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"Our so called leaders prostituted us to the West... destroyed our culture... our economies... our honor. Our blood has been spilled on our soil. My blood... on their hands. They are the invaders. All U.S and British forces will leave Russia immediately... or suffer the consequences."
— Zakaev's speech during Ultimatum.

Imran Zakhaev (Russian: Имран Заха́ев) was a male Russian arms dealer, Ultranationalist and a Russian terrorist who is the main antagonist in Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare. He is the leader of the so-called "Four Horsemen", and the cunning mastermind behind the uprisings in Russia and the Arabian Peninsula.

Biography [1][2]Imran Zakhaev shortly before being shot by Lieutenant Price.Fifteen years before the civil war in Russia, in 1996, Zakhaev was nothing more than a black-market arms dealer who saw the collapse of the Communist regime in the Soviet Union as an opportunity to salvage radioactive fuel rods from the Chernobyl nuclear powerplant in Pripyat, Ukraine, and sell the precious uranium as nuclear material in the black markets.[1] His criminal activities were noted by the British intelligence, and the Special Air Service gained its first assassination order since the ending of World War II. The SAS dispatched two operatives, Captain MacMillan and then-Lieutenant John Price, as snipers in Ukraine to eliminate Zakhaev. Pripyat, an abandoned ghost town since the 1986 Chernobyl disaster, and the peaceful countryside surrounding the town, were swarming with Russian mercenaries employed by Zakhaev, but MacMillan and Price, wearing ghillie suits, were able to sneak to the city unnoticed. Sniping from over 800 meters away with his Barrett M82 sniper rifle, Price aimed and shot Zakhaev in the left shoulder, when his target was meeting business partners near the Chernobyl powerplant.[2] The Russians attempted to eliminate the intruders, but MacMillan and Price were able to escape the city. MacMillan thought Zakhaev would die from shock and blood loss, but this would not be the case. Zakhaev survived, but the failed assassination attempt cost Zakhaev his left arm.

The Russian Civil WarEdit

[3][4]Zakhaev watching President Al-Fulani's execution.Fifteen years later, in 2011, Zakhaev became the chairman of the Russian Ultranationalist Party. In his opinion, the current Russian government had "prostituted" his beloved homeland with the west, ruining the economy and culture of the country in the process. Harboring a strong and keen hatred of Western countries, Zakhaev sought to return Russia to its "prime", possibly seeking to return it to its condition before the Soviet Union collapsed, though with himself in power. To topple the current Russian government, Zakhaev took the next step in his plan and the Ultranationalist party waged a political crisis that escalated into civil war in Russia. The Ultranationalist troops were supported by old Soviet-era vehicles, including BM-21 rocket artillery, BMP-2 infantry fighting vehicles and Mi-24 helicopter gunships, and the field commander of the Ultranationalist forces was Zakhaev's son, Victor. The Russian civil war became critical to world peace as it became clear that if the Ultranationalists would win, Zakhaev would have unlimited access to the entire Russian nuclear weapons arsenal, including over 15,000 active nuclear warheads.[3] However, his plan to overthrow the government met heavy resistance from the Russian military units, loyal to the current Russian government.

Zakhaev understood his plan would never work, because the civil war could draw the attention of the United States and Britain, both of whom supported the current Russian government. However, Zakhaev had an influential political ally in an unnamed country in the Arabian Peninsula, a military commander named Khaled Al-Asad. Zakhaev contacted Al-Asad, and funded and masterminded a military coup in which President Yasir Al-Fulani was overthrown by the soldiers loyal to Al-Asad. Zakhaev and his son took part in the coup in the Arabian Peninsula; Victor Zakhaev was in the car that transported President Al-Fulani to the arena where he was executed, and Zakhaev himself witnessed Al-Fulani's execution.[4] In fact, it was Zakhaev who gave Al-Asad the same pistol that was used to execute Al-Fulani on national television. Al-Asad assumed control of his homeland, causing political instability in the Middle East and forcing the United States Marine Corps to invade the country, and the capital city of Al-Asad's homeland was soon under attack by the US forces. However, Al-Asad's soldiers detonated a Russian-made nuclear bomb, leveling the city and wiping out the invading enemy force.[5] Before the American invasion, Al-Asad had already taken refuge in Azerbaijan, where he was protected by Zakhaev's Ultranationalist forces.[6] However, the SAS operatives, led by now-Captain John Price, captured and interrogated Al-Asad, executing him shortly afterwards. The evidence gathered by the SAS revealed that Zakhaev had provided Al-Asad with the nuclear weapon detonated in the Arabian Peninsula, and that he was the mastermind responsible for everything in the Middle East. [5][6]Zakhaev as the last survivor of the Four Horsemen.When the United Kingdom and United States understood Zakhaev had planned to divert the attention of both countries from the Russian civil war, the Special Air Service and United States Marine Corps Force Reconnaissance were ordered to locate and capture Victor Zakhaev, in order to persuade him to reveal the location of his father. However, the operation failed when Zakhaev's son committed suicide to prevent his capture.[7] Angered by the death of his son, Zakhaev demanded all US and British forces to leave Russia immediately or "suffer the consequences" by launching ICBMs from the missile silo captured by the Ultranationalist forces, but the SAS and Force Reconnaissance operatives were dispatched to Central Russia to deactivate the nuclear warheads in the silo.[8] Zakhaev launched two RT-2UTTH Topol-M ballistic missiles to the eight largest cities in the East Coast of the United States: Boston, Hartford, New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington D.C., Richmond and Norfolk.[9] Since the missiles carried multiple independent nuclear warheads, it was estimated that the nuclear holocaust on the US soil would kill over 41 million US citizens. However, the SAS and Force Reconnaissance operatives were able to secure the silo and deactivate all nuclear warheads in the missiles.[10] [7][8]Zakhaev before his death.The SAS and Force Reconnaissance operatives then attempted to flee from the silo, but the bridge that was crucial to their escape was destroyed by an Ultranationalist Mi-24 helicopter. During the fire fight on the bridge, Staff Sergeant Griggs of the Force Reconnaissance was killed by the Ultranationalists while attempting to save Soap, and Zakhaev and his bodyguards arrived to the scene. Zakhaev personally executed SAS operative Gaz and his bodyguards shot two other SAS commandos, and he moved to kill Captain Price and Sergeant "Soap" MacTavish.

Suddenly, Zakhaev and his bodyguards were distracted by the explosion of their Mi-24 helicopter, caused by a loyalist Mi-28 attack helicopter and the arrival of Sergeant Kamarov's troops. Captain Price used this opportunity to slide his handgun to Soap, and when Zakhaev turned back to look at the attacking Mi-28, he and his bodyguards were shot down by Soap.


[9][10]Imran Zakhaev's memorial statue in Moscow, Russia.Following Zakhaev's death, it was announced the Ultranationalist Party had begun developing leadership struggles. It was later revealed that Vladimir Makarov, a former associate of Zakhaev, had used Zakhaev's death as a springboard to uplift the Ultranationalist Party.

Five years following his death, Imran Zakhaev was revealed to have statue of himself erected in Moscow, Russia, with a plaque entitled "Imran Zakhaev, Hero of the New Russia".[11] He also had an airport named after him in his honor. By this point, it appeared the Ultranationalists were successful in gaining strong sympathy from the Russian populace in the five years after his death, gaining a political stronghold in Russia rather than a military one.


[11][12]Imran Zakhaev.:"Our so called leaders prostituted us to the West... destroyed our culture... our economies... our honor. Our blood has been spilled on our soil... My blood... on their hands. They are the invaders. All U.S. and British forces will leave Russia immediately... or suffer the consequences."

— Beginning cutscene of Ultimatum


[edit] TriviaEdit

[13][14]Sgt. Reznov, who is based on Zakhaev.*No matter where you shoot Zakhaev in "One Shot, One Kill", the bullet seems to curve down or up and his left arm immediately flies off, and he is still seen with his left arm missing instead in the later missions.

  • Zakhaev was used as a model to make Sgt. Reznov for Call of Duty: World at War
  • Zakhaev's first name suggests that he has Muslim heritage, as "Imran" is one of the chapters in the Muslims' holy book, Al Quran. However, as Zakhaev's main intention is to change Russia back into the Soviet Union, it may or may be not that he lost his Muslim faith. Also, his son is named Victor, a secular name. It could also be a reference to the Russo-Chechen Wars, the Chechnyans being generally Islamic.
  • Zakhaev wears flecktarn camouflage trousers close to the Bundeswehr's (German Armed Forces) ones.
  • Zakhaev wears the same clothes throughout the game. Even in "All Ghillied Up" and One Shot, One Kill, which takes place fifteen years before the events of the game.
  • In the beginning of the Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare trailer, a voice sounding very similar to Zakhaev says "This game is not yet rated." And at the end he speaks Russian. This is similar to the Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 trailer where Vladimir Makarov speaks Russian at the end of the trailer.
  • Zakhaev may be a reference to Vladimir Lenin who was worried about Josef Stalin's rise to power. This is shown as how Zakhaev feared Makarov's radical and dangerous ideals, though Zakhaev does have a rather more menacing personality than Lenin.
  • Zakhaev was voiced by Yevgeni Lazarev. Yevgeni Lazarev played in many acting roles such as General Dmitri in Lord of War.
  • In Game Over, no matter where Zakhaev is shot, he will clutch his stomach.
  • It is quite interesting to note, that in "One Shot, One Kill", when you shoot Zakhaev, his left arm will be projected WITH the sleeve of his jacket, and in all of the other levels, he will be seen with the sleeve folded up. Of course, he may just be wearing a jacket of similar design to the one he wore in "One Shot, One Kill".
  • He was possibly named after Akhmed Zakayev, Prime Minister of the unrecognized Chechen Republic of Ichkeria, accused by Russia to have been involved in a series of crimes including involvement in act of terrorism.