As part of the top-secret US-Russian Stargate Accord of 2000, select members of the Russian Federation military started joining off-world missions with their American counterparts as of 2002. While ostensibly under the command of Stargate Command, these Russian operatives also served the interests of their own government under the supervision of Col. Chekov, the Russian envoy and liaison to the SGC. All Russian SGC members are drawn from the ranks of the Russian Air Force.
One such Russian soldier was Capt. Alexei Grigorovich Zakharov. Born to a humble family of farmers outside of Moscow on July 4, 1976, young Alexei wanted much more in life than just being another failed experiment of the Communist agricultural collectivization scheme. He had two dreams – to win a medal in martial arts at the Olympics, and to become a cosmonaut. So, the short but scrappy young man studied kickboxing, wing chun and karate as he grew up, winning several awards and medals along the way. He also cracked open his textbooks and focused on getting an aeronautical engineering degree at the prestigious National University of Science and Technology (MISiS) in Moscow.
Despite years of dedicated effort, he never achieved either goal, so he joined the Russian Air Force, instead, in 1996. Eventually in 1997 he made his way into the elite 45th Independent Spetsnaz Regiment headquartered in Moscow. His physical and mental qualifications were more than acceptable. Of course, it didn’t hurt that Alexei was the nephew of up-and-coming bureaucrat Gen. Ivan Vasilyevich Zakharov.
Ivan Vasilyevich, or “Uncle Vanya” as he is known to his only nephew, eventually became the Deputy Minister of Defense of Moscow. The senior Zakharov had no children of his own, so he was pinning all his nepotistic hopes on Alexei. While proud of the boy’s accomplishments, he was also disappointed at his failures. Yet when the opportunity presented itself to recommend Alexei as a potential member of an SGC team, Ivan Vasilyevich did just that. And the captain was accepted into the program.
Alexei did well in his SGC training and was initially placed into the Russian unit (SG-20) in Cheyenne Mountain in Colorado in early 2002. His record there brought him to the attention of Maj. General P.K. Loyer, so Alexei was transferred off-world to the Phoenix site later that year to be part of Loyer’s operation.