What do we know about the Ukrainian soldier accused of wearing an 'Islamic State badge'?

© Observers

Since Thursday, February 16, numerous posts online have featured screenshots of a Danish television report showing a Ukrainian soldier with a patch on his uniform that some are saying means he belongs to the Islamic State organisation. However, there is no clear proof of what this patch represents. The Ukrainian soldier in question has given his own version of events.

"As if Nazi insignias weren't enough, now, we see the black flag of ISIS on the uniforms of soldiers in Ukraine..." says one person in a Twitter post that contains photos of a man wearing a patch on his arm.

The patch appears to show a symbol which has been used since 2007 on the flag of the Islamic State organisation. It contains a white circle on a black background with three words, known as the "Seal of Muhammad".

The photos were also relayed by the Twitter account of the Russian embassy in Denmark after they were shown on the Danish TV channel DR Nyheder. "Another clear example of what values the Ukrainian military adheres to," the embassy commented in its tweet. Russia and its supporters have accused the Ukrainian authorities and army of adhering to Nazi ideology.

The screenshots are actually from a report by the American news agency Associated Press broadcast on February 14. They were filmed on February 13 on the frontline in the Donbass region. They were picked up by DR Nyheder.

The man is seen several times – face hidden by a balaclava – as he approaches armoured personnel carriers.

He explains that he wanted to respond to "Russian propaganda" and gives his version of events:

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