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DHS- Julian Sands as Bierko on 24

Vladimir Bierko

Vladimir Bierko is one of the primary villains on the fifth season of the television series "24" and is portrayed by actor Julian Sands.

Bierko was a Russian businessman who financed and led the Dawn Brigade, a group of Russian separatists inside Central Asia. His homeland had been occupied by Russia for over 200 years, but Bierko and his followers wished to be free of Russian rule once and for all.

Bierko and some of his most skilled lieutenants—including Anton Beresch, Ivan Erwich, Ostroff, Mikhail and his technician—infiltrated the United States with a large number of loyal separatists to complete a deal to purchase Sentox nerve gas from corrupt American officials. When Erwich uncovered the American conspiracy against the Dawn Brigade, Bierko struck back and attacked numerous US targets throughout Day 5.

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.

Day 5[]

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. (5x09)

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 ship 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 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, with help from the ship's sole survivor, Petty Officer Tim Rooney, Jack, Henderson, and CTU Agent McCullough were able to storm the ship.

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 Bierko by snapping his neck.

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.

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 total of Season 5.
  • 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.