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U.S. Senator Stands Up to Kiev’s ‘Oppose What We Say and We Can Assassinate You’ Policy

Sept. 21, 2023, (EIRNS)—The declared policy of Kiev’s Center for Countering Disinformation (CCD) has been, for more than a year now, that “Russian propagandists”—that is, any persons anywhere in the world who write or speak critically of the policy to break Russia, to extend NATO, to fight to the last Ukrainian, etc.—are to be designated as disinformation warriors or information agents or some such characterization, and treated as an enemy warrior to be neutralized. The CCD, an operation of Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council (NSDC), compiles a list of such persons for Ukraine’s security services to act upon. The Aug. 20, 2022 assassination of Russian journalist Darya Dugina in Moscow sent the message that Kiev was expanding its 2014-22 neutralization operation beyond its borders. Last year, when U.S. senators were confronted on the CCD’s targeting of U.S. Senate candidate Diane Sare, there was nary a mumblin’ word.

On Sept. 15, Sen. J.D. Vance (R-OH) wrote a letter to U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, and Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines, asking whether the U.S. was funding such operations. “I worry American resources could be supporting violence or the threat of violence against people for speaking their mind.... [A]ny critic of America’s incoherent policy in Ukraine has been slandered as a propagandist, including multiple presidential candidates and American journalists.” Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., Donald Trump and Vivek Ramaswamy certainly qualify in that first category.

On Sept. 14, Sarah Ashton-Cirillo, a Florida-born member of Ukraine’s Armed Forces, broadcast for their “Territorial Defense Forces,” in her daily “Russia Hates the Truth” series, an announcement: “Next week, the teeth of the Russian devils will gnash ever harder ... as the world will see a favorite Kremlin propagandist pay for their crimes.... Russia’s war criminal propagandists will all be hunted down, and justice will be served....” Vance’s letter next asked the three authorities to explain whether Ashton-Cirillo was being “compensated using American resources?”

Ashton-Cirillo then broadcast on Sept. 18 her answer to Vance, addressing him by name and saying that “journalists ... have the right to report on Ukraine’s war for liberation without interference. Free speech is pillar of all democracy....” But the “Russian propagandists and war criminals, who are spreading lies and pushing false narratives, are not journalists. They are information agents in an extension of the Putin-Prigozhin effort to spread chaos and wreak havoc across the globe.” Ashton-Cirillo went on: “Because of this, these enemies of freedom and democracy will have to answer for their crimes—in a court of law,” she added. The “information agents” label is a CCD specialty. While her response to Vance did not repeat the assassination threat, she did concede to Vance that she was obligated to “the American taxpayer”—implying that, indeed, her activities were being paid for by the U.S. government. Her twisted logic and confession did not impress everyone.

While Kiev has never renounced the CCD target list, the Myrotvorets hit list, or the content of what Ashton-Cirillo repeated, yesterday their Territorial Defense Forces announced that they did not approve of her making those statements publicly and that she was “suspended immediately.”

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