He then took his family and tried to move towards Novigrad but in the confusion, he lost them and ended up with a larger group of people getting escorted to Novigrad by the CDF. In Novigrad, he then got after a while uncovered and shoved into a Penal unit again since the CDF was desperate for Manpower to use against the Infection and other forces. After being in some different theaters he got moved to Kirovograd to retake the city. He was part of a 400 man strong CDF force with the one order to retake the city but after months of pointless fighting under horrible conditions, he defects and started to survive in the town. One of Nikolai's most visited places was then the town Center Bazaar and a small Basement pub near the river banks on the borders of the Kirovograd Industrial park. In that pub, it was where Nikolai meets a guy called Xander who was a Raider. They talked a lot about all shit leading at one point to a level of trust and offered him a job that Nikolai didn’t decline since he was just surviving anyways and he was slowly getting bored.