Newly departed MSNBC foreign-policy analyst Malcolm Nance revealed Monday evening that he is on the ground in Ukraine fighting the invading Russian forces.
Nance, a retired U.S. Navy intelligence officer, told Joy Reid on The ReidOut that he had joined the country’s international legion about a month ago.
“The more I saw of the war going on, the more I thought, ‘I’m done talking, all right? It’s time to take action here,’” said Nance, suited up in a flak jacket and carrying an assault rifle. “I am here to help this country fight… what essentially is a war of extermination. This is an existential war and Russia has brought it to these people and they are mass murdering civilians, and there are people here like me who are here to do something about it.”
Nance, the executive director of a think tank called the Terror Asymmetrics Project, was asked if the fact that he is a foreigner “poses any special danger” to others there like himself.
“No, it doesn’t, because the war that’s being waged here is being waged against everybody,” Nance said. “[The Russians] are not going around hunting for American flag patches or to see who’s Black, who’s Asian, who’s Latino.”
In a subsequent exchange with The Daily Beast on Monday evening from what he said was a secure outpost in Ukraine, Nance said he was “touched” when he first met his platoon.
“The international legion is one of the best-kept secrets in the country. That’s the story. They were higher-level people than I am. Most journalists have never seen an actual member or been following freelancers all over the battlefield. I really can’t tell you how diverse a group it really is. It is literally a multinational force of men and women who are here to defend Ukraine,” the Navy veteran told The Daily Beast. “I was very touched when I met the first platoon and saw they were here for the right reasons.”
“They were not here just to get guns,” he noted.
He continued: “Also if anybody gives me any fucking flak just tell them to shut the fuck up since they’re obviously p*ssies who have never been in combat. The Legion only takes combat vets. #BOFADEEZ”
An MSNBC spokesperson told The Daily Beast that Nance is no longer an analyst for the network now that he has joined the international legion.
Responding to MSNBC stating he is no longer an analyst for the network, Nance told The Daily Beast: “That’s right.”
“I let my contract expire and came right over,” he said. “I was through with talking about it.”
At one point during the MSNBC interview, Nance made a direct appeal to President Joe Biden for “heavy weapons.”
“Russia has one advantage on the battlefield and that is long-range artillery,” said Nance.
“Let me say something to the president of the United States: Give [Ukraine] counter battery long range artillery—multiple rocket launch systems… to out-range the artillery. If you do that, you stop the attacks on civilians because that’s what they’re doing with the artillery.”
During his time in the Navy, Nance, who also speaks fluent Arabic, served as an intelligence collections operator and later wrote the book Defeating ISIS: Who They Are, How They Fight, What They Believe, which examined the influence of the terrorist group.