U.S. Navy veteran and MSNBC contributor Malcolm Nance announced on Monday night that he had gone to Ukraine to help fight against the ongoing Russian invasion of the country.
Nance — who served as a cryptologist in the Navy and has provided regular military, intelligence and political analysis on MSNBC’s programming — revealed on a segment of MSNBC’s “The Reid Out” with host Joy Reid that he had decided to join the International Legion of Territorial Defense of Ukraine to fight on the country’s behalf. Nance called into the show from a “secure location” in western Ukraine and appeared in the segment wearing a camouflage uniform, helmet, plate carrier and AK-style rifle slung across his chest, to announce his decision.
“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,’” Nance told Reid.
“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,” Nance added. “So, about a month ago I joined the international legion here in Ukraine and I am here to help this country fight, you know, 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.”
Earlier in the MSNBC segment, Nance was preparing to sit down for an interview in the western Ukrainian city of Lviv with NBC journalist Ali Arouzi. The interview was interrupted by a rare Russian airstrike on the city.
On Monday, MSNBC announced Nance is no longer working as an analyst for the network.
Following the interview, Nance tweeted a photo of himself with the caption, “I’m DONE talking. #JoinTheLegion #StopRussia #SlavaUkraini.”
Following the interview, some social media users began to point out potential problems with Nance’s equipment.
One Twitter user suggested the Magazine in Nance’s rifle is not properly inserted.
Another Twitter user claimed the rifle Nance was carrying was missing its bolt carrier group, which is essential for cycling rounds through the rifle. The Twitter user also suggested the safety switch on Nance’s rifle appeared to have been set to full auto during his television interview.
Nance has been the subject of past controversies. In August of last year, he posted and then deleted a tweet following an ISIS suicide bombing in Kabul that killed 13 U.S. service members, with the caption, “20 YEARS – FYI there have been terrorist suicide bombers killing civilians nearly DAILY in Afghanistan. This ain’t new. It’s why we are leaving. #DealWithIt.”
Nance also stirred controversy in 2017, when he posted a photo of President Donald Trump’s Trump Tower property in Istanbul, Turkey with the caption, “This is my nominee for first ISIS suicide bombing of a Trump property.”