Shaved head, goatee, numerous tattoos on body - specifically an intricate Chernarussian cross on the chest
Lots of weapons, whatever can be scavenged or taken. Always has a hatchet.
Man of many talents
There's nothing special about Vratislav Bykov's history. He was born into a poor family, had very little education beyond early schooling, and was forced into a life as a logger - like his father. From his teens, Vratislav became familiar with axes and hard work. All day he would chop wood, move wood, stack wood, and transport wood. It was a boring life, little excitement or engagement, and certainly not a way of becoming rich. For many years this went on, with each year speeding up that spiral of boredom, anger and frustration - boredom in life, anger at his family and frustration at his inability to rise beyond his means.
When Vratislav turned eighteen, he joined the Chernarussian army as an infantryman. He wasn't educated enough for much else beyond running at enemies with a rifle, and his sullen attitude didn't align with leadership positions that required morale. He turned out to be a capable soldier, one content with doing his duty and being on the top half of his unit in tactics and weapons ability. But Vratislav truly shone with hand-to-hand combat. His years with axes and hefting wood had made him strong, and his hands were hardened from gripping handles and rips and tears from logs. And when offered the opportunity to become an assistant instructor in CQC and interrogation, Vratislav jumped at the chance - it seemed the bored, angry, frustrated young man had found something he was both good at and enjoyed...
After several years, Vratislav found that the military was wearing on him. He wanted to fight, wanted to ply secrets out of enemies, but with no real wars in sight following the recent civil war he felt his talents were going to waste. And with that lack of opportunity, so did his interest in the military wane. After finishing his service, Vratislav honorably discharged and sought out new avenues of career, and it came as no surprise when his skillset and character got the attention of local criminals. The young man fell in with a rough group of petty crooks in Chernogorsk - the Romanovs - and rapidly climbed the ladder to become the top enforcer. Within months of joining, Vratislav had increased the standing of the group, increasing their reputation and spreading their name to nearby towns.
Mostly engaged in bribery, protection rackets and threats, the Romanovs had something of a begrudging reputation, where locals knew they weren't big enough to pose a threat to the entire town, but were still prominent enough for locals to know to keep their mouths shut and pay them. The aftermath of the civil war had allowed some opportunities for local criminals to take advantage of, as law enforcement was cowed by the more dominant military forces in the area. And because small-time crime wasn't worth the attention of the all-mighty military, the Police were easily paid off to look the other way. After all, paying a small amount was far better than having your car stolen and set ablaze in the woodlands nearby...
When the first infected began spreading, the Romanovs gang took a large hit to their numbers. Many of their members were either killed or became infected following the events of the western towns. Initially not much information was available, however after several days word began to reach Chernogorsk. Vratislav didn't believe the rumors and suspected it was a mishap by the military, perhaps some kind of testing gone wrong that they were trying to cover up, but the reports kept coming in and the story remained the same. Soon, the realization that something serious was happening was evident, especially with an increase in roadblocks, Russian helicopters coming and going, mass evacuations of towns, and finally a Russian bombing attack. The nation was ignited, with large groups of protestors making themselves heard to local leaders.
During this time, Vratislav and those still operating in the remains of the group took advantage of the civil disruption and began looting.
Unfortunately, as soon as Vratislav managed to start benefiting from his gains, no sooner did the stories of infected and walking corpses begin from the north. Chaos hit like a wave, with many fleeing the danger and moving into surrounding towns and cities. On one hand, Vratislav found the increased military and law presences something of a hindrance, but on the other, there were many displaced individuals and families ripe for the picking - and so he acted, stealing as much as he could from abandoned housing and fleeing families. And things were going well, until UN began arriving, at which point criminal activity became considerably harder...
Within days, there were military ships and troops in Chernogorsk. This limited Vratislav's operations even further, but the small group of criminals were cunning and knew opportunities would present themselves. By this time, Vratislav was well aware of the outbreak that was threatening the area, and had ordered his people to begin making preparations. Supplies, weapons, vehicles that had been slowly appropriated were all moved to safe locations, and what could be stolen from beneath the US troops' noses was. Things were clearly dire, and the small things were being forgotten. When power was cut off, the focus changed from watching news reports or following twitter feeds, to basic human survival needs - food, water, supplies.
It was chaos.
And Vratislav loved it.
Until his safehouse was overrun by infected, and most of his men killed. Forced to retreat, Vratislav cursed the situation and everyone involved in it. He was once again left with nothing, after struggling to gather things important to him. Even returning to his home and family was disappointing, as his entire family were infected and trapped within the small dwelling. Doing what he believed to be the right thing - perhaps for the first time in his life - Vratislav killed each of his rotting family members with his father's axe... and with that, he lit the home aflame and began traveling. As it turned out, that anger and frustration Vratislav believed he had buried was, in fact, bubbling once more to the surface, and he wanted to make others pay for his losses - and for better or worse, it was with mild surprise when Vratislav met a young man named Jiri, who told him of a group that had plans to do just that...