Photo of Ukraine Officer Wearing 'Don't Mess With Texas' Patch Goes Viral

A viral Facebook post has shown a Ukrainian officer who trained with the Houston Police Department (HPD) wearing a "Don't Mess With Texas" patch amid the country's fight against Russia.

Dan Patrick, the Republican lieutenant governor of Texas, shared a photo of the officer on his Facebook account on February 26.

In the viral post, the officer can be seen wearing a black helmet and body armor with the Texas patch on the front.

Patrick posted: "'Don't mess with Texas.' This Ukrainian police officer trained with the Houston Police Department last year and sent this photo, with permission to share, showing the patch he proudly wears in his fight for his country.

"We in Texas stand with the brave men and women of Ukraine as they fight for their freedom."

Since being uploaded, the post has attracted more than 10,000 interactions and has been widely shared on various social media platforms.

Art Acevedo, a former Houston police chief, said in a February 28 tweet: "We are proud to train @Ukraine police officers @houstonpolice and @Austin_Police.

"The men and women in their delegations have always been of high integrity, intelligent, committed and very appreciative of our partnership."

Newsweek has contacted the HPD and Patrick for comment.

Following Vladimir Putin's order to invade neighboring Ukraine, Texas Governor Greg Abbott called on Texas retailers to remove Russian products from sale.

In a February 26 tweet, Abbott said: "I've asked the members of the Texas Restaurant Association, Texas Package Stores Association and all Texas retailers to voluntarily remove all Russian products from their shelves. Texas stands with Ukraine. #StandWithUkraine."

The following day, Abbott posted a message on the social media platform that 15 people from Russia had been "apprehended crossing our border illegally" and questioned their motivation for doing so.

Abbott has also heaped praise on Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky, calling him "a leader" and said Ukraine needed weapons.

The Republican is not the only governor to make an order that Russian products be removed from shelves following Putin's invasion order.

Utah's Republican Governor Spencer J. Cox ordered the Utah Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control on February 26 to immediately remove Russian-produced and Russian-branded products from liquor store shelves.

He said: "Russia's ruthless attack on a sovereign nation is an egregious violation of human rights.

"Utah stands in solidarity with Ukraine and will not support Russian enterprises, no matter how small the exchange."

Moscow launched a full-scale offensive against Ukraine last Thursday.

Following the invasion, the U.S. and its North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) allies have issued harsh sanctions against Russia.

Many of the sanctions have targeted the Russian economy and the country's top officials, including Putin.

The war is worrying Russia's so-called oligarchs, with one Moscow-based billionaire, who requested anonymity, telling Reuters: "It is going to be catastrophic in all senses: for the economy, for relations with the rest of the world, for the political situation."

Texas flag and Ukrainian police
Split image of Texas flag and Ukrainian police officer. Dan Patrick shared an image of a Ukrainian officer wearing a "Don't mess with Texas" patch on his social media accounts. Getty