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Girls' Frontline Setting Exploration: Mikhail Semenovich Tsvigun

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“These punks really have gone too far. They’ve never experienced what it was like during the Cold War when the infection broke out. The price of opening a door which should never be opened is very high. I still have to warn you. This country has shed too much blood. Hatred and hostility won’t disappear as easily as you imagine.”

- Mikhail Tsvigun, Shattered Connexion

Life in the Former Soviet Union (1951 - 1991)

1951 - 1981

Born on March 4th, 1951, Mikhail Semenovich Tsvigun was born in the city of Chișinău, in modern-day Moldova. Several members of his family were active members of the Committee for State Security (KGB). While an early history cannot be established due to his family’s movement around the Union, Mikhail entered Dzerzhinsky Higher School of the KGB to study cryptography. He was later recruited into the KGB’s 16th Directorate after the OKB-10 Incident in May of 1973. The 16th Directorate (Department of Relic Research and Protection) dealt with top-secret projects for the Soviet Union, including the investigation of relics.

Emblem of the KGB.

The emblem of the Committee for State Security.

His expertise and family background allowed him to rise through the ranks in the 16th, and by 1976, he became the Director’s assistant. Here he earned the nickname “Locksmith” from his associates thanks to his impeccable encryption skills. During his time within the 16th, not a single piece of classified material had leaked from their department. The name “Locksmith” and other unknown nicknames were used to refer to him in secret, but in public, he is commonly referred to as “Misha.” During the Soviet-Afghan War, Mikhail assumed the identity of a technical expert “Borikin” for his role in the Pike operation in the Khyber Pass. For his service in January 1981, he was awarded the Order of the Red Star.

Development of OGAS in the 1980s

In December 1983, he earned the rank of Colonel at the age of 32 and became the Director of the KGB’s 16th Directorate with support from then General Secretary Yuri Andropov. At his age, he was the lowest rank officer that ever held the position as a director within the KGB. At a minimum, you would need to be a major-general to become a department director. After the Relic Arms Treaty in 1981, and the Geneva Gazette signing in 1983, relic technology was actively being sealed away per the agreements. As all relic matters in the USSR went through the 16th, the department and Tsvigun were tasked with the dismantling of relic technology and the OGAS system. From 1983 to 1984, Tsvigun and his colleagues revitalized the National Economy Automation System (OGAS) network for non-military use.

Symbol of the OGAS System.

The symbol of the Soviet National Economy Automation System.

During the final years of the Soviet Union, the loss of support from the parent OGAS system caused issues to arise while trying to install upgrades for demilitarization. Due to the upgrade issue, the OGAS system became inefficient, leading to various economic and political problems across the nation which only worsened with the oil crisis. Despite the problems of OGAS, the 16th continued its involvement in the project, supporting the idea of converting the system for civilian use. Technical Director Viktor Glushkov, Mikhail, and the Communist Party all concluded OGAS could prove an instrumental tool for revisioning political structures, economic efficient planning, and resource management. Beyond developing OGAS, Mikhail was further dealing with the worldwide ELID epidemic during the late 80s. An epidemic that he contributed to in Afghanistan.

The August Coup 1991

After the UN passed the Relic Technology Convention in 1991, most relic technologies were sealed away for good across all nations. During this time, Mikhail tried his best to delay the date of the OGAS system deactivation and preserve the legacy of the Soviet relic programs. However, after the coup on August 19th, the hopes held by the OGAS project team fell with the red star that night.

Image of a tank during the 1991 Coup.

Tanks in the Red Square during the August Coup.

Life in the Russian Federation (1991 - 2030)

1991 - 1999

Without the support of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, Mikhail’s department was left as a useless agency with no funding. For two years he remained as head of the department, but in 1993, he chose to reserve himself to teaching encryption at the FSB Academy. By the mid-1990s, relic research was reconsidered by the scientific community, but Tsvigun had chosen not to involve himself.

Around his early 50s, several of his colleagues had noticed an anomaly with his body. Tsvigun had seemingly been aging slower than others of his age. Interestingly, he encouraged those around him to refer to him in an informal, younger manner as early as the 1980s. Despite his best efforts to keep appearances, he was forced to conceal his age by disguising himself in the early 2000s.

In 1999, the world entered a brief two-year period of economic decline known as the Relic Bubble. Early action by the new Prime Minister, Vladimir Putin, allowed the Russian Federation to exercise calm and restraint behavior during the bubble. Putin was sworn in on August 9th, 1999, and the following day he requested Mikhail visit his office to discuss Relic-related matters. The exact contents of their meeting remain unknown, but the ramifications of the talk likely aided Russia during the Relic Bubble period.

Meeting Viktor Zelinsky

In the early 2020s, Mikhail was one of the leading experts on relic technology. He was invited to universities and academic conferences for discussion over relics on multiple occasions. During a relic discussion at Poznan University in 2022, Tsvigun was approached by a young mathematics student. This student was none other than Viktor Pavlovich Zelinsky, future Chief of the Bureau of State Security and Minister of Internal Affairs. Zelinsky took the opportunity to ask Mikhail personally about the 1981 Pike Operation, an operation kept under high levels of secrecy. Zelinsky had managed to piece together what happened using only publicly available information.

Mikhail was greatly impressed by Zelinsky’s work, and the two grew to be close friends. Over time, Mikhail slowly began seeing him as a son and a potential successor. Mikhail previously had two children with his ex-wife; however, both children were sent to live with their mother. It’s noted that he encouraged his children to change their surnames for an unknown reason. The identities of his children remain unknown; however, they could be revealed in the future.

Meeting Raeder Albert Rossartre

Following the discovery of a massive hollow underneath the Antarctic polar ice cap in 2023, an academic research conference was held. Attended by some of the most prestigious individuals in the relic field, the conference covered a potential investigation of the site. During the conference, United Nations Relic Agency (UNRA) Director, Raeder Albert Rossartre, met Tsvigun. Mikhail’s decades-long service in the Soviet Union’s relic program meant Rossartre was able to receive several useful suggestions for the hollow’s explorations.

Second Russian Revolution

Aftermath of Beilan Island
CG of a contaminated zone.

In 2030, the Beilan Island Incident threw the Russian Federation into turmoil. When the government requested Tsvigun’s assistance during the cleanup, he declined but was willing to provide some data to aid them. The chaos in Russia boiled over in the Far East, leading to a revolt by neo-Soviet opposition. In June of 2030, Rossartre contacted Tsvigun to save both himself and Kawasaki Kazusa, a 16-year-old who was immune to ELID. Rossartre survived the rescue mission, but not without terrible loss. Kazusa was killed during the escape. Upon being rescued, the Bolsheviks in the Far East took Kazusa’s body for study, and Rossartre was given a seat on a flight to Moscow.

On July 8th, Rossartre met Tsvigun and his student, Viktor Zelinsky, while being debriefed in Moscow. All information he held during his time in East Asia was copied and archived. Following the debriefing, Rossartre was granted a flight to London to the UN. After Rossartre returned to London, Tsvigun and Zelinsky refocused on the growing political unrest in Russia.

Involvement in the Second Revolution

In August of 2031, Zelinsky and Mikhail carried out a major operation against the government. With Zelinsky’s talent for intelligence work and Mikhail’s position of power, they were able to conduct a full takeover of the Federal Security Service (FSB) and prevent any potential resistance within. Mikhail's powerful position allowed him to remove any officials who refused to tow the line. After the civil war, reports on Mikhail’s whereabouts became sparse. In February 2032, he was reportedly seen in Chasniki, Belarus, wearing the rank of lieutenant-general of the National Guard. Despite being 80 years old at the time, he notably walked normally.

Emblem of the National Guard of Russia.

The emblem of the National Guard of the Russian Federation.

Post-Revolution

After the Battle of Minsk in March, Mikhail disappeared from Moscow. Following his disappearance, knowledge of his whereabouts became non-existent. According to files from the Promethean Council, Mikhail had been working with them during the early 2030s. His previous experiences with Rossartre, and his possible regret for unleashing ELID during the Cold War, may have led him to be sympathetic to the Rossartrists despite his beliefs. While still a stubborn patriot to his nation, he likely served as their man in charge in Russia at the time. As a gatekeeper of relic technology, he was a worthy candidate for the role.

Life in the New Soviet Union (2032 - Modern Day)

Working with the Prometheans

In 2032 or 2033, Mikhail recommended Havier Witkin and Carter Neustadt for Project Prometheus because of their talents. Havier’s knowledge of new technologies, including Doll android technology, proved quite fruitful during the Siberian Lifeline Program, an important early step for Prometheus. As for Carter, his talents displayed during Operation Sparkplug in Minsk made him a potential candidate.

Mikhail in the Modern Day

Mikhail Tsvigun’s life and age are exceptional to anyone who reads further into them. His aging process seems to be a sign of his life being extended. The methods remain unknown, but it’s more than likely related to relic technology given his history. Furthermore, it has not been stated if this anomaly is the result of his actions or something else. As of the most recent events, he is 113 years old.

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About the Author(s)

Lore writer for the Girls Frontline series. I play on the EN and KR servers.

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