Kapitan (Captain) Sergei Borisovich Kozlov: Officer
He is proud of his military service and his personal distinction as a decorated officer. He has a reputation as a man who can navigate the chaos of war and produce the results his superiors want.
Starshiy Leytenant (Senior Lieutenant) Ivan Pavlovich Babenko: Communications Officer & Artillery Spotter
Babenko served with Captain Kozlov during Operation Magistral and knows the captain is a man who succeeds at his assignments. Babenko knows that it’s good for his career to stick close to a man who is on an upward trajectory. Babenko intends to make a career of the Red Army.
Captain Koslov has unofficially reprimanded Kriptoshenko for risking his life to retrieve wounded soldiers. The captain thinks he’s reckless. Kriptoshenko knows he’s doing his duty to the men he serves with, which matters more to him than the success or failure of some abstract mission. Nevertheless, he loves serving with the Spetsnaz and intends to become an officer.
Praporshchik (Warrant Officer) Nikolay Vladimirovich Korovin: Combat Engineer
Korovin earned a sterling reputation as the man who could be counted on to booby- trap the most unexpected items. He could spot a booby trap just as well. Disarming traps was something he managed to do several times in his career while some poor Red Army conscript still had his foot on the pressure-plate fuse. He even managed to disarm a demolition charge that threatened to cut a strategically important bridge— although it certainly helped that the Mujahedeen bomber had bollixed the radio detonator.
Praporshchik (Warrant Officer) Vitaly Vasilyevich Sirko: Grenadier
After two tours in Afghanistan he still thinks highly of himself and his comrades. As for the rest of the Red Army? Nothing but borderline mental deficients and drunks, demoralized and undisciplined. Being in the Spetsnaz means not having to hang your head in shame. It means you did your duty and won all your battles. His father’s side of the family was made up of Cossacks who fought for the Reds during the Great Patriotic War. His time with the Spetsnaz fit right in with his family’s military traditions. Like many Cossacks he is a devout member of the Russian Orthodox Church, and an anti-Semite: hardly out of step with Russian society.
Praporshchik (Warrant Officer) Andrey Alexandrovich Melnikov: Machine Gunner
The boredom of his reassignment to the Arctic Theatre of War has Melnikov on edge. His sparring partners in the battalion’s SAMBO matches say he’s not pulling his punches. The men he’s disabled in Leningrad drinking holes would say he’s maniac, if they could speak with broken teeth and jawbones.
Praporshchik Muradov comes from a family of hunters. Even though his father is a hydro- electric worker, Viktor Muradov was taught the skills of a Siberian hunter by his grandfather, who honed his hunting skills in the Great Patriotic War. Muradov didn’t learn much from his marksmanship instructors in sniper school. He came to the party knowing all the dance steps. The one thing the Red Army did teach him to do was lose his compunction about shooting humans.