Ukraine’s transgender spokeswoman dismisses ‘Russian haters’

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09/22/2023

If you are an English speaker keeping up with the news of the Ukraine war, you have probably heard of Sarah Ashton-Cirillo. The US national arrived in Ukraine shortly after Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine began in February last year. A freelance journalist, Ashton-Cirillo wanted to report from the front lines. Not long after arriving in Ukraine, she developed close ties with the army before deciding to join Ukraine’s Territorial Defense Forces (TDF), where she was wounded on the battlefield in February 2023. Following her recovery, Ashton-Cirillo was assigned to work on English-language media for the TDF and was later appointed one of their spokespeople. Her firebrand statements, combined with her transgender identity, made her a favorite target of Russian propagandists and pro-Russian trolls online.

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