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|“||С нами Бог (God is with us).||„|
|~ Vladimir Makarov in the Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 multiplayer for the Inner Circle.|
The Inner Circle is the main antagonistic faction in the Call of Duty franchise's original Call of Duty: Modern Warfare sub-series.
They appear as the secondary antagonistic faction in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (as well as the 2020 remaster of the same name) and the main antagonistic faction in both its 2011 sequel Modern Warfare 3 as well as the 2011 live-action short film Find Makarov: Operation Kingfish.
After Imran Zakhaev's death, it became a defected faction of the Russian Ultranationalists, and are led by Vladimir Makarov, a terrorist leader who was Zakhaev's apprentice and right-hand man. They are also the ones responsible for the massacre Zakhaev International Airport that triggered World War III and the Russian invasion into both Europe and the United States.
Following the death of Imran Zakhaev, tensions grew between the Russan Ultranationalists' leaders, Boris Vorshevsky and Makarov. After the Ultranationalists won the civil war and took control of the country, Vorshevsky became more benevolent and excommunicated Makarov and his followers from their ranks. Enraged, Makarov founded the Inner Circle and led the organization on a path of vengeance to overthrow the government and destroy Western Civilization. Over the course of five years, the Inner Circle was the cause of countless terrorist attacks across Europe and Russia. More importantly, they are targeting Bravo Six Team for killing Zakhaev.
Find Makarov: Operation Kingfish
Makarov's actions caught the attention of General Shepherd, who then sent Task Force 141 (Captain Price, Soap, Ghost and Roach) to Makarov's location. They took out several Inner Circle operatives guarding the facility, only to find Makarov not there. After learning that it was a trap, the 141 fought countless Inner Circle operatives, who overwhelmed them and forced Price to hold them off so the team could escape. The Circle then captured Price and locked him up in a gulag.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2
In 2016, Shepherd sent C.I.A. operative Joseph Allen to go undercover within the organization as "Alexei Borodin" to get close to Makarov. However, as Makarov led him and three others during the massacre on Zakhaev International Airport, Makarov killed him due to already knowing about his alias and framed the United State. The attack resulted in Russia invading the United States and starting World War 3. Task Force 141 then tracked down the assault's arms dealer, Alejandro Rojas, who told them how Makarov hated the only man even worse than he hated Americans is locked up in the Gulag. The prisoner was revealed to be none other than Price. After the Russian invasion was stopped, Task Force 141 tracked down Makarov's last two safe havens and fought Inner Circle operatives at the locations to find him. At the safehouse, Inner Circle endlessly attacked Ghost, Roach and the others to stop them from leaving with Makarov's ops playbook. However, when General Shepherd betrayed his team, he sent his Shadow Company to the boneyard to take out Price, Soap and Makarov's forces. After Price and Soap escape, it is unknown what the result of the battle was. Either way, Makarov and the Inner Circle went into hiding afterwards.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3
After Shepherd's death, Makarov sent the Inner Circle to kill Soap, Price and the Loyalists protecting them, which ultimately failed thanks to Yuri. Months later, Makarov led the Inner Circle into hijacking President Vorshevsky's plane and kidnapped him for the nuclear launch codes, intending on taking over Europe. He then had Fregata Industries CEO Volk order cargo full of chemical W.M.D.s from the Somalian Militia led by Waraabe, and detonated them across Europe, paving the way for a Russian invasion. The Inner Circle then attempted to protect Volk from Delta Force, who came to Paris to capture and interrogate him for information on Makarov, the Inner Circle and Fregata. During Price, Soap, Kamarov and Yuri's attempt on Makarov's life in Prague, they fought countless Inner Circle operatives. The event led to both of Kamarov's and Soap's deaths and Yuri to be forced into revealing he was Makarov's right-hand man in the Inner Circle before defecting. The Inner Circle later attempted to enforce Makarov's plan in nuking Europe by kidnapping Vorshevsky's daughter, but ultimately failed. In the final fight, Price and Yuri tore through Inner Circle operatives at the Hotel Oasis, and the cost of Yuri's life, Price was finally able to kill Makarov and end his threat to the world once and for all. His death also presumably marked the disintegration of the Inner Circle as well. Following the death of Makarov, the remaining members of Inner Circle were most likely arrested after the events of the game, since that Inner Circle is now exposed to the world.
The ideals and political beliefs of the Inner Circle are never fully revealed however they have fierce loyalty to Makarov and view him as a revolutionary figure. They have admiration for Imran Zakhaev. They hate the Americans but hated SAS now Task Force 141's Bravo Six Team worse than the Americans for killing Zakhaev. Looking at the logo of the organization with the crown it is believed that the Inner Circle plans to recreate the Russian Empire and have it take over the entire continent of Europe with Makarov as the ruling Tsar. The Inner Circle itself is made from the extremist branch of the Ultranationalist party that fell apart when Imran Zakhaev died and Boris Vorshevesky became President of Russia and the moderate wing seized power and the extremist wing immediately went to Makarov and supported him. In order to create their new empire the Inner Circle launched multiple terrorist attacks including an airport massacre leading to an all out war between the United States and Russia. Russian military forces had soon conquered over half of Europe by 2017 leading to the US military to launch an invasion of Europe. The organization has also went to the extremes to make sure peace is never reached and thus abduct Boris and his daughter to prevent diplomatic peace only to have them rescued in Siberia.
- The organization's name wasn't revealed until Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, especially in the game's multiplayer.