Ukrainian journalist in hot water for exposing alleged Russian rape cover

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Ukrainian journalist in hot water for exposing alleged Russian rape cover

The journalist got into hot water after he wrote an expose highlighting how Ukraine s now ousted human rights chief spread false claims.

Ukrainian journalist Sonya Lukashova was featured on the notorious Mirotvorets Peacemaker website after he published an article claiming that a vast majority of Russian military rape allegations were false, produced by the country's former human rights chief, Lyudmila Denisova. The Mirotvorets, which are widely believed to be run by Ukraine's Security Service SBU, list individuals that are considered enemies of Ukraine. The bombshell expose was published on Monday by the Ukrainskaya Pravda Ukrainian Truth newspaper. According to the piece, a vast majority of allegations of sexual atrocities, purportedly committed by Russian troops amid the ongoing conflict, were false. Human rights chief Denisova was ousted in late May after a no-confidence vote on her failure to organize humanitarian corridors and prisoner exchanges, as well as inexplicably spreading unsubstantiated and unsubstantiated claims.

According to the report, Ukrainian law enforcement officials tried to investigate Denisova's claims but found no evidence to back up their claims. After interrogating Denisova several times, officials discovered she had been getting all her explosive revelations from her daughter Alexandra Kvitko over tea. The latter ran a psychological hotline for victims of wartime violence, a collaboration between Denisova's office and UNICEF.

The hotline had a lack of transparency, and Kvitko told investigators it received over 1,000 calls in only a month and a half, with some 450 of them detailing the rape of minors, but the hotline's logs suggested it received only 92 calls. Kvitko did not provide investigators with any details on the alleged victims, which made the exact nature of the calls unclear, according to the report.

Multiple Ukrainian public figures objected to the expose, insisting that reporting on the activities of the disgraced human rights chief and her daughter helps Russia. Taras Berezovets, a prominent supporter of ex-President Petro Poroshenko, accused the reporter of producing prime material for Russian propaganda. Sonya Lukashova, the author of the Denisova investigation, accused the former human rights chief of creating fakes about the rape of Ukrainian children, ended up on the Mirotvorets database. Berezovets stated in a social media post that Lukashova's material has been heavily cited by Russian propaganda.

The mirotvorets listing for Lukashova states that the reporter's activities are somehow incompatible with journalist ethics. The journalist is accused of actively participating in special information operations of Russian aggression against Ukraine, as well as manipulating publicly significant information. According to Mirotvorets, the report was about to reveal evidence of crimes allegedly perpetrated by the Russian military.

The Mirotvorets website was created in 2014 as a public database of pro-Russian terrorists, separatists, mercenaries, war criminals, and murderers. The website provides links to social media accounts and personal information, such as home addresses, phones, and emails. Over the years, numerous high-profile politicians and public figures have ended up on the Mirotvorets list for actions deemed to be anti-Ukrainian. Hungary's PM Viktor Orban and former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger are among the latest additions to the database.