Ukrainian Parliament Fires Ombudswoman Denisova Citing Lax Efforts In Response To Russian Invasion


KYIV -- Ukrainian lawmakers have fired Ombudswoman Lyudmila Denisova almost one year before her term's end, saying she failed to help organize humanitarian corridors and citing other alleged inaction related to Russia's invasion.

Lawmakers Yaroslav Zheleznyak and Oleksiy Honcharenko said the move was approved by parliament on May 31.

Denisova said the move to fire her was initiated by the office of President Volodymyr Zelenskiy. Andriy Smyrnov, deputy chief of the presidential office, rejected the accusation.

Earlier in the day, representatives of Zelenskiy’s Servant of the People party said they would support Denisova’s removal due to what they called her "failure to organize humanitarian corridors to evacuate civilians from towns and cities in the center of clashes between invading Russian troops and Ukrainian armed forces.”

They also said she had not shown enough effort to find facts proving war crimes committed by Russian troops in Ukraine and had spent a significant time abroad during Russia's ongoing aggression against Ukraine.

Former President Petro Poroshenko's European Solidarity party and former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko's Batkivshchyna (Fatherland) party voted against her dismissal.

The chairwoman of the ZMINA Human Rights Center, Tetyana Pechonchyk, said there were no constitutional grounds to remove Denisova from the post.

It is unclear who will replace Denisova, who was appointed to the five-year post on March 15, 2018.