|Died:||Day 5: 5:19am|
Neck broken with legs by Jack Bauer
|Played by:||Julian Sands|
|First episode:||"Day 5: 3:00pm-4:00pm"|
|Last episode:||"Day 5: 5:00am-6:00am"|
Vladimir Bierko was a Russian businessman who financed and led the Dawn Brigade, a group of separatists inside Central Asia who wanted their country freed from Russian rule. His homeland had been occupied by Russia for over 200 years, but Bierko and his followers wished for independence once and for all.
Bierko and some of his most skilled lieutenants—including Anton Beresch, Ivan Erwich and Ostroff—infiltrated the United States with a large number of loyal separatists to complete a deal to purchase Sentox nerve gas from corrupt American officials in order to return the gas to Moscow and use it in their terror campaign. When Erwich uncovered the American conspiracy against the Dawn Brigade, Bierko, his plans to return to Moscow with the gas foiled, struck back and attacked numerous US targets throughout Day 5. Most of his plans with the gas were foiled by the efforts of CTU Los Angeles and Jack Bauer, who killed him in self-defense at the end of the day.
Before Day 5
After the collapse of the Soviet Union, Bierko made billions in weaponry and oil, and used this money to create the Dawn Brigade and finance its terrorist activities. He published several manifestos supporting attacks against Russia and about Kaukistan's right to be free from Russian rule.
With help from the well-connected Russian diplomat and apparent supporter Anatoly Markov, Bierko came into contact with a former CIA agent, named James Nathanson. Nathanson agreed to supply Bierko with Sentox VX nerve gas, which Nathanson obtained from Omicron International, a leading defense contractor in the United States. Bierko used Ivan Erwich to obtain the canisters of nerve gas for him.
When Erwich discovered that Nathanson planned to gas the separatists, he used some of the nerve gas against the American public. Bierko, still desiring only to use it on Russian soil, killed Erwich for deviating from their plan. He then contacted President Logan and forced him to surrender Russian President Yuri Suvarov's motorcade route. If Logan didn't comply, he threatened to use the nerve gas on Americans again.
In the meantime, Bierko's men wiped out Nathanson and at least two of his co-conspirators (Alpha 7 and Nathanson's subordinate). At almost 4:00pm, Bierko called Mike Novick, who gave them the motorcade route with Logan's permission. Bierko then met with his men and decided where they would attack the motorcade. ("Day 5: 3:00pm-4:00pm")
Meanwhile, because his attack on Suvarov's motorcade failed, Bierko decided that America was just as good a target as Russia. Instead of using the canisters on Russian soil, Bierko decided to start a wave of terrorist attacks in the United States.
In an effort to distract CTU Los Angeles from the activity of Ostroff, Bierko sent Viktor Grigorin to release a canister of nerve gas in a local hospital. This attack failed, as Curtis Manning was able to kill Grigorin and have the gas released in a contained area. Ostroff managed to reprogram a CTU key card, belonging to Lynn McGill, and gain access to CTU.
Ostroff released the gas inside the building, but he was killed by Jack Bauer before escaping. The attack on CTU was partially successful, as over 40% of their personnel ended up dying from the attack (including Edgar Stiles). Luckily, Chloe O'Brian sealed off some areas. Lynn McGill stopped the gas from breaking through the seals but died for his efforts.
When Vice President Hal Gardner persuaded President Logan to initiate martial law in Los Angeles, Bierko found it difficult to maximize casualties. He spent $10,000,000 US of his personal fortune to purchase the schematics to the Wilshire Gas Company from Collette Stenger. He planned to release the nerve gas through the natural gas pipelines, to kill at least 200,000 American lives in their own homes.
With help from Theo Stoller, Jack brought in Collette Stenger, who claimed that she got her information from Audrey Raines. Jack was convinced Audrey was innocent, and was able to prove it. Stenger then confessed to Bierko's plan. Jack and Curtis Manning arrived at the gas company, and were able to neutralize the gas by blowing up the pipelines.
After the explosion, Bierko was knocked unconscious and Curtis took him back to CTU, while Bauer decided to follow up on another lead. Bierko was given medical attention and was unconscious for the next several hours. When he did regain consciousness, Bierko was escorted out of CTU by armed guards, who were transporting him to the District penitentiary.
With help from one of his henchmen who infiltrated his CTU van as driver, Bierko was able to escape and start his next plan. He boarded the Russian submarine the Natalia, and, after killing nearly all of the crew with the last remaining canister of nerve gas, seized control of its payload of ballistic missiles. With help from Christopher Henderson and using Joseph Malina's captured intel, CTU learned about Bierko's plan.
When the President learned that Bierko could release a warhead by 5:20 am, he authorized Admiral Kirkland to have his fighter jets destroy the sub. However, the ship's sole survivor, Petty Officer Tim Rooney, opened a hatch for Jack, Henderson, and Agent McCullough to gain entry. While Henderson canceled the missile launch sequence, McCullough was shot but Jack killed Bierko's men. Though Bierko put up a fight, Jack was able to kill him by snapping his neck. Henderson successfully cancelled the launch sequence, neutralizing Bierko's threat.
In Day 6, it was uncovered that Russian consul Anatoly Markov actually had been a party in conjunction with then-President Charles Logan and the conspiracy to aid in mutual oil-interests in Central Asia. Markov acted as a middleman for communications between Bierko's brigade and the conspiracy.
- Vladimir Bierko: I spent a year securing a weapon that would bring Moscow to its knees, and you waste it by killing a handful of American civilians.
- Ivan Erwich: We were betrayed, Bierko. Someone must pay.
- Vladimir Bierko: (prepares to stab Erwich) I agree. ("Day 5: 3:00pm-4:00pm")
- Vladimir Bierko: If Russia isn't going to pay with the life of its President, then its new ally, the United States, will pay with the lives of its citizens. Mr. President, this is our final conversation. Goodbye.
- Charles Logan: (just as Bierko hangs up) No, wait! ("Day 5: 4:00pm-5:00pm")
- Sam: It'll take about an hour.
- Vladimir Bierko: You don't seem to care much for your friends, do you, Sam? (signals his henchman to kill another employee)
- Sam: Wait! I-I might be able to get it done in thirty minutes.
- Vladimir Bierko: You have fifteen. ("Day 5: 9:00pm-10:00pm")
- Henchman: We can't do much damage with one canister of nerve gas.
- Vladimir Bierko: You are so wrong. Let's go. (takes off the bandage off the side of his head) ("Day 5: 4:00am-5:00am")
- Vladimir Bierko: (speaking into P.A.) Remove your masks! We are close to finishing what we started today. I have identified twelve high-value targets—financial centers, transportation hubs, high-population-density areas. The Americans will wake up to discover how steep a price they paid for their alliance with Moscow. What we are about to accomplish will be remembered by our countrymen forever. ("Day 5: 5:00am-6:00am")
Background information and notes
- Although a Slavic character, actor Julian Sands portrays Bierko with a pronounced southern English accent throughout the season.
- Bierko appears in 11 episodes: see his notable Recurring antagonist distinctions.
- Bierko and the fictional Kaukistani Dawn Brigade separatists were inspired by the Chechens, who are predominantly Muslim peoples under Russian provincial control. No connection between Bierko and the Chechens was established or denied.