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Gurlukovich Mercenaries

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This article is about the Russian mercenary group. You may be looking for Tengus, whose equipment they used on Arsenal Gear.
Gurlukovich mercenary

A Gurlukovich Mercenary deployed on the USS Discovery during the Tanker Incident, and Shell 1 Core of the Big Shell during the Big Shell Incident.

The Gurlukovich Mercenaries, also known as Gurlukovich Soldiers, were an army of over 1,000 Russian mercenaries, comprising former Spetsnaz GRU soldiers. The mercenaries were involved in the Tanker Incident in 2007 and the Big Shell Incident in 2009. The army was commanded by Sergei Gurlukovich and later by his daughter Olga Gurlukovich.



The Gurlukovich Mercenaries were formed by GRU colonel Sergei Gurlukovich after the collapse of the Soviet Union, bringing together former Soviet soldiers who had been left unemployed after the reorganization of the Red Army, and who had nowhere else to go. Their main goal under Colonel Gurlukovich was to restore Russia to its former glory as a world superpower.

Shadow Moses Incident

Main article: Shadow Moses Incident

The Gurlukovich Mercenaries were originally to be deployed during the Shadow Moses Incident in 2005, in order to assist FOXHOUND and the Genome Army in the operation of Metal Gear REX. FOXHOUND commander Liquid Snake had also intended that this serve to boost the morale of the Genome Soldiers, whose brainwashing had begun to wear off following the death of Psycho Mantis. However, due to the actions of Solid Snake, this never occurred.

The Manhattan Incident

See also: Tanker Incident and the Big Shell Incident

The Gurlukovich Mercenaries secure the Discovery's deck.

After learning of the existence of the newly-developed Metal Gear RAY, Sergei Gurlukovich, Olga Gurlukovich, and Revolver Ocelot, led a large team of at least 18 operatives[1] in the takeover of the USS Discovery, on which the weapon was being transported down the Hudson River, Manhattan. They also infiltrated the ship with precision, indicating that they had thoroughly trained for the event of the takeover.[2] Successfully bringing the vessel under their control, the mercenaries then planted Semtex explosives throughout the ship. After a small team updated Sergei on their status, the colonel ordered them to keep his daughter Olga safe, though they were later neutralized single-handedly by Solid Snake during an intense shoot-out, despite their efforts, the latter of whom deduced their nationality earlier from Gurlukovich's haircut.[3] One mercenary evaded Snake's assault only to be shot dead by Ocelot moments later, with the latter commenting that his commander would join him soon.

Members of the unit also descended into the holds where Metal Gear RAY was stored with Sergei and Ocelot personally leading them, and held the U.S. Marines there hostage along with their commander, General Scott Dolph. However, after Ocelot revealed his betrayal to Sergei and both mortally wounded him and killed General Dolph (as well as killing four members of the unit who attempted to avenge the former), the troops (along with the Marines) were killed when Ocelot hijacked RAY and sunk the tanker, including those still on the upper levels and the Marines. The only survivors were Olga, Snake, and Ocelot.

Big Shell Gurlukovich Mercenaries

The Gurlukovich Mercenaries during the Big Shell Incident.

After the Tanker Incident, Olga inherited command of the Gurlukovich Mercenaries. During the Big Shell Incident, Olga loaned the army to Solidus Snake's Sons of Liberty to help them take over the Big Shell offshore plant, where Arsenal Gear was under development. Attack teams were often accompanied by Hi-Tech Soldiers, former members of the Counter Assault Team within the U.S. Secret Service, who had originally been assigned to Solidus during his presidency. The Gurlukovich Mercenaries were also subdivided into two main squads: One for guarding the Big Shell itself, and another for guarding the hostages within Shell 1's core. The latter of the two squads also wore the uniforms that were utilized during the Tanker Incident. The surviving mercenaries later evacuated to Arsenal Gear upon its activation, and faced a final showdown with Solid Snake and Raiden, this time utilizing Tengu commando equipment, which they had earlier been outfitted with under Solidus' orders, making them more dangerous. Despite the advantage in numbers and firepower, they were ultimately killed.

Olga had earlier informed Solidus that once their business with the Sons of Liberty was over, she and the remainder of her soldiers would return to Russia and live their own lives. However, she ended up betraying them, under the alias of the Cyborg Ninja, a.k.a. Mr. X, to ensure that Raiden survived, on the Patriots' orders, due to their holding her child hostage. She was deeply affected and bitter for being forced to do this to her comrades, whom she valued as family. She even went so far as to declare that she would go to Hell for what she did, when sacrificing herself to save Raiden, even if she only did so to save her child, whom she would never meet.

Military hardware (2007-2009)


The Gurlukovich Mercenaries possessed ID-tagged weapons, including those that were acquired from the black market. It's assumed that the weapons were ID-tagged by the mercenaries themselves, being professionals and not wanting to have their own equipment used against them.


Commando Equipment (Tanker assault team & Big Shell core protection teams)

  • Uniform (B.D.U.; odd orangeish version of the Soviet TTSKo)
  • Handheld radio
  • Ration
  • Bandage
  • Rappel harness
  • RD54 paratrooper combat gear (includes a backpack, a mag pouch and a grenade pouch) oddly colored in black instead of the natural canvas old model or Flora camouflager new nylon model. Some instead use the old Soviet leather duty belt/suspenders combo
  • Russian paratroopers protective leather jump helmet, used by airborne units to protect their heads while jumping
  • Russian jackboots
  • Two hole Russian balaclava
  • Dog tags
  • Knife

Standard Equipment (Big Shell bridges & struts protection teams)

  • Uniform (Urban Kamysh Russian camo)*
  • Handheld radio
  • Ration
  • Bandage
  • Russian two hole balaclava
  • Dog tags
  • Russian combat boots
  • Knife

Their mainstay rifle is the AN94 Abakan. In addition, Olga herself wore the Urban variation of the Tiger Stripe camouflage during her leadership of the group. During her involvement in the Tanker Incident, however, she wore green cargo pants, a cap, and a telnyashka, which was the official uniform for Russian naval and airborne forces.

*Due to PS2 rendering appears similar to U.S. Army UCP; HD Edition furthers this resemblence.

Heavy Equipment (Big Shell attack teams) Same as the Big Shell strut protection teams, with the addition of

  • Body Armor
  • Russian Sphera helmet
  • Ballistic shields (used normally in combo with the Makarov)

Behind the scenes

Mgs2 conceptual charac 07

The Gurlukovich Mercenaries appear in Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty, where they comprise the main enemy forces encountered by the player during the game. In the English version, they are voiced by Michael Bell, Richard Gilbert-Hill, Roger Rose, Michael Gough, and William Morgan Sheppard.

The equipment of the USS Discovery attack team (TTSKo desert uniform, Paratroopers' helmet, RD54 backpack, leather jackboots) is similar to the one used during the late stages of the Afghan War by GRU operatives & Russian Airborne Troops (VDV) elite units. The similarity is noted in The Art of Metal Gear Solid 2 artbook, where Yoji Shinkawa sketches of a common Gurlukovich trooper display a VDV shoulder patch, hinting at a previous profession as paratroopers.

Since they were meant to have become mercenaries after the collapse of USSR, this would make some sense on why they are using 1980s gear while in the early 21st century. However, this doesn't explain how they acquired the Urban Kamysh uniform worn by many Big Shell guards (which is issued only to Russian Ministry of Interior intervention troops & Spetsnaz) and the AN94 (which was a prototype built in very limited number and never considered for export sell), although the Colonel and Raiden said that they gained some of their weapons and equipment from the black market. In addition, because of the scarce rendering for Metal Gear Solid 2, the Urban Kamysh Russian camo worn by the regular wave of Gurlukovich soldiers in the Big Shell Incident strongly resembles the American-made digital UCP camouflage. The latter camouflage pattern would not be developed until significantly after Metal Gear Solid 2's release. When the HD Edition was released, the camouflage further resembled the UCP.

The skateboarding video game Evolution Skateboarding has two secret characters called Gurlukovich 1 and 2. They can be unlocked by completing the game 100% with Rick McCrank (for Gurlukovich 1) and Chris Senn (for Gurlukovich 2).

Although the Gurlukovich soldiers do not appear in the game Metal Gear Acid, they are featured in character artwork for both Dr. William Flemming and Leone, by Flemming's side and beneath Leone's foot, respectively.

Mercenaries that live and die by the words of former GRU colonel Sergei Gurlukovich. During the Big Shell operation, they supported Dead Cell.
―Official bio from the Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops Plus official site
Gurlukovich plus

Gurlukovich Soldier in Portable Ops Plus.

Gurlukovich Soldiers also appear in Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops Plus as recruitable soldiers on higher difficulty levels. The voices of the Gurlukovich Soldiers consist of reused sound clips from the USSR Soldiers, although their grunts are completely different.

"A soldier from former GRU (Main Intelligence Directorate) colonel Sergei Gurlukovich's private army. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, he and his men drifted from one war zone to another, eventually occupying the Big Shell alongside Special Forces unit Dead Cell."
―Gurlukovich Soldier description in Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops Plus

A costume available to download for LittleBigPlanet allows the Sackboys to dress up as a Gurlukovich soldier.

Originally, the Gurlukovich Mercenaries on board the USS Discovery were going to armed with FAMAS assault rifles. This was changed to the AKS-74u in the final version.



See also


  1. ^ Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty, Konami Computer Entertainment Japan (2001).
    Solid Snake: Otacon, how many men do you need to take over a tanker of this size? // Otacon: The ship is run by computer so… I’d say about 18 people.
  2. ^ Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty (script), Konami Computer Entertainment Japan (2001)
    The high winds make it difficult for the helicopters to maintain their balance, and the two crafts give each other a wide berth, one below the other, to prevent collision. Cables are thrown down from the choppers and soldiers, armed to the teeth, descend with fluid rapidity. Through the drench(ing?) waves and near gale-force wind. // They are the Gurlukovich guards. Snipers on both helicopters keep watch over the men. Once on the deck, the soldier’s quickly infiltrate the tanker’s interior through the various entryways: the precision of the process implies a thorough training. Having boarded with the last man onto the ship, the choppers veer up.
  3. ^ Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty, Konami Computer Entertainment Japan (2001)
    Solid Snake: Russians...? // Otacon: You sure? // Snake: No Marine barber touched that head of hair.

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