Nikolai was born and raised in Krazan in Western Russia. He spent a majority of his childhood growing up in his hometown, working for his parents in their restaurant. He learned from his mother about basic cooking skills, and he eventually turned into an excellent chef. When hitting the age of 19, he joined the Russian army as an Army cook. He went through basic training and became pretty skilled with a gun, but he was more interested in cooking on the field. He wanted to shoot shit and make pancakes.
He made several brothers during his occupation, but he missed his home comforts and being with his parents. After his first term, he decided to go home to Krazan to visit and stay with his parents for a few months. The day of his arrival, he came home to the restaurant being completely smashed and vandalized. He stood in the doorway and walked through the smashed glass. "Mama? Papa?" Nobody responded to him. He walked pasted the turned over tables into the backroom where he uncovered a sight which left him traumatized for the rest of his life.
After that, his life went down the shitter. His attitude and morale hit an all time low which he never bounced back from. After his parents funeral, he turned to drugs and alcohol for comfort, since he did not have anything else. He spent his years prior to the infection sleeping at drug dens and holding people up for money. He committed several crimes to get by in life, and he'd never felt so alone. One night, the den spot he'd been sleeping was raided by the local police, but he managed to escape through a back door and ran for his life. Since he had nowhere else to go, he slowly just wondered aimlessly through Western Russia, eventually stumbling on the South Zagoria border.
The only thing Nikolai owned was the clothes on his back. He was starving, and he hadn't got many options left. Stay in Russia and eventually be caught for his crimes, or take a chance and go to South Zagoria as an attempt to salvage his life back together. Upon arrival, he came across a food bank where he met a local Chernarussian man called Piotr. They spoke and Nikolai opened up to him, and Piotr decided to take a chance on him seeing as he really wanted to get his life back. Piotr was a businessman, and he owned several small hotels and pubs throughout South Zagoria and offered Niko the chance to preform as a chef for him. He was sent to a small town in Chernarus called Msta. It was a small town, but he had a moderately big house with affordable rent. He had some fresh clothes and a job. He was getting his life back.
The hotel he was sent to was one just south of his town called Chernogorsk. Upon his arrival to Chernarus, there were talks about a fever breaking out, but he did not take much notice since it didn't directly effect him at the time. But, on his first day of work, he was taking a bus down to Chernogorsk when the bus was swayed off the road and hit a tree, knocking him out. He opened his eyes to find himself feeling the comfort of the grass brushing his face. It was completely silent, and he felt someone peaceful. It was only after reality slowly began to kick in, he heard several screams from behind him, and blood running between his eyes. He slowly opened his eyes and tried to look up and behind him to assess the situation. He couldn't move his neck. He put his hands beneath him and attempted to push the ground in efforts to get himself up, but it was no use.
He grunted and mumbled for help, but nobody could hear him. The screams echoed through the windey country lane, and he had no idea what was going on. Eventually, he heard a voice in his left ear, followed by a sharp pain in back. "Davai, davai!" Reality hit him hard, and he felt the tugging on his collar. He stumbled to his feat and followed the hooded figure into the woods and away from the screams...