NOTE: This article is about Zakhaev from the 2019 reboot of the Call of Duty: Modern Warfare sub-series. The original version can be found here: Victor Zakhaev.
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...Our victory today will be decisive. Together, we put a knife in the neck of history... It's time now for the final cut... They came to Verdansk to stop us, but they couldn't resist fighting each other... This war is 50 years in the making... No more treaties, no more diplomacy... These weapons will no longer lie dormant.
~ Victor Zakhaev's speech in the season seven cinematic.
I started a war... Killing me won't stop it.
~ Zakhaev to Captain Price before his death.

Victor Zakhaev, also known as Mr. Z, is the unseen overarching antagonist of the Spec Ops story in the 2019 video game Call of Duty: Modern Warfare and the main antagonist of the Verdansk storyline in the 2020 video game Call of Duty: Warzone.

He is the founding CEO of Zakhaev Arms, a terrorist conspirator and the son of the late Soviet Union official Imran Zakhaev, where he aims to finish his father's mission to restore the power of the Soviet Union through whatever means necessary, including starting a nuclear war.

He was voiced by Dimitry Rozental in motion capture.

Biography

Background

Victor was born in the 1970s in Russia to his father Imran and had both an older sibling and a younger sibling, and the three grew up around the greed-driven 1980s. Since his father was high-ranking official in the Interior Ministry under the communist regime of the Soviet Union, Victor had rare access to the tunnels and bunker systems of the Eastern Bloc. He enjoyed going to "work" with his father into the elaborate underground world of barracks, shelters and silos and saw the looming prospect of their purpose as a source of comfort. Although he hated academia, Victor both loved and feared his father and reluctantly agreed to go to a prestigious preparatory school at the age of 16 to be fluent with different languages such as Italian, German, English and French. It was short lived when he was expelled for breaking a teacher's cane to evade corporal punishment, and as punishment, his father sent him to the Suvo Military School where his peers were the more austere families of Soviet military personnel.

Eventually, Victor graduated with the qualification of a paratrooper, serving in the last unit of the Soviet Airborne Troops. In 1990, he was deployed to Tajikistan as part of a peacekeeping force to ebb the ethnic clashes that would lead to a string of civil wars triggered by the Soviet Union's collapse. After the two of them joined the Ultranationalists, Victor began to see his father work in vain to prevent the new model from spreading across Eastern Europe and once deputized by his father, he emerged as a leading advocate for the reclamation of Russia. In December 1994, as his father underwent emergency heart bypass surgery, Victor felt that his father's troubles were the manifestations of a broken heart. At some pint, Victor met and married his now-wife Yuila. Over the years, Victor assumed some of his father's duties and lived under his shadow while working for the most secret division of the F.S.B., fighting terrorism and organized crime in Chechnya and beyond. When Imran finally passed away in 2011, Victor grew more disenchanted with modern Russia and sneaked out of the country with Yuila.

Wanting to continue his father's mission, Zakhaev saw the potential in making profit by trafficking weapons to former Soviet nations that had descended into chaos in the wake of the power vacuums left by communist party's downfall brought by their budding independence. To that end, he founded Zakhaev Arms and then reportedly used what was left of his father's contacts to smuggle weapons from Eastern Europe to Africa and the Middle East. Over the years, he assumed the name of "Mr. Z" and would have surveillance of himself altered to make it look like he was father to throw his enemies off his trail. He had also apparently tortured a Spetsnaz operative Nikto and left him both heavily mutilated and psychologically scarred. Eventually in 2019, he felt that he could finally move forward in his plans with the profit and resources he's made, especially after he also found out that disgraced Russian General Barkov lost his position in the army for his crimes in Urzikstan.

Call of Duty: Warzone

This is the arms dealer they call, "Mr. Z". Z is wanted by the International Criminal Court for "conspiracy to transport, sell, and supply arms to a foreign terrorist organization".
~ Sergeant Kamarov.

Wanting to assumed Barkov's "throne" for himself to further his goals, Zakhaev aligned himself with the mysterious Khaled Al-Asad and broke him out of prison so he could then take control of Al-Qatala's leadership. Supplying the terrorist group with military weaponry, Zakhaev had Al-Asad personally lead them to invade Verdansk, Kastovia so they could then gain access to its bunkers containing Soviet resources such as tunnels, gulags and weapons of destruction, including a nuclear warhead. As Zakhaev continued to supply arms to Al-Asad in Verdansk, the some of it was cut off by the Armistice, an alliance between Allegiance and Coalition Forces formed to contain the situation.

However, knowing that Armistice wouldn't leave the city, Zakhaev knew how to turn the tide. After getting Al-Asad to pull Al-Qatala out of the city, Zakhaev sent a helicopter carrying Barkov's chlorine gas and tricked the Coalition into shooting it down, therefore releasing the gas and trapping everyone in the city. This resulted in the Armistice falling apart and forcing every operative to fight each other for survival. He was contacted by Al-Asad and informed that while things were going to plan, S.A.S. were sending Captain John Price to help out and that he was a problem. He would then allow Al-Asad to return to Urzikstan while he continued his operations in Verdansk.

While the operators were desperately trying to track Zakhaev via tunnels he had been using, Victor had secretly used the tensions between the Coalition and the Allegiance to power up all the bunkers in Verdansk without realizing it. This allowed him to activate the ICBM silo hidden within Bunker 10. His plan to fulfill his father's wishes ultimately failed however as Task Force 141 managed to get the abort code for the missile, 6157, and launched an assault with the help of Farah, "Alex" and Marcus Griggs' Demon Dogs in order to create a diversion. Price infiltrated Bunker 10 when Zakhaev activated the missile. Price shot him in the shoulder before throwing him off to the bottom of the silo. With Zakhaev dead, Price received the abort code from "Nikolai" and prevented the ICBM from launching.

Quotes

Your work is not in vain, father.
~ Zakhaev after putting the codes on the ICBM.
Captain Price... I am not surprised.
~ Zakhaev after being shot by Captain Price.
Wait... No... NOooo...!
~ Zakhaev's last words.

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