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« So what's your choice? Drop the weapons or end up dead, like your friend in the warehouse did?
Gregori Lopotev
»


Gregori "Akula" Lopotev (also known as Andrey) is an antagonist in ArmA 2's Harvest Red campaign.

Background

The leader and co-founder of the pro-Russian Chernarussian Movement of the Red Star (ChDKZ) movement, Lopotev was better known by his nickname as "The Shark" ("Akula").

In 1997, Lopotev formed the so-called "Working Man's Defence Alliance" (WMDA) union along with several other employees from the Solnichniy Quarry Corporation.

Two years later, he organised a violent protest over working and pay conditions that lead to at least three deaths and dozens of injuries (sources vary from between 10-100), with countless more being arrested by the government.

Though the aftermath of this incident resulted in the dissolution of the WMDA and forced Lopotev to go into hiding, it lay the groundwork for the formation of the ChDKZ.

Within the span of a decade, Lopotev began to form the insurgency movement, biding his time and building its strength up in the hopes of being able to challenge the Chernarussian government directly.

Lopotev's communism-influenced party's main goal was simple: the re-integration of Chernarus with the Russian Federation.

In 2009, precisely one decade after the ChDKZ was first formed, Lopotev conducted multiple attacks against government forces throughout the entire country. However, he was unable to route the CDF, and was forced to retreat into hiding yet again after incurring heavy losses.

It was at this time that Lopotev's future would change forever. Motivated by his struggles against the Chernarussian government, a Russian Spetsnaz operative known only as "Karelin" personally met with Lopotev and offered support to the burgeoning movement.

Karelin would provide arms, funding, as well as tactical leadership to the ChDKZ. In return, Lopotev would spearhead Chernarus' re-integration with the Russian Federation once he took power.

Barely two months later, Lopotev, now bolstered by Karelin's covert support, launched yet another large-scale offensive against government forces. Unlike his previous attempt, the "September Crisis" (as it was known) resulted in the ChDKZ taking over large swathes of the South Zagoria region, and were even able to seize the regional capital of Chernogorsk, forcing the CDF to retreat all the way to Zelenogorsk.

Just as the regional capital fell in Lopotev's hands, so too did the standing Prime Minister of Chernarus, Alexander Baranov. With so many bargaining chips on his side, Lopotev immediately demanded reunification talks with the Russian government; threatening the execution of the Chernarussian PM if Moscow refused.

Surprisingly however, Moscow flatly rejects the offer. Outraged by their refusal, Lopotev carries out his threat and personally executes Baranov for the entire world to see. He declares Chernarus to become the "Chernarussian Socialistic Republic", and immediately begins to move westward to destroy what was left of the legitimate Chernarussian government.

Harvest Red (2009)

At the request of the Chernarussian government-in-exile, the USMC's 27th Marine Expeditionary Movement launches a full-scale invasion of the country alongside remnants of the CDF to retake South Zagoria.

Vastly outmatched by the superiority of the American MEU's firepower, Lopotev is forced to retreat into the northern parts of the country. Before he could manage to escape from Chernogorsk however, he and his most senior lieutenant are captured in a raid by a USMC Force Reconnaissance fireteam callsigned Razor Team.

Restrained by the Americans, a small squad of CDF troops soon arrive to take the ChDKZ's leader back to the safety of government lines. What he and the Americans were unaware of however, was that the squad's officer was actually a double agent secretly working for the ChDKZ.

« Bardak: ...I agree my friend, but where do we go? Where do we go?
Lopotev: Ah I don't know... Vishnoye maybe?
Lopotev and Bardak immediately after being saved by Nikola Nikitin
»

Deceiving the Americans, he successfully extricates Lopotev by leading the Americans into an ambush. Lopotev is immediately freed and discusses escape plans with his officers. When asked about what to do with the (now captured) Americans, Lopotev abruptly executes their team leader with a point blank gunshot to the skull.

« Have fun with them, Kostey, but don't take too long. The Americans could be here any minute.
Lopotev
»

He immediately makes his getaway, and tells one of his subordinates to "dispose" of the rest of the Marines.

Having evaded his narrow capture, Lopotev made his way into the northern regions of South Zagoria. His first priority was to regroup the ChDKZ's remaining forces and re-establish its control in the region. As part of that process, he first met with a farmer called Malek at a small farm just south of Vyshnoye, arranging for a secret transfer of supplies to-and-from the Rog castle, as well as retrieving numerous weapons caches hidden throughout the area.

Unluckily for Lopotev, his aide-de-camp Mikola Bardak is captured by USMC Force Recon before the latter could escape to the safety of the northern regions.

Growing slightly desperate in light of Bardak's apprehension, Lopotev then personally ordered the CDF double agent who saved him, Nikola Nikitin, to set up a hidden forward base in the area around Krasnostav. He also instigated several coordinated uprisings in many of the villages, hoping that this would terrorise the region's inhabitants into submitting to the ChDKZ.

Not everything goes according to plan again however, as the USMC soon discovers and destroys the base and causes the death of Nikitin. With the ChDKZ's destruction becoming a very real possibility now, Lopotev appealed to Karelin for help.

Karelin answered his calls, and saved the ChDKZ from its fate after carrying out "Operation Cobalt", a secret plan to detonate a bomb in the heart of Russia's capital Moscow. With the help of a ChDKZ saboteur named "Spukayev", the bombings in Red Square result in the deaths of two hundred Russian citizens and countless more injured.

The false flag attack forces the Russian government's hand, and immediately deploy forces as part of a "peacekeeping" operation. The USMC is made to leave the country as their mandate is revoked, and the CDF are forced to pull back to their pre-invasion lines. Lopotev and his ChDKZ were saved; for the time being at least.

Fate

Even though ChDKZ was spared from its destruction, this reprieve would only last for so long as (unaware to Lopotev) the CDF, Razor Team, and eventually even the NAPA anti-ChDKZ guerillas, were working together to find a way to convince the Russians to leave, and were secretly preparing a large offensive to wipe out the ChDKZ once and for all.

By this time, Lopotev was no longer on the mainland itself, and had instead relocated to a small ChDKZ outpost on Skalisty island, just off the coast to the south-east of the country.

Lopotev's heavy use of radio communications did not go unnoticed however. After intercepting multiple transmissions emanating from the island, the CDF relay the information to Razor Team. Unbeknownst to Lopotev, the Marines infiltrated the island and discovered his location inside a small hut. His bodyguards are swiftly eliminated, and Lopotev himself is incapacitated and detained by Razor Team.

« Lopotev: (spits) You! What are you doing here? Get away from me!
Cooper: Shut up! Just shut up! You're coming with us mother fucker!
Lopotev is caught by Razor Team once again
»

A CDF helicopter soon arrives to extract the Marines (with Lopotev in tow). Instead of heading back to government lines however, Lopotev is immediately transferred via truck to a secret meeting with the Russian military.

The Marines hand over Lopotev to the Russian commander in charge of the deal. Before Lopotev can be brought back for interrogation however, the meeting is suddenly interrupted by an explosion as the Russian troops are attacked. Lopotev immediately recognises the attackers and calls out to Karelin to rescue him from his captors.

« Karelin! I'm here! I'm here! Help me!
Lopotev calls for Karelin to save him
»

Unfortunately for Lopotev, Karelin is killed after a vicious firefight between Razor Team and his rogue Spetsnaz unit. During the chaos, General Shagarov had successfully managed to drag Lopotev back to the airbase, where he would face interrogation at the hands of the Russian military.

Post-Harvest Red

Lopotev admits to the ChDKZ's involvement in Operation Cobalt and exposes Karelin's conspiracy to overthrow the Chernarussian government. His confession causes the Russian military to immediately withdraw from the country as their peacekeeping mandate is rescinded, leaving the ChDKZ to its fate.

What becomes of Lopotev in the aftermath of the civil war remains unknown.

Personality and Appearance

A Chernarussian male approaching his mid-forties, Lopotev retained an unkempt, black head of hair. Unlike his camouflage-clad comrades, Lopotev's apparel always consisted of a simple blue jacket over a dark green turtleneck and black tracksuit pants.

« You shouldn't pity the capitalists Petka. Comrade Lopotev says...
ChDKZ insurgents recounting Lopotev's "advice" while torturing Josef Sova
»

Charismatic but sadistic and possessing sociopath-tendencies, Lopotev cared little for the concerns of others. He more or less held a child's view of war; anyone who went against the ideals of the ChDKZ was a morally viable target in his eyes.

Even so, Lopotev was more of an idealist rather than a skilled tactician. This was all too clear by fact that the ChDKZ were unable to overthrow government forces until Karelin came along.

Likewise, Lopotev's zealousness and penchant for violence ultimately made him an easy tool for individuals like Karelin to exploit. If not for his brutality and the fact that he was directly responsible for the deaths of countless innocent Chernarussians, one could almost pity the way Lopotev was cruelly used and discarded in the end.

Trivia

  • Lopotev is notable for wielding a customised and gold-plated AKS.
  • What exactly happens to Lopotev in the aftermath of Harvest Red is never stated clearly in either in-game materiel or official sources.
    • The true ending for example; War That Never Was, states that: "In 2014, after four years of violent rule, Lopotev was assassinated by an unknown killer at his summer villa in Chernogorsk".
      • This line is actually reused from the alternate bad endings (specifically Missing in Action) where Lopotev is never captured by Razor Team.
      • Regardless of whether it's canon or not however, the events surrounding Lopotev's fate as described in the true ending cannot be possible as Lopotev remained under the custody of the Russian government following his handover.
      • At the same time, the Chernarussian government reclaims control over the entire region and wipes out the last remnants of the ChDKZ, so it would have been impossible for Lopotev to seize control over the country yet again; let alone maintaining it for four years.
  • Despite being polar opposites in terms of their goals, Lopotev can be seen as a parallel to NAPA's Prizrak. Both share borderline delusional visions of grandeur, utilise violent and cruel methods to deal with their enemies, and both are highly charismatic leaders who resort to using speeches to "convince" people of their cause.

See also