A German news outlet aired video Monday showing some Ukrainian soldiers with helmets and gear displaying Nazi symbols, according to reports.
The footage on TV station ZDF showed volunteer soldiers with swastikas and the “SS runes” of Adolph Hitler’s elite corps, NBC News reported. Videojournalists for a Norwegian broadcaster captured the video in eastern Ukraine last week.
The soldiers are reportedly members of the Azov battalion, a volunteer military force in Ukraine with nationalist tendencies. Members of the battalion, however, deny that they believe in a fascist ideology, the International Business Times reported.
Ukraine’s government signed a cease-fire agreement with Russian-backed separatists last Friday, which halted months of fighting.
Earlier this year, multiple reports said Jews in the eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk received fliers ordering them to register with the government. The leaflets told Jewish residents that their citizenship could be revoked and that they could face deportation or their assets could be confiscated if they didn't register and pay a fee.
The incident sparked outrage among members of Congress and led critics to draw parallels with the lead-up to the Holocaust.
In an alert earlier this year, the State Department warned Americans about the increased presence of Russian neo-Nazi and nationalist extremist groups in eastern Ukraine.
Russian President Vladimir Putin, however, has previously accused the government in Kiev of engaging in anti-Semitic activities and sought to paint the government in Kiev as far right.
President Obama is scheduled to host Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko at the White House next Thursday.