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The story of the destructive and chaotic psychopath Vladimir Makarov from the Call of Duty franchise.
|“||This man Makarov is fighting his own war and he has no rules, no boundaries. He doesn't flinch at torture, human trafficking, or genocide. He's not loyal to a flag, or a country, or any set of ideals. He trades blood for money.||„|
|~ General Shepherd describing Makarov's personality and past crimes to Joseph Allen.|
According to information in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, Vladimir R. Makarov was born in April 10, 1970 in Ivanovo, Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic. He graduated from the Frunze Military Academy as an officer in the Russian Army, first serving as a paratrooper captain in 98th Guards Airborne Division of the VDV. Later on in his career, he made it into Spetsnaz and served two tours in Chechnya during the first Chechen War. It is believed that a company under his command were involved with some of the most brutal "cleansing" raids.
Eventually, the U.N. held an inquiry investigating charges of human rights abuse, in which Makarov's name appeared at the top of the list presented by an EU Investigation panel. The inquiry was ultimately dropped when Makarov opted for discharge from the armed forces. This incident would mark the beginnings of his pathological hatred towards the West and the Russian government for giving him no other option but to leave the armed forces. Makarov would soon bring his former military training to bear, focusing his efforts in many criminal and terroristic enterprises, such as kidnapping, human trafficking of women, hijackings, money laundering, incrimination, terror bombings of military/civilian targets, drug trafficking, assassinations, jingoism, oppression, and many more. Effectively, Makarov's actions earned himself a reputation of being one of the world's most dangerous men in history.
Rise to Power
|“||Yuri, wake up. Zakhaev wouldn't want you to miss this. This deal will generate millions for our cause. Money can buy many things. Even power. The road to our future begins here, my friend.||„|
|~ Makarov to Yuri moments before they witness Zakhaev nearly being assassinated.|
At some point before 1996 after his resignation, the leader of the burgeoning Ultranationalist Party, Imran Zakhaev, took notice of Makarov's criminal actions and allowed him a position within the anti-western movement, where he would then meet fellow Ultranationalist Yuri, and the two became best friends afterwards. Although it was Makarov's chance to further his own agenda against the west as well as the Ultranationalists', it is also said that he was "kept in check" by Zakhaev during their partnership, possibly due to his awareness and possible fear of the former's extreme ambitions.
In 1996, Makarov and Yuri were present when Zakhaev was negotiating a deal in Pripyat, Ukraine near Chernobyl, where he was trading off fuel rods for gold to fund their cause. As Makarov explained their purpose at being in Chernobyl to Yuri, who had just woken up, they witnessed Zakhaev getting his arm shot off by Lieutenant John Price under Captain McMillan's orders in their attempt to assassinate him. As chaos ensued, Makarov and Yuri drove him to safety and saved his life before he could die of shock and blood loss. This incident earned Makarov Zakhaev's eternal gratitude as he would promote him to his number one lieutenant and protege. According to Yuri, this rise to power corrupted and drove Makarov further into his madness.
|“||Understand, Yuri: this is only the beginning.||„|
|~ Makarov after ordering the detonation of the nuclear bomb that kills 30,000 U.S. Marines in the process.|
During the present day events, Makarov didn't physically appear in the original game (except for One Shot, One Kill in the 2016 remaster). Although, he was in the S.A.S. photo featuring himself, Al-Asad and the Zakhaevs, collectively known as the "Four Horsemen", but Makarov was crossed out for unknown reasons. Regardless of his lack of appearances, he did have a part to play behind the scenes. In 2011, Makarov and Yuri were overseeing the battle at Basra, Iraq during the U.S. Marines' final pursuit for Ultranationalist ally and OpFor leader Khaled Al-Asad during the events of Shock and Awe. Makarov ordered an unknown person on the phone to detonate the nuclear bomb, killing 30,000 marines in the process as well as Al-Asad's forces and revealing that he was actually the one truly responsible, not Zakhaev. He then told Yuri that it was only the beginning, which also secretly disturbed Yuri.
After Zakhaev was eventually hunted down and killed by aligned British and Loyalist forces during the course of the Russian Civil War, the Ultranationalist party splintered between its two remaining leaders: Makarov and Boris Vorshevsky. After the Ultranationalists ultimately won the war over Russia, became its ruling government and forced the loyalists into exile in several countries, Vorshevsky became the country's new president and since he was much more benevolent than Zakhaev, he excommunicated Makarov from the Ultranationalist party due to his extreme methods, ambitions and disregard for human life. Enraged by the Ultranationalists becoming softer, Makarov pooled his resources and contacts within the criminal world, allowing him to assume control of a large portion of the Ultranationalist party and found the Inner Circle.
Over the next five years, while the Russian Ultranationalists slowly became more popular, Makarov would orchestrate several terrorist attacks across Europe in his campaign for vengeance for Zakhaev's death. According to newspaper clippings in his safe-house, Makarov held up photos of Bravo Six (Gaz, Griggs, Price and Soap) and declared they were responsible for the death of Imran Zakhaev. Most likely, it is for this reason that he holds a grudge against Price and Soap. Included were news articles showing Makarov responsible for terrorist attacks in London and Moscow; threatening the removal of the Ultranationalist party controlling Russia as he denounced them as weak and disgraceful to Zakhaev's legacy.
Find Makarov: Operation Kingfish
|“||Shepherd: That's it?
Soap: WHO IS KINGFISH?!
Shepherd: *shows the file of Makarov* We'll get him.
|~ General Shepherd and Captain "Soap" after the failed mission, whilst declaring to hunt down and kill Makarov for his innumerable crimes.|
Although Makarov doesn't appear in the live-action short film, he was still its main villain. Sometime between the events of Modern Warfare and Modern Warfare 2, Task Force 141 was sent to kill or capture the target known as "Kingfish", who was later revealed to be Makarov himself. After they arrived there, he wasn't present but they did find photos of Zakhaev International Airport and that he was targeting the remaining members of Bravo Six. He also left a trap for them and although they escaped with a facially scarred Soap, Captain Price was captured and declared K.I.A. before being sent to the Petropavlovsk Gulag in Russia. Soap then briefed General Shepherd about the mission and the latter revealed who is Kingfish. As Soap oversaw the file of Makarov, Shepherd declared that they will get him caused Soap to placing a knife on Makarov's photo.
Modern Warfare 2
Remember, No Russian
|“||I know what you have done, Yuri. I know what you have told them. My friend. My ally. My betrayer. What happens here today, will change the world forever. Nothing can stop this. Not even you.||„|
|~ Makarov to Yuri for betraying him|
In 2016, Makarov indirectly becomes the conduit for General Shepherd's recruitment plan. After Shepherd sends C.I.A. agent Joseph Allen (under the alias Alexi Borodin) to Russia, Makarov accepts Allen, though he finds out the latter's undercover identity but remains quiet about it and sees it as an opportunity for his plans. Prior to the massacre, Yuri warned the authorities send FSB to stop the massacre but Makarov learnt of this and shot him for his betrayal before leaving him for dead. Using Allen as a scapegoat for his plans, Makarov leads a brutal terrorist attack on Zakhaev International Airport with him and three other Ultranationalist extremists, where they used weapons supplied by his associate Alejandro Rojas. Unbeknownst to Makarov, Yuri is still alive and attempted to stop the massacre but couldn't due to blood loss until a paramedic helps Makarov's former right hand man and harbor hatred towards Makarov.
|“||That was no message. This is a message. The American thought he could deceive us. When they find that body... all of Russia will cry for war.||„|
|~ Makarov after the massacre and just as he kills Joseph Allen in order to turn America into his scapegoat for war.|
After fighting their way through FSB forces, Makarov, Allen and one of his surviving men escape and make it to the extraction point. As the driver stated that the attack would send a strong message, Makarov retorted that it wasn't the message. As Allen attempted to climb aboard the ambulance getaway vehicle, Makarov shoots him in the head with an M9 and leaves him for dead, revealing that he knew of his true identity and also instigating a war between Russia and the United States. Little did Makarov know, however, was that Yuri had only just survived the gunshot wound and tried to stop him during the attack before collapsing and being rescued by paramedics. This would lead Yuri to hold a grudge against his former best friend and swore to kill him for his crimes against their country. Regardless, Makarov's plans came into fruition as Russia believed that the United States was behind the massacre and then sent countless troops and vehicles to invade the country thanks to a downed ACS module they had obtained, killing many people in the process. Only the intel the Task Force 141 got from Makarov's arms dealer, Alejandro Rojas is the only man Makarov hates even greater than the Americans was locked up in the Gulag turned out Prisoner 627 is none other than Captain Price.
The Enemy of My Enemy
|“||When they speak of this moment, we will not be the ones who stood guard while America died. One man is responsible for all this. Makarov must be brought to light.||„|
|~ Shepherd declaring war on Makarov for what he did in Moscow that was later brought upon the United States.|
Eventually, after a week of the aftermath of Makarov's airport attack, he and his men are tracked down to two possible locations, leading Task Force 141 to investigate. Roach and Ghost are sent to a safehouse on the Georgian-Russian border and had obtained intelligence on Makarov's operations, but both are killed by Shepherd who is trying to avenge his 30,000 Marines by taking down Makarov himself, become a war hero and soon initiate a major strike on Russia with a planned strong military force while burying any evidence against him. Makarov and his forces are attacked by Shepherd's Shadow Company in an aircraft boneyard, where Price and Soap were also at. Makarov is then contacted by Price, who asks for intel on Shepherd, saying the famous phrase "The enemy of my enemy is my friend". Realizing that his only hope for survival was getting rid of Shepherd, Makarov begrudgingly agrees and tells Price of Shepherd's location at Site Hotel Bravo. Although no outcome of the battle between the Shadow Company and Makarov's forces is given, Makarov survived and went into hiding. However, thanks to his intel, Price and Soap did successfully hunt down and kill Shepherd for his betrayal.
Modern Warfare 3
|“||Captain Price. Ад ждет тебя (Hell awaits you). Yuri, my friend. You never should've come here.||„|
|~ Makarov ambushing Price, Soap and Yuri during their assassination attempt on his life in Prague.|
Several hours after Shepherd's death, Makarov sent his men to kill Soap, Price and their Loyalist ally Nikolai located in India, in order to tie up loose ends. However, they failed thanks to Yuri. Before that, Russia's invasion in the United States was thwarted and the war was put on hold for the next two months. After this, as Vorshevsky intended on negotiating a peace treaty to end the war before it escalates too far, Makarov couldn't have that and intended on stopping it from happening and to further his next plan: initiating Russia's takeover of Europe using the country's nuclear weapons. To ensure this, he leads his men to hijack the plane carrying Vorshevsky and his daughter, Alena. After killing his security, Makarov revealed himself and demanded the launch codes. When Vorshevsky refused, Makarov sent his men to find his daughter, who was able to escape during the struggle.
|“||Yuri, my friend. You never should have come here.||„|
|~ Makarov to Yuri after seeing with Price and Soap.|
Meanwhile, as Makarov had his men hunt down Alena to enforce Vorshevsky's compliance, he intends on using his current regain of the Ultranationalist's military to invade Europe regardless. In order to cripple the continent's defenses, he arranges his associate Volk, the head of Fregata Industries, negotiate with African warlord Waraabe to deliver cargoes from Africa and into Europe's (i.e Paris, London, Dublin, Rome, Berlin, Hamburg, etc.). As he oversaw the shipment in Sierra Leone, he was forced to escaped as Price, Soap and Yuri attacked the factory looking for him and the cargo. With the cargoes' in place, he had them detonated, which were revealed to be chemical weapons, and ordered Ultranationalist forces invade Europe for a complete takeover. Price, Soap and Yuri as well as Sandman's team all tracked Waraabe and Volk, in which they learned that Makarov was holding a meeting in Prague. However, Makarov caught on with their plan and set a trap for them, killing Kamarov and Soap and revealing his history with Yuri in the process.
The End of the War
|“||I see... this is what we are dealing with, brothers. A stubborn old man, hopelessly out of step with the changing world. You too, will change.||„|
|~ Makarov tormenting President Vorshevsky in front of the Inner Circle.|
After Price and Yuri intercepted an Ultranationalist command centre in an old castle near Prague, Makarov is seen interrogating Vorshevsky for the launch codes on a live screen. He then mocks the president as they hear that his men have found his daughter, whom he intended on torturing to persuade her father for the codes. However, although his men successfully grab his daughter and take her to a diamond mine in Siberia, Makarov was unable to get the launch codes as Price, Yuri and the Americans rescued the two of them, which then later brought peace treaties into discussion, officially ending World War III. However, with Makarov still at large, Price wasn't done yet. After calling Makarov, Price threatened that he was coming for him, regardless if the war's over. Makarov then mocks Price for Soap's death and even claimed that he would be looking for him too.
|“||Makarov: Who is this?
Price: Prisoner 6-2-7. I'm coming for you, Makarov.
Makarov: Haven't you heard, Price? They say the war is over.
Price: My war ends with you.
Makarov: Like it ended for Captain MacTavish? Tell me, Price. How long did it take him to die? I destroyed your world piece by piece. It's only a matter of time before I find you.
Price: You won't have to look far.
|~ Makarov and Price conversing over the phone in the Dust to Dust intro cutscene.|
Several months later in January, 2017, Price and Yuri were finally able to track down Makarov, who was hiding in the Oasis Hotel in Dubai. Intending on keeping their promise to end him once and for all, they led an assault on the building, vowing that he doesn't leave there alive. During the attack, Makarov had countless armed men holding them off before his escape helicopter arrived. As Price and Yuri chased him through the restaurant on the top floor, Makarov made a run for the roof after the helicopter destroys the restaurant to stall them long enough. As Makarov made a run for the roof to the helicopter, Price pursued him and jumped onto the chopper as it was leaving and was able to crash it down back onto the rooftop.
|“||Goodbye, Captain Price.||„|
|~ Vladimir Makarov to Price just before he kills Yuri and attempts to kill him as well; and is also ironically his last words before his long-awaited death.|
Makarov survived this and escaped the wreckage before confronting a wounded Price with a pistol. Just as he was about to execute him, Yuri shot him in the shoulder from behind. Makarov angrily shot him three times and killed his former best friend in front of Price. Fully enraged by the loss of another friend to the Russian madman, Price tackled Makarov down and started beating him before wrapping a steel cord connected to the helicopter around his neck. After hooking him the cord, Price slammed him through the glass roof, shredding and hanging him at the same time. Satisfied that his sworn objective was now fulfilled, Price smokes a cigar as he gazes on Makarov's lifeless body that was dangling from the steel cable. After many years of spreading death, chaos, war and destruction to millions of innocent people, along with all of the vitcims Makrov killed can finally rest in peace now, Vladimir Makarov was finally dead.
Appearances in other media
Makarov appears in HISHE (How It Should Have Ended) animated parody video. One of his Troops goes to the wrong floor in which there are Nazi zombies before closing the door and going to the correct floor. Joseph Allen points his weapon to the people, however, he was arrested along with Makarov and his men. In the jail cell, after Allen hits the wall with his weapon, he showed his true identity to Makarov and his troops and shot them dead before continuing to hit the wall to escape the prison.
Makarov also made distinct appearances in subsequent Call of Duty installments. He appeared as a DLC multiplayer character available for 2013's Call of Duty: Ghosts, where he is featured in the Makarov Legend Pack that included different models of him along with several other features. Makarov also made an appearance as his player card was included in 2016's Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare. He also appeared in 2019's Call of Duty: Mobile as a playable character starting from July, 2020, where he was available via the First Horseman Crate as part of Season 8, The Forge.
Call of Duty: Mobile comics
Makarov appeared in the comics storyline of Call of Duty: Mobile as a major antagonist. Unlike the original version, he currently has no confirmed connection to the Ultranationalists or Zakhaev, and is in fact a high-ranking member of the criminal/terrorist syndicate known as The Five Knights.
He is first seen broadcasting to his underground lab where Ghost and his team infiltrated it, and he launched Nova Gas missiles on various cities. One of the cities housed Viktor Reznov, who originally found the Nova Gas and retrieved it for the Soviet Union but killed the scientists so it wouldn't be weaponized. After most of the missiles detonated, Makarov sent Mace and a team to kill Reznov. Meanwhile, Makarov is seen personally overseeing the Nova Gas being transported to a base and would go on try and launch a satellite that would send out an EMP to cripple the Knight's enemies. At the base, Makarov and his men came under attack from Mara and her team who had arrived to kill him. Makarov fled with Mara in hot pursuit, only for to be intercepted by Mace. Mara managed to dodge Mace and hold Makarov hostage, but as Makarov tried to convince him to comply, Mace shot him in the head.
It was later revealed that Makarov was still alive as Ghost found out after finding a Siberian base. Makarov implied that he used a body double to fake his death, knowing that the Five Knights would try to kill him because they had conflicting interests. He tells Ghost that the Knights are five individuals with different goals but could be useful to each other just like he was to them. He then reveals their identities: Gabriel T. Rorke as the head of the mercenaries, Hidora Kai as the head of the corporate section, Mace who only wants the downfall of the government, and Raul Menendez who wants to take control of the system by hijacking it. He keeps the fifth member's identity to himself, and will only reveal it along with everything else he knows if Ghost takes him in and ensures both his safety and freedom. Ghost begrudgingly agreed, only for the two of them to be confronted outside of the facility by Templar, an assassin working for the Five Knights, and Makarov runs under Ghost's demands while he holds him off. However, after Makarov escapes, Ghost is overpowered and killed by Templar. After Templar left the scene, Makarov returned and took Ghost's body, dragging it over to a cliff. He meets up with a team of Ghosts led by Captain Merrick, and hands over his body to them.