"We who call ourselves Machine Race are now charged with protecting not just Mother Russia's greatest daughter, but all of her many children, from those who would masquerade as our 'friends' and 'allies'! Never forget, comrades, how those lying snakes murdered Alexei Trotsky, and never forgive them for their wanton butchery!!"
~ Kaffarov during one of his many speeches denouncing the Imperium of Sidhae.
Varfolomei Kaffarov is a populist who is notorious for his radical classical interpretation of the Mechanocratic Ideology. Charismatic and brazen, he regularly tours the socialist world to recite the Mechanocratic promise to the thousands of people who come to hear him speak. Because of the firebrand nature of his homilies, he is widely regarded in the Western world as a hate-preacher and is banned from travelling to the New Frenco Empire, the Commonwealth, the Unified States of South America and the European Federation (the travel ban to Europe is lifted upon the foundation of the United European Mechanocracy in 2153).
Amongst the ideologues and particularly the so-called 'skinhead' youth culture, however, Kaffarov is considered to be a beacon of immovable resilience in the face of adversity. Thanks to the events of the Sixteen July conspiracy and the following 'Black Scare' that saw widespread public suspicion and anxiety directed towards the Imperium of Sidhae (in spite of government attempts to calm the hysteria), many ordinary people began to view him in this light also as he began to preach of the "alien menace".
One of Kaffarov's most successful and damaging denunciations of all was the hugely-popular Remember Zina Movement. Here, he used ex-marine captain Zinoviya Marilova, whose torture genuinely concerned and enraged him once he learned of it (courtesy of a data-leak by Narodnaya Volya agents, who too saw the Imperium as a dire threat), as an example of the Imperium's capacity for unprovoked cruelty against innocent Mecharussian citizens. In every rally that he attended after the establishment of the Movement, he would have a portrait of Marilova hung up on the wall behind him while he proceeded with his fiery address.
It was the kidnapping by Alain of Elena Trotskaya's two children, Evgeniy and Yulia, that made Kaffarov into a truly unstoppable sociopolitical juggernaut, however. In the eyes of many millions of Mecharussians, his strong distrust of the Imperium had just been proven right. His furious speeches accusing the Sidh government of deliberately leaving the Judicator unpunished after the Sixteen July conspiracy and the National People's Senate of kowtowing to the demands of New Aedun attracted audiences numbering in the hundreds of thousands to his rallies, and with them many new followers.
After this, Kaffarov quickly became a headache for the authorities, the Mecharussian government by this time negotiating with the Imperium to facilitate the Flight of the Polunochnaya. Even at his most ferocious, he always made a point of operating within the law, and assassination was out of the question for fear of starting riots and possibly even a popular revolt. Worse, there were fears among the Senate that the Imperium would dispatch a Judicator to silence him themselves, which would only enrage the people further and lead to demands for war that would be impossible to suppress. Considerable effort went into hiding Kaffarov's tirades from the Imperial representatives during the negotiations, to the point that Foreign Minister Nikolai Fyodorov personally ordered the removal of all telescreens and radio sets from the Nevskiy Prospekt Hotel where the delegates were staying.
By the end of the Flight, Kaffarov had become a political heavyweight in Mecharussian society, able to marshal his enormous support base to throw behind whatever cause he believed in. Knowing this, Trotskaya secretly recruited the populist to instigate a huge revolt on the 4th of March against the shaken old regime, the day that she would launch the Six-Day Purge that would sweep her to power. On the day of the Purge's beginning, the Senate's worst fears were realised as Kaffarov – a strong admirer and supporter of Trotskaya – urged the Mecharussian people to side with the upcoming new regime in a series of nationwide speeches.
After the Purge was completed and the new order was brought to fruition after heavy fighting in Sunikagrad, the Popular Front was absorbed into the Mecharussian Ministry of Propaganda and Enlightenment per the Trotskaya Reforms. Kaffarov was the logical choice for a job as a Propaganda Secretary, and in the post-Purge years, he would travel the multiverse to bring the Mechanocratic Ideology to far-flung worlds in the ever-expanding Mecharussian interdimensional empire.
Eventually, he would come to resent being viewed by Westerners as nothing more than Trotskaya's personal performing monkey, but by that time he had become a shadow of his former strength in Mecharussian domestic politics. Only on his last day as a populist before he retired, much too late to do anything about it, did Kaffarov finally realise that Trotskaya had verifiably screwed him over. The ever-wily Grand Curatrix had deliberately kept him away from Earth to prevent him from posing such a threat to her regime as he had to Prokhor Stahlrim's.
For all of his bitter, angry rhetoric against the actual and theoretical enemies of the Machine Race, the fundament of Kaffarov's mission is genuinely benevolent: he truly believes that what he is doing is helping to bring about a better life for his compatriots. He is a man in whom perceived injustices will incite flash anger, which is then transferred to the passionate speeches and literature that inspires many worldwide to follow the Mechanocratic Ideology. Another key aspect of his appeal is that Kaffarov is a man of principle. He lives ascetically and diligently, and his peers also report that he is always calm and polite outside of the public sphere, all by mandate of the Ideology which he follows to the point of ardency.
Of course, from a western point of view, Kaffarov is a sanctimonious, vilely-racist thug of a man: he is, after all, the archetypal 'skinhead', and he is not above inciting or participating in violence against organics to spread his ideology. He still believes that Neoeugenics is the sole path for human evolution to take, and that the Mechanocracy should eventually control all peoples of the world if the species is to survive.
Kaffarov will make his debut in Flight of the Polunochnaya.
- Kaffarov's character is inspired in no small part by American presidential candidate Donald Trump, particularly with his nature as a demagogic, xenophobic firebrand. He also borrows heavily from Senator Joseph McCarthy, the architect behind the so-called 'Red Scare' in the early 1950s.
- Appearance-wise, Kaffarov is modelled on Viktor Marchenko, an antagonist in Deus Ex: Mankind Divided.