Nikolai was like any other boy of his country. Poor, lacking in proper plumbing-work compared to the western world but happy. This relative poverty was the driving factor that pushed him to better himself. Thankfully, his home was a loving home. His parents adored him as most parents with an only child do. His father was a farmer from Tulga, and his mother was a visiting nurse and -sometimes- a doula.
Growing up he had the "work hard, play hard" ethic instilled in him. Though meager beginnings make for meager outcomes sometimes, his father was -thankfully- a big reader, which spilled over onto him. His mother, being a nurse and an educated woman did pass on the "bug" of studying. Thus, his favorite pass-times were reading, playing with a small wooden globe and reading the volumes of an old encyclopedia his house sheltered.
Nikolai finally managed to get into nursing college and begin his career as the person he'd dreamed he'd become. His ethic had paid off.
Sadly, the civil war and the state of geopolitical affairs would become a crutch, however, with his learning remaining on the backburner until further notice. In 2009, when the civil war ended and things began returning to normal, Nikolai felt that his life was going to look up. He began practicing, he got a tiny apartment in Elektro and even started dating a nice young girl who worked at a convenience store.
Years passed and life was...well.. working out as he had hoped. In 2017, however, the infection began. Nikolai lost contact with his parents in Tulga, cities were overrun, armies stomped all over Chernarus, the hospitals were over capacity and to make matters worse, these living corpses started chomping on people. With the evacuation of Elektrozavodsk going completely wrong, and the civilian flotilla, well, not doing what it wanted to do, Nikolai found himself going northwards instead of southwards towards the sea.
Cut-off from rescue and with little knowledge of arms, he's had to fend for himself ever since, going around and helping people in hopes of having some of their food.