A Twitter account with 120,000 subscribers was deleted after accusations of fraud
A Twitter account purporting to share the adventures of a pro-Kiev Canadian fighter in Ukraine has been deleted after the person behind it was accused of faking his credentials. The man in the photos was posing with replica guns and equipment, critics say.
The person behind the 'Canadian Ukrainian Volunteer' Twitter account claimed to be fighting against Russia in Ukraine. He was supposedly leading a life of adventure, going on daring recon missions, dodging Russian patrols in Kherson Region, and otherwise risking his life. However, the images he posted drew the attention of online sleuths who found them fishy, The Telegraph reported on Monday.
A lengthy thread posted last week by a user called 'Kung Flu Panda' made the case that the 'volunteer' was a fraud. The person claimed to have doubts about the account earlier, but said they became certain after a helmet shown in the photos was identified as a plastic replica for airsoft enthusiasts.
Ukraine Weapons Tracker, a popular account that analyzes images of military hardware in Ukraine, backed the accusations.
There were doubts about the account months ago. Aric Toler, who works for US-government funded Bellingcat, said it was recycling photos available online, claiming they were his own.
Another user, NexusIntel, said in mid-June that they managed to trick 'Canadian Ukrainian Volunteer' into disclosing the IP address from which he updated his Twitter feed. It was apparently located in Cornwall, a city in Ontario, Canada.
"The only truthful thing that he ever said was that he was Canadian, in my opinion," the user remarked.
He responded by posting photos of his supposed gear, thereby providing evidence that was eventually used to disprove his battlefield credentials.
The Canadian Ukrainian Volunteer account had around 120,000 subscribers before it was deleted.