War re Ukraine: Thread

grarpamp grarpamp at gmail.com
Tue May 31 18:59:26 PDT 2022

Ukraine Fires Own Human Rights Chief For Perpetuating Russian Troop
'Systematic Rape' Stories

For over the past two months, an avalanche of stories have hit Western
mainstream press which purported to document instances of mass rape
carried out by Russian troops against Ukrainian civilians. One
particular story in Time took off, driving outrage and condemnation by
Western officials and receiving repeat coverage on CNN and other major
US networks.

It alleged "a systemic, coordinated campaign of sexual violence" -
relying chiefly on testimony gathered by Ukraine's appointed top human
rights representative. It included a particularly shocking story of 25
teenage girls being gang-raped by Russian troops - nine of which
became pregnant. According to the report:

    Ukraine’s human rights ombudsman, Lyudmyla Denisova said that 25
teenage girls were kept in a basement in Bucha and gang-raped; nine of
them are now pregnant. Elderly women spoke on camera about being raped
by Russian soldiers. The bodies of children were found naked with
their hands tied behind their backs, their genitals mutilated. Those
victims included both girls and boys...

    Ukrainians are speaking up about rape as a war crime to ensure the
world holds Russia accountablehttps://t.co/tEilTSgmbS
    — TIME (@TIME) April 24, 2022

As has been the pattern in prior wars, whether in Syria or Libya, the
media claims got more and more sensational and over-the-top as the
conflict intensified, and as Western powers became more deeply
involved, yet with no concrete or definitive proof.

But one consistent detail in the majority of the stories is that the
aforementioned Ukraine human rights ombudsman, Lyudmyla Denisova, is
often the central figure feeding Western correspondents the shocking
rape stories.

For example, she's featured in this April Newsweek piece:

    Lyudmila Denisova, the Ukrainian Parliament's Commissioner for
Human Rights, alleged on Friday that Russian soldiers have raped
children during the ongoing invasion of Ukraine.

    In a Facebook post, Denisova alleged that an 11-year-old boy was
raped by Russians in front of his mother who was tied to a chair and
forced to watch as it happened in the Ukrainian city of Bucha.

Lyudmyla Denisova, Ukrainian government image

Many such stories which presented ever-more horrifying details as the
war progressed quickly went viral, particularly among pro-Ukraine
activists on Twitter and other social media, to the point where
prominent pundits would begin casually agreeing amongst themself that
Russians simply are "animals".

And below is another example among many, which tended to be based on
"reports say" for many of the most central, damning claims...

But recently, within the last couple of weeks, as investigators began
to dig deeper into the allegations, it seems the media stories started
to dry up. The geopolitical analysis blog Moon of Alabama details what
happened in the following:

    However, a bunch of eager NGOs in Ukraine, hoping for fresh
'western' money for new 'rape consultation and recovery' projects,
tried to find real rape cases. They were disappointed when they found
that there was no evidence that any rape had taken place

    (machine translation):
    On May 25, a number of media outlets and NGOs published an open
appeal to Lyudmila Denisova calling for improved communication on
sexual crimes during the war.

    The signatories insist that Denisova should disclose only
information about which there is sufficient evidence, avoid
sensationalism and excessive detail in their reports, use correct
terminology and take care of the confidentiality and safety of

    "Sexual crimes during the war are family tragedies, a difficult
traumatic topic, not a topic for publications in the spirit of the
'scandalous chronicle.' We need to keep in mind the goal: to draw
attention to the facts of crimes," the appeal reads.

An entire global activist movement even sprang up which focused on
highlighting Russian sexual crimes in Ukraine, based on the premise
that Russia's military is using "rape as a tool" as part of its
arsenal to spread a campaign of terror...

    Th woman also shouted 'Don't rape us!' as the security encircled
her quickly to take her off the red carpet. The incident again brought
to light the Ukraine crisis at #Cannes.https://t.co/Ghs9UCKC7q
    — WION (@WIONews) May 21, 2022

And now on Tuesday, Interfax, Politico, The Wall Street Journal, and
others are reporting that Lyudmyla Denisova has been fired - precisely
for floating and perpetuating fantastical claims of mass rape but
without providing evidence...

    Ukraine's parliament just fired human rights ombudsman Lyudmila
Denisova. MPs claimed her work focusing on the rape of Ukrainians by
Russian troops which "couldn't be confirmed with evidence [...] only
harmed Ukraine and distracted the global media from Ukraine's real
    — Christopher Miller (@ChristopherJM) May 31, 2022

"Ukrainian lawmakers dismissed the country’s ombudsman for human
rights, Lyudmyla Denisova, in a no-confidence vote on Tuesday,
concluding that she had failed to fulfill obligations including the
facilitation of humanitarian corridors and countering the deportation
of Ukrainians from occupied territory," The Wall Street Journal
reported late in the day.

"Lawmaker Pavlo Frolov said Ms. Denisova was also accused of making
insensitive and unverifiable statements about alleged Russian sex
crimes and spending too much time in Western Europe during the
invasion," the report added.

Frolov said in a Facebook post announcing her dismissal as the
country's top human rights investigator:

    "The unclear focus of the Ombudsman's media work on the numerous
details of ‘sexual crimes committed in an unnatural way’ and ‘rape of
children’ in the occupied territories that could not be confirmed by
evidence, only harmed Ukraine."

    Such accusations of mass rape by the enemy de jour are made in
every war (Libya, Syria) . They rarely turn out to be
true.https://t.co/bF0NVhQiFl https://t.co/i4rE2LMZMV
    — Moon of Alabama (@MoonofA) April 21, 2022

Needless to say this is an absolutely devastating blow to Ukraine's
'information war' which has been in full force since the Russian
invasion (as naturally in war each side will enter into propaganda
campaigns against the other simultaneous to the actual ground war, and
while seeking to sway world opinion).

Angry pushback has started already within hours after the news of
Denisova's removal was confirmed, including from UN accounts and US
media pundits...

    Dismissal of Ombudsperson Denisova is contrary to int standards,
undermines independence of important human rights institution in
#Ukraine. We call on authorities to take steps to ensure independence
of Ombudsperson & abide by int standards in law&practice
    — UNHumanRightsUkraine (@UNHumanRightsUA) May 31, 2022

That Ukraine's parliament took the drastic step of dismissing her in
such a public manner also speaks volumes - strongly suggesting that
Ukrainian officials themselves don't believe the bulk of the
'systematic rape' claims.

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