However he made headlines after he and 40 others from the little-known Russian Volunteer Corps snuck across the Ukrainian border on Thursday to take photographs of themselves posing with flags outdoors a Russian village submit workplace.
It seems to have been extra of a publicity stunt than an precise fight mission.
“[They] known as on their compatriots to take up arms towards the multi-racial and imperialistic Putin regime,” Mr Nikitin’s White Rex clothes model stated on its Telegram channel after the raid.
In separate feedback to the Monetary Occasions, Mr Nikitin stated: “The predominant factor was to remind Russians that you just don’t must dwell in shackles, put up with and take part in another person’s warfare finishing up another person’s will.”
He added: “You may and should take up arms. We are going to support everybody who desires to take away these Kremlin usurpers,” he stated.
Russia’s FSB intelligence company accused the “terrorist” group of killing two individuals and injuring a woman.
Mr Nikitin advised the Monetary Occasions there was a gun battle however stated he didn’t know of any casualties.
He has claimed the raid was sanctioned by the Ukrainian army. Kyiv has not commented.
Not a lot is thought about the Russian Volunteer Corps aside from Mr Nikitin set it up final August with the intention of recruiting individuals in Russia to battle “the bald-headed madman who despatched hordes of Caucasian-Asian killers” into Ukraine.
It’s based mostly in Ukraine, though it’s not clear if it has the official backing of the Ukrainian military or authorities.
Michael Colborne, writer of the ebook From the Fires of Struggle: Ukraine’s Azov Motion and the International Far Proper, stated that though there have been different cross-border raids, the make-up of the group makes this one vital, even when it didn’t obtain something militarily.
“These are individuals born in Russia and talking Russian who are no less than speaking about posing a risk to the Putin regime,” he advised The Bare Pravda podcast. “It’s a lot tougher to dismiss.”
As soon as described by extremist consultants as one among the most harmful neo-Nazis in the world, Mr Nikitin has turn out to be one thing of a pin-up for white supremacists and neo-Nazis.
A fluent Russian, English and German speaker, he grew up in a middle-class household in Moscow. There he drifted into the ultra-violent world of Russian soccer hooliganism and blended martial arts (MMA).
In 2008, he based White Rex, a clothes model that mixes MMA with far-Proper ideology. The White Rex brand incorporates a stylised black solar Nazi image and the identify stands for “White Heterosexual Reactionary Xenophobe”. It sells garments with slogans reminiscent of “SS for Candy ‘n’ attractive” and “zero tolerance” above pictures of Norse runes and a knuckle-duster weapon.
In some unspecified time in the future, Mr Nikitin moved to Cologne on a visa linked to his Jewish roots the place he fine-tuned his white supremacist philosophy.
When Germany revoked his resident’s allow due to his far-Proper actions, Mr Nikitin moved to Ukraine, educating MMA and connecting with different white supremacists.
This meant that when Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022, the well-connected Mr Nikitin might simply set up his personal group to battle Mr Putin’s armies.
Mr Nikitin now considers Russia soiled due to its multi-ethnic make-up.
“He’s not centered on the Russian imperialist motion,” stated Mr Colborne. “He’s pro-white and talks about the white race.”