A week after Ukrainian lawmakers fired ombudswoman Lyudmila Denisova, she has reportedly admitted that she "exaggerated reports" and lied about "rape by Russian soldiers" to gain more sympathy and weapons from the rest of the world to continue the war with Russia. Russian news agency Sputnik made the revelations in a bombshell report.
Denisova was fired by Ukrainian lawmakers last week, almost one year before her term's end, claiming she failed to assist in the organization of humanitarian corridors and citing other alleged inactivity linked to Russia's invasion. Denisova at that time had accused Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskiy's administration behind her ouster, which was denied by the president's office.
Admitting Her Lies
Just a week after her dismissal as the chief of Ukraine's rights panel, Denisova in an interview to a local Ukrainian publication admitted that she lied about the incidents of rape. She said that she "exaggerated" reports of sexual crimes by Russian soldiers on Ukrainian civilians in a bid to "convince the world to provide weapons and pressure on behalf of Kyiv's administration, Sputnik reported.
Denisova claimed that her lies would help earn sympathy for Ukraine and would convince the rest of the world to supply weapons to Ukraine to continue its fight against Russia. At the same time, it would also help create pressure on Russia to halt the attack.
Denisova has also admitted that her lies were successful at least once but no further details were given about how and when.
Since the beginning of the war, Denisova's dramatic claims have been reproduced in dozens of respectable outlets, including CNN and The Washington Post. Denisova's dramatic claims were often taken at face value, with reports claiming that "the Russians raped a six-month-old girl with a teaspoon."
She also claimed that the baby was verbally and anally raped and that her 9-month-old daughter was raped with a candle.
Her ouster and eventual admission to the lies now raise questions about the allegations made against Russian soldiers of committing sex crimes on Ukrainian civilians.
Disgrace for Ukraine
The Ombudswoman's accusations are eerily similar to other heinous and deceptive assertions made to make NATO's targeted states illegal. Denisova was fired following concern about the terminology used in public reports regarding alleged Russian sexual assaults, as well as the suspected spread of unverified information in those reports.
Despite charges from Ukraine, Russian soldiers did not commit war crimes or sexual assaults during the invasion, according to the Kremlin.
Zelensky's Servant of the People also supported Denisova's removal due to what they called her "failure to organize humanitarian corridors to evacuate civilians from towns and cities in the center of clashes between invading Russian troops and Ukrainian armed forces."
They also said she had not put up enough effort to gather evidence of Russian troops' war crimes in Ukraine, and that she had spent a large amount of time overseas during Russia's continuous aggression against Ukraine.
She is said to have called her firing "illegal" and "unjustified political retaliation," although there appears to be no evidence to back up these claims.
The Zelensky administration mocked her assertion almost immediately after she was fired, calling it "an attempt to distract... a kind of conspiracy theory." It's unclear how many of her other statements fit into the same category.
Parliamentarian Pavlo Florov reportedly claimed that such false information "only harmed Ukraine."