Officer says LTC Vindman ridiculed USA in front of Russian officers

The Army officer who accused President Trump over Ukraine allegedly has a history of ridiculing America in front of Russian military officers.

LTC Alexander Vindman, a naturalized US citizen born in Ukraine, made fun of his adoptive nation to Russian army officers in 2013, according to retired Army LTC Jim Hickman.

‘Political activist in uniform’

Do not let the uniform fool you,” Hickman said of Vindman in a series of Twitter posts, “he is a political activist in uniform.”

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff calls Vindman a hero and had him testify as part of the attempt to impeach President Trump. Vindman, on active duty, gave testimony described as short on facts and long on personal opinions.

Vindman was detailed from the Pentagon to Trump’s National Security Council staff in 2018 as a Ukraine and Russia expert. He was on Trump’s July 25 call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

Made fun of US personnel to Russians before invasion of Ukraine

According to Hickman, Trump’s future accuser-in-uniform was already known as a politicized officer as far back as 2013, a year before the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Vindman, who was a major at the time, was sitting in one of the classrooms talking to the US & Russian soldiers, as well as the young officers & GS [civil service] employees about America, Russia, and Obama,” Hickman said in his October 31 tweets.

The incident took place at the Joint Multinational Simulations Center in Germany from July 15-24, 2013.

Hickman served as Chief of the Regional, Joint & Combined Exercises Branch of the US Army Europe (USAREUR).

I know LTC Alex Vindman from a Combined US-Russian exercise called Atlas Vision [13] in Grafenwoher, [Germany],” Hickman said. “He worked with the Russian Embassy and I was assigned to the JMTC (Joint Multinational Training Command), within USAREUR (US Army Europe). He worked coordination w/the Russian 15th Peacekeeping Brigade, and I was in charge of all Simulations planning, as well as assisting the USAREUR Lead Planner as the Senior Military Planner.”

Working with the Russian Embassy is standard US Army procedure in joint activities such as Atlas Vision exercises. Vindman is a subject-matter expert and linguist.

Hickman witnessed the incident firsthand and says he verbally reprimanded Vindman. Other witnesses were present.

We interacted on several different occasions throughout the planning cycle, but it was during the actual execution of the exercise, that we had an issue relevant to his recent testimony” before the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, said Hickman.

Vindman would speak with ‘Russian soldiers & laugh at the expense of the US personnel’

“He was apologetic of American culture, laughed about Americans not being educated or worldly, and really talked up Obama and globalism to the point of uncomfortable,” Hickman said about Vindman.

“He would speak with the Russian soldiers and laugh as if at the expense of the US personnel,” Hickman said.

“It was so uncomfortable and unprofessional, one of the GS [civil service] employees came and told me everything . . . . I walked over and sat within earshot of Vindman, and sure enough, all was confirmed.

“One comment truly struck me as odd, and it was with respect to American’s falsely thinking they’re exceptional, when he said, ‘He [Obama] is working on that now.’ And he said it with a snide ‘I know a secret’ look on his face. I honestly don’t know what it meant, it just sounded like an odd thing to say,” according to Hickman.

Bashed America ‘in front of subordinates’ and ‘Russians’

“Regardless, after hearing him bash America a few times in front of subordinates, Russians, and GS Employees, as well as hearing an earful about globalization, Obama’s plan, etc., I’d had enough,” Hickman recalled.

“I tapped him on the shoulder and asked him to step outside. At that point I verbally reprimanded him for his actions, and I’ll leave it at that, so as not to be unprofessional myself,” said Hickman.

‘Not your professional field-grade officer’

“The bottom line is LTC Vindman was a partisan Democrat at least as far back as 2012. So much so, junior officers and soldiers felt uncomfortable around him,” Hickman said. “This is not your professional, field-grade officer, who has the character & integrity to do the right thing.”


Hickman’s posts, written from memory, indicated that the incident took place in 2012, but he corrected his statement to say that it occurred in 2013. We have edited his quotes in this article for clarity. LTC Hickman’s original posts can be found here.

About J. Michael Waller

J. Michael Waller is Vice President for Government Affairs at the Center for Security Policy. His areas of concentration are propaganda, political warfare, psychological warfare, and subversion.

Dr. Waller is the former Walter and Leonore Annenberg Professor of International Communication at the Institute of World Politics, a graduate school in Washington, DC.

A former instructor with the Naval Postgraduate School, he is an instructor/lecturer at the John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School at Fort Bragg.

He is a founding editorial board member of NATO’s  Defence Strategic Communications journal.

He graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the George Washington University, was the first John M. Olin Fellow at the Center for Defense Journalism at Boston University, where he received his Master’s in international relations and communication; and holds a PhD in international security affairs from Boston University, where he was an Earhart Fellow at the Institute for the Study of Conflict, Ideology, and Policy under Professor Uri Ra’anan.

An adaptation of his doctoral dissertation was published as Secret Empire: The KGB In Russia Today (Westview, 1994), in which he warned of the rise of a KGB-gangster state in Russia and predicted the rise of a KGB officer to control Russia.