Characters: Modern Warfare

For characters in the rest of the franchise see: Call of Duty.

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     United Kingdom Special Air Service 
Members of the UK SAS appear in the first Modern Warfare game, conducting a number of covert counter-terror operations that connect to the larger conflict in Al-Asad's nation and the Ultranationalist's civil war in Russia. SAS members appear in Modern Warfare 2, but primarily as part of Task Force 141. In the third, they are tasked with containing an apparent terrorist threat in London.

Captain John Price
Voiced by Billy Murray

The humorless, straightforward and unflappable leader of the SAS units in Modern Warfare 1. Suffers severe injuries at the climax of the first game. Captured by the Ultranationalists and locked up in a gulag during casevac, and spends five years being tortured, which leaves him a bit... off, when rescued in Modern Warfare 2.
  • Badass And how. Watch almost any scene in the series with him and you'll immediately realize why.
  • Badass Boast: During "Dust To Dust":
    Yuri: Makarov's got a small army in there.
    Price: It won't help him.
  • Book Ends: The first mission of the MW trilogy opens with him smoking a cigar. The last mission of the trilogy ends with him smoking a cigar.
  • Cold Sniper: At one point.
  • The Captain
  • The Comically Serious
  • Deuteragonist
  • Disney Death: Seemed to have died in the last level in Modern Warfare but he turned out to be alright if just pissed at the Ultranationalists and Shepherd.
  • Dynamic Entry: Does this to Shepherd, just before the latter shoots Soap.
  • Expy: From the Captain Price in Call of Duty 1 and 2. Popular Fanon makes him the original Price's son or grandson. Word of Dante/Word of Saint Paul makes him officially Price's grandson.
    • The devs had a rather sneaky reference to this near the end of Modern Warfare 2, where it's made apparent in the cutscene before "Just Like Old Times" that Price still has the old CoD1 dedicated pistol slot.
  • Et Tu, Shepherd?: Definitely his reaction in "Loose Ends" when he is attacked by the General's forces.
  • He Who Fights Monsters: In Modern Warfare 2, 5 years in a gulag turned Price into a borderline psycho not much different from the bad guys. His first act upon release is hijacking a Russian nuclear submarine, launching a nuclear missile and detonating it above Washington DC to knock out Russian equipment.
    • Possibly subverted in Modern Warfare 3, he is shown to be aware of the wider context and not just blindly charging after Makarov. In the end he repeats Makarov's quote "it takes the will of one man to change the world" in a more positive light, in the same way Makarov twisted his quoting of the proverb "The enemy of my enemy is my friend".
  • Heroic BSOD: Experiences one when Soap dies. Fortunately, it doesn't last long.
  • Jack Bauer Interrogation Technique: Used on Al-Asad. Though this is the only time in the series the technique doesn't yield information; Price learns what he needs to know when Zakhaev calls anyway, so he just executes Al-Asad.
  • Made of Iron
  • Never Bareheaded: Price does not go anywhere without some kind of hat. Even in the gulag, he has a nifty wool hat on, and after he removes his bomb disposal suit at the end of MW3, he's shown wearing his boonie hat underneath.
    • Except in "Crew Expendable" in Modern Warfare 1, he is balding.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Ends up on the receiving end of one of these, thanks to General Shepherd, and only survives thanks to some timely intervention by Soap.
    • Unleashes one on Makarov at the end of Modern Warfare 3.
  • Not Quite Dead
  • Porn Stache: Taken Up to Eleven in Soap's field journal, where he frequently mentions it and calls it a "dick tickler".
    • A "Captain Price Legend Pack" was DLC available for Call of Duty: Ghosts. It included a reticle for red dot sights shaped like Price's mustache.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: in Modern Warfare 2's ending.
    • Also, the end of Modern Warfare 3. He seems to have a tendency for these...
  • Smoking Is Cool: Price has a thing for cigars; according to Soap's journal, they're Villa Claras, and Soap takes a liking to them after the first game.
  • Tranquil Fury: His speech before the final mission in modern warfare 2 is dripping with this.
    • Also does this again while on his Roaring Rampage of Revenge against Makarov, not raising his voice throughout the entire deal unless he has to and keeping his head almost completely, but you can tell he is furious over Soap's death at Makarov's hands.
  • Unexplained Recovery
  • Warrior Poet: His impossibly awesome intro to Just Like Old Times.
  • You Owe Me: Price uses it on a reluctant MacMillan in order to twist his arm into helping him in MW3.

Captain (previously Sgt.) John "Soap" MacTavish
"What the hell kind of name is Soap, eh? How'd a muppet like you pass Selection?"
- Captain John Price

Voiced by Kevin McKidd

One of the player characters from the first Modern Warfare and general protagonist of the Modern Warfare series. Begins the game as a newly recruited SAS trooper, but after surviving the events of the first game, is placed in command of Task Force 141.
  • Anyone Can Die: We all knew this trope was played straight in this series, but it's still a surprise when Soap dies.
  • Badass
  • The Captain: In the second game.
  • Cold Sniper: Sometimes.
  • Determinator: Fell down from an exploding building & dying from massive blood loss?? Doesn't stop him from gunning down any enemy that gets too close with his pistol.
  • Dynamic Entry: Does this to Rojas in the favela.
  • Killed Off for Real: It took three games to do it, but in the Modern Warfare 3 mission "Blood Brothers" Soap kicks the bucket. Needless to say, Price is not amused.
  • Heroic Mime: In the first game and the final three levels of the second game.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: He could have made it out of the blast radius in time, but pushed Yuri out first. Made even better by the fact that he'd just learned Yuri might not be trustworthy.
  • Hidden Depths: According to his journal, he actually took a course on the Cryllic alphabet, which is why Price had him enter the codes in the Russian nuclear silo.
  • Implacable Man
  • Knife Nut
  • Lodged-Blade Recycling: Does being stabbed in the chest with a knife the size of his forearm stop Soap from killing the bad guy? Hell no.
  • Made of Iron: He got shot a bajillion times, blown up by an oil tanker, fell off a waterfall, stabbed in the chest, facestomped, pulled out said knife and used it to shank the guy who put it in him.
  • My Greatest Failure: He considers Gaz and Griggs' deaths and Price's apparent death to be these, according to his journal.
  • Perma Stubble
  • Suddenly Voiced
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: In Modern Warfare 2's ending, alongside Price.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Takes one between "F.N.G." and "Game Over!", then takes about 30 in the 5 year gap. From the first moments of your time as Roach he makes this obvious.
    • In MW3, the loading screen of "Stronghold" briefly shows a partial list of Soap's decorations. Among them is a Victoria Cross (pretty much the equivalent of the American Military's Medal of Honor).
  • Undying Loyalty: Potentially verging on My Master, Right or Wrong by the end of the second game. Needless to say, he will follow Price to the ends of the Earth and beyond.
  • Violent Glaswegian: Well, he's at least capable of being stealthy before violent, unlike what one would expect.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Soap hates dogs (probably due to being repeatedly attacked by guard dogs in the first game), and mentions it during the Modern Warfare 2 mission "Contingency."
    Price: Five men, automatic rifles, frag grenades, one German Shepherd.
    Soap: Dogs. I hate dogs.
    Price: These Russian dogs are like pussycats compared to the ones in Pripyat.
    Soap: It's good to have you back, old man.
    • His journal goes into more detail. He really hates dogs.
    "Consider me a cat man now. We overcame Ultranationalists, chopper crashes, danger close with gunships but a goddamn dog is what'll get me into an infirmary? Rabies, ridiculous.
    • Another from his journal; a picture of a dog (addendum: problem), a dog with a muzzle (solution) and a dog with a broken neck (better solution).

Gaz
Voiced by Craig Fairbrass

Captain Price's right hand man. Known for his sense of humor humour. His real name is never stated.
  • Badass
  • Catch Phrase: "Let's do this." This is most often heard when starting up multiplayer matches for the SAS. His "successors" Ghost and Wallcroft retain this in later games for Task Force 141 and the SAS again, respectively.
  • Deadpan Snarker: At times.
  • Decomposite Character: Like Fairbrass' two other characters below, he's a Good Counterpart to his voice actor's role as Delmar from Cliffhanger: both characters are distinguishable by their brown vests, and Gaz's black SAS attire in "Crew Expendable" resembles Delmar's black jumpsuit and masks (both balaclava and gas masks, though the latter was completely different from what Gaz wore) he briefly wore, while being Out of Focus at the beginning of the film. In addition, in the same aforementioned level, Gaz carried a shotgun as a secondary weapon aside from his submachine gun, much like Delmar, and while his line "I like to keep this for close encounters" was meant to be a Shout-Out to Aliens (which featured Lance Henriksen, who would later voice General Shepherd in the next game in the trilogy), it was also a liner Shout-Out to Delmar's death scene in Cliffhanger in which he's killed by his own shotgun by close encounter.
  • Number Two: To Price in the first game.
  • Pink Mist: It appears that Zakhaev performs a Coup de Grâce on his head from point blank with a Desert Eagle. In reality, the shot goes into his back; the angle just makes it look like a headshot.
  • Sir Swears-a-Lot
  • The Ace
  • The Lancer
  • Wearing a Flag on Your Head: His hat has a UK flag on it, for a literal interpretation.

Captain MacMillan
Voiced by Zach Hanks (MW1), Tony Curran (MW3)

Price's former superior. He accompanied Price in the assassination attempt on Zakhaev in Prypiat, Chernobyl. As of Modern Warfare 3, he becomes the head of the SAS.

Sgt. Marcus Burns
An SAS commando who accompanies Wallcroft, Griffen and others in a mission to intercept a suspicious shipment near Canary Wharf in London in Modern Warfare 3 in "Mind the Gap."
  • Heroic Mime
  • Made of Iron: Is involved in a crash between two trucks and a tube train inside the London underground, while being on the outside of the truck (for comparison, the driver of said truck dies in the crash), but then gets up and carries on fighting after blacking out for several minutes. Also survives the chemical attack, unless the player opts to skip "Davis Family Vacation".
  • Player Character

Sgt. Wallcroft
Voiced by Craig Fairbrass (MW3)

SAS operator in MW and MW3. He appears first in "Crew Expendable" as a guy assigned to rear guard, and reappears in 3 as PC Marcus Burns's commanding NCO.
  • Decomposite Character: Like Fairbrass' prior two characters Gaz and Ghost, he's a Good Counterpart to his MW3 voice actor's role as Delmar from Cliffhanger, perhaps closer in terms of appearances as both characters wore black jumpsuits and masks (both balaclava and gas masks, though Delmar in film only wore them briefly and was Out of Focus during the plane heist scene) and carried a fitted-stock MP5 with attachments.
  • Expy: Of Gaz and Ghost— it comes with the territory when you're voiced by Craig Fairbrass in a Modern Warfare game. Gets kinda weird when you realize that he actually knew and worked with the man he's now an expy of, though.
  • The Faceless: He's never seen without his gas mask. It ends up saving his life.
  • Mauve Shirt: He appears in Modern Warfare in one level and has maybe 3 lines. He returns, having Took a Level in Badass and now voiced by Craig Fairbrass.
  • Rule of Three: Third character to be voiced by Craig Fairbrass. Subverted in that he's the only one not to die horribly.

     United States Military 
Members of the United States military appear throughout the Modern Warfare games, usually from different branches. US Marines form the primary American forces in Modern Warfare 1 with US Air Force and US Navy supporting them during the invasion of al-Asad's country. Modern Warfare 2 primarily focuses on the US Army Rangers, with Air Force and Marines supporting them. Modern Warfare 3 has special operations unit Delta Force in the lead role, who are supported by regular Army, Air Force, and Navy.

For PFC. Joseph Allen and General Shepherd, see Task Force 141.

1st Force Recon, United States Marine Corps

Lieutenant Vasquez
Voiced by David Sobolov

Leader of Sergeant Jackson's Marine Force recon unit in the first Modern Warfare game.

Sergeant Paul Jackson

Player character for the Marine Force Recon segment of the first Modern Warfare game.

Staff Sergeant Griggs
'''Voiced by Mark Grigsby

SAW gunner for Jackson's Force Recon squad in the first Modern Warfare game.
  • Author Avatar: He is modeled after and voiced by Infinity Ward employee Mark Grigsby.
  • Badass
  • Black Dude Dies First: While he is one of the few Americans to survive the Nuclear blast, he is the first major Bravo member to die, though Gaz wastes no time following him.
  • Cold-Blooded Torture: His Russian interrogators start looking for a hacksaw, before Price and Gaz kill them.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: He got shot while dragging the paralyzed Soap to safety.
  • Number Two: He seems to be second-in-command of Lt. Vasquez's unit.
  • Theme Tune Rap: The end credits feature a rap sung by him.
  • Token Minority

U.S. Army Rangers, 1st Battalion, 75th Regiment, Hunter 2-1

Sergeant David Foley
Voiced by Keith David

Leader of Ramirez's Army Rangers squad in Modern Warfare 2. Voiced by Keith David.

Private James Ramirez

Player character for the US Army Rangers segment of Modern Warfare 2.

Corporal Dunn
Voiced by Barry Pepper

Soldier in Ramirez's Army Rangers squad.
  • Badass (Mostly played straight, but the one time this is kinda subverted can be excused since it was literally raining AIRCRAFT!
    • Bash Brothers: (With Ramirez/Foley, though more often the latter)
  • Casual Danger Dialogue: Yeah, I'm cutting through History Class now!
  • Deadpan Snarker
  • Freak Out: After Price makes the sky fall.
  • The Medic: Dunn is assigned to check over the incapacitated "Raptor", and later on check a downed soldier for a pulse.
  • Southern-Fried Private: But snarkier and wittier than most.

Delta Force, Metal 0-1

Master Sergeant "Sandman"

Leader of the Delta Force unit "Metal" in Modern Warfare 3. Commanding NCO to player character Derek "Frost" Westbrook.
  • Badass
  • Bash Brothers: With Frost and Price.
  • Cool Shades
  • Determinator: In Scorched Earth, Overlord repeatedly advises Team Metal to abandon the search for Alena, but Sandman insists on carrying through. Even after the Russians drop a damn building on them and Berlin slowly falls, he continues to try and rescue her and end the war. They don't succeed, but not from lack of trying.
  • Elites Are More Glamorous: Delta Force, duh.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: He stayed behind to cover Price, Yuri and the Russian President.
  • Jack Bauer Interrogation Technique: To Volk.
    Price: Did our man talk?
    Sandman: They always talk.
  • Made of Iron: Up until the penultimate level, anyway. He takes a booby-trapped door bomb to the face and still has the presence of mind to wave the squad down from shooting at the escaping kidnappers ten seconds later.
  • Master Sergeant Rock
  • Remember the New Guy: He's revealed to be an old friend of Price, whom he met back in 2013 when they, Ghost, and Soap embarked on Operation Kingfish, the first mission to find Makarov.
  • Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right: Captain Price is considered a terrorist in MW3. Sandman listens to his intel, and works with him to save the President. This is probably because they are old friends.

Staff Sergeant Derek "Frost" Westbrook

An American Delta Force soldier and playable character for several missions in Modern Warfare 3.

Sergeant 1st Class "Grinch"

Another member of Team Metal, who accompanies Frost and Sandman on their missions. Seems to serve as Sandman's right hand.

Sergeant 1st Class "Truck"
Voiced by Idris Elba

The fourth member of Team Metal, and usually the one with the least dialogue.
  • Badass
  • The Big Guy: Has shades of this, judging from his tendency to carry the Mk. 46 LMG, his callsign, and his deep voice.
  • Captain Obvious: Does it teasingly, often to Grinch.
    Sandman: Friendlies! Hold your fire!
    Truck: That means don't shoot 'em, Grinch.
    Grinch: No shit.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: See Sandman and Grinch's entries.
  • The Quiet One: Probably the most dialogue he gets is at the start of some Spec Ops missions, where he's the only one around to talk.
  • Token Minority

"Warhammer"
Callsign "Warhammer" is an AC-130 gunship that first appears in Modern Warfare to support an extraction of Price's team. Warhammer can be overheard in radio transmissions in Modern Warfare 2, providing fire support around Washington DC. Later on in Modern Warfare 3, they support Team Metal's extraction of Volk from Paris. The names of the crew are never specified beyond their roles in the crew, i.e. "AC-130 TV Operator."
  • BFG: All three of the guns on the plane: the 25mm gatling gun, the Bofors 40mm autocannon, and the 105mm howitzer.
  • Casual Danger Dialogue: Though in the first game, they're not in immediate danger, in the third they actually get shot at by ground fire and Russian planes, but manage to keep their cool.
  • The Cameo: Only appears in 2 in background radio transmissions, but they're doing what they do best.
  • Death from Above: The actual name of the first level they appear in. It's what they do.
  • Escort Mission: You're providing air cover for ground units, containing your other Player Character, both times. It's really cool though, and the ground units are competent.
  • Gunship Rescue: Their specialty.
  • Heroic Mime: Averted. All of them, including the the TV Operator are quiet chatty.
  • Player Character: You play as the TV Operator.
  • Ludicrous Gibs: "Good hit. I see lots of little pieces down there."
  • The Squadette: The Flight Control Officer in Modern Warfare 3 is female.

     Task Force 141 
A multinational special operations unit formed after the events of the first game, Task Force 141 conducts a number of high-risk counter-terror special operations across the globe, with particular emphasis on containing the threat presented by Ultranationalist Russia.

For Cpt. "Soap" MacTavish and Cpt. Price, see SAS.

Lieutenant Simon "Ghost" Riley
Voiced by Craig Fairbrass

British soldier in Task Force 141, who prefers to wear a skull-faced ski mask. His face is never shown, and name is never stated in-game, though the tie-in comic centered on him revealed that it's Lt. Simon "Ghost" Riley. Has a suspiciously similar voice to Gaz.

Sergeant Gary "Roach" Sanderson

Player character for most of the Task Force 141 segments of Modern Warfare 2.

General Shepherd
Voiced by Lance Henriksen

Commander of the US military task force invading Khaled Al-Asad's nation in Modern Warfare. Afterwards, becomes commander of Task Force 141. Who he then betrays. Turns out Shepherd ignited the war with Russia in the first place to get his name written into history as a hero and create a new era of American supremacy, after being driven off the edge by losing 30,000 men to the nuclear bomb Al-Asad and Makarov detonated in the events of the first MW game.

Private First Class Joseph Allen
Player character for a few missions in Modern Warfare 2, Army Ranger and later TF141 member.

     Russian Loyalists 

Members of the Pro-West Russian government/military fighting against the Ultranationalists. They ultimately lose the war, with the Ultranationalists coming into power by the events of the second game. By the third, Loyalist soldiers form a sort of La Résistance aimed at stopping Makarov.

Nikolai
Voiced by Sven Holmberg (MF1, MW2), Robin Atkin Downes (MW3)

Russian informant and mercenary who works with Price and Soap. Appears in the first Modern Warfare game as a spy inside the Ultranationalist camp. By the events of the second game, he is a support asset for Task Force 141, who is frequently called in as for emergency extractions, but the third game reveals that he is in command of an entire PMC made up of former Loyalist soldiers dedicated to stopping Makarov.
  • Ascended Extra: In the first game, he was a minor character who was central to a rescue and Escort Mission, who provides a bit of intel on where to find al-Asad. By the later games, he takes on a much bigger role, becoming part of Price's group of trusted associates.
  • Badass: Although he doesn't get as many chances to show it, he manages to survive appearing in all three games in the trilogy, a feat only matched by Captain Price.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Plays the part no fewer than three times in the second game.
    • Every level where the action is focused on Price, Nikolai is this, sometimes twice.
  • Captain Obvious: In Modern Warfare 2. It is not appreciated either time.
    • In The Hornet's Nest
    Nikolai: My friend, from up here, it looks like the whole village is trying to kill you!
    Captain MacTavish: Tell me something I don't know! Just get ready to pick us up!
    • In ''The Enemy of My Enemy"
    Nikolai: ''(witnessing the massive three-way fight between Task-Force 141, Makarov's men, and Shadow Company) Price, I am approaching the boneyard. I see you do not have situation under control. Very unsafe to land. It looks like when I was in Afghanistan with the Soviets!
    Captain Price: Nikolai! Just shut up and land the bloody plane! We're on our way!
  • Escort Mission: Not as bad as usual, as in "Hunted", he is invincible as the main NPCs tend to be and he carries an AKS-74U.
  • Former Regime Personnel / La Résistance: Fought in Afghanistan, then heads up a force of Russian Loyalists that oppose the Ultranationalists.
  • Reverse Mole
  • The Stoic: Even when his chopper is getting perforated by the local militia in Rio de Janerio, he stays relatively calm, if a little worried.
    • Not So Stoic: Though when he is trying to extract Soap and Price from the airplane graveyard in Afghanistan, a missile nearly downs him, and he unleashes a massive Cluster F-Bomb in Russian.
  • True Companions Team: Part of a three-man one between Soap, Price, and himself.
  • Undying Loyalty: During the Second Russian Civil War, Price and Soap went deep behind enemy lines to walk him out of Hell. Five years later, he returned the favor.

Sergeant Kamarov
Voiced by Mark Ivanir

Leader of a Russian Loyalist Spetznaz squad.
  • Back for the Dead
  • Big Damn Heroes: Climax of the first Modern Warfare. About two minutes too late, though.
  • Dropped a Bridge on Him
  • The Load: He really gets in the way of the SAS in his first appearance, to the point where Gaz holds him over a ledge and threatens to drop him if he won't stop it. They all get along much better in his next 3 appearances, though Soap lampshades this when he doesn't respond on the radio.
  • La Résistance: Leader of the Prague resistance forces against Ultranationalist occupation.
  • Manly Tears: "You're going to be all right, my friend!"
  • Noodle Incident: What happened with him in Beruit, anyway?
  • Reverse Mole: Infiltrated Makarov's inner circle to help Price in Modern Warfare 3. Unfortunately, Makarov already knew he was a mole working against him and eventually kills him with Yuri, Soap, and Price all watching.

Yuri
Voiced by Brian Bloom

Former Spetsnaz who thoroughly hates Makarov and his organization, and serves as the player character for the Task Force 141 missions in Modern Warfare 3. Was a former member of Makarov's inner circle, until his opposition to Makarov's increasing insanity led to his former boss shooting him and leaving him for dead.
  • The Atoner
  • Badass: Being a Call of Duty player character, this is a given.
  • Been There, Shaped History: He was there when Zakhaev got his arm shot off, when the nuke was set off in al-Asad's capital, and would have been the sixth man in Makarov's team during the attack on the airport.
  • Big Damn Heroes: He storms the roof and shoots Makarov just in time to prevent him from executing Price. He gets killed for it, but gives Price the opening he needs.
  • Cold Sniper: At times.
  • Defector from Decadence: Defected from the Ultranationalists when he saw how increasingly insane Makarov has become. Gets shot in the gut for his trouble, and the rest of his story is about this.
  • Determinator: Getting shot in the stomach by Makarov doesn't stop him from grabbing a gun and trying to stop the massacre at the airport.
  • Gray Eyes: Considering how much detail the designers give characters, the color choice was likely on purpose. Yuri's entire color scheme is gray, a neutral colornote . He was with Task Force 141 only to get revenge on Makarov and never tries to gain Price's favor, but he isn't a villain either. He also starts out "young and patriotic", fitting with Type 3 as well.
  • Heel-Face Turn: During "No Russian."
  • La Résistance: He is one of the commanders of the Loyalists that oppose the Ultranationalists.
  • Made of Iron
    • He the only character in the series to survive getting shot in the stomach with a Desert Eagle.
    • In "Dust To Dust" he is impaled on a spike of iron rebar when he tells Price to go after Makarov. After Price crashes Makarov's helicopter, Yuri comes charging in to save the day, pistol blazing, and Makarov has to shoot him three more times to actually put him down.
  • Never Hurt an Innocent: Why he quit the Ultranationalists.
  • Not What I Signed Up For: He betrayed Makarov because he stopped being a soldier fighting for a worthy cause and instead became a psychotic monster.
  • Only Sane Man: Was the only member of Makarov's Inner Circle to realize what a monster Makarov had become.
  • Redemption Equals Death
  • Remember the New Guy
  • Revenge: One of his driving motivations for opposing Makarov.
    • Indeed, it is stated that he is the one man in the world who hates Makarov even more than Price does.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Yuri wants Makarov dead. That's all that motivates him by the point in the story that he joins Price's group. It eventually culminates in the two-man assault on the Oasis Hotel in Juggernaut armor.
  • Russian Guy Suffers Most: Out of all of the series' protagonists, he probably suffers the most beatings across a single game, including getting dumped off a cliff into a river, shot repeatedly in the stomach, impaled by a piece of rebar, knocked senseless in the mining complex, thrown down a flight of stairs by Price and eventually getting shot in the head/killed by Makarov.
  • Token Good Teammate: Of Makarov's Inner Circle, he was the only one to have a soul.
  • True Companions: Averted: Of all of the Modern Warfare characters who work with Price, Yuri is distinct in that he never truly ingratiates himself with Price, Nikolai, or Soap. When Price learns that Yuri was once one of Makarov's trusted lieutenants, he makes it clear afterwards that he doesn't care if Yuri lives or dies, and that Yuri has to "keep up or be left behind". Price does eventually warm to Yuri, but never to the same degree as he did to Soap, Nikolai, MacMillian, Sandman, Griggs, or Gaz. Then again, Yuri's only with them for the sake of revenge on Makarov in the first place...

     Ultranationalist Russia/OPFOR 

The primary opposition across all three games, made up of three primary factions: The Ultranationalists, OPFOR, and the Inner Circle. The Ultranationalists are hardcore nationalists dedicated to rebuilding Russia's power and turning it against perceived enemies, and formed a loose alliance with Al-Asad's revolutionaries (simply referred to as OPFOR or "Opposing Force") to draw US attention away from the war in Russia and to inflict as much damage as possible on the West. By the second game, the Ultranationalists were split by Zakhaev's death, with Boris Vorshevsky controlling the more moderate elements of the Ultranationalist government and Vladimir Makarov heading up the much more violent and radical elements, with Makarov's personal army becoming known as the Inner Circle. The conflict between Vorshevsky's regime and Makarov's private army comes to a head in Modern Warfare 3.

Khaled Al-Asad
Voiced by Gabriel Al-Rajhi

Leader of the unnamed Middle-eastern nation in the first Modern Warfare and co-conspirator with Imran Zakhaev. He has in his possession a nuclear weapon, which he detonates during an American police action in his home country and wipes out the entire invasion force.
  • Awesome Mc Cool Name: If you know Arabic; it literally translates to "the eternal lion".
  • Authority Equals Asskicking: Averted.
  • Dirty Coward: He is explicitly called this by Nikolai when he explains how he knows that Al-Asad is still alive after nuking his own capital.
  • Co-Dragons: To Zakhaev, with Zakhaev's son
  • Nuke 'em: Apparently does this to the entire Marine task force in the first Modern Warfare. Later revealed to have been at the behest of Makarov, who ordered the nuclear detonation.
  • Pre-Mortem One-Liner: Before executing Al-Fulani:
    "This is how it begins."
  • President Evil
  • Rebel Leader
  • The Revolution Will Not Be Civilized
  • Sinister Shades: Never seen without them.
  • Smug Snake
  • Starter Villain: al-Asad lasts only halfway through the first game, and the remnants of his forces comprise the opposition in a single mission in the second game.
  • Unwitting Pawn: Really, his entire role was to draw the US's attention away from the civil war in Russia. The nuclear bomb that he used on the Marines was actually set off by Makarov, to both kill American troops and keep the blame pinned on al-Asad.
    • The very first moment that you see him in the flesh confirms al-Asad's status as a pathetic puppet of the Ultranationalists. Al-Asad, in his own country, surrounded by his own men, walks up to Zakhaev, who points a pistol in his face, and al-Asad stops like a deer trapped in the headlights. Zakhaev then casually spins the pistol around and hands it to al-Asad, as if saying "now go kill al-Fulani like a good dog." And he does as the master commands.

Imran Zakhaev
"Our so-called leaders prostituted us to the West. Destroyed our cultures, our economies, our honour."
Voiced by Yevgeni Lazarev

Leader of the Ultranationalists in the first Modern Warfare. The SAS attempted to assassinate him in 1996 at Chernobyl because he was dealing spent nuclear fuel rods to terrorists; during the assassination attempt his arm was blown off by Price, though he survived thanks to Makarov and Yuri. Soap eventually kills him at the end of the first game. Becomes a martyr after his death and serves as a rallying point for the Ultranationalist Russians.
  • Bald of Evil: Might be caused by his tendency to hang around radioactive areas.
  • Beard of Evil
  • Big Bad: Of the first installment.
  • Death by Disfigurement: Subverted. His arm was blown off by Price, but he survives thanks to the intervention of Makarov and Yurinote , until Soap shoots him at the ending.
  • Disproportionate Retribution / Nuke 'em: His response to his son's death.
  • He Was Right There All Along: He is briefly seen in "The Coup," far before his role becomes apparent.
  • He Who Must Not Be Seen: Nobody knows that he is involved in the conflict until Price answers the call on Al-Asad's phone.
  • Only a Flesh Wound: He was able to survive for 15 years after Price blew his arm off.
  • Papa Wolf: He does not take his son's suicide well.
    My blood... on their hands. All US and British forces will leave Russia immediately... or suffer the consequences.
  • Predecessor Villain: He casts his shadow over the next two: Makarov carries over in his stead, General Shepherd is motivated by the nuking of the Marine task force, and the outcomes of their plots triggers a US-Russian war.
  • Soft-Spoken Sadist: In his speech, the first and only time we hear him talk, he speaks in a very calm, deep and almost emotionless tone. The result is quite creepy
  • The Quiet One
  • Why Don't Ya Just Shoot Him?: Played straight in the first game, when Soap shoots him on the bridge thanks to the timely distraction of a Loyalist helicopter flyby. Deconstructed in the second, where the Ultranationalists portrays him as a martyr gunned down by evil Americans while fighting the corrupt government.

Viktor Zakhaev
Voiced by Jordan Marder

Imran Zakhaev's son, and a major Ultranationalist leader.

Vladimir Makarov
Voiced by Roman Varshavsky

A Russian terrorist who leads a radical, distinct Ultranationalist faction. Originally a loyal supporter of Zakhaev's mission, he defects from the ruling Ultranationalist party because their methods were too mild to suit his purposes. Described by Shepherd as a "whore" who sells himself to the highest bidder. Heads up the False Flag Operation that triggers the Russian invasion of the US.
  • Asshole Victim: His death was painful, slow and 100% deserved.
  • Badass: Subverted, he can plan attacks and hold his own in a firefight; but he doesn't stand a chance once Price gets his hands on him.
  • Badass in a Nice Suit: The only time he's not seen in a nice suit are in the flashbacks before he becomes the Ultranationalists' new leader. He seems to hate ties though.
  • Big Bad: Of 3, but he'd been a major (if unseen) player much earlier. He saved Zakhaev after he was shot, he personally triggered the nuclear detonation in al-Asad's capital, and he masterminded the entire Russian invasion of Europe.
  • Big Bad Ensemble: With General Shepherd in Modern Warfare 2.
  • Create Your Own Villain: Through detonating the nuke that killed the entire Marine battalion in the first Modern Warfare, he helped turned General Shepherd into a fellow villain as a result, which makes Shepherd's attempt to kill Makarov a Hoist by His Own Petard.
  • Defector From Lack of Decadence: Unlike most examples, Makarov's reasons for leaving the ruling Ultranationalist party was inspired by their lack of decadence. Their unwillingness to adhere to Zakhaev's words to the letter (in his mind they only subscribe to The Theme Park Version) meant they refused to pay their dues to what allowed them to come to power and he will show both them and their enemies what it really means to be "Ultranationalist".
  • Dragon Ascendant/Mook Promotion: In Modern Warfare 3 it's shown that Makarov was just one of Zakhaev's many Mooks attending the Chernobyl arms deal in 1996. He and Yuri end up saving Zakhaev's life after his arm is shot off by Price, which leads to Makarov gaining Zakhaev's favor and rapidly ascending the ranks of the Ultranationalists, making him a Dragon, albeit under Co-Dragons in chief Al-Asad and Victor Zakhaev. After Al-Asad's and both Zakhaevs' deaths he becomes the leader of the extremist wing of the Ultranationalists, and by the time of Modern Warfare 3, he's secretly controlling a large portion of the Russian military from behind the scenes.
  • Dragon with an Agenda: Considering the fact his apparently main safehouse gets raided and all his data is in American hands, he somehow manages to control nearly every major asset in the Russian military in 3 which shows that he had a much bigger and better equipped facility elsewhere, meaning he's probably been feeding lies to Shepherd since the start.
  • Enemy Mine: In the level "The Enemy of My Enemy", he gives away the location of Shepherd's hideout to Price and Soap to save his own arse from inevitable destruction by Shepherd's forces.
  • Evil Former Friend: To Yuri.
  • Famous-Named Foreigner: Named after the former Soviet Union's standard issue pistol. Becomes a case of Hilarious in Hindsight for some when said pistol appears in Black Ops. "Wait, what do you mean the guard was trying to beat you with Makarov's butt ?" Though, in fairness, Makarov is among the commonest Russian surnames, so it's not like his surname would be immediately confused with the pistol designer (well, not to native Russians, at least).
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: He was just an ordinary soldier with dreams of patriotism. Then he rose through the ranks, and became the world's greatest terrorist.
  • Greater Scope Villain: Of the first Modern Warfare, due to him ensuring Zakhaev's survival in 1996 and triggering the detonation at al-Asad's capital that resulted in Paul Jackson's death and General Shepherd's Start of Darkness and eventual Face-Heel Turn in Modern Warfare 2. He is also considered to be this in the overall trilogy.
  • Hero Killer: Every time he is encountered in the flesh, Makarov ends up killing or critically wounding a Player Character. Allen, Harkov, Soap, and Yuri (twice!). The only time that doesn't happen is in the Hotel Oasis, as Price, though Price is still wounded.
    • Though he doesn't personally encounter them he also kills Jackson and Mr. Davis.
  • Knight of Cerebus: Things get real serious once Makarov appears. See Hero Killer for more information.
  • Kick the Dog: Too many to count. Although one moment was asking Price how long it took for Soap to die after a very pissed off Price rang Makarov to let him know he was coming for him.
  • Mook Lieutenant: Begins as one, then goes through a series of mook promotions, as detailed above.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Find himself on the receiving end of one via Captain Price and leads into his death
  • Noose Catch: Receives one in Modern Warfare 3, courtesy of Captain Price.
  • Older Than He Looks: Appears in MW3 to be in his early 30's, but is seen in the Chernobyl flashback 20 years ago as an adult driving Zakhaev's Jeep, making him in his early 40's at the youngest.
    • If you look closely at his bio, his year of birth is given as 1970, making him 26 at Zakhaev's assassination attempt, 41 when he detonated the nuke, and 46 for the events of 2 and 3.
  • Psycho for Hire: Shepherd explicitly states that he works for money. Subverted, though: Makarov actually has an agenda of plunging the world into a massive world war in which Russia conquers Europe.
  • Rasputinian Death: He's in a helicopter crash, gets shot through the chest by Yuri, is bludgeoned and thrown through a glass window by Price, and finally ends up hanged with a winch hook cable.
  • The Unfettered: You kinda know that he's this when he sees no problem massacring a airport full of innocent civilians just to kickstart the events of the 3rd world war. It's best described in this comment: "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 country or any set of ideals. He trades blood for money."
    • It's pretty much why Yuri refused to go through with the airport massacre and Yuri's entire revenge arc in MW3.
  • With Great Power Comes Great Insanity: In Modern Warfare 3, Yuri paraphrases this word for word when describing Makarov's rapid ascent up the ranks.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Once he's no longer useful to Shepherd, the General tries to kill him. Makarov survives and continues on to inflict even greater tragedy.
    • Might be a subversion, Modern Warfare 3 clearly shows he had to have had some major plans going on in the background and that he may actually have been doing this to Shepherd. If the infamous safehouse level is compared to his actions in 3, then it's likely that Makarov was at least feeding false information to Shepherd's intelligence assets and probably was intending to kill Shepherd anyway — sending Price and Soap to do it was probably just seizing an opportunity.

Boris Vorshevsky
Voiced by David Anthony Pizzuto

President of Russia and leader of the mainstream Ultranationalists after the civil war. Enemies with Makarov, who believes that the ruling party in Russia did not follow Zakhaev's creed and are bringing shame to the Ultranationalist name.
  • I Have Your Wife: Makarov kidnaps his daughter to get him to give up the nuclear launch codes.
  • Our Presidents Are Different: President Target.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: He decides to pursue peace so more Russians won't die. One wonders how much control he has over the Russian military, given that they launched the massive invasion of Europe even though he wanted peace.
    • It should be noted that several members of his staff, and possibly his Cabinet, were with him on his plane. They were presumably loyal to him, but were all killed when Makarov's men attacked it.
    • In general he is also this, distancing himself from the radical message that Makarov subscribes to.
  • You're Insane!: Says this to Makarov.

Alena Vorshevsky
Voiced by Anna Graves

The daughter of President Vorshevsky.
  • Bridal Carry: She gets this briefly from Price When she is rescued in "Down the Rabbit Hole".
  • Cold-Blooded Torture: She seems to have gone through this at least to a minor degree when you find her in the diamond mine
  • Damsel in Distress: Well, yeah. But you have to admit, you'd be pretty scared too if the Ultranationalists were after you.
  • I Have Your Wife: The reason why the Ultranationalists keep trying to kidnap her is so they can coerce President Vorshevsky into giving up the launch codes.
  • The President's Daughter

Andrei Harkov
An FSO (equivalent of American Secret Service) agent, in charge of President Vorshevsky's security.

Major Petrov
Commander of an Ultranationalist airbase in Modern Warfare 2.
  • Department of Redundancy Department: "...surrender now or your comrade dies! Put your hands in the air and surrender to us or your comrade dies!" "You have five seconds to comply!" "Very well, we give you five seconds to comply!"
  • Large Ham

     Other 

Sat1
An astronaut briefly controlled in Modern Warfare 2.

Yasir Al-Fulani

President of the unnamed Middle Eastern country in the first Modern Warfare.

The Davis family
Voiced by Julia Arem (Sarah)

A family seen vacationing in London during MW3. Killed in a gas attack predicating the Russian invasion of Europe.

Waraabe

Somalian warlord seen in the MW3 mission "Return to Sender".

Viktor "Volk" Khristenko

The CEO of Fregata Industries, a front company that supplied Makarov with Deadly Gas.