Army veteran defects to Russia
March 16, 2023

army veteran

John David McIntyre, an American Army veteran who claims to have defected to Russia during the conflict in Ukraine, has been making headlines recently after it was revealed that he served just two years in the US Army and left with the rank of Private First Class (PFC).

John David McIntyre “served in the regular Army as an Indirect Fire Infantryman from June 2015 to August 2017,” an Army spokesperson told, “He has no deployments. He held the rank of private first class at the end of service.”

No information was immediately available about why McIntyre left the Army after little more than two years, why he finished his service at such a low rank, or what type of discharge he received when he left the service.

McIntyre’s claims of defecting to Russia have been met with skepticism, with many questioning the veracity of his story. However, his military record has now come under scrutiny, with some suggesting that his short service and relatively low rank make it unlikely that he would have had access to the kind of sensitive information he claims to possess.

The Army veteran has reportedly traveled extensively, including to Russia and Ukraine, where he claims to have defected to the Russian side during the conflict in eastern Ukraine. He has also made a number of controversial statements in support of Russia, including describing Russian President Vladimir Putin as a “great leader” and criticizing US policy towards Russia.

The former PFC also said that he joined Ukraine’s International Legion in March 2022 specifically so that he could spy on Ukrainian forces for the Russian government. He then accused pro-Ukrainian forces of committing war crimes and being heavily infiltrated by Nazis.

“It’s the reason I came to Ukraine in the first place,” McIntyre told Gazdiev when asked why he had flown to Russia. “I’m a communist; I’m an anti-fascist. We have to fight fascism everywhere. When I came to Ukraine, I knew that I would try to get as much information as I could about, you know, anything that would be helpful and defect across lines.”

Regardless of the veracity of McIntyre’s claims, his case highlights the importance of proper vetting and background checks in sensitive roles, particularly in the military and intelligence communities. With tensions between the US and Russia remaining high, the risk of espionage and defection is a constant concern, and cases like McIntyre’s serve as a reminder of the need for diligence and caution in these areas.

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