The Ultranationalists were originally led by Imran Zakhaev, a Cold War hero who sought to bring back the former power of the USSR. After his death in 2011, his middle son Victor and his wife Yuila snuck out of Russia and used Zakhaev's loyal contacts to found Zakhaev Arms, smuggling weapons and gaining influence as the new leader of the Ultranationalists.
In November 2019, following the death of General Roman Barkov, Kate Laswell informed Captain John Price about Victor's intention to take Barkov's place. Price assumed that Laswell was talking about his father Imran, whom in the past he almost killed during a mission in Pripyat with MacMillan, another SAS operative. Laswell, however, clarified that it was indeed Victor. She went on to discuss how Victor approved of Hadir Karim's actions and would help him escape from Russian custody.
Following the death of Al-Qatala's leader, Omar "The Wolf" Sulaman, Victor freed Khaled Al-Asad from his prison. Al-Asad seized command authority over the extremist group and founded Al-Qatala-Aljahdid. Victor then gained trust with Al-Asad and became an advisor and arms supplier for the new Al-Qatala leader. On March 3rd, 2020, Al-Asad launched a full-scale assault against the city of Verdansk resulting in countless deaths and ultimately the mass evacuation of the city’s civilian occupants.
Meanwhile, Victor hired the remnants of Barkov's private army as his mercenaries for the Ultranationalists, as well as Al-Qatala's elite units. An alliance between the Coalition and Allegiance was formed named Armistice to attempt to bring down Victor's operations in Verdansk before they became any worse.
Despite Armistice's efforts, Victor maintained a grasp over his soldiers, and was able to transport nuclear weapons inside Verdansk for storage.
After Victor facilitated the release of toxic gas over Verdansk to trap Armistice and cause them to fight one another for survival, he allowed Al-Asad to leave to his home in Urzikstan. Victor later began storing more nuclear weapons, as well as prototype firearms, across Verdansk and its Cold War-era bunkers.
The remnants of Armistice struggled to find the Ultranationalists' location within Verdansk, before discovering a subway system. The tunnels were used by Victor and his soldiers to travel undetected. However, they noticed that the Ultranationalists had been traveling on foot. Chimera leader "Nikolai" powered the trains, so they could be used by his fellow operators to their advantage against the Ultranationalists.