Former MSNBC national security expert lays out his reasons for joining Ukraine’s military resistance

Former MSNBC national security expert lays out his reasons for joining Ukraine’s military resistance

Malcolm Nance — U.S. Navy veteran, Philadelphia native, African-American, Catholic, proficient in multiple languages, 60 years of age, and a scathing critic of former President Donald Trump — is known for his books on terrorism and his work as a national security analyst for MSNBC. During the Trump years, MSNBC hosts frequently brought him on to discuss the Mueller Report, Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, the Trump/Ukraine scandal, or Trump’s first impeachment.

But these days, Nance is in Ukraine helping the Ukrainian military fight Russian invaders. In March, Nance officially joined the International Legion of Territorial Defense of Ukraine, which is a foreign military unit of the Territorial Defense Forces of Ukraine and was created by the Ukrainian government on February 27, 2022 in response to the invasion. And Nance discussed his reasons for helping Ukraine militarily during an interview with The Guardian’s Michael Harriot.

“I spent a month in Ukraine, driving around, mapping out the Russian order of battle, driving up and down the highways and analyzing where the invasion routes would come and go,” Nance told Harriot during the interview, which The Guardian published on April 29. “So, I knew the country backward and forwards by the time of the invasion. In fact, on the day of the invasion, just by happenstance, I got on the last Lufthansa flight out of the country. A couple of hours later, they had leveled the airport.”


Russian forces, on orders from President Vladimir Putin, launched an all-out invasion of Ukraine on February 24 — and the International Legion of Territorial Defense of Ukraine was created three days later at the request of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

Nance recalled, “Ukraine announced that there was an international force on February 27, and I started looking into it on February 28…. I called the Ukrainian Embassy in Washington, and I said: ‘Hey, I want an appointment.’ They were a little slow, so I just went down there and put in my application. The guy asked if I had combat experience, and I said ‘Yep.’ Then, he looked at my application and said, ‘You’re on the team.’”

Nance notes that Kremlin-operated Russian media have attacked him as a “solider of fortune” and falsely claimed that Russian forces are fighting neo-Nazis in Ukraine. And he counters that racism is worse in Russia and the U.S. than it is in the East European country he is now fighting for.

“The Ukrainian Army is 250,000 people who are mostly White and mostly male,” Nance told Harriot. “You know where I can actually show you more Nazis? Aside from the U.S. Army, that is? Russia’s Wagner Group is filled with Nazis. The leader of their group of mercenaries has all sorts of Nazi tattoos all over his body.”

Nance added, “Look, this is a country of 42 million Caucasians; so, statistically, the U.S. probably has a bigger Nazi contingent. I traveled around this country with Terrell Starr and the Afro-Ukrainian community here, and I’ve seen fewer Nazis than I’ve seen in America.”

Although Nance is a U.S. Navy veteran, he is not in Ukraine in an official capacity for the U.S. Armed Forces. President Joe Biden favors military aid to Ukraine and has aggressively imposed economic sanctions against Russia with the help of the United States’ European NATO allies, but Biden is adamantly opposed to having American “boots on the ground” in Ukraine — and he has declined Zelensky’s request for a no-fly zone over Ukraine, as Biden fears that doing so could trigger a direct military conflict between the U.S. and Russia and lead to World War 3.

Nance compares the International Legion of Territorial Defense of Ukraine to the French Foreign Legion.

“There are a lot of African-Americans and young Americans who have been in the military who are gonna see this and are gonna be inspired,” Nance told Harriot. “This is essentially the French Foreign Legion, and it will be part of the pantheon of the defense of democracy in the defense of Ukraine.… My dad was one of the first Black master chiefs in the (U.S.) Navy. This is just who I am. I’m African-American, but by God, I’m American.”

#story_page_post_article

Understand the importance of honest news ?

So do we.

The past year has been the most arduous of our lives. The Covid-19 pandemic continues to be catastrophic not only to our health - mental and physical - but also to the stability of millions of people. For all of us independent news organizations, it’s no exception.

We’ve covered everything thrown at us this past year and will continue to do so with your support. We’ve always understood the importance of calling out corruption, regardless of political affiliation.

We need your support in this difficult time. Every reader contribution, no matter the amount, makes a difference in allowing our newsroom to bring you the stories that matter, at a time when being informed is more important than ever. Invest with us.

Make a one-time contribution to Alternet All Access, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.

Click to donate by check.

DonateDonate by credit card
Donate by Paypal
{{ post.roar_specific_data.api_data.analytics }}