Die Hard scenario Wiki
Egor Korshunov
Gary oldman air force one
Ivan or Egor Korshunov on Air Force One
Name: Egor Korshunov
Gender: Male
Hair color: Darker Brown
Eye color: Blue
Age: 39
Nationality: Kazakh (formerly Soviet)
Religion: Unspecified but mentions a belief in God
Alias(es): Possibly Egor Korshunov, unknown if real name is Ivan Korshunov
Affiliation: General Ivan Radek
Profession: Former political commentor, Terrorist Leader
Children: Three unnamed children
Status: Deceased
Cause of death: Broken neck caused by James Marshall
Played by: Gary Oldman
Film: Air Force One

Ivan (or Egor) Korshunov is a ruthless Russian terrorist mastermind and the main antagonist in the 1997 film Air Force One.

Korshunov carried an M4A1 Carbine and a SIG-Sauer P226 pistol as his main sidearm and he was portrayed by future Academy Award-winner Gary Oldman.


A former political commentor for Moscow Radio, Korshunov is a politically motivated, Cold War-era Russian terrorist who hijacks Air Force One in an attempt to force the President of the United States to release Russian dictator General Ivan Radek, a brutal communist who started a genocide, from prison.

Korshunov and his mercenaries disguised themselves as deceased Russian journalists. The names of Korshunov's terrorists are, Andrei Kolchak (his close friend, trusted lieutenant and pilot), Sergei Lenski (his communications expert), Igor Nevsky (his muscle hijacker), Boris Bazylev (his muscle hijacker) and Vladimir Krasin (his comrade and muscle hijacker, whom they've both fought the Afghans together). They were cleared to board Air Force One, the aircraft of the President of the United States, by using fake identities and fingerprints, those of deceased journalists. After takeoff, the group went into the weapons cabinet with the help of a corrupt Secret Service agent named Gibbs and take bulletproof vests and weapons, using them to take control of the plane and keep the passengers as hostages. Before the plane could land at Ramstein, Korshunov kills the pilots and his men fly the plane back into the air. He calls the Vice President and demands the release of General Radek in exchange for the hostages and would kill one every half-hour that passes without Radek released.

The first hostage he executes is Jack Doherty, the national security advisor. Doherty bravely tells Korshunov that he needs to talk to him to get anything done when the phone rings. It is the vice president, who informs him that they need more time to meet their demands. Korshunov promptly shoots Doherty in the head and informs the vice president that the national security advisor has been executed, complimenting his negotiation skills. He then tells her that they have another half hour before he starts killing more hostages. He then executes Melanie Mitchel over the intercom in an attempt to get President James Marshall, who is hiding in the cargo hold and believed by Korshunov to be a surviving Secret Service agent, to come out and surrender.

The president winds up cutting the fuel wires and the plane begins losing fuel. Marshall contacts the white house and tells them that he is going to get the hostages to parachute out of the plane while the terrorists are distracted with the midair refueling. The hostages escape, but Marshall himself is captured by the terrorists. With Marshall captured, Korshunov puts a gun to his daughter's head and orders Marshall to tell the new democratic president of Russia, Petrov, to release Radek immediately, and Petrov obliges, although unbeknownst to the terrorists on board, they have placed snipers outside the prison, who gun Radek down before he can do anything.

Korshunov rejects his promise to let the hostages go once Radek is released, but Marshall has a backup plan. Marshall uses a glass shard to cut through his bonds and kill the remaining two terrorists, including the terrorist pilot. Korshunov drags the First Lady into the cargo hold, intending to kill her. Marshall opens up the cargo hatch and wraps a parachute cord around Korshunov's neck before telling him to get off his plane, and letting it go, snapping his neck and causing him to be flung from the plane. His dead body then floats away into the distance, still attached to the parachute.


Gary Oldman's intense and emotional performance as the complex, cold villain was widely praised, and is considered among the best of his career. Korshunov is a man that does not necessarily enjoy killing, but feels compelled to do it for the benefit of his country, which he feels has been corrupted and weakened after Radek was imprisoned, as if there's no other way to make the world acknowledge the country. Radek may have been a brutal leader, but Korshunov believed that he brought stability and power to Kazakhstan, and after he was taken out of power by Marshall, the country was controlled instead by corrupt politicians, prostitutes and gangsters. Despite this, Korshunov is a very brutal man, willing to kill anybody without hesitation in order for his demands to be met, including women and children. Korshunov did so without mercy or pity and often turned on the intercom system so the President could hear his co-workers beg for their lives and die. Korshunov reveals that he does not think of himself as a monster and that he has a wife and three young children, making his ruthless actions even more interesting. Korshunov claims that he knows what he is doing is wrong, but he would turn his back on God himself for his country, making him truly believe his views to the point of severe radicalism. Korshunov was also a highly intelligent mastermind, having successfully taken over Air Force One nearly singlehandedly, and got into a cat-and-mouse game with the President of the United States, which he almost won.


  • "When you talk to the President, you might remind him that I am holding his wife, his daughter, his chief of staff, his national security advisor, his classified papers, AND his baseball glove!"
  • "More time. Your national security advisor has just been executed. He's a very good negotiator. He bought you another half-hour."
  • "Он служил со мной в течение пяти лет в Афганистане. Выясните, кто убил его, или вы будете лежать рядом с ним." ("He served with me for five years in Afghanistan. Find out who killed him or you will lie down next to him.")
  • "Is this the first time you've seen anyone killed? You think I'm a monster? That I would kill this man? Somebody's son, somebody's father? I am somebody's son, too. I have three small children. Does that surprise you?"
  • "Because I believe. When I shot this man, I knew in that instant, I would turn my back on God Himself for Mother Russia. My doubts, my fears, my own pride and morality! It is all off in this moment. You know, your father he has also killed. Is he a bad man?"
  • "Why? Because he does it in a tuxedo with a telephone call on a smartphone?"
  • "You, who murdered a hundred thousand Iraqis to save a nickel on a gallon of gas are going to lecture me ON THE RULES OF WAR?!? DON'T!!!"
  • "The President is safe - but then you must know that. He ran from here like a whipped dog! I'm sure you can't wait for him to get back to making the decisions so you can stop sweating through that silk blouse of yours!"
  • "What arrogance... to think you could ever understand my intentions!"
  • "Tell me what I want to hear, or I will execute a member of the senior staff and continue killing one hostage every minute until the plane crashes, or refueling plane arrives. Well, what do you say?"
  • "You can end this all with one phone call, Mr. President!"
  • "The most powerful man on the Earth, now, suddenly there are things you cannot do. This is very curious, stop with your fuckin' LIES!"
  • "Really? His wife, his daughter? A man could not live with himself. And it would create such bad politics... I think he will negotiate."
  • "I'm going to kill one of them. You pick. It's what you do in the White House. You play God."
  • "I know what you're thinking, First Lady. You want me dead. Well, we may come to that. You see, people do die in wars."
  • "This is bullshit! It's simple physics. Without fuel the plane crashes, [scoffs] everybody dies!"


  • In the film credits, Korshunov's first name is given as Ivan. However, during the film, his first name is shown to be Egor when his identity is being checked. Korshunov's actual name is most likely Egor because this is what is shown in the film itself, with the name given in the credits having possibly been confused with Ivan Radek, another character from the film played by Jürgen Prochnow. To make matters more confusing, his character's close captioned lines are attributed to "Ivan," and not Egor. And finally, IMDb still lists the character as "Ivan Korshunov."
  • On set, director Wolfgang Peterson said that Oldman was so genial and carefree only to resume a heartless and evil character. In fact, Oldman was apparently so hilarious on set that Peterson nicknamed the film "Air Force Fun".
  • Some viewers who are video gamers think Oldman's performance as Korshunov inspired his later performance as Viktor Reznov (who is also a Soviet Russian combatant, sports a beard like Korshunov and his Russian surname ends with a "-nov" also like Korshunov, but is a heroic character then a villain) in Call of Duty: World at War and Call of Duty: Black Ops (where Oldman is reunited with Andrew Divoff, who played Boris Bazylev in the film). Gamers also see a similarity between Korshunov and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare antagonist Russian ultranationalist Vladimir Makarov.

Air Force One Characters
Heroes President James Marshall - Vice-President Kathryn Bennett
Villains Egor Korshunov - General Ivan Radek - Gibbs
Allies White House Chief of Staff Lloyd Shepard - National Security Advisor Jack Doherty - Deputy Press Secretary Melanie Mitchel - Major Norman Caldwell - Secretary of Defense Walter Dean - Attorney General Andrew Ward
Henchmen Andrei Kolchak - Sergei Lenski - Igor Nevsky - Boris Bazylev - Vladimir Krasin
First family Grace Marshall - Alice Marshall