By Will Porter

Ukrainian lawmakers have voted to remove human rights commissioner Lyudmila Denisova, accusing the official of doing too little to protect citizens amid an ongoing Russian invasion, and of tarnishing Kiev’s reputation abroad with unverified atrocity stories.

The Verkhovna Rada moved to fire Denisova earlier this week, with 234 deputies voting for her ouster, according to local media reports. Her five-year term was set to expire in 2023, but with her early dismissal it’s not yet clear who will fill the position, often described as ‘human rights ombudsman’ in Western press coverage.

Pavlo Frolov – a member of the ruling ‘Servant of the People’ party and deputy chair of a parliamentary ethics committee – outlined a number of complaints against Denisova, arguing that she had spent too much time in “warm Western Europe” since Russia’s invasion commenced earlier this year.

“After February 24, the current Verkhovna Rada commissioner for human rights spent time abroad, but not in Russia or Belarus, where her status and powers could help prisoners, deportees and victims of the occupation,” Frolov said, adding that she had “hardly exercised her authority to organize humanitarian corridors.”

The official went on to note Denisova’s “incomprehensible concentration” on “numerous details of ‘unnatural sexual crimes’ and the ‘rape of children’ in the occupied territories, which could not be confirmed by evidence,” saying those allegations only “harmed Ukraine and distracted the world media from Ukraine’s real needs.”

As commissioner, Denisova repeatedly accused Russian forces of grave human rights abuses, including the rape and sexual abuse of minors as young as 1, claims readily echoed in Anglophone media outlets.

While first-hand testimony and forensic examinations of victims indicate Ukrainian women have endured horrific abuses at the hands of some Russian soldiers, Denisova’s high-profile media work has come under fire from local reporters, human rights activists and lawyers.

In an open letter published late last month, nearly 150 Ukrainian journalists and academics urged the commissioner to be more careful in publicizing war crimes allegations, not only asking her to provide sufficient evidence for such charges, but to avoid sensationalizing grisly details at the expense of victims and their families.

“When publicly communicating sexual crimes during wartime (especially when the victims are children), it is important to take into account not only the ethics of the wording, but also the justification and expediency of publishing certain details that may shock,” the letter said, adding:

“We are concerned that the Ukrainian media will become just a platform for spreading ‘horrific details’ about sexual crimes during the war, instead of serving as voices in support of collecting evidence in relevant criminal cases and fair punishment, and spreading information about where and how to contact survivors of violence.”

Denisova’s dismissal was opposed by ex-President Petro Poroshenko’s European Solidarity party, as well as former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko’s Batkivshchyna (Fatherland) party, though garnered significant support among Servant of the People deputies.

The former commissioner has alleged that President Volodymyr Zelensky personally authorized her firing ahead of the parliamentary vote, though the deputy chief of the president’s office, Andriy Smyrnov, rejected that charge. Some activists, such as Tetyana Pechonchyk of the ZMINA Human Rights Center, argued that Denisova’s dismissal was unconstitutional, while other supporters have noted the rights commissioner role has often been politicized, including in a prior attempt to remove Denisova last fall.

Will Porter is assistant news editor at the Libertarian Institute and a staff writer at RT. Find more of his work at and Consortium News.


We See The World From All Sides and Want YOU To Be Fully Informed
In fact, intentional disinformation is a disgraceful scourge in media today. So to assuage any possible errant incorrect information posted herein, we strongly encourage you to seek corroboration from other non-VT sources before forming an educated opinion.

About VT - Policies & Disclosures - Comment Policy
Due to the nature of uncensored content posted by VT's fully independent international writers, VT cannot guarantee absolute validity. All content is owned by the author exclusively. Expressed opinions are NOT necessarily the views of VT, other authors, affiliates, advertisers, sponsors, partners, or technicians. Some content may be satirical in nature. All images are the full responsibility of the article author and NOT VT.


  1. So, they don´t want investigation´s over the raping of womans and childrens? Whay should they wait more for the E.U admission?

  2. Humans have no intrinsic rights except those bestowed on them by their “leaders”. Or won through violent revolution. What a perplexing situation for the crown of creation.

    • We don´t have a like button but i wanted to leave my appreciation toward´s your great statement.

  3. The Ukro-nazis are desperate to sweep the child sex crimes issue under the rug. Looks like they will need more rugs to cover up the other crimes these jackals have perpetrated against the Ukrainian people over the years. Maybe NATO can supply more rugs!

Comments are closed.