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Kuwabara, Kuwabara!
~ Volgin
Welcome to my country, and to my unit.
~ Volgin
Who's afraid of a little thunder?
~ Volgin's last words.

Yevgeny Borisovitch Volgin (Russian: Евгений Борисович Волгин), or also better known as either Colonel Volgin or Thunderbolt, is the main antagonist of the 2004 video game Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater. He is a Stalinist GRU colonel who attempted to seize control and overthrow Nikita Khrushchev as leader of the Soviet Union.

In the 2015 video game Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, Volgin returns as a major antagonist, now known as the Man on Fire. He is revealed to have been comatose (not killed), after the events of Metal Gear Solid 3. Despite this, his humanity was all but gone, and he had to be controlled by Tretji Rebenok.

He was voiced by Neil Ross in Metal Gear Solid 3 who also voiced the Cyclops in The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie, the Mad Bomber in the Spider-Man 3 video game adaptions, Grandfather in Operation: Z.E.R.O. and Norman Osborn/Green Goblin in Spider-Man: The Animated Series.



Volgin as part of GRU.

Born sometime in the late 1900’s to early 1910’s, Volgin became a boxing champion as a young man.

In World War II, he participated in the Katyn Forest Massacre, where 20,000 Polish soldiers were massacred and Volgin.

They would often remove the Poles’ blindfolds before he beat them to death. He also served in the Soviet Secret Police, the NKVD, and was given the job of punishing anyone who tried to desert the Red Army, blaming prisoner revolts to alleviate fear. Volgin aided in putting down the East Germany Uprising and Hungarian Revolution and has stated that he personally killed over 100,000 anti-communist activists.

At some point before 1964, Volgin’s father, Boris Volgin, died, allowing him to illegally acquire the Philosopher’s Legacy, an enormous cache of money collected from China, the Soviet Union, and the US. With it, he built a huge fortress, Groznyj Grad, in the Tselinoyarsk mountains.

Volgin also obtained the blueprints for the Objekt 279 tank after the project to build it was deemed too expensive and was able to construct at least eight with the Philosopher's Legacy. Volgin then conspired with the army and the Brezhnev faction to bring down Khrushchev After Khrushchev joined forces with Sokolov’s Shagohod, Volgin hired Alexander Leonovitch Granin, hoping to have him construct a Metal Gear. But it soon became clear Granin wasn't getting the results Volgin wanted and thus he turned to the Shagohod idea.

Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater

Volgin contacted The Boss in 1964, using the spy network of a Philosopher and suggested that she defect to the Soviet Union so as to overthrow Khrushchev without endangering his own position. The Boss accepted, but unbeknownst to Volgin, this was actually part of a plan by the US government to obtain the Philosopher’s Legacy from him and expose Shagohod’s development.

Volgin welcoming the Boss to his ranks.

A month later, Volgin supervised the Boss’ official defection and ordered her to kill Naked Snake since he saw Volgin's face, as well as the fact that the Boss wouldn’t let him join them. However, Volgin, having not anticipated the US government’s actions, fired an American-made nuclear warhead at Sokolov's research facility. He intended to frame the US government for this, but in actuality, the DCI had manipulated Volgin into doing this as part of a plan to assassinate the Boss.

This set off a whole international incident and started Operation Snake Eater. During the operation, Snake's constant intervention in his plans, as well as the presence of a spy in his ranks, angered Volgin greatly. However, he didn’t realize the spy was Tatyana, who he constantly abused, but did think that Granin was a spy. Volgin arrested and tortured him by trapping him in an oil drum, then striking it with his enormous strength and electrical powers.

However, he killed Granin in the process before he said anything and found a transmitter in his shoes, which meant he either was a spy or it was planted on him. Volgin called in a Hind helicopter and additional soldiers to help guard Krasnogorje, so as to make sure Snake didn't get into Groznyj Grad. After The Pain, The Fear, and The End were killed, Volgin sent in Flame Troops to avenge them by burning Snake alive. While in his fortress, he managed to catch Snake, who’d disguised himself as Ivan Raidenovitch Raikov, to find Sokolov.

Volgin as he tortured Snake.

Enraged that he hurt Raikov, Volgin beat him senseless and brought him to an interrogation cell where he tortured him with electrocution. However Snake was mentally trained to resist physical torture, but a transmitter fell off of him that the Boss had put there, supposedly to make it easier for the Cobra Unit to find him. Volgin ordered the Boss to cut out Snake’s eyes to prove she wasn’t the spy but Tatyana intervened. Major Ocelot threatened her with his revolvers and Snake kicked Ocelot to save Tatyana. However the muzzle flash blinded Snake in one eye and satisfied, Volgin left while Snake was brought back to his cell.

But he managed to escape his prison, while Shagohod was completed, allowing Volgin to give his scientists and engineers some time to rest. However, it seemed that he planned to eventually execute them so they didn’t reveal Shagohod's existence. Volgin found Snake putting C3 explosives on Shagohod’s fuel tanks so as to destroy the weapon and managed to capture him again with help from Ocelot and the Boss. But as this was going on, EVA was stealing the Philosopher's Legacy microfilms from the vaults underneath Groznyj Grad, revealing that she was actually Tatyana. As opposed to his previously sadistic behavior, Volgin said he valued her as a "pet" and that he'd "cared" for her, but now planned to execute her for her betrayal.

Snake confronting Volgin.

Volgin then took on Snake in combat himself, but suffered defeat and found himself betrayed by Ocelot, who refused to obey his orders. He said that he'd promised the Boss not to follow any orders that involved killing Snake, even if they were Volgin's. As Snake and EVA escaped on a motorcycle, Volgin pursued them in the Shagohod, which hadn’t been destroyed thanks to the technicians draining the fuel tanks. He laid waste to his own fortress in his determination to kill the two and even killed his own men that got in his way.

Volgin's supposed demise.

Volgin eventually activated the boosters in an attempt to run Snake and EVA over, as well as incinerate Ocelot, who was behind the boosters at the time. Finally, the Shagohod was almost completely wrecked and Volgin took what was left of it to attack Snake and EVA. Even after it failed completely, he used his own electrical powers to keep it running, but was finally defeated by Snake with an RPG. As he stood on top of the wrecked Shagohod, Volgin was struck by a bolt of lightning and Snake wondered if that was the Sorrow's doing since he appeared briefly.

Post-Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater

Volgin as the Man on Fire.

Despite Volgin's defeat, his desire to have Khrushchev ousted from power and replaced with Leonid Brezhnev nonetheless came to pass. In addition, contrary to reports made as a result of Operation Snake Eater, Volgin had actually survived his battle with Snake, albeit with serious enough injuries to leave him in a comatose state.

His body was later recovered by Soviet scientists, where it was kept alive for scientific preservation and presumably experimentation. Ultimately the only thing keeping Volgin alive was his desire for revenge against Big Boss, which also had the side effect of turning him into a literal "demon". On the day Big Boss awoke from his coma nine years after Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes Tretij Rebenok sensed his hatred, and come under his influence, with his psychic abilities empowering Volgin, turning him into the "Man on Fire".

Having lost his humanity completely he had to be controlled by Rebenok. In his new form, Volgin was completely immune to damage by guns or grenades even absorbing a tank blast or six missiles from a helicopter with ease. His only weakness was water. He also became immensely powerful, burning everything in his path, being able to blast fire out of his hands which is powerful enough to bring down a helicopter with ease or destroying even a tank.

Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain

Rebenok and the Man on Fire appear in the hospital the Boss awakes in, attacking both the Boss and the XOF agents, killing many of them. He is only temporarily stopped when Ishmael shoots the sprinklers on the ceiling, extinguishing the Man on Fire for a short amount of time. He appears again in the foyer but is distracted when a tank runs over him and rams him into a wall. After destroying the tank, he approaches Snake but is run over again, this time by Ishmael in an ambulance car. Snake enters the car and both men drive away. When the Boss meets Revolver Ocelot and escapes with him on horseback, they are pursued by the Man on Fire riding a flaming winged unicorn. Eventually, they escape him by crossing a river.

At some point, the Man on Fire and Rebonok came under the influence of Skull Face, due to his desire for vengeance against Big Boss being equal to Volgin's. He next appears at the Devil's House. When Skull Face encounters Snake, he does not shoot him, leaving him for the Man on Fire instead who appears and burns the Devil's House and the surrounding area. The Man on Fire attacks Snake who has no choice but to run which eventually leads to the Man on Fire losing sight of Snake. To escape, Snake blows up a water tank which extinguishes the Man on Fire and gives Snake the time to escape by helicopter. During the flight back, Miller tells Snake that the Man on Fire burned everything and everyone in the area, leaving no survivors.

When bringing Snake to the hangar containing Sahelanthropus, Skull Face shows Snake the Man on Fire, telling Snake that he is responsible for his survival. The Man on Fire moves towards Snake with hostile intentions but is stopped by Rebenok. Chaos erupts moments later when Sahelanthropus is activated and crushes the Man on Fire. Later, Miller gets information that states that the Soviets secured the Man on Fire's body. To find out whether he really is dead, Miller sends Snake to the Yakho Oboo Supply Outpost to retrieve the body. He also rightly deduces that the Man of Fire is what is left of Volgin.

Man on Fire's death.

In the base, Snake tries to extract the Man on Fire but before the Fulton Extraction is complete, the Man on Fire regains consciousness, erupting in a fiery blaze. He pins down Venom Snake and meets him face to face, though he seemingly halts his assault. Mysteriously, Volgin and body momentarily revert to his original appearance. Unbeknownst to anyone, he realised that Venom Snake was not the real Big Boss. He falls back to the ground, dropping several bullets as well, and finally dies in peace. Volgin's corpse is then taken back to Mother Base and put in one of the quarantine platform's cages. Ocelot then takes the time to look over Volgin's corpse, reflecting that Skull Face must have used his desires for revenge against Big Boss for his goals.


This is war, Major. A Cold War, fought with information and espionage. We must root out spies wherever they hide. It is kill or be killed...
~ Volgin giving his philosophy to Major Ocelot.

Volgin is remorseless, merciless, and power hungry and wants to overthrow Khrushchev so that he can secretly control the Soviet Union. He also has a rather sadistic side, taking enjoyment in torture, but has trouble controlling the high he gets from it. Often times, Volgin kills his victims before they tell him anything, which can often work to his disadvantage and his sadism would rub off on Ocelot, who would also develop a love of torture.

Volgin is an extremely arrogant megalomaniac, believing his men should follow his commands without question. But even with all these negative traits, Volgin states that his goal to control the Eastern Bloc is so he can reunite the Philosophers, who’d been warring among themselves, thus ending the Cold War. Volgin had great respect (and possibly even fear) for the Boss, as seen when he backed away from her while torturing Snake when she accused him of not trusting her.

Volgin also seemed to respect Snake to some extent since he said fighting him would be a once in a lifetime opportunity. Volgin is apparently bisexual since he had relationships with both Raikov and EVA, who he knew as Tatyana. He did seem to really care about Raikov since he became enraged at the thought that Snake had hurt him. Also, even though he was very abusive to EVA, Volgin said he cared for her as a “pet” and it almost pained him to have to execute her.

He also has a habit of chanting “Kuwabara, Kuwabara”, (Japanese for mulberry bush), when it rains, which according to Japanese superstition, keeps lightning away. Ironically one of the few times he didn’t, he was struck by lightning.


As Colonel Volgin

Colonel Volgin has unusual abilities such as his advanced strength and he even uses a Makarov pistol as a sidearm. However, his most notable ability is a physical anomaly in his body that allows Volgin to generate 10 million volts of electricity.

  • Superhuman Strength: Volgin possesses practically superhuman strength, even for a man of his size and can use his electrical powers to their full potential thanks to the suit, such as augmenting his strength. He can send opponents flying and even lifting a Davy Crockett launcher by his hand which is about 300 kilograms. He can use his electricity to augment his strength to the point where he would punch through the Shagodod's armor when even a RPG could not do.
  • Electricity Generation: However, his most notable ability is a physical anomaly in his body that allows Volgin to generate 10 million volts of electricity. And a shock from the metal of the bullets conducting the electricity. Volgin can also electrify metallic objects, send out beams of electricity, create a shield to protect himself from gunshots, and channel his electricity into things. Volgin’s electricity is attracted to metal and his powers can be weakened if he comes into contact with water.
  • Enhanced Combatant: He has put together a combined attack with his electrical powers, which consists of holding four bullets between his knuckles and punching an enemy. This attack has the damage of the punch, the bullets gunpowder causing a gunshot-like effect.
  • Rubber Combat Suit: He wears a rubber combat suit to protect himself from the electricity, which had previously caused the scars on his face.

As Man on Fire

After his defeat by Big Boss, his desire for vengeance would not only influence Mantis, but also allow himself to be experiments upon by soviet scientists to further enhance himself and gained a new set of powers and abilities, transforming himself into a figurative "demon". Like the original Volgin, Man on Fire is extremely vulnerable to water. This was even seen when Venom Snake can use a Water Pistol to defeat him or how in Cyprus, Naked Snake and Venom Snake used water sprinklers to make him flee.

  • Kinetic Absorption: He could absorb bullets and explosive projectiles fired at him and then fire them out of his body as projectiles, similarly as he did before by firing bullets out of his body by igniting them with electricity.
  • Superhuman Durability: His durability was enhanced tot he point where he could take a direct hit from a heavy grade weapon such as air to surface missiles or tank rounds without visible damage. In Cyprus, he even survived being run over by a tank and then being plummeted into a wall by an ambulance at high speed. Even being crushed by Sahelanthropus was not enough to kill him.
  • Superhuman Strength: Volgin demonstrated even greater superhuman strength, as he could throw various vehicles and even rubble as projectiles during the mission in Cyprus. He was even able to physically push back and overpower a tank and somehow toss a whale across a large distance.
  • Fire Manipulation: As Man on Fire, Volga's most notorious ability was his command over fire. During his fight with Venom Snake, it was seen that he could conjure up pillars of flames and fire blasts of fiery energy. He could even imbue his horse with fire based powers and make the horse resilient enough to run through car wreckages without losing its momentum.
  • Self-Teleportation: As Man of Fire, he was somehow able to teleport across short distances by manifesting himself out his own flames.
  • Horse Riding Skills: As Man on Fire, Volgin demonstrates proficiency in riding his slamming horse.



Metal Gear Solid 3

Metal Gear Solid 3 Pachinko

Metal Gear Solid V



  • Volgin’s last name is a common Russian surname that comes from the Volga River.
  • While never explicitly confirmed, it is implied that the Man on Fire was used to clean up failed vocal cord parasite experiments, resulting in the destruction of Malak's village in the mission Angel with Broken Wings.

External Links


           Metal Gear Logo.png Villains

The Philosophers
Colonel Volgin (Leader) | Major Ocelot | Naked Snake | Major Raikov | Cobra Unit (The Fury | The End | The Fear | The Pain)

Naked Snake | Gene | Null | Cunningham | Elisa & Ursula | Python

The Patriots
Major Zero (Leader) | Revolver Ocelot | Big Boss | Pacifica Ocean | Skull Face | Solidus Snake | Fatman | Mr. X | "The Colonel"

Peace Sentinel
Hot Coldman (Leader) | Ramon Galvez Mena | Huey Emmerich

Skull Face (Leader) | "Skulls" Parasite Unit | Man on Fire | Tretij Rebenok

Outer Heaven
Big Boss (NES Ver.)| Frank Jaeger | Shotmaker | Machinegun Kid | Bloody Brad | Fire Trooper | Dirty Duck

Zanzibar Land
Big Boss (Leader) | Gray Fox | Black Ninja | Running Man | Red Blaster | Four Horsemen | Jungle Evil | Night Fright | Dr. Madnar

Sons of Big Boss
Liquid Snake (Leader) | Decoy Octopus | Revolver Ocelot | Psycho Mantis | Vulcan Raven | Sniper Wolf

Sons of Liberty
Solidus Snake (Leader) | Dead Cell (Fortune, Fatman & Vamp) | Revolver Ocelot | Gurlukovich Mercenaries (Olga Gurlukovich)

Liquid Ocelot's Outer Heaven
Liquid Ocelot (Leader) | Vamp | Haven Troopers | Beauty and the Beast Unit (Screaming Mantis/Psycho Mantis, Crying Wolf, Raging Raven & Laughing Octopus)

Desperado Enforcement LLC
Senator Armstrong (De-Facto Leader) | Khamsin | Jetstream Sam | Mistral | Monsoon | Sundowner

Gear REX | Lord of Dust | Mosquito | Silent Mastodon | Huey Emmerich | Sergei Ivanovich | Gurlukovich Mercenaries (Sergei Gurlukovich, Olga Gurlukovich, Shalashaska)