Strelkov was not a famous figure before the war in Donbas thus not many facts about him were know. However, in May 2014 Strelkov’s e-mail address firstname.lastname@example.org has been hacked by "Anonymous International" and posted in their blog. Thus, it became possible to trace the life of 'Strelok'– another nickname of Girkin by his correspondence of 1850 mails in total.
Igor Girkin born on 17 December 1970 is a Russian citizen from Moscow who played a key role in the War in Donbass as an organizer of Donetsk People'sRepublic insurgency. Strelkov, a Russian nationalist and veteran of several other conflicts. By his own admission, he served in the Russian FSB until March 2013. Ukrainian and EU authorities have identified him as a retired colonel of the GRU (Russia's external military intelligence organisation) who participated in the 2014 Crimea crisis.
In general his biography-adventure novel. In one of his letters Girkin writes about himself the following:
- I graduated from the Moscow Historical Archives Institute, qualified as "historian-archivist," but not a single day worked within my specialty as flung himself in a traditional for my family military sphere.
He participated in the wars inTransnistria(1992), Bosnia (1992-1993) as a volunteer and in Chechnya by contract, (1995).From 1996to March of 2013, he served for the Federal Security Service (FSB).From 1999to 2005 in particular,he was doing a military servicein Chechnya. Was shot and wounded, has military awards. Transferred to the reserve in the rank of colonel.
Girkin is known as a fan of military-historical movement and has participated in several reenactments connected with various periods of Russian and international history but especially the Russian Civil War where he would play a White movement officer. His personal idol and role model is said to be the White Guard general Mikhail Drozdovsky, killed in a battle with the Red Army in 1919.
Girkin's political views are close to Russian nationalism, Monarchism and White movement, strongly influenced by the Russian Orthodox Church.