Mikhail is the eldest son in a family of 5, meaning he bore a lot of responsibility while his mother took care of his siblings and his father worked long hard days in the factory. Eventually, Mikhail was told his fathers income could only support his 4 siblings and that he had to find a job or move out. Unfortunately for Mikhail, Chernarus was in a recession after the collapse of the Soviet Union and breaking up of the Warsaw Pact. He looked up and down for work, but nobody wanted a big lumbering hardly educated man to work for them. He went even as far as to go to Chernogorsk to look for work. In the face of homelessness and starvation, Mikhail saw a poster on a lamp post in Cherno. "Join the CDF! Make your wildest dreams come true." He signed up immediately, and was trained in Vybor and Berezino. He found untapped potential in his training days. Being a man of few words and easily able to follow orders led to him becoming popular with CDF and NATO NCOs alike. He was recommended for promotions time and time again to which he turned down saying "Not fit to lead, fit to fight." He got most of his combat experience from the bloody 2009 civil war, making headlines after he took on a Chedaki machine gun position despite being heavily wounded in Sinsytok. After the civil war, he stayed with the military. During the outbreak he ended up manning the South Zagoria Defense line. After it fell apart, he went back to his family in Kamensk, choosing to send them across the border to Takistan than let them fall to the infection.