Ukraine embraces far-right Russian ‘unhealthy man’ to take the battle to Putin – POLITICO

From soccer fields to the battlefield

The 40-year-old Kapustin was born in Moscow. He moved along with his mother and father on the age of 17 to Cologne, Germany, the place he shortly established a fearsome fame as a street-brawling white-power skinhead all the time up for a punch-up with everybody, particularly Antifa activists. He tells POLITICO he was sad with the transfer and missed his mates and felt disconnected.

He’s lengthy been distinguished on the European soccer hooliganism and far-right martial arts battle membership scene — collaborating within the riots on the UEFA Euro 2016 soccer match within the French port metropolis of Marseille. After he moved to Kyiv, Germany canceled his residency in 2019 and imposed a Schengen-entry ban on him for “efforts in opposition to the liberal democratic structure.”

He has hyperlinks with American neo-Nazi teams, and in 2021 co-hosted a podcast with Robert Rundo, founding father of the Rise Above Motion, which participated within the Charlottesville white supremacist rally.

Nonetheless, Kapustin bristles at being referred to as a neo-Nazi himself, though he’s hazy about what he’s. He relishes sparring with Western journalists, seeing how awkward a lot of them really feel interviewing him, torn between disapproval of his far-right ideology and hooligan historical past and their sympathy for Ukraine, not wanting to place the county in a nasty mild for Western liberal audiences.

“Will you attempt to stay unbiased?” he asks. “It’s a very humorous place for you and your colleagues since you all have been attempting laborious to place us in a nasty mild for years. Neo-Nazis, racist, white supremacists, horrible guys, blah, blah, blah. After which the darkest hour in Ukraine’s modern-day historical past arrives. And swiftly the everlasting unhealthy guys develop into courageous, brave, decided, cussed and heroes. They usually’re like, ‘rattling, how ought to I write about them?’”

Kapustin totally savors his notoriety. “All through my life, I all the time needed to be the Hollywood-style unhealthy man. Darth Vader is my final inspiration. On the age of seven, I watched Star Wars, and was like, ‘wow this man’s so cool,’” he says.

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