United Nations, the Kremlin’s first deputy permanent representative said Friday. Russia to the UN, Dmitri Polyansky.
The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), Europe’s largest journalists’ association, has expressed concern over a new Ukrainian law that could arbitrarily censor the country’s media. https://t.co/ZBVFEa1dJP
– Breitbart News (@BreitbartNews) January 9, 2023
The row between kyiv and Moscow over alleged Putin propagandists comes as the Ukrainian government arrested and detained an active opposition member of Ukraine’s parliament. On Friday, Nestor Choufrych, a member of the opposition Platform For Life party, was sentenced to two months in detention as he faces prosecution for alleged high treason for allegedly spreading “false Kremlin narratives.” .
Although his party condemned the Russian invasion last year, it was banned – among several other opposition parties – by the Zelensky government under martial law for allegedly being too pro-Russian.
In the last general elections, held in 2019, the Opposition Platform – For Life party received the second highest number of votes behind Zelensky’s Servant of the People party. President Zelensky has yet to confirm whether presidential elections will take place on schedule next year, saying last month that elections would only take place if the US and EU provide additional funding for pay the costs of the voting process.
Zelensky used martial law to ban a number of Ukrainian opposition parties, including the largest party after his own. https://t.co/ZSJ82B6PfS
– Breitbart News (@BreitbartNews) March 20, 2022
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