A man who claimed he was a former US Army staff sergeant before going to fight in Ukraine has been exposed as a 'fraud' but has bitten back saying he's going to "out tons of people soon".
James Vasquez, 47, went to Ukraine on two separate occasions to fight against Vladimir Putin's forces on the front line, once after his wife left him.
Vasquez, who is still in Bakhmut now, had claimed that he has active service for the US Military under his belt, until he was exposed first on Twitter, and then by a damning New York Times article.
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When it was reported that he was merely a Connecticut home-improvement contractor who left the Army Reserve not as a sergeant as he claimed, but as a private first class (one of the Army’s lowest ranks), he reactivated his Twitter and responded.
"I’ll be outing tons of people soon. Where do I begin?" he tweeted.
He then uploaded a cryptic video showing a close up of a speaker playing Eminem ft. Rihanna – The Monster, opening with the lyrics 'I'm friends with the monster that's under my bed'.
That came after the NYT article, in which he admitted that he had been misrepresenting his military record for decades.
"I was in Kuwait during Desert Storm, and I was in Iraq after 9/11,” Mr. Vasquez said in a fund-raising video, as reported by the Times. He added: “This is a whole different animal.”
Grumblings began on social media earlier in the week, with rumours that he was a "fraud" intensifying.
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Sarah Ashton-Cirillo, a soldier in the Armed Forces of Ukraine, made some of the most high profile tweets.
"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."
ZSU refers to the Armed Forces of Ukraine, in a Ukrainian abbreviation.
Vasquez deleted his account after speculation that he wasn't officially signed up to fight in Ukraine and the New York Times subsequently confirmed that he was never deployed to Kuwait, Iraq or anywhere else, citing a Pentagon spokeswoman.
Requests from the Daily Star for comment have not been returned by Mr Vasquez, but he has reactivated his Twitter since being 'exposed'.
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