(Natural News) There is so much fakery being perpetuated these days, thanks in large part to the proliferation of social media that it is difficult to tell what is real — including so-called ‘hero’ soldiers allegedly fighting for Ukraine.
A Newsweek article published in 2022 featured an American man who volunteered to fight alongside the Ukrainian Army. The man, James Vasquez, boasted in March of that same year that he had destroyed seven Russian tanks. The article portrayed Vasquez in a positive light.
Former Illinois ‘Republican’ Rep. Adam Kinzinger previously advocated for Twitter to verify the account of Vasquez, but he was left embarrassed after it was revealed that the story of Vasquez joining the Ukrainian Army was fake.
Kinzinger had even posed for pictures with Vasquez.
“Kinzinger’s favorite Ukraine hero just deleted his account after it came out he is a fraud,” conservative pundit and Human Rights editor Jack Posobiec observed.
Kinzinger’s favorite Ukraine hero just deleted his account after it came out he is a fraud pic.twitter.com/nZ1Ouc4xiv
— Jack Posobiec ?? (@JackPosobiec) March 22, 2023
MSNBC‘s Malcolm Nance, who had also supported Vasquez, responded to the allegations against the fake soldier, which were revealed by a current member of the Ukrainian armed forces. Nance stated that he and others had advised Vasquez to “get off Twitter, get his life in order & come back to support [Ukraine] in a legal construct,” adding: “He took that advice.”
“James was NOT fake, he was troubled. He did a lot for Ukraine but has challenges to face. Respect what he did do,” Nance said, according to The Post Millennial.
Nooooo, don’t tell me everyone’s favorite “Mercenary” has really just been hiding out and ducking the real action while collecting money and pretending to be fighting in Ukraine on their behalf.
THE LARP IS REAL.
Guess that explains why he got pieced up on a Subway in the US.… pic.twitter.com/xTT5TnmA02
— Malcolm Fle? – ??Amoral Mercenary?? (@Malcolm_fleX48) March 22, 2023
Kinzinger said last year regarding Vasquez that “he’s legit and too many folks are tying to create fake acts with him. I have a bill in congress to deal with this… Since this was happening to me for so long,” the outlet reported.
Vasquez actually works with Ripley’s Heroes, a group that claims to “provide critically needed non-lethal and humanitarian resources to qualified and experienced heroes who have interrupted their own lives, and put themselves in harm’s way, to help save others.”
Heroes is not currently a not-for-profit organization, but they are accepting donations. They have filed for 501(c)3 status with the IRS, but this status has not yet been approved. Therefore, donations made to the organization are not currently eligible for tax deduction, The Post Millennial added.
The outlet said that Vasquez “decided to pack up and make his way to Ukraine to fight as a volunteer soldier within the Ukrainian Military” after Russia invaded its neighbor in February 2022.
“After spending months fighting alongside the Ukrainians and documenting the war through his verified @JMVasquez1974 Twitter account, James’ impact was more profound than he realized. Amassing more than 400,000 Twitter followers, James was not only fighting on the front lines, but he was also reporting the war through an unfiltered lens,” said a release from Ripley’s Heroes.
Vasquez’s LinkedIn says he’s with Ripley’s Heroes and that he is the company’s “Chief Strategy Officer,” as well as listing him as “fighting in Ukraine.”
Sarah Ashton-Cirillo, a soldier in the Armed Forces of Ukraine, accused Vasquez of “stolen valor” in a tweet. Stolen valor refers to the act of falsely claiming military honors or valor for oneself, despite not having served in the military.
TPM also noted that she wrote that while she “won’t release private texts,” Vasquez had “confirmed to [her] in writing that he does not and has not had a contract with the Armed Forces of Ukraine.”
Prior to that, she wrote: “As a soldier in the Armed Forces of Ukraine, who has to live by the rules of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, who has fought and fights at the front for the Armed Forces of Ukraine, I’m done w/ lies. James Vasquez is not and has not been in ZSU. @jmvasquez1974 please get help.”