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The subject of this article appeared in Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare. The subject of this article appeared in Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare for the Nintendo DS. The subject of this article appeared in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2. This article was previously featured

"Welcome to the new Russia, Captain Price."
— Sergeant Kamarov[1]

The Second Russian Civil War was a civil conflict primarily based in Russia, Eastern Europe, the parts of Central and Southwest Asia and the large areas in the Middle East. It involved the Russian Loyalists, heavily supported by the American and British forces against the Ultranationalist rebels led by Imran Zakhaev and their Middle Eastern insurgent allies, codenamed OpFor (Opposing Force)[2] led by Khaled Al-Asad.[3]


The Attempted Assassination of Imran Zakhaev

In 1996, the British government authorized its first assassination order since The Second World War on Imran Zakhaev,[4] a high profile Russian arms dealer who was selling fuel rods salvaged from the ruined Chernobyl Nuclear Power plant. The mission was to be carried out by Alpha Team, a two-man SAS sniper team comprising of Captain MacMillan as the sniper team leader and Lieutenant John Price as the shooter. The team's first objective was to sneak into the abandoned city of Pripyat, Ukraine and set up a sniping position in the Hotel Polyssia. After arriving at their destination, they utilized the previously-airlifted M82A1 Sniper Rifle to kill Zakhaev, blowing his left arm off.[5]

Shortly after, the sniper team was compromised and after shooting down a hostile Mi-28, they escaped the building and proceeded to Extraction Point Four, a nearby amusement park. On the way, another Mi-28 appeared and it was also shot down. However, the helicopter went down "hot" and when it crashed, the shrapnel crippled Captain MacMillan. Lieutenant Price carried him to the extraction point near a ferris wheel with the Ultranationalists hot on their trail. The two snipers managed to hold the waves of Ultranationalists back long enough until the extraction team of U.S. Marines arrived in a CH-46 Sea Knight and safely evacuated both snipers.

Imran Zakhaev permanently lost his arm, but managed to survive the encounter. This would slowly lead him to become known as one of the most powerful and influential major political leaders within Russia and head the Russian Ultranationalist Party.[3]

Course of the War

Pre-War Events

Coup D'etat in Saudi Arabia

Khaled al-Asad, commander of OpFor.

Before the intervention in the war, Imran Zakhaev realized that a second Russian Civil War with 15,000 nuclear weapons on the line would gain a high level of Western attention, especially the United States and the United Kingdom who both are supporting the current Russian Loyalist regime. In order to cause a diversionary war, he contacted his Middle Eastern ally, Khaled Al-Asad. Al-Asad would launch a coup d'état against the governments of the Republic of Saudi Arabia, all funded and supported by the Ultranationalist Party. Al-Asad's forces would become known as the OpFor or Opposing Force by the United States Military.

Al-Asad's coup d'état was completed with the execution of President Yasir Al-Fulani on national television. His country, despite advertising an upcoming peace within the nation was remarkably unstable. This was seen in Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare when the OpFor soldiers are seen executing the civilians who did not support Al-Asad's leadership.

Operation Expendable

The SAS team being inserted by helicopter onto the Väljakutse, somewhere near the Bering Strait.

Around the same time period as Al-Asad's coup, the British SAS launched an assault on an Estonian freighter, registration number 52775 in the Bering Strait. Utilizing the intelligence gained from a Loyalist informant in an Ultranationalist camp, the strike force, Bravo Team led by now Captain John Price with Gaz, Sergeant John "Soap" MacTavish, Sergeant Wallcroft and Private Griffen discovered nuclear WMDs being transported along with a document written in Arabic. They barely managed to escape after "fast movers", enemy MiG-29's performed an airstrike on the freighter.

The War Begins

"Good news first: the world's in great shape. We've got a civil war in Russia, Government Loyalists against Ultranationalist Rebels, and 15,000 nukes at stake."

British Assault in the Caucasus Mountains and American Invasion of the Middle East

American troops fighting in the Middle East.

Prior to the USMC's mission, a joint British SAS-Russian Loyalist force commanded by Captain Price and Sergeant Kamarov respectively launched a small assault on an Ultranationalist camp. They soon split up with Sgt. Kamarov taking the town and Capt. Price rescuing a valuable informant. A little while after that, an AC-130 gunship assisted in Cpt. Price's team's evacuation by the United States Marine Corps helicopters.

The United States, unknowingly being fooled by Zakhaev's diversionary plan launched an attack on a coastal city in Kuwait, located in the Middle East. Here in a local television station, Al-Asad was supposedly spreading nationwide propaganda.

The television propaganda was revealed to be a recording as there was no sign of Al-Asad.

The Attack on and Battle of the Capital city of Riyadh

American troops fighting during an operation in northern Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

"It looks like we're rolling in with everything we got. We get Al-Asad, we end this war right here, right now. Lock and load, Marines."
Lt. Vasquez

The war would continue in the Middle East as the U.S. Marines continued their push toward the Capital City where Al-Asad was cornered.

The U.S. forces led a massive offensive campaign on Riyadh, using the Force Recon and Wild Weasel units to take Al-Asad's air defenses down. The British Special Air Service informed the U.S. Marines about the captured intelligence which indicated that Al-Asad may have a Russian nuclear warhead, possibly for use in a last-ditch, "scorched earth" situation.

An American CH-46 Sea Knight in Basrah,Iraq.

The NEST teams, covered by the U.S. Navy SEAL teams are deployed in an attempt to find and defuse the nuclear warhead. Soon, the nuke was discovered and all U.S. forces are recommended to evacuate and reach a minimal safe distance from the center of the city where the warhead was recovered. One notable team within 1st Force Recon, Bravo Team would attempt to rescue a downed Cobra pilot even after they are informed that they would not be within a safe distance in the event of nuclear detonation.

The NEST teams failed to defuse the nuclear warhead, resulting in a catastrophic explosion that cost the lives of 30,000 U.S. Marines and civilians. This would lead to the Third World War, five years later — after General Shepherd became rogue in an attempt by him to show the true power of the United States off.

Capture of Al-Asad in Azerbaijan

The British SAS gained the intelligence from Nikolai that Al-Asad did not act in a suicidal attempt to escape the U.S. assault, but instead he escaped prior to the nuclear detonation, possibly to a small village in Azerbaijan. Bravo Team infiltrated several houses in the village in a desperate attempt to find him. They succeeded and Al-Asad was captured and interrogated. The team learned that the nuclear warhead was actually supplied by Imran Zakhaev, the leader of the rebellious Russian political party, the Ultranationalists after he called Al-Asad on his cell phone and Price heard his voice. Al-Asad was executed by Price with an M1911 pistol. Price recounted his assassination attempt on Zakhaev fifteen years previously.

Ultranationalist forces in northern Azerbaijan.

Eight hours later, the SAS commandos are attacked by Zakhaev's men who are supposedly looking for Al-Asad. Bravo Team managed to hold the offensive off and escape on the USMC helicopters. The USMC and SAS would perform a variety of joint operations against the Ultranationalists.

Hunt for Zakhaev and Battle in the Altay Mountains

The joint USMC/Loyalist/SAS force got a location on Imran Zakhaev's son, Victor Zakhaev. They planned to capture him and interrogate him on the whereabouts of his father. After taking an Ultranationalist-controlled checkpoint over, they ambushed him. Victor attempted to escape and ran from the team until he reached a dead end at the roof of a five-story building. Before the team was able to restrain him, he fired his M1911 at his jaw, killing himself.

Viktor Zakhaev, son of Imran Zakhaev, and also the field commander of the Ultranationalist forces.

Zakhaev's Reaction

With their last lead to where Zakhaev was gone, the team decided to wait. Imran Zakhaev, infuriated by his son's death attacked a Loyalist-controlled ICBM launch facility which they took over by slaughtering all Loyalists present and to force "All U.S. and British forces" to "leave Russia immediately or suffer the consequences".

The SAS and USMC team stormed the Ultranationalist-controlled missile launch facility. However, shortly prior to their arrival, Zakhaev launched two RT-2UTTH Topol-M ICBMs, each containing six separate nuclear warheads with each individual warhead carrying the equivalent to 550 kilotons of TNT. Eight of these are targeted toward the U.S. cities with the ability to cause the deaths of an estimated 41 million American civilians.

A helicopter dropping USMC forces is seen flying over an ICBM silo door in Altai Mountains, Russia.

After receiving the missile abort codes from the Loyalists, the team infiltrated the facility. After heavy fighting, they managed to abort the missiles over the Atlantic with zero civilian casualties.

Imran Zakhaev's Death

The team boarded the vehicles in an attempt to escape the facility. This also involved getting through a highway with heavy Ultranationalist defenses. An Ultranationalist Mi-24 Hind helicopter blew a bridge up along the escape route while their vehicles are on it, causing the team to be stranded. After fierce fighting with heavy Ultranationalist reinforcements, an exploding gas tanker knocked a majority of the team out. Meanwhile, a Loyalist force made their way to the bridge to provide gunship support to their allies, but they are not able to make it in time.

Imran Zakhaev himself entered the scene, executing Gaz while the other Ultrantionalists shot the other teammates. Their plow through the remnants of the USMC/SAS team was cut short when a Loyalist Mi-28 Havoc gunship barged in and began to fire upon Zakhaev's forces. It was then that John "Soap" MacTavish executed Zakhaev with an M1911 pistol that Captain Price slid to him while both are on the ground behind him.

The Loyalist Mi-8 Hip helicopters dropped the reinforcements and evacuated the team. Capt. Price was unconscious and "Soap" passed out while on a stretcher being lifted to the helicopter. All of the other team members are dead.

Ultranationalist Final Victory

By the date of August 10, 2016, the Ultranationalists would go on to win the war and Boris Vorshevsky would become the new elected President of Russia.


Imran Zakhaev's memorial statue in Moscow, Russia.

The Second Russian Civil War would cost the lives of over 30,000 U.S. Marines. It would also force a strain on United States—Russia relations after the Ultranationalists took power due to Vladimir Makarov and his growing terrorist cell. It was also implied that a Second Cold War took place between the two countries because of Makarov. The result of the war between the U.S. and the OpFor was not clearly stated.

In October 2013, a joint Task Force 141/Delta Force mission (Operation Kingfish) was launched to eliminate Zakhaev's successor, Vladimir Makarov. The mission ended badly as the base turned out to be empty and the Ultranationalist reinforcements swarmed the team. "Soap" MacTavish was wounded and evacuated with the rest of the team while Captain Price stayed behind to buy them time. He was slightly wounded and captured.

Capt. Price would be imprisoned within a Russian Gulag and would play a major role in the beginning stages of World War III as part of Task Force 141 before becoming an international criminal. Soap would return to the UK and become the field commander of Task Force 141, also becoming an international criminal alongside Price. The detonation of the nuclear device in the Middle East resulted in the deaths of 30,000 U.S. military personnel and set the events of Modern Warfare 2 and Modern Warfare 3 into motion.

Notable military operations

Attempted Assassination of Imran Zakhaev

  • The British successfuly shot Imran Zakhaev.
  • Imran Zakhaev was wounded.

Operation Expendable

  • British victory, SAS retrieve the information of the nuke.

Saudi Arabian Coup d'état

  • OpFor victory.
    • President Al-Fulani was executed.
    • The OpFor seized control of the country.

Battle of the Caucasus Mountains

  • Loyalist/British victory.
    • Codename: Nikolai was rescued.
    • The Caucasian villiage was saved.

Battle of Riyadh

  • Indecisive; The OpFor claimed victory.
    • Both sides suffered from heavy casualties; Estimates placed U.S. casualties around 30,000.

Operation Safehouse

  • American/Loyalist/British victory.
    • Capture and execution of Al-Asad.
    • The SAS forces are successfully evacuated.

Attempted capture of Victor Zakhaev

  • Indecisive.
    • Victor Zakhaev committed suicide.

Battle in the Altay Mountains

  • American/Loyalist/British victory.
    • Imran Zakhaev was executed.
    • Most of the SAS and USMC members that tried to escape from the facility are killed including SSgt. Griggs and Gaz.
    • The Ultranationalist forces faced a leadership struggle; Vladimir Makarov became the new leader of the Extremist Ultranationalist Party.