Longtime MSNBC viewers are familiar with Malcolm Nance, who conveyed his accumulated knowledge from a career in naval intelligence as he broke down military conflicts as an analyst since 2007.
The Malcolm Nance viewers saw on host Joy-Ann Reid’s The Reidout in Monday night’s 7 p.m. slot put that military intelligence to an entirely different use: apparently Nance has decamped from cable news to join the Ukrainian resistance.
Nance tweeted Monday afternoon that he’d make a must-see appearance on Reidout that evening, then was interviewed on the show from “a secure location in Western Ukraine” in full military gear and holding an assault rifle while explaining his decision to join the fight against Russian President Vladamir Putin’s brutal invasion of the country. The interview starts at the 6:48 mark:
“When the invasion started, I had friends who were in Donatz, who were in the Ukrainian army, who were telling us, ‘We’re not gonna survive tonight. We’ve been hit 500 times,” he said. “The more I saw of the war going on, the more I thought, ‘I’m done talking, alright. It’s time to take action here.”
It’s unclear how long in advance MSNBC knew of his activities in Ukraine. The full segment featured b-roll footage of Nance in Ukraine outside of his interview with Reid, which would have required someone to have filmed him ahead of his live appearance.
Asked what his actual role is, Nance told Reid that he’s there to help protect civilians from Russia’s assaults as part of the International Legion of Territorial Defense of Ukraine, a group of foreign nationals who have signed up to fight in the war with Russia.
Since invading Ukraine almost two months ago, the Russian army has devastated not only military targets but cities and towns filled with civilians. U.S. President Joe Biden has said he personally believes Russia is guilty of war crimes while Vice President Kamala Harris has called for an investigation, although the U.S. is not a party to the International Criminal Court, the most likely body to investigate and bring war crimes charges.
The Hollywood Reporter wrote on Monday that a spokesperson for the network said that Nance is no longer on contract as a contributor. As of Tuesday morning, Nance’s Twitter profile showed a picture of him in a military uniform with a Ukrainian flag with a background image that was also a Ukrainian flag with an unidentified emblem in the center. The profile adds “Ukrainian Legionnaire” and “Russians getting ass kicked” to a bio that lists his 36 years of intelligence experience, “Widower” and NYT Bestselling Author.