A Sunday broadcast by the Russian propaganda channel Pervyi TV reported that Russian troops had proof that Canadian mercenaries were serving in the ranks of the Ukrainian Armed Forces (AFU). The “evidence” was in the form of items of recovered uniform insignia which was held up for the camera by a Russian soldier who said he had recovered them from a former Ukrainian defensive position in the so-called Donetsk People's Republic (DNR).

Screenshot from the video

Speaking to camera the soldier said “We found these trophies from the Ukrainians - insignia. The badge of Ukraine, the symbols of Canada. They look like Canadian badges, a coat of arms.”

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“The presence of foreign mercenaries in the ranks of the Ukrainian Armed Forces has long been no secret,” the journalist covering the story said.

The news segment was initially broadcast to stations in the Far Eastern regions before being removed for transmission to central Russia.

The reason why the broadcast was pulled was probably because, just as Kyiv Post did, someone checked the accuracy of the claims and realized their error.

The symbols that the Russian military had passed off as Canadian were in fact the flag and coat of arms of the Udmurtian Republic, which is part of the Russian Federation and located in the Volga Federal District.

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The flag of Udmurtia depicts a red 8-pointed star, which the Russian soldier (and the TV channel) probably confused with the Canadian maple leaf flag.

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As Yuriy Butusov, editor-in-chief of Censor.Net, said on his Telegram channel the badges were probably recovered from the bodies of an Udmurtian soldier. The confusion said more about the level of education and understanding exhibited by the Russian soldier who found them than anything else. The Propagandists of Pervyi TV were happy to exploit the situation before they realized the error they were making.

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