Karl Ulanov was a civil engineer before the outbreak, working for the regional government in Vladivostock. Before then he had been raised by his traditionally minded family in a small village a little outside the vital city, and which had been almost entirely forgotten since the fall of communism. It was a strange environment in which to live, a people and culture that were most definitely Russian, but with China, Japan and North Korea all a stone throw away. His career was promising, and a transfer to work for central government in the far off and exotic city of Moscow was imminent.
However, due to his talents, and not being too closely associated with Moscow itself, Karl was handpicked by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to serve as part of a diplomatic mission to Chernarus. Still relatively young, and honoured to have been selected for such a task, Karl enthusiastically accepted, believing it would accelerate his career. He wishes he had just gone to Moscow instead. The diplomatic group was a simple enough one, designed to foster good relations as well as a secretly create a dependence on Russia. As part of this Karl was to help modernise the nations road, sewer and electrical networks. But, he did so using methods and materials that would mean replacement parts had to be sourced from Russian industry.
It was whilst he was doing this work, that everything went to hell. He the mission that he was part of, tried to secure passage back to Russia as the outbreak began. However, the motherland was taking no chances and they remained isolated. The situation only got worse as the world blamed Russia for what had happened, and later for the nuclear device deployed against the NATO fleet. Suddenly there was little difference for him and his fellow Russians between healthy locals and the infected. All of them wanted to kill Russians. If the motherland really was responsible for all of this, it was nothing to do with him.
Fleeing from any kind of population centre what remained of the diplomatic mission took to living in a farm in the north, scavenging from woods and villages. A few of them had been military men and taught the civilians the basics of combat and wilderness survival. Being raised in the countryside gave Karl a good foundation but it was clear that the ex soldiers amongst them were leagues ahead. This situation lasted some little while. However, a gang of local survivors came across their camp and were none to happy to discover an "armed Russian presence" in their lands. The abandoned farm came under attack, and whilst the ex soldiers had the quality, the locals had the quantity. Their new home was over run and only a handful of the civilians got out alive. This included Karl. Roving the woods the last few men from the mission died of hunger, thirst, exposure, infection or just sheer stupidity. Only Karl remained.
Realising he could not hope to survive alone Karl is emerging from the woods and isolation, looking for survivors he can rely on, whilst concealing his Russian heritage, at least at first. He hopes to find fellow kinsmen from the motherland, but knows this is unlikely. One day he seeks to return to Russia, in the meantime he is keeping an eye out for any clues that may exonerate the motherland. And should he find evidence that it really is all Russia's fault.... well, evidence goes missing all the time.
Since he has been forced into the wider world Karl has made a number of acquaintances across a surprising number of camps and opposing factions. But, circumstances have forced him to lean heavily into pretending to be German, after more than one nationalist tried to kill him for his Russian roots. He hopes now to find a spot, a team, where he can be more relaxed, open and of use. He may still be a loyal Russian, but if he can help to rebuild a little patch of this country, just as he came here to do at first, and guard it from the wolves, he will.