Brazilian army unhappy over Bolsonaro fans' watermelon jibes

Brazil's army is unhappy its generals are being likened to "watermelons" in social media posts, suggesting they're green on the outside and communist red inside.

Supporters of Jair Bolsonaro, who recently lost his bid to be re-elected president, have been making the comparison as they try to pressure the army to stage a coup over the result.

Some have accused top generals of being too close to Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, the veteran leftist candidate who narrowly beat Mr Bolsonaro.

In one example, Twitter user Eugenia Moreira da Costa posted an image with the caption: "These are 4 communist generals who are against the people, they want a Lula government.

"They are watermelon generals, green on the outside, red on the inside."

The army has refused to stage a coup or block the handover of power, despite Mr Bolsonaro's claims the country's electronic voting system was open to fraud.

The army's communications boss said he'd been told by the head of the force to counter any posts containing "lying and malicious allusions regarding members of the Army High Command", according to a communique seen by Reuters.

Such posts were a "malicious and criminal attempt to stain the personal honour of soldiers with more than 40 years of service," General Jose Ricardo Vendramin Nunes wrote.

He called the online criticism "disinformation" and insisted "the Brazilian army remains cohesive and united".

The army's disdain for the watermelon comparison is in contrast to the love shown for it in Ukraine earlier this month.

Memes celebrating the fruit sprung up when Kherson was liberated, as they're a well-known product of the region.

Ukraine's prime minister even posted an picture of himself holding one impressive specimen, and football club Shakhtar Donetsk joked they were using a watermelon as a "special ball".