Malcolm Nance Explains Why He Quit MSNBC to Join Ukraine's Foreign Legion

Malcolm Nance, a terrorism and intelligence analyst who frequently appeared on MSNBC, has quit his role as a commentator to join Ukraine's foreign legion and fight Russia.

Nance, 61, made the announcement in an interview with Joy Reid on MSBC's The ReidOut on Monday, clad in combat gear and armed with an assault rifle.

Addressing Reid from Ukraine, Nance, a U.S. Navy veteran and executive director of the Terror Asymmetrics Project on Strategy, Tactics and Radical Ideologies (TAPSTRI), said: "I spent quite a bit of time here in the pre-war period and when the invasion happened I had friends who were in Donetsk, who were in the Ukrainian army, who were writing to us and telling us, we're not going to survive tonight. We've been hit 500 times."

The friends in question were people who, like Nance, had attended the Defense Language Institute, a Pentagon education and research program providing linguistic and cultural instruction to the U.S. Department of Defense.

"The more I saw the war going on, the more I thought 'I'm done talking, it's time to take action here,'" he said.

"So about a month ago I joined the international legion here in Ukraine and I am here to help this country fight what is essentially a war of its 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."

The International Legion of Territorial Defense of Ukraine was established on February 27—at the beginning of the war—to encourage foreigners to join the fight against Russian President Vladimir Putin's army.

After finishing in the Navy in 2001, Nance started appearing on MSNBC and other news channels to speak about intelligence, terrorism and foreign policy. He has also written several books on these subjects.

In the interview, Nance appealed to U.S. President Joe Biden for "counter-battery long-range artillery" to protect Ukrainian civilians against Russian air strikes.

"Russia has one advantage on the battlefield, and that is long-range artillery," he said.

Newsweek has contacted MSNBC about Nance's decision to join the war.

The State Department has warned Americans against combat in Ukraine, but hundreds have gone to the Eastern European country to fight for the Ukrainian foreign legion. Many of those who were accepted have past combat or helicopter piloting experience. Some Americans are even training Ukrainian civilians.

Malcolm Nance military
Author and pundit Malcolm Nance attends the Build Series to discuss his new book "The Plot To Betray America" at Build Studio on November 14, 2019 in New York City. Nance, a terrorism and intelligence analyst who frequently is on MSNBC, has decided to quit as a commentator and join Ukraine’s foreign legion to fight Russia. Jim Spellman/Malcolm Nance/Getty