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General Orlov

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General Gogol is presumptuous. He speaks for himself and others who cling to timid, outdated, and unrealistic policies. Must I remind you, the committee, of our overwhelming superiority over NATO forces before we give it away?
~ Orlov at a meeting with his Russian fellows

General Orlov is a mad Soviet general and the true secondary antagonist of the 1983 James Bond film Octopussy.

He is portrayed by Steven Berkoff, who also portrays Victor Maitland and Lieutenant Colonel Podovsky. Berkoff also plays Adolf Hitler in War and Remembrance.


General Orlov is an aggressive, hot-tempered, power crazed Communist hardliner who wants the Soviet Union to invade Western Europe. While Orlov tries to convince the Kremlin leaders to attack Europe, the majority want to make peace with the West. This leads to the partnership with Kamal Khan.

Their plan is to detonate an atomic bomb on the premises of a US Air Force base in West Germany. Orlov's plan is to set off a chain reaction of events. With the rising tide of both German nationalism and nuclear disarmament through the late 1970s and 80s, Orlov believes such a bomb explosion would be the catalyst for both the "no nukes" lobby to demand nuclear disarmament in West Germany, and the nationalists would pressure the West German government to expel the American military from their land. Both events would allow Orlov’s forces to move in and take control of Europe. General Orlov and Kamal Khan double-cross Octopussy after using her circus as the perfect front to gain entry into the air base. His plans to detonate the bomb only just fail when Bond manages to stop the bomb with only a second to spare.

Bond encounters Orlov late in the film and interrogates him in one of the carriages of Octopussy's circus train. A guard suddenly appears and while Bond is distracted, Orlov flees. He then summons more guards to kill Bond and eventually pursues Bond in his car, fearing he will put a stop to his plans by being onboard the train. As Orlov crosses the border in order to catch up with Bond and the train, he is gunned down by Soviet border guards who mistakenly believe he is defecting to the West. General Gogol stands over the dying Orlov and tells him that he is a disgrace to the uniform, but Orlov claims he will become a "hero of the Soviet Union" the following day. With that, he dies.

Orlovs death

Orlov's death.


Orlov was completely insane, having a manic fixation with the USSR gaining complete power over Europe, as opposed to General Gogol, who preferred to make peace with the West. He was also incredibly psychotic, not caring that thousands of people would die due to his plan. He also had no qualms with betraying Octopussy for his plan to succeed. In addition, he seemed to have a short temper, frequently snapping at people while arguing with them, seen most prominently in his confrontations with both General Gogol and James Bond.


  • General Orlov shares quite a few similarities with Lieutenant Colonel Podovsky, the main antagonist of Rambo: First Blood Part II. They are both sadistic men, both are members of the Soviet Army, and hold high positions of power within it, and both are played by Steven Berkoff.
  • Orlov is similar to Pre Vizsla; they are vicious military leaders who seek to overthrow their superiors and allied with other villains to do so (Orlov: Khan, Vizsla: Darth Maul).

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