Nikolai Zinoviev was a former Soviet Army Sergeant who, after the fall of the U.S.S.R. was contacted by Umbrella and enlisted to their UBCS (Umbrella Biohazard Countermeasure Service) which was led by Colonel Sergei Vladimir
, where teams would flood areas where viral outbreaks had occurred - but their secondary objectives were always to destroy any evidence which would tie Umbrella to each disaster and also collect combat information on each B.O.W. (Bio-Organic Weapon) that they encountered which Umbrella would then use in their research to improve their B.O.W.s, thus improving their profitability.
He and Sergei were apparently close friends and served together in the Soviet Military, so they both felt quite at home operating within the UBCS - however in a dark turn of events they also spied on the UBCS and collected their own intel on Umbrella along the way; this was a closely guarded secret between the two soldiers.
When the t-Virus
outbreak occurred in Raccoon City, Nikolai and his colleagues were dispatched to the city officially in order to try to rescue civilians and protect Umbrellas business. Unofficially however, he was ordered to monitor the effective capability of UBCS units against Zombies and other B.O.W.s and he also had to destroy any t-Virus
vaccine samples or research which had been happening at the Spencer Memorial Hospital - as any samples or scientific research that got out into the open could spell the end of the Umbrella empire. He was also tasked with assessing and evaluating the performance of the Nemesis T-Type
which was a brand new kind of B.O.W. that had never been tested before. Finally, he had a secondary task to direct his team toward the Raccoon City University and recover any material regarding the Thanatos
Project - while additionally either apprehending or eliminating Dr Greg Mueller who had effectively stolen the project and kept himself holed up in the University.
Due to the fact that the rewards for completing all of his objectives would result in an enormous amount of wealth - he also accepted a better offer from a rival organisation (which could have been 'The Organization') and in doing so he would put his entire squad at further risk and also put Umbrella at an enormous disadvantage. The rival organisation also offered him a substantial bonus if he killed S.T.A.R.S. operative Jill Valentine
personally, although he fully expected the Nemesis T-Type
to do the honours as that is what it was built to do.
Nikolai was ruthless and only cared about the money and power he would get for completing his objectives. For instance if anybody would slow him down or get in his way, they would be eliminated - when his teammate Murphy Seeker
became injured he simply killed him without first checking whether he was infected or not. He also killed Dr Nathaniel Bard
once he reached the Spencer Memorial Hospital - Dr Bard was a well-respected lead researcher who worked for Umbrella and had created various samples of a t-Virus
vaccine. This information was then passed onto both Umbrella and the rival organisation.
Next he had a confrontation with his colleague Tyrell Patrick
. As they were both acting as Monitors, conducting all the secret mission objectives they were both fully aware of the true aim of the rescue operation and a disagreement occurred. As Resident Evil 3: Nemesis
and Resident Evil 3 (remake) have open-ended scenarios, Nikolai can either kill Tyrell in cold blood, or he can booby trap a safe with C4 which kills Tyrell or finally Tyrell can trigger some C4 attached to his own body in order to try and kill Nikolai, but this fails and only Tyrell is killed. In all scenarios Nikolai escapes unscathed and continues on his next mission which is to secure the Thanatos
He manages to secure a sample of the Thanatos
Project at the expense of his entire team and he also eliminated Dr Mueller without giving it a second thought. Then he planted C4 around critical points in the university building and triggers a massive explosion which brings it all down.
Soon after this, Nikolai learns that the US Government was planning to drop a bomb on Raccoon City in order to destroy everything related to the outbreak. His final goal now was to escape the city with all of the information he had.
There are several 'ending' scenarios regarding Nikolai's fate which differ depending on how Resident Evil 3: Nemesis
and Resident Evil 3 (remake) have been played. In all cases he manages to transmit at least some information to Umbrella and the rival organisation.
In the first scenario, he is simply killed by the Nemesis T-Type
in Incineration Disposal Plant P-12A which by that point has devolved into more of a raging beast due to it's past defeats and was difficult to evade.
In the second scenario, he attempted to flee via a helicopter but was killed in action by Jill Valentine
during a short firefight.
In the third, he managed to escape unharmed in the helicopter and most likely went into hiding as he was never heard from again.
In the final scenario, he attempted to steal a helicopter from Jill Valentine
and UBCS survivor Carlos Oliveira
but was left stranded on the rooftops - even suggesting to the pair that if they take him with them he would share secret information with them including the identity of the rival organisation. They passed on that idea and left him to die in the first explosion.