- "This is not war. This is murder!"
- — Chernov after the execution of a German POW
Private Chernov (Russian: Чернов) was a Red Army soldier in Call of Duty: World at War. He was one of the main characters that followed the player through most of the Soviet campaign. His model is shared with Nikolai Belinski.
Chernov first appeared in "Their Land, Their Blood" as one of the soldiers under Sergeant Reznov's command, and with the latter rescued Dimitri Petrenko from three Germans. When Reznov ordered Chernov to execute the dying soldiers, he displayed a pacifist nature by refusing to shoot fatally wounded German soldiers that were already bleeding to death. Reznov responds by handing Dimitri Petrenko a Mosin-Nagant rifle, saying, "Then maybe our friend here, will help them (the Germans) to bleed faster." After rescuing Dimitri, Chernov, and the others pushed into the German countryside, clearing a barn and a nearby German camp. He and the others then boarded the commandeered train bound to Berlin and pushed the Germans further into the German Capital, Berlin, and eventually reached the city itself.
In the beginning of the level "Eviction", a group of Soviets killed a German soldier that was begging for mercy and Chernov said "This is not war, this is murder!" After ferocious close quarters fighting in a building, and after battling the desperate German troops on the city streets, the squad reached a metro in which three surviving German troops begged not to be killed. After Dimitri decided what to do with the Germans, they entered the metro, and fought until they got to the end of it. Chernov, Reznov, and Dimitri barely escaped with their lives when the metro they were in was flooded by Germans in an attempt to kill the advancing Soviets. After surviving the tunnel flood, Chernov was seen trying to dry off his diary. Reznov then took his diary and said to Chernov, "Which do you think will lead us home? Writing about this war, or fighting it!? No one will ever read this! If you lack the stomach to kill for your country, at least show me you are willing to die for it!" Chernov then took the Red Army flag with him and fought through German infantry defending the Reichstag. When Chernov reached the stairway leading to the Reichstag entrance, he was torched by a flamethrower-wielding German and fell to the ground coughing and burned. Reznov sympathetically took the dying Chernov's diary, saying "Someone should read this", in a blatant reversal of his earlier statements. At the beginning of the level "Downfall", Reznov (in a voice-over) read a portion of Chernov's diary, discussing Dimitri. Depending on the player's actions through the game, Chernov either disdained Dimitri, viewed him in a more conflicted light, or acknowledged him as a true hero. He was presumed dead as all the soldiers leave him behind.
Personality and Appearance
Although Chernov was loyal to his country and a good soldier, he was a pacifist by nature and was dismayed by his comrades and their cruel and unmerciful actions as they waged war against Wehrmacht soldiers, particularly Reznov, whose cold-blooded attitude towards the Germans he did not understand. He appeared to be nearly an opposite to Sergeant Reznov, shown by how he was against the unjust slaughter of the Germans (exemplified when he shouted in protest to the cruel execution of a German soldier, which in contrast, Reznov seemed to relish in). This manifests itself in the fact that while Dimitri was receiving compliments from Reznov, Chernov was constantly degraded and told to be more like Dimitri.
However, when Chernov was wounded by a flamethrower, Reznov actually showed concern and came running to Chernov's aid. Reznov showed further sympathy towards him by taking his diary when he had died, saying that, "Someone should read this.", contradicting his previous statement at the beginning of the mission, where he told Chernov that no one will read his diary.
His clothing consisted of a standard Red Army uniform, with the addition of a cloth tied over his head like a bonnet. He used a Mosin-Nagant exclusively.
Depending on the player's choices throughout the campaign (in "Vendetta", "Their Land, Their Blood", and "Eviction"), Chernov will have a different perspective on the player by the end of the campaign. Depending on the soldiers he kills and doesn't kill, the entry from Chernov's diary, read at the beginning of the level "Downfall", will vary, either depicting Petrenko as a hero or not.
If all "good" decisions were made, this line is said.
Chernov: April 30, 1945: When he first spoke of Dimitri, Reznov told tales of a hero, someone we should all aspire to be like. His bravery on the battlefield is beyond question, but he has also shown mercy amidst the brutality of the Red Army. He is indeed a hero.
If at least one "good" and one "evil" decision was made, this line is said.
Chernov: April 30, 1945: When he first spoke of Dimitri, Reznov told tales of a hero, someone we should all aspire to be like. At times, I have seen him show mercy, and at others, complete brutality. I do not understand him. Perhaps heroes need not question their actions.
If all "evil" decisions were made, this line is said.
Chernov: April 30, 1945: When he first spoke of Dimitri, Reznov told tales of a hero, someone we should all aspire to be like. His merciless brutality defines him only as a savage, just like the rest of the Red Army. He is no hero.
- "There is no point, Sergeant. They are already bleeding to death."
- — Chernov's first words
- "This is madness, our rockets are tearing the city apart!"
- — Chernov in Eviction
- "Sergeant Reznov, you seem to relish in the slaughter."
- — Chernov
- In the starting cutscene in "Their Land, Their Blood", the player can see Chernov picking up a diary which he found on the floor. This diary is seen several times later in the campaign.
- In the opening cutscene of "Downfall," it says that the diary began in 1942.
- In "Heart of the Reich", Chernov appears to react to grenades even after he is burned by the flamethrower, as he will shout "Grenade!" and "Look out!".
- Chernov has a track from the Call of Duty: World at War soundtrack named after him.
- Chernov was briefly mentioned in a file written by Alex Mason, found in Adrienne Smith's account on the CIA Database. It specifically recounts Reznov's actions during World at War. This email is found in the asmith account in Black Ops.