Vladimir Makarov is an Ultranationalist terrorist, as well as an antagonist in Modern Warfare 2 and the primary antagonist in Modern Warfare 3. Zakhaev was one of Imran Zakhaev's closest allies, acting under his orders and as a general underling.
Makarov was the more sophisticated and dangerous of the two, though only Imran Zakhaev could keep him in line for the most part. After the events of Call of Duty 4, where Zakhaev is shot dead by Soap MacTavish, Vladimir Makarov becomes the main leader of the extremists within the Ultranationalists. With Zakhaev dead, Makarov has him remembered as a martyr who died to protect Russia from western influences. As a result of this, there is an airport named after him: the Zakhaev International Airport, which is the setting of the controversial mission "No Russian".
Makarov is not a part of the political branch of the Ultranationalist Party, though it could be assumed that he does have some sway in its inner workings due to the fact Captain Price was detained in a gulag for several years. Vladimir Makarov is an extremist nationalist, with a violent love for his country. This passion for his nation is seen during certain lines of dialogue.
Makarov harbors a hatred for Western society. During one of the first missions, you assault the Zakhaev International Airport in Russia with Makarov and his associates. You play as an undercover CIA agent, adopting the alias of "Alexei Borodin" during this sequence. The attack was carried out to attempt to instigate a war between the United States and Russia. Makarov turns on the player at the end of this mission, and shoots their character dead. The plot suggests Makarov's prior knowledge was gleaned from General Shepherd, who was intending to start a war simply to gain more American patriots to enlist in the army. An insane goal, but one Makarov himself unknowingly helped achieve.
Makarov retains his outfit from this game into Modern Warfare 3, though also appears in a different outfit during earlier missions within the Modern Warfare 3 campaign.
In this game, Makarov presses war on the western world. On the last mission your playing Cpt. Price. After a helicopter crash and a brutal beating of Makarov, Price wraps a cable around his neck, secures a snapple on the other side of the cable and smashes him through a glass surface. You fall through as well and survive, Makarov dies after about 1-3 seconds of squirming. With no words said, and soft music playing, Price lights a victory cigar, and the game ends. Makarov's final true words are "Goodbye, Captain Price", though he screams as Price smashes him through the glass.
During the story it can be assumed Makarov has either severed all ties with the Ultranationalist Party, or only ties with the political wing. Either is possible, since Makarov's faction is referred to as the "Inner Circle" during online play rather than the Ultranationalists. The fact he is willing to kidnap the President of Russia, despite both being Ultranationalist seems to be interesting. It could be something similar to the 1934 event in Nazi Germany, known as the Night of the Long Knives; the main target of the events was deemed an enemy of the actual end goal. In Makarov's case, however, he presumably felt the current Russian president was not following the Ultranationalist policies correctly.
During the final mission, Dust to Dust, Makarov is shot twice by Yuri with a Desert Eagle presumably chambered in .44 (fitting with the weapon's magazine size). He manages to survive this, which is no mean feat.
A scene in the game shows that Makarov is responsible for much more than he was given credit for. For example, he was the driver of the GAZ-3937 that ferried Zakhaev to safety after the failed assassination by Captain MacMillan and then- Lieutenant Price in Pripyat, Ukraine. He was also responsible for detonating the nuke in the Middle East and wiping out the 50,000 Marines Shepherd speaks of (and the player acts as during Call of Duty 4's campaign) Ironically therefore, he is responsible for bringing about his own downfall by instigating the Russo-American War almost single handedly, and then failing to continue with his acts of violence. Makarov also acts as the announcer for the Inner Circle faction on maps they appear in.
- During the opening cutscene, where Shepherd gives a briefing on Makarov, you can see that he is 5' 11", and weighs 180lbs.
- Makarov's height is inconsistent between Modern Warfare 2 and Modern Warfare 3. According to Shepherd's briefing in the second game, he is 5'11" and weighs 180lbs. In Modern Warfare 3, intel suggests that he is between 5'7" and 5'9". The fact they are inconsistent could be a mistake with Infinity Ward or alluding to how little is known about him. Modern Warfare 3's height listing could fit with the fact Makarov looks shorter than his compatriots in No Russian. Again, it could be a simple canonical change since the game was made by Infinity Ward, with some of the same employees from 2009. The other explanation is that IMDb credits Roman Varshavsky, Makarov's voice actor, as being 5'9",
- Makarov is an anagram of Kamarov - the name of the Russian soldier who arrives with help at the end of Call of Duty 4. Kamarov appears again during Modern Warfare 3, and the two are quickly linked together, though not as allies or as enemies.
- Makarov only appears once in the Modern Warfare 2 story - you can hear him other times, but you can only see him in the mission 'No Russian'. This is not the case in Modern Warfare 3, where you encounter him several times.
- The 'Infamy' trailer was released on the Makarov's birthday; October 4th.
- Makarov's eyes are two different colors: one is blue, while the other is green. This changes in Modern Warfare 3, with both of his eyes simply being green. In Modern Warfare 2 he has heterochromia iridum.
- In the Modern Warfare 2 briefing, Makarov's name is shown as V.R. Makarov (using the patronym, derived from his father; an example of this would be Vladimir Romanovich Makarov, etc.). In Modern Warfare 3's dossier, it is marked as "V.A. Makarov" instead.
- The Modern Warfare 3 dossier gives his birthplace as Ivanovo, in the Ivanovo Oblast (province) of Russia. Presumably this is considered canon, since the game was still made by Infinity Ward.
Remember... no Russian.
Said to associates in the elevator before the assault on Zakhaev International Airport during the events of No Russian. He says it just before the elevator doors open, and the massacre begins. The purpose behind his words are, obviously, to prevent the men speaking Russian in case there are survivors who may evidence a terrorist attack, which would stop war beginning.
С нами Бог
Also said to associates in the elevator at Zakhaev International Airport before the assault in No Russian. It is pronounced as "S Nami Bog" in English, and when translated from Russian means "God is with us". This is relevant since Makarov was born in 1970, during the reign of the Soviet Union. The USSR was atheistic, denying belief in a higher power. Makarov would have lived in this Russia, where religious beliefs were considered odd. Before the USSR formed, Russian Orthodox churches existed in Tsarist Russia.
Revenge is like a ghost... it takes over every man it touches. Its thirst cannot be quenched, until the last man standing is fallen. The world's men of action will look and wonder, how it came to this. You may be able to destroy, but the beast will eventually come for you.
Backing voice for the world reveal trailer for Modern Warfare 2. This seems to be a threat of revenge against the western world. Makarov's intention might simply have been to seek revenge for the death of Imran and Viktor Zakhaev.
Один. Уничтожить врага надеяться на победу.
The first of Makarov's tactics spoken at the end of the first teaser trailer for Modern Warfare 3 set in New York City.
Translated: One. Destroy the enemy's hope for victory.
Два. Используйте все в ваших интересах.
The second tactic from the end of the MW3 teaser set in England. This is, of course, a reference to Makarov's tactics for striking into London.
Translated: Two. Use everything to your advantage.
Три. Использование слабости противника.
From the end of the France teaser video.
Translated: Three. Use your enemy's weakness.
Четыре. Атака с неожиданной стороны.
Makarov's fourth and final tactic at the end of the Germany teaser.
Translated: Four. Attack from an unexpected side.
Russia will take all of Europe, even if it must stand on a pile of ashes.
Said to President Boris Vorshevsky after his presidential aircraft crashes from a siege aboard it, led by Makarov's terrorists. Vorshevsky is cornered by Makarov's men, and he personally comes out to speak and also to execute player character Andrei Harkov.
Like it ended for Captain MacTavish? Tell me, Price: how long did it take him to die? I've destroyed your world piece by piece. It's only a matter of time until I find you.
A brief chat held between Makarov and John Price, before the siege on the Middle Eastern hotel in Modern Warfare 3's final mission, "Dust to Dust". The taunt relating to Soap comes from another mission which appears earlier in the campaign.
All warfare is based on deception. For years, the West's hypocrisy has made the world a battlefield. The corrupt talk, while our brothers and sons spill their own blood. But deceit cuts both ways. The bigger the lie, the more likely people will believe it. And when a nation cries for vengeance, the lie spreads like a wildfire. The fire builds, devouring everything in its path. Our enemies believe that they alone dictate the course of history... And all it takes is the will, of a single man.
The opening video for Modern Warfare 3, with Makarov's complete speech. This speech is not shown elsewhere in the game, and certain elements of it sync with scenes shown in the video (such as "while our brothers and sons spill their own blood", which shows Victor Zakhaev's final moments). This speech is one of the longest Makarov makes, if not the actual longest.