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14 Sep, 2023 11:31

Ukraine's trans spokesperson issues death threats to Russian journalists

English-language military official's warning may indicate an attempted assassination, Russia's human-rights chief believes
Ukraine's trans spokesperson issues death threats to Russian journalists

A threat to “hunt down” Russian “propagandists” which flagged an action “next week” and was made by a Ukrainian military spokesperson, should not be dismissed just because of its over-the-top presentation, a senior Russian official has argued.

On Wednesday, Sarah Ashton-Cirillo, who leads the Ukrainian Territorial Defense Forces’ purported outreach to English-speaking audiences, made some ominous predictions regarding Russia.

“Next week, the teeth of the Russian devils will gnash ever harder, and their rabid mouths will foam in uncontrollable frenzy as the world will see a favorite Kremlin propagandist pay for their crimes,” she said.

“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,” she pledged.

Ashton-Cirillo, a trans woman who made headlines in the US in 2021 with a story of her infiltration of the American right-wing group Proud Boys, was given the spokesperson position in Ukraine in early August.

Her latest statement is part of her ‘Russia Hates the Truth’ series of minute-long videos, in which she delivers scolding condemnations of Russia.

While many Russian journalists have dismissed the unspecific threat as ridiculous, Valery Fadeev, the chairman of the Russian presidential human rights council, urged national law enforcement to take it seriously. The remark appears to be “a threat of murder or serious bodily harm” and thus a crime under Russian law, he argued on Thursday.

“Considering the lamentable record of attempts on the lives of Russian journalists and public figures … Russian security services should pay attention to it,” he added.

Moscow has accused Kiev of orchestrating the murders of journalist Darya Dugina in August 2022 and of military blogger Vladlen Tatarsky in April this year. In July, the Federal Security Service reported busting a group believed to have intended to assassinate RT Editor-in-Chief Margarita Simonyan and journalist Ksenia Sobchak on Kiev’s behalf.