Zakhar was born to polish immigrants who had settled in Chernarus after purchasing a small plot of farmland. Not rich by any means they made do trading with the locals for anything they didn't produce themselves.
Zakhars childhood was hard as he was bullied and ostracized at school for his parents immigrant status, this made him hostile and before long he was in detentions for fighting on a regular basis. His father had suffered under harsh discipline and wanting to give his son a better life instead chose to take Zakhar hunting and fishing to help them connect and give someone for Zakhar to confide in. Before long, with the regular work of farm life and puberty hitting, Zakhar towered above his fellow students and his strength was outstanding for a teenager, he competed in sambo tournaments, placing respectively throughout his mid teen years.
At 17 Zakhars world changed. The tension was palpable all across Chernarus with rumours and misinformation rife across the cities and even more so in the rural communities surrounding the Ipinski farm land. Zakhar had seen the effects of the current government on his fathers livelihood and being a young naive boy was eager to join with the ChDKZ despite his young age.
His mother and father protested his desires and said that they had best stay out of it, build up supplies and bring in a big harvest for what was about to come but Zakhar was adamant, he ran away from home, leaving a note to tell his father that he wouldn't return unless his parents signed the forms to allow him to join the 'honorable men fighting for better opportunities for all of us' (as a young Zakhar himself put it).
Eventually his parents relented and Zakhar quickly discovered he had wished himself into a nightmare.
The civil war had broken stronger men, killed many more than that, but somehow Zakhar made it from conflict to conflict unscathed physically. His mental state however was taking a severe beating as the atrocities piled up. At the start of the war Zakhar had been an idealist and willing soldier, by the end of the short period he was a cold and almost robotic soldier going through the motions as the bullets started up on each side. The culmination of months of hard fighting was at The Battle of the Pit. The moment to moment was hazy for Zakhar, he remembers the smoke and the screams, and he remembers being dragged backwards down a street as he clutched a profuse wound in his stomach and watching a trail of his own blood being left behind.
The last month of the war was spent in recovery, where Zakhar was given a chance to reflect on what had occurred as well as share his thoughts and feelings with fellow wounded soldiers. During this time Zakhar decided he no longer wanted a military role, his ideas of what service would be like had been shattered, instead he wanted to work with the citizens directly, the people he had grown up with, and help them rebuild after the bloody civil war.
He joined the local police force where he worked day to day in keeping the peace in the secluded communities far outside the major cities. This life suited Zakhar greatly and although the continued tension across the country was hard to ignore, it at least was nothing compared to the year he had spent as a soldier and he spent as much time helping farmers with broken or stuck tractors as he did arresting people for any misdemeanors against the state.
As the outbreak started to become more serious Zakhar was ordered to assist with the squads in cities and towns where he witnessed the effects it was having on society, he urged his parents to pack their things and travel to the borders before their inevitable closure. His parents were stubborn however, and told him that he and the farm were everything they had, leaving them was not an option. Zakhar could not sway them and uneasily tried to protect them as best he could, however, even with the contacts and knowledge he had, he could not prevent them from contracting the virus and being taken away. He had raced home when he heard that they had fallen ill, but when he arrived they were nowhere to be found. As Zakhar set out to find out where they had been taken or admitted to, the last hope for Chernarus was failing...