The Four Horsemen is the name for a group of four men whose aims appear to become the dominant world power and usurp the Russian Federation. They are named after the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. It is the player's objective throughout Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered to uncover information on them and eventually eliminate three of the four. They all have some form of command role in their respective groups. Achievements are associated with them, as the player gets an achievement each time they complete a mission on Veteran that a Horseman dies in, the only exception being The First Horseman, Vladimir Makarov.
The First Horseman
The First Horseman is Vladimir Makarov, Zakhaev's protégé. During the events of Shock and Awe, it was Makarov who was responsible for the detonation of the nuclear device by ordering the strike via cellphone in the Middle East while standing next to fellow Ultranationalist Yuri, as revealed in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3. He was also the one who saved Zakhaev back in 1996 in Pripyat, after Lieutenant Price blew his left arm off during an assassination attempt. He is the longest surviving Horseman, surviving up until his assassination at Hotel Oasis in Modern Warfare 3, where he was hung by a loose cable by John Price. He was fourth and final horsemen to die.
The Second Horseman
The Second Horseman is Khaled Al-Asad, the leader of a paramilitary force in the Middle East who performed a bloody coup. He is an ally of Imran Zakhaev. It was believed that he was the one responsible for the detonation of the nuclear bomb in the capital, killing many of the invading U.S. forces (30,000, as Shepherd later revealed) after Makarov called in the order. He is later captured alive in his safehouse and executed by Captain Price in the twelfth mission Safehouse. Zakhaev later deployed a large number of Ultranationalists to rescue him, but it was too late. Beating this mission on any difficulty unlocks the achievement Wrong Number, while beating it on Veteran awards the achievement The Second Horseman. He was the first horsemen to die.
The Third Horseman
The Third Horseman is Viktor Zakhaev, the son of Imran Zakhaev. Viktor is the commander of the Ultranationalist military forces on the ground in Russia. He committed suicide before he could be captured in the sixteenth mission, The Sins of the Father. The achievement Desperate Measures is achieved simply for beating The Sins of the Father on any difficulty, while The Third Horseman is achieved for beating The Sins of the Father, and the previous mission Heat, on Veteran. He was the second horsemen to die.
The Fourth Horseman
The Fourth Horseman is Imran Zakhaev, a Russian Ultranationalist and leader of the "Horsemen". He supplied Al-Asad with weapons, including a nuclear weapon. He was thought to be dead 15 years before the main events of the game, having been shot by Lieutenant Price and Captain MacMillan during an assassination attempt in Pripyat, Ukraine. However, he survived the encounter (being saved by Vladimir Makarov and Yuri) and "only" loses his left arm. He is killed by Sergeant John "Soap" MacTavish in the final mission Game Over. The achievement The Fourth Horseman is awarded for completing said mission on Veteran. He was the third horsemen to die.
- The Four Horsemen are a reference to the biblical Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.
- Titles of three of the four horsemen can be found in Modern Warfare 2's files.
- Captain Price has witnessed the deaths of all the horsemen and has personally killed two of them (Khaled Al-Asad and Vladimir Makarov).