An avowed communist from Texas and U.S. Army veteran is fighting for the Russian army in Ukraine, according to a video posted by the man who said he was currently “on the front with Russian troops.”
Russell “Texas” Bentley shared a video on social media showing himself apparently among Russian fighters in Ukraine after Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered his army to invade the neighboring nation.
In the video, Bentley says something in Russian before adding, “It’s Texas on the front line with the de-Nazifiers and the liberators of Ukraine. These guys are tough, these guys are ready, and there’s plenty of them. So far, Russia has used about 10 percent of its military power and we’re getting ready to bring the hammer down.”
“These guys are going to save and liberate all of the good people in Ukraine, and the bad people,” he continues, kicking into the air, “Boom! Kick their ass.”
Texas Monthy reported that Bentley first traveled to Ukraine in December 2014 and joined the Russian militia group the Vostok Battalion, which was led by Alexander Khodakovsky, who was later sanctioned by the U.S. Treasury Department “for being responsible for or complicit in actions or policies that threaten the peace, security, stability, sovereignty, or territorial integrity of Ukraine.”
After a couple of weeks of training, Bentley was assigned to a unit called Sut’ Vremeni, or “Essence of Time,” described by Texas Monthly as a Stalinist communist movement.
“Texas showed himself to be a good, hardy fighter, and an excellent machine gunner,” Sut’ Vremeni’s newspaper once stated.
Bentley’s self-identification as a communist began during a trip to Cuba in the 1990s, the outlet reported, during a dinner with a captain in the Cuban army.
“Well, I’m a communist,” the captain said after Bentley referred to himself as a socialist.
“What’s the difference?” Bentley asked.
“A communist is someone who is willing to fight for socialism,” she responded.
After a moment’s consideration, Bentley said, “Then I’m a communist too. I’m willing to fight for it.”
In another video shared by Newsweek, Bentley says the only way he will return to the U.S. is “on a Russian tank to liberate” Americans.
“If I return to the U.S., it’ll be, you know, on a Russian tank to liberate the U.S. just like what we’re doing here. If I go back to the U.S. unarmed, I’ll spend the rest of my life in prison for some bogus, bullsh-t charge,” Bentley says.