Borivoj Kopriva was born in Novodmitrovsk, South Zagoria on Christmas Eve 1980. His father was a prominent local industrial head of a factory, and his mother was involved in a women's club during the waning years of the Soviet Union. His brothers and sisters were all older than him, and thus he often got less attention than they did. Around the age of 7 his father began bringing him to the factory while he was still a floor manager, enlisting Borivoj with sorting and filing paperwork and all manner of documentation for him and the other two managers. Even as he got older and his siblings excelled in school, he was stuck at the factory helping his father. Despite the fact that he had little free time or ability to play with his friends, Borivoj developed a strong work ethic from early on.
His father allowed him to bring home scraps of metal and trinkets from the factory to play with. By age 15 Borivoj had begun to focus on athletics at school and various romantic pursuits with girls in the town. He was a generally average or even poor student, as he was prone to procrastination as well as spending too much time out past curfew. However he did manage to become captain for the wresting team, winning 1998 national champions for Novodmitrovsk in the Novigrad competition. The fall of the Soviet Union has caused turmoil within Chernarus as the fledgling nation struggled to retain its sovereignty and as social tensions had to be quelled. This presented a unique opportunity for his father, who took advantage of the situation as Soviet controls disappeared and managers and bosses within the industry began to jockey for notoriety and position. Along with several other floor managers his father succeeded in creating a faction within the industrial center, wrestling control of the factory from its Soviet ethnic Russians and placing it firmly in the hands of the ethnic Chernarussian minority within the city.
Borivoj was expected to join in the family business as his older brother took up a job at the Svetloyarsk docks, ensuring that the company could transport it's products to Novigrad or Mariupol without interference. However he resisted this, opting to join the local Orel riot police detachment as a trainee as soon as he graduated primary school. This enraged his father, but as always he found a way to manipulate Borivoj "for the good of the family". His second oldest brother joined a local Chernarussian nationalist party, which was a rarity in such a heavy ethnic Russian area until the rise of NAPA and the Strana Vzkrizini before and during the civil war. The Kopriva family was one of three prominent Chernarussian families in the area, and Borivoj got caught up in the post-Soviet sectarian struggles his fathers and brothers engulfed the family with in an attempt to turn Novodmitrovsk into a loyalist city in a sea of ethnic Russians.
Borivoj had made many friends within the tight-knit Orel force, many who were ethnic Russians. His friends and even family began to question his dependability and loyalty, making him resentful and driving him to spend more time at work and less time around his family and girlfriend, arousing even more suspicion as he isolated himself. In July of 2000 his father was on his way back from coastal business when his car was ambushed by a Russian gang who had traveled to Chernarus to create a branch within the north to smuggle drugs and weapons into the country. His father was beaten and finally shot after an hour of abuse, left by the roadside to rot. This event destroyed Borivoj and made him question everything he had done and the choices he had made over the course of his whole life.
At the time the local authorities had no knowledge of the Russian gang that had moved in from across the border, only that a small gang of teenage hooligans existed in the city which was blamed for the heinous crime. The investigation was botched by the Interior Ministry, who immediately blamed the hooligans, sending the two ring-leaders to Novigrad and putting the rest under watch. Borivoj was caught between his fellow police officers and the struggles of his ethnic background and family pursuits. The loss of his father was the worst for him. The man who had made him who he was, created the perseverance within him, and had made him strong was gone, but he was also the man who represented the division, factionalism and strife which had complicated and divided those around him in his attempts to make the family name last. To his father the only way to make life worth living was to make the family last as long as it could, and to create for the Chernarussian people. His brothers continued the family business, making the Koprivas a very wealthy and influential family in a majority Russian city. After becoming a captain of the local OREL detachment, Borivoj decided it was time to go away from his home. His girlfriend had grown tired of how distant he was, and how little time he spent with her. He made amends with her before traveling to Novigrad in March 2005 to undergo training for the elite COBR special police unit. He wanted something new, a new group of friends and some distance from trouble back home.