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Denis Nikitin

Denis Nikitin: A Russian Nationalist Fighting for Ukraine

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Originally published in Swedish. Translated by Batka.
The German presenter Frank Kraemer’s recent interview with Denis Nikitin, a Russian nationalist who is fighting for Ukraine alongside the Ukrainian army, gives an insight into his life and his view of the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine. This conversation offers a deeper understanding of the complex political and ideological shifts taking place in the region. The conversation can be seen in the hour and a half long interview below, but for those who cannot speak German, I will try to summarize. 

Background and personal history

Denis Nikitin, born in Moscow, has a colourful history which includes both exile and activism. He moved to Germany as a young man and spent nearly a decade before returning to Russia and then on to Kyiv in 2017. Nikitin describes himself as a nationalist who was active in demonstrations and violent confrontations with political opponents. 

He explains his reason for fighting for Ukraine in the following words: “When the war broke out on February 24, 2022, when Russia attacked Ukraine, there was no choice for me. I took up arms and naturally faced Putin and his hordes.” 

The accusations against Denis Nikitin 

The interview reveals that Nikitin has been subject of several accusations, including claims of involvement with drug-dealing and being an informant of both Russian and German authorities. According to him, these accusations are lies used as part of a strategy to discredit him. Nikitin describes how these rumours spread both in Russia and Germany, and how they caused significant personal and professional problems. “In Russia and Europe, including Germany, there are two ultimate ways to bring down someone who makes a name for himself in our movements: either accuse the person of being an informant for the FSB or of being Jewish. In my case they used both methods.”

Nikitin is disappointed that these accusations gained such traction, especially among people within nationalist circles whom he previously trusted. He points out that despite the fact these groups previously denounced the media as lying, they were quick to believe negative articles about him. 

Russia is the enemy of all nationalists

Nikitin gives an insightful analysis of Putin’s government’s policies with regard to nationalism. He states that Putin has always been hostile to nationalists and describes the Russian government as an enemy of all nationalist movements. He sees the current conflict as the extension of Putin’s multicultural agenda, which he sees as a major negative force. “Putin’s attack on Ukraine is a simple continuation of his policies. We were always against it and we are still against it. Now we have an opportunity to stand in arms against him and his regime.”

For Nikitin, it is important to emphasize that he and his fellow fighters are not fighting against the Russian people but against the Russian government and its policies. He sees the Ukrainians as a fraternal people and expresses his deep disappointment over how Putin’s aggression has created hatred between Russians and Ukrainians. 

“Obviously, the Ukrainians hate us Russians as a nation now, and they have every right to do so. That is thanks to Putin and his army of murderers and rapists.”

Western sanctions and their economic consequences

The interview also touches on the economic sanctions against Russia and their consequences. Nikitin believes that the sanctions have had a significant effect on the Russian economy, although they also hurt Western countries. He points out that Russia is losing a lot of money by no longer being able to sell gas and oil to Europe at the same prices.

“Putin has lost the most lucrative market, the European one, and is losing enormous sums of money. The Russian people are also suffering because of this.”

He explains that despite Russia’s attempts to sell its energy to other markets like China and India, these countries receive deep discounts and pay in non-convertible currencies, further weakening the Russian economy.

Future and political vision

Nikitin has a clear vision for the future and sees Ukraine as a place where nationalists can thrive and organize. He hopes that their struggle against Putin will not only liberate Ukraine, but can also inspire change in Russia. He sees a future where Ukraine and other Slavic nations can work together as independent nations without Russian domination.

“I dream of a Russia which is a nation-state, modern and technologically advanced, with a strong national identity and free of Putin’s regime.”

An end to the war

The interview ends with a discussion about the possible end of the conflict and what that would mean for both Ukraine and Russia. Nikitin believes that Western governments fear a total victory for Ukraine because it could provoke Putin to use nuclear weapons. However, he sees opportunities for Ukraine to resist and continue to fight for its independence.

Nikitin also urges other nationalists to get involved politically and not just focus on military goals. He believes it is important for nationalists to be part of the political process and fight for their ideas on all fronts. “We must be mature enough to express ourselves politically and not just on the battlefield. A lot depends on us and our ability to influence politically.”

Denis Nikitin’s story and his view of the conflict offer a fascinating and complex picture of a Russian nationalist who chose to fight for Ukraine’s freedom. His perspective challenges many of the simplistic narratives that often dominate discussion of the war and reveals the deep-rooted ideological and political struggles that play out in the shadow of the armed conflict.

More complicated than it appears

For the Swedish audience, Nikitin’s story provides a unique insight into how nationalism and political activism can take unexpected paths in times of crisis. It also reminds us that conflicts are often much more complicated than they appear on the surface, and that the personal stories behind the war’s headlines can give us a deeper understanding of what is at stake.

Originally published in Swedish at daneriksson.com, translated and republished with permission.

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Great article,the only thing I would like to point out is that putin has no issue with non-White nationalism considering how steppe scum like the chechens are treated like 1st class citizens in Russia unlike actual ethnic Russians.

The only kind of nationalism that the kremlin regime opposes is that of European origin.Just like all globalist forces,they hate White people.

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