The ‘Peacemaker’ Hit List
Until the Biden administration answers Sen. J.D. Vance’s questions, Republicans should prevent sending a single dollar to Ukraine.
Ukraine is getting desperate.
The long-touted and long-delayed counteroffensive has made meager gains and failed to break through Russia’s reinforced defensive line at large scale. Meanwhile, Ukraine is increasingly reliant on the West not only to keep the war effort going, but to keep the entire government afloat. As more American policy makers consider further aid to Ukraine, the Ukrainian government is outright threatening American citizens who dare suggest the United States shouldn’t be involved in a proxy war with Russia. While Congress is squabbling over whether to include more funding for Ukraine in a continuing resolution to fund the American government, a non-governmental organization connected to the Ukrainian government is adding American citizens to a public hit list.
The list, officially named the “Myrotvorets” list, which translates to “Peacemaker” in English, is managed by the Myrotvorets Centre, a non-governmental organization based in Kiev with known ties to the Ukrainian government. Its founder, for example, is the Ukrainian politician and political activist George Tuka. The website explicitly says the list is meant to provide “Information for volunteers of the Peacemaker Center and employees of law enforcement agencies and intelligence services of Ukraine and other countries (except the Russian Federation).” Its pages are littered with calls for violent retribution not only against Russia or Russians, but anyone perceived to be against the Ukrainian war effort.
Jack Posobiec, Human Events senior editor, is the latest American citizen to be added to the Myrotvorets list. In the database, Posobiec is identified as an “anti-Ukrainian propagandist” and a “provocateur” that is a “participant and initiator of information special operations in favor of the Kremlin.” The Myrotvorets Centre implores “law enforcement agencies to consider this publication on the website as a statement about the commission by this citizen of deliberate acts against the national security of Ukraine, peace, the security of humanity and international law and order, as well as other offenses.”
In the past, the list has included the names of other American citizens, such as Tucker Carlson, Elon Musk, and Glenn Greenwald. World leaders have also found themselves on the Myrotvorets list from time to time, including Pope Francis.
While the database page does not call directly for Posobiec’s assassination, other database entries, atop the other aforementioned violent messages on the site, are awfully telling. Darya Dugina, a Russian journalist killed by a car bomb, still has an entry on the Myrotvorets list. Instead of a blue header with her name, akin to Posobiec’s, her header is black with text that has a fiery effect. Dugina, according to the Myrotvorets Centre, was engaged in “propaganda of Russian fascism and Nazism,” “dissemination of Kremlin propaganda in the form of so-called ‘Russian world,’” and provided “information support for the military attack of fascist Russia on Ukraine.” Dugina’s picture has red text plastered across her face that reads “liquidated,” in English, which is the same term the Ukrainian military uses when reporting the number of Russian soldiers they’ve allegedly killed.
When Dugina’s car exploded in August of 2022, the National Republican Army, a Russian partisan group that seeks to remove President Vladimir Putin from power, claimed responsibility for Dugina’s death. An investigation conducted by Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB), however, concluded that Ukrainian special services were responsible for Dugina’s assassination. Nevertheless, the Myrotvorets Centre apparently rejects both of these theories and claims Dugina was “liquidated by the special services of fascist Russia due to interspecies disagreements.”
It is both surprising and unsurprising just how quickly a list of disinformers and provocateurs has turned into a kind of hit list. Did Ukraine get this impulse from its historic ties from Russia, or from its benefactor the United States?
Enter Sarah Ashton-Cirillo. Born Michael Cirillo, Cirillo is an American-born man who thinks he is a woman and now claims to serve as an English spokesman for the Ukrainian military.
For the past few months, Cirillo has been posting video statements on Twitter. Cirillo is bad at his job. His delivery is melodramatic and hysterical, and he attempts to soften it by putting on a vaguely feminine voice. Last week, one of Cirillo’s videos drew more attention than usual, given his direct threats at individuals Ukraine believes are “criminal propagandists.”
“Next week, the teeth of the Russian devils will gnash even harder, and their rabid mouths will foam in uncontrollable frenzy as the world will see a favorite Kremlin propagandist pay for their crimes,” Cirillo claimed. “This puppet of Putin is only the first. Russia’s war criminal propagandists will all be hunted down, and justice will be served.”
Ashton-Cirillo’s comments solicited a deluge of condemnations from conservative commentators who, for their skepticism of U.S. involvement in Ukraine, have been labeled Putin-stooges and Russian propagandists by Ukraine and its supporters.
“Ashton-Cirillo is now taking to social media threatening to hunt down and kill those who criticize the country’s government,” TPUSA Founder Charlie Kirk tweeted. “Why are we giving these psychos our money?”
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The video also piqued the interest of Sen. J.D. Vance of Ohio. Vance sent a letter to Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin, and Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines asking about America’s knowledge about Ashton-Cirillo’s role in the Ukrainian military. A number of reports purport to offer additional information, much of it unconfirmed, regarding Ashton-Cirillo. I’ve seen claims this individual is an American, a former intelligence operative in the United States, and an employee of the Ukrainian government. Others have argued Ashton-Cirillo is pulling an elaborate prank,” Vance’s letter stated.
In the letter, Vance asked if Ashton-Cirillo is an American citizen, if he is employed by the Ukrainian military, if he is being compensated using American resources, if Cirillo ever worked for American intelligence services, and if “we have reason to believe Ukrainian forces or intelligence services are planning to commit acts of violence against those who engage in ‘Russian propaganda.’”
Making the Biden administration aware of Ashton-Cirillo’s threats could be dangerous: As the Biden administration attempts to throw former President Donald Trump behind bars, they could reward Ukraine for their commitment to trans inclusion and the persecution of their political enemies. But until the Biden administration answers Vance’s questions, Republicans should prevent sending a single additional dollar to Ukraine.