If you’re going to be a journalist, you might want to consider doing some rudimentary research before running a story like this:

Speculation was growing last night that American mercenaries had been deployed to Donetsk after videos emerged of unidentified armed men in the streets of the eastern Ukrainian city.

At least two videos published on YouTube earlier this week show burly, heavily armed soldiers with no insignia in the city, which has been gripped by pro-Moscow protests.

In one of the videos onlookers can be heard shouting ‘Blackwater! Blackwater!’ as the armed men, who wear no insignia, jog through the streets.

Oh, but wear (SWIDT?) to begin? Let’s start with the video, which is just 21 seconds long, and then go to the screen grabs.

So, what do you see?

I see men carrying standard issue Russian weapons, wearing Russian body armor.

I see men wearing Russian helmets… nothing remotely like the headgear preferred by Americans, along with Russian load-bearing equipment. I see amateurs—or even more likely, conscripts— with no perimeter, bunched up and very unprofessional, without any sign of support or overwatch.

I see men that can’t simply “show up” amid thousands of Russian troops and walk around with impunity, representing a company that went out of business in 2009.

These are Russian troops that merely removed their insignia like every other Russian soldier in Crimea.

It’s too bad the Daily Mail can’t be bothered to do even minimal fact-checking.