General Czeslav Andreyevich Korbut (Russian: Чеслав Андреевич Корбут) is the head of intelligence of the Red Line and the main antagonist of Metro: Last Light. He orchestrates most of the events during the campaign, although this is not fully revealed until late in the game. Manipulative and cruel, Korbut almost becomes responsible for the destruction of the whole Metro through his plans to conquer it all.
Korbut was born before the war, though it is unknown exactly when - he is around 35-40 years old during Last Light, meaning he was born around 1990. Like thousands more, he sought shelter inside the Metro when World War III broke out. From here, nothing more is known about him. At some point, probably after the collapse of Central Metro Command, he joined the Red Line. Somehow, he managed to achieve the position of Head of Intelligence of the whole Red Line, making him an important advisor to Maxim Moskvin, the brother of the then current leader of the Red Line, Andrey Moskvin.
Not long before the events of Metro: Last Light, Korbut approached Maxim, claiming that Andrey was planning to have him killed, so that Andrey would be the sole ruler of the Red Line. Korbut convinced Maxim to strike first - Maxim later invited Andrey to drink with him, lacing his drink with poison; Andrey died, and Maxim suceeded him as the head of the Red Line, with Korbut as his second in command. However, Korbut, the only one who knew of Maxim's secret, used his position to have much more control than he should have. In essence, Korbut now controlled the Red Line.
Soon afterwards, Korbut heard about a fearsome new mutant, from the station of VDNKh/Exhibition, and how it was causing mayhem there - Korbut became fascinated with the creatures, and planned to capture one and domesticate one. However, before he could, a young man, Artyom, destroyed the Dark Ones, ending his plan.
Metro: Last LightEdit
Despite the Dark Ones being destroyed, Korbut dispatched a group of Stalkers, Korbut's loyal soldier, Pavel amongst them, to the Botanical Gardens to search for any remaining Dark Ones - however, the group was captured by Stalkers from the Fourth Reich, and Korbut presumed them lost, and moved onto other plans.
As well as the Dark Ones, Korbut planned to conquer the whole Metro through other means - for some time, even before D6's discovery, Korbut had a double-agent working inside the Rangers, Lesnitsky. Lesnitsky constantly fed information to Korbut, including the discovery of the D6 bunker complex, and the myriad of weapons and food it presumably contained. Korbut, eager to get his hands on such riches, devised a plan to take over D6 - using a deadly bio-weapon Lesnitsky stole from D6, Korbut would kill everyone else inside the Metro, leaving the Red Line as the sole rulers of the Metro. Lesnitsky escaped the Rangers with a sample of the bio-weapon, ransacking his office to make it look as if he had been kidnapped, and made it to the Red Line.
Not long after, Korbut came face to face with Artyom, who was once again on the search of a Dark One. Having been betrayed and drugged by Pavel, Artyom is taken to Korbut. Korbut plans to use truth serums on Artyom. However, Moskvin arrives and interrogates Artyom with torture to show his son how to get the truth. His son, Leonid, calls him a butcher and storms out of the room. Moskvin, angry, tells Korbut to do anything to get the truth from Artyom, only asking that Korbut shoots him when he's done. Korbut uses the truth serum, revealing that there is a surviving Dark One and it is in a Hansa freakshow. Artyom, who passed out earlier, overhears Korbut dispatching Pavel to Venice to find the Dark One, as well as to deliver a 'special package' there. Before Artyom can, presumably, be executed, he is set free by Moskvin's son, Leonid. During his escape, through the air duct, Artyom overheard his plans for the next move.
With the bio-weapon sent to Venice with Pavel (who gave it to hired bandits to place), Korbut dispatched a group of men, Lesnitsky among them, to test it - they chose Oktyabrskaya, a neutral station, but one that would effectively cut Hansa in two were it to be destroyed. The test was extremely sucessful, with most of the population of Oktyabrskaya wiped out, though the Reds failed to cut Hansa in two. But Korbut's supply of the virus had been depleted, so he planned to attack D6 to take the rest of the virus. Hearing from Pavel, who failed to intercept the Dark One in Venice, Korbut orders him to take his men and ambush Artyom in Red Square. Once again, Pavel failed to complete his objective, and is either killed or abandoned by Artyom - either way, Pavel was out of the picture, meaning Korbut had to make his next move soon.
Using secret tunnels beneath the Kremlin, Korbut moves the whole Red Army ready to assault D6. Once again using leverage against Moskvin, Korbut makes him attend the Polis Peace Conference to catch the Rangers off guard, leaving D6 relatively undefended and easily conquered. However, Korbut's ploy fails as the Baby Dark One reads Moskvin's mind, revealing how he poisoned his brother and was manipulated into Korbut's hands - this warning gives the Rangers enough time to get to D6 and mount a defence.
With his troops in place, Korbut orders an attack, beginning the Battle of D6 - he sends waves and waves of troops, a tank and his finest commandoes to kill the Rangers, but they are all defeated - using his only remaining card, Korbut launches the Red's Armored Train at D6, destroying the Ranger's defences and allowing Korbut's remaining troops to take the battlefield.
Walking amongst the dead and dying Rangers himself, Korbut mocks an injured Miller, proclaiming victory. Miller orders Artyom to set the detonator that will destroy D6 - Korbut notices Artyom, and mocks him too, before suddenly realising what he is about to do. From here, during the standard C'est la Vie ending, Artyom sets the timer on the bomb - Korbut frantically pushes past his troops, vainly attempting to escape the impending explosion, but perishes along with the Rangers and the rest of the Red Army. During the Redemption ending, before Artyom can set the timer, the Baby Dark One appears, telling Artyom he can stop - with the Dark Ones that were hibernating inside D6, the Baby Dark One attacks Korbut and the Red Army, tearing Korbut apart, killing many and routing the rest of the Red Army, sparing the remaining Rangers.
- The name Czeslav (pronounced Cheslav) is of Slavic origin - derived from elements "chest" (honour) and "slava" (glory). Чеслав is a very rare name in Russia; it is much more common in Poland (Czesław) and Czech Republic (Česlav). All three variants of this name are pronounced almost identically.
- Korbut was originally going to have an eye-patch, however it is absent in Last Light.
- In the ending cutscene, upon seeing Miller with his missing legs, Korbut remarks, "Whom do I see - the whole colonel Miller ...forgive me, ALMOST!". This is word play on a common Russian expression, 'the whole' being used to emphasise the surprise. Korbut amusingly mocks this by correcting himself in response to Miller's less than whole form (lack of legs).
- Korbut remarks of his resemblance to emperor Xerxes I of Persia upon successfully wiping out the Rangers defending D6 in the final level of Last Light. This is a nod to the fall of the 300 Spartans before the Persian army at the Siege of Thermopylae, with the Rangers (of their home base Sparta) standing in for the Spartans and the obviously overwhelming Red Line invading force mirroring Xerxes's Persian army of legends.
- As Miller, the leader of the Rangers, was modeled to resemble King Leonidas in Last Light, this is more appropriate than it seems.
- Korbut has scars on the left side of his face, similar to many others in the Metro, and is blind in his right eye - it is unknown where or when he received the wounds, but it is likely from a mutant of some kind.
- A concept art of Korbut (as seen in the Gallery) shows him a little different. His hair is lighter and he has a pony-tail. His uniform is also different. He lacks the four-star collar insignia and looks more like a foot soldier than an officer. He also wears what appear to be cowboy boots with spurs.
- A very similar character with the same patronymic and surname played a key role in Dark Tunnels by Sergei Antonov, but over 3 years before the release of the game. This is one of the many examples how 4A Games and Glukhovsky were inspired by stories from the Universe of Metro 2033.
- Korbut is actually mentioned in the book Metro 2035. He, like in the game, commanded the attack on D6 (called "bunker" in the book.)