A Russian journalist covering Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine for state media has said that he “doesn’t regret” his time in a far-right group after being pictured with Nazi tattoos.
Gleb Erve currently covers the conflict — which the Kremlin claims was launched to “denazify Ukraine” — for the state-run RIA Novosti news agency.
Ukrainian news outlet Kyivskaya Pravda published images showing fascist and nazist symbols tattooed on Erve’s head and arm. They are the emblem of the Italian National Fascist Party tattooed on the back of his head and the Algiz, or Life rune, widely used in Nazi Germany, on his hand.
Writing on the Telegram messaging app, Erve did not deny having the tattoos but said he left the far-right three years ago after feeling “disappointed” in the movement.
“Do I regret this story? No. Simply because it was an experience, a very unusual one,” Erve said in an interview with the state-run news outlet Sputnik.
He also claimed that his background helped him interview captives from Ukraine’s Azov Battalion — a group with far-right roots that has since been incorporated into the Ukrainian military — and search for “nationalist” literature in Ukraine.
Before joining RIA Novosti, Erve worked at a Moscow tattoo salon alongside Andrei Dedov, an ally of Russian Nazi activist Maxim “Tesak” Martsinkevich, Novaya Gazeta Europe later reported.
Martsinkevich has been charged twice with inciting ethnic or racial hatred, while unconfirmed reports have linked Dedov to several murder cases.