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"There's a price tag for everything. Even letting the world burn."
— Zinoviev to Jill Valentine
Nikolai Zinoviev (ニコライ・ジノビェフ Nikorai Jinobyefu , Russian: Николай Зиновьев), codenamed "Silver Wolf", is a Soviet Army veteran who served in Umbrella's paramilitary as a Sergeant in the UBCS as well as a Monitor. He and the USS commando, HUNK were considered to be "rivals", and he was a close friend of Col. Sergei Vladimir, of whom he may have served with in the Soviet Army.
Zinoviev was born in Moscow, capital of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic. Per Soviet laws on national service, he likely served in the Soviet Army from 1981, and is known to have been in one of its special forces brigades. Following the collapse of the Soviet Union, Zinoviev was retired and, along with many other former Soviet soldiers, was recruited by Umbrella. Little is known of Zinoviev's career in the mid-1990s, though he was well-trusted by Col. Vladimir and knew of Umbrella's need for him in their Tyrant Project. Zinoviev served Umbrella and Col. Vladimir in two ways. Officially he was a Sergeant within the Umbrella Biohazard Countermeasure Service, an anti-B.O.W. force. Unofficially, he was part of Col. Vladimir's internal affairs bureau and spied on the UBCS.
On 15 September 1998, the UBCS was put on alert by Umbrella HQ due to the deteriorating situation in Raccoon City, which was seeing hospital in-patients displaying symptoms of t-Virus infection. On the night of 26 September, the UBCS arrived with at least four platoons with orders to eliminate the Zombies and evacuate civilians.
Zinoviev, however, had a number of other missions to attend to. Being a Monitor he was entrusted with various projects. Firstly, he was to assess the UBCS' capabilities against the mutants to serve as important data for Umbrella over the effectiveness of their bioweaponry. Secondly, he had orders to destroy evidence of t-Virus vaccine research going on at the Spencer Memorial Hospital which could potentially ruin the viability of t-Virus weaponry if it got in the wrong hands. Thirdly, he was to observe the Nemesis-T Type, a prototype B.O.W. being sent into the city to hunt down specific individuals. Finally, he had orders to lead his UBCS squad into Raccoon University and recover the Thanatos Project, and kill or take the rogue Dr. Greg Mueller into custody. Each successful mission and the additional recovery of data was to give him larger and larger monetary rewards. Overcome by his own greed, Zinoviev agreed to an offer by a rival company to conduct his operations in a manner that would weaken the UBCS' fighting strength, and share his data with them as well. He was also offered a reward for the death of S.T.A.R.S. officer Jill Valentine, though Zinoviev was aware of the Nemesis-T Type and was willing to let the B.O.W. do its job.
As a Monitor, Zinoviev did not in fact arrive by helicopter with the rest of the UBCS, but was brought into the city in the Afternoon by other means, giving him more time to carry out his missions. He noted actions between RPD officers and mutants, and on the following day lured a pack of Cerberuses to Raccoon University to eliminate survivors using it as a place of refuge. By the end of the night he rendezvoused with Delta Platoon, led by Cpt. Mikhail Viktor and including survivors from other platoons. The platoon would suffer further losses on 28 September when Zinoviev locked a door on them to trap them with Zombies.
Reports differ as to what occurred on the night of 28 September. One report claims the platoon made their base at the Redstone Street subway station to transport refugees out of the city centre, while two further reports claim they made their base in a broken tram at Lonsdale Yard, intent on being airlifted at St. Michael's Clock Tower. In the former report, Zinoviev ran into S.T.A.R.S. officer Jill Valentine after killing fellow mercenary Murphy Seeker who was injured and potentially infected. He would later betray Valentine and Viktor to the Nemesis-T Type when it attacked the subway train and escaped. In the Lonsdale Yard reports, Zinoviev became aware he would be a potential target for the Nemesis-T Type due to his proximity to Valentine, and faked his death either after killing Seeker at an Umbrella sales office, or in a fire at a petrol station.
No longer limited by the UBCS platoon, Zinoviev was made free to carry out covert activities on behalf of both Umbrella and the rival company. At the Spencer Memorial Hospital, Zinoviev verified the loss of life and destroyed information relating to the successful vaccine research, killing Dr. Nathaniel Bard in the process. Accounts differ as to his other actions at the hospital - in one he booby-trapped a safe which would kill fellow Monitor Tyrell Patrick, in another Patrick killed himself in a suicide-bombing meant to take Zinoviev with him. In both of these accounts, Zinoviev detonated C-4 charges that destroyed the hospital, while a third account instead claimed Patrick planted the charges and they were not as devastating.
Zinoviev is known to have participated in Operation: Emperor's Mushroom early in the morning on 1 October, where he led a surviving squad of UBCS mercenaries to back to Raccoon University to recover Thanatos. Zinoviev was able to get a blood sample extracted at the cost of his entire squad, but this blood sample was instead recovered by civilian refugees for creation of the Daylight vaccine, leaving Umbrella unable to clone the B.O.W. Before leaving the university building, Zinoviev assassinated Dr. Mueller, its creator and leader. He then destroyed the faculty building with C-4 charges.
Accounts regarding Zinoviev's final hours after the Raccoon University bombing differ, with several separate accounts for what happened to him. What is known is that Zinoviev was made aware of an imminent plan by the US military to blow up Raccoon City, and made plans to escape the city with his data. Three accounts claim he made his escape attempt at Incineration Disposal Plant P-12A. In one of them, he was immediately killed by Nemesis-T Type. In the second, he commandeered a helicopter and was killed in battle with Valentine. In the third, he escaped in the helicopter. A fourth account instead claims he tried to steal a helicopter from Valentine and Oliveira at the NEST 2 rooftop, but failed and was left behind despite an offer to the reveal the identity of his buyer, though there was a second helicopter on the helipad he could have escaped on. Regardless of these accounts and whether or not he survived, what is known for certain is that Umbrella obtained at least some of his reports from Raccoon City.
- Resident Evil Archives. BradyGames. p. 138.
- Mark James Hill (@hillmarkjames) - Instagram
- (in Japanese) biohazard 0 KAITAISHINSHO. Enterbrain. p. 237.
- Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles (2007), file: "Letter from Sergei to Nicholai".
- バイオハザード3～Last Escape～／CHARACTERS (Japanese). Capcom. Retrieved on 2012-12-01.
- Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles (2007), file: "Monitor Notes".
- Resident Evil CODE:Veronica official strategy guide
- Resident Evil 3: Nemesis (1999), file: "Supervisor's Report".
- Resident Evil 3: Nemesis (1999), file: "Written Order To The Supervisors".
- Resident Evil Outbreak (2003), file: "Orders".
- Nicholai tells Valentine this in the Park cabin
- Resident Evil 3 (2020), file: "Suspicious Contract Memo".
- Resident Evil 3: Nemesis (1999), cutscene: "Together for the Escape".
- Famitsu interview with Yasuhisa Kawamura.
- Resident Evil Survivor (2000), file: "Report on destroyed Raccoon City".