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UKRAINE’S sacked former human rights chief Lyudmila Denisova has admitted promoting fake news to persuade Western countries to send more arms and aid.
Ms Denisova said she lied to the Italian parliament in order to change their minds about sending weapons to Ukraine.
Her admission comes as Ukraine and Russia looked farther than ever from compromise, following claims by Russia’s Vladimir Putin that his war emulated tsar Peter the Great in “reclaiming” Russian land.
Mr Putin’s comments reinforce the message of Russian-installed officials in conquered regions, including Zaporizhzhia and Kherson, that it plans to annex Ukrainian territory.
His Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelensky said it showed there was no “off ramp” or possibility of compromise.
“I talked about terrible things in order to somehow push them to make the decisions that Ukraine and the Ukrainian people need,” Ms Denisova said.
“There is a party, Five Stars, which was against the provision of weapons to us, but after my speech, one of the party leaders expressed support for Ukraine, said that they will support, including the provision weapons,” Ms Denisova added.
The former Ukrainian parliamentary commissioner for human rights was ousted earlier this month following a vote of no confidence in the Rada.
Lawmaker Pavlo Frolov accused Ms Denisova of pushing misinformation that “only harmed Ukraine” in relation to “the numerous details of ‘unnatural sexual offences’ and child sexual abuses in the occupied territories, which were unsupported by evidence.”
Her reports were published uncritically by numerous Western media outlets as fact, and despite her sacking, none have retracted stories.
Comparisons have been made to the propaganda exercise to demonise the Serbian people and soften up public opinion to justify the 1999 Nato bombardment and break-up of the rest of Yugoslavia.
Reporting inside Ukraine and Russia on the war is tightly controlled by the respective authorities there.
Ms Denisova says she plans to launch a legal challenge against her dismissal.
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