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Druganin was born on September 7, 1885 in the border town of Kuskovsk, Sonoma (then part of the Russian Empire). His parents were Nikita Druganin and Malka Druganina (née Polzina); bot being second generation Sonomans (whose parents emigrated to the region during the Sonoman Gold Rush). Druganin grew up as an only child, and was known for having an active imagination growing up. Learning to read at a young age, Druganin loved to read adventure stories, with him stating that Mark Twain was one of his favorite authors; and even stated he likes to play near the Sacramento River and pretend he was on the Mississippi.
At the age of 13, Druganin's father decided to move the family north after the announcement of gold in the Yukon region. Eventually settling in the railway hub of Beloloshadsk, Druganin's father was able to establish a successful banking firm. Due to the success of the move, 18 year old Druganin was able to study at Saint Petersburg. Druganin study in the field of law, raking among the highest in his class. Due to which, Druganin was offered a professorship in the recently established New Archangel University, which he accepted in 1910.
With revolution breaking out across the Russian Empire in 1917, Druganin saw himself pushed into the political arena. During the failed communist protests in New Archangel in 1921 (which many of Druganin's students took a part in), Druganin offered assistance for some of his student's who were arrested. Seeing how much his country was changing (and for the worst), Druganin became active in the opposition of New Russia dictator Mikhail Sokolov. After being stripped of his job, Druganin fled back to his home region of Sonoma, becoming active in the liberal movement of the region.
After the assassination of Sokolov in 1927, Druganin would return to New Archangel and would rise among the democratization of New Russia. It was around this time that Druganin began cooperation with fellow opposition leader and future rival Mikhail Petroff. Druganin would place his support towards the leadership in New Russia, being elected President.