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Ukraine’s trans military spokesperson hits back at US senator questioning her role

“The speculation surrounding me is disappointing,” Sarah Ashton-Cirillo stated.

By Emily Maskell

Sarah Ashton-Cirillo
Sarah Ashton-Cirillo is the spokesperson of the Territorial Defense Forces of the Ukrainian Armed Forces. (Image: X/@@SarahAshtonLV)

An American transgender spokesperson from Ukraine has responded to a US senator questioning their role.

Sarah Ashton-Cirillo became the official spokesperson of the Territorial Defense Forces of the Ukrainian Armed Forces in August. 

A former journalist, the 46-year-old is now a junior sergeant and also combat medic in the Ukrainian Ground Forces.

In a new statement released on Monday (18 September), Ashton-Cirillo has responded to “a sitting US Senator questioned my role in Ukraine.”

Additionally, the public statement was directed to Ohio’s Republican senator, J. D. Vance.

The Republican lawmaker sent a letter to U.S. officials expressing his concerns regarding her work for Kyiv.

“The speculation surrounding me is disappointing,” Ashton-Cirillo stated in a video posted to X, formerly Twitter. 

“While in Ukraine we are fighting for global liberty and the ideology of victory, too many in Moscow and across the world are still caught up in focusing on the tired trope of gender chaos. 

“The speculation surrounding me is disappointing”

“The freedom that Ukraine is fighting for is not based on carving out privilege for some, but creating a pathway of prosperity and success, founded in hard work and the rule of law for all.

“Neither I nor and Ukrainian is fighting for tolerance and acceptance for any one group, but for the freedom of every human.”

“I’ve come to appreciate the strength and resilience of the Ukrainian people,” Ashton-Cirillo noted to Newsweek when her role was first publicised.

At that point, Ashton-Cirillo shared she has been in Ukraine for almost 520 days in civilian and military capacities.

“Over the last month, as my role has evolved from a zero line infantry soldier to one of the public voices of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, I’ve become ever more grateful for that strength,” she said.

“Ukraine has a new military spokesperson who is openly trans, Sarah Ashton-Cirillo! Bravo!” Activist Peter Tatchell wrote on Instagram on Thursday (14 September.)

“It shows Ukraine is becoming increasingly progressive on LGBT+ issues – in contrast to Russia, where witch-hunts of LGBTs are intensifying.”

Tatchell concluded: “Kremlin apologists abuse Sarah. But she’s defiant! HERO!”