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(LifeSiteNews) — Amid its bloody conflict with Russia, Ukraine has triggered mockery for its decision to hire a gender-confused American reporter as an English-speaking military spokesperson for the embattled country.

Michael “Sarah” Ashton-Cirillo, 46, a leftist activist born in Florida, became a spokesman for the Territorial Defense Forces of Ukraine earlier this month, according to the Kyiv Post. 

He has already sparked outrage for a short video posted to social media in which he said that one of the primary differences between Ukrainians and Russians is that “we’re human and those guys most definitely aren’t.”

The gender-confused man, who began taking cross-sex hormones in 2018 and later underwent mutilating transgender surgery, was previously married to a woman and has a son. He made headlines in 2021 for pretending to be a Trump supporter in order to report on alleged “extremism” among conservatives. 

In 2022, he traveled to Ukraine to report on the ongoing conflict with Russia with a primary focus on people who identify as “LGBT” and became a combat medic for Ukraine’s Ground Forces later that year.

READ: How much does the LGBT agenda have to do with the conflict in Ukraine?

In August, he became a spokesman for the Ukrainian Defense Forces. Within Ukraine, criticism of Ashton-Cirillo has been deemed “hateful,” and public officials have defended the openly “transgender”-identifying American against mockery from Russia. 

“Russian propagandists are obsessed with the spokesperson for Ukraine’s Territorial Defense Forces of Ukraine, Sarah [sic] Ashton-Cirillo, because of her [sic] transgenderism,” the Kyiv Post claimed. 

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Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Malyar was quoted by the Kyiv Post as saying that the spokesman “informs the English-speaking audience” and “objectively covers the events of the Russian-Ukrainian war, debunks Russian fakes and propaganda.”

“Sarah’s [sic] audience reach on Twitter alone was 28.3 million users. So, the enemies get excited on hateful social networks, of course,” Malyar said.

Ukrainian member of parliament Inna Sovsun also praised Ashton-Cirillo as “a brave woman [sic] who defends #Ukraine!”

“She [sic] deserves respect & thanks!” Sovsun said, congratulating the spokesman for occupying the role and arguing that the “hate from Russian propaganda is proof that you’re doing everything right!”

But it’s not just Russians who are criticizing the obviously male spokesman. Social media users commenting on Ashton-Cirillo’s videos haven’t been shy in pointing out that the “spokeswoman” is really a man and suggesting that the employment of Ashton-Cirillo says something about the ideological footing of modern-day Ukraine.

“It is bizarre to see a transgender American represent the Ukrainian military claiming that Russians aren’t human,” said Ian Miles Cheong. “Says everything about this conflict.”

“Of course the spokesman for the Ukrainian military is an American transvestite,” remarked Daily Wire commentator Michael Knowles.

“‘Sarah’ is a man,” wrote one Twitter/X user named Meagan Brown. “Ukrainians do not need to cater to Western ideology just to gain support. I really like Eastern Europe because they still stick to traditional values and morality.” 

“Ukraine, you must protest that your country is not infiltrated by Wokism and LGBTQ propaganda, because this is the fall of the west,” she said.

READ: Pope Francis expresses desire to meet with Putin in Moscow, slams NATO for ‘barking at Russia’s gate’

Ashton-Cirillo’s public-facing role as an openly “transgender”-identifying person shines a spotlight once again on Ukraine’s increased ideological ties to the radical pro-LGBT west, a distinction that Russian dictator Vladimir Putin has capitalized on to justify his war against the eastern European country.

After occupying the role of a buffer state between Russia and countries with membership in the west’s North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), Ukraine’s increasing friendliness with NATO has been regarded by analysts as one of the reasons that tensions between Russia and Ukraine exploded into full-scale conflict in February 2022.