NewsUkrainian army's social media blunder fuels Russian propaganda: Controversial uniform detail sparks disbelief

Ukrainian army's social media blunder fuels Russian propaganda: Controversial uniform detail sparks disbelief

This photo outraged internet users, a soldier from Ukraine has a swastika on his vest.
This photo outraged internet users, a soldier from Ukraine has a swastika on his vest.
Images source: © Facebook | AFU
6:06 AM EST, December 17, 2023

From the outset of the Russian invasion, the Ukrainians have demonstrated effective communication through social media, to such an extent that it could be suggested they're currently leading in the information warfare against Russia. Their posts detail the conditions on the front line, accentuate their victories, and expose the losses suffered by the invaders. They reflect the real conditions of the battlefield, narrate the experiences of ordinary people, and reveal the harsh actions of the Russians.

Undeniably, these are premeditated actions forming part of a larger strategy, combined with carefully planned propaganda. Hence, it came as a surprise when a mishap from the Ukrainians sharply contrasted their prior accomplishments. A photo emerged on the official profile of the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense, featuring a soldier sitting amidst rubble. However, the appearance of a swastika on the soldier's uniform distressed observers.

Observers quickly detected that the person in the vest was wearing a Nazi emblem.

The photo, initially intended as a testament to the Ukrainians' resilience and determination, accompanied a quite assertive message from the war marketing specialists. The image was shared to inspire courage, and was captioned with:

"They can demolish our homes, but they cannot shatter our spirit!" we read.

Regrettably, no one scrutinized the photo closely enough to notice the egregious error— the soldier, likely a member of the Ukrainian National Guard, sported a deplorable patch on his vest. This patch displayed a "crow" emblem – notorious from the Third Reich era – clutching a swastika in its talons, an unequivocal and disgraceful symbol of Nazi Germany.

Adding insult to injury, the Ukrainians have yet to remove the image or issue an apology for the oversight. The image still circulates on the profiles of the National Guard and the Ministry of Defense, inadvertently fueling Russian propaganda. This incident plays into Vladimir Putin's narrative which, as of two years ago, claimed he sent troops to the front line with the aim of "denazifying Ukraine".

This is what the patch of a Ukrainian soldier looks like, which upset the internet users.
This is what the patch of a Ukrainian soldier looks like, which upset the internet users.© Telegram | AFU

The blunder sparked disbelief among netizens globally, including those from Poland and Israel. They've taken to comment sections and posts, urging the Ukrainian authorities to remove the embarrassing image. Yet, despite numerous appeals, no action has been taken so far. On the contrary, there's an abundance of comments from Russian trolls gleefully capitalizing on the oversight.

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