Mikhail Bakunin was a member of the Others and a former Soviet soldier who lived in the Flame, a station made by the DHARMA Initiative, where he was stationed to manage communications with the outside world. Skilled in the use of weapons and hand-to-hand combat, Mikhail was a trusted lieutenant of Benjamin Linus. After his capture by Locke, Sayid, Kate, and Rousseau, Locke pushed him through the sonar fence, and he was thought to have been killed, but he survived, attributing his survival to the fence's non-lethal setting. He was later shot by Desmond in the chest with a spear gun, but survived long enough, probably due to the Island's healing properties, to detonate a grenade outside the window of the Looking Glass station, drowning Charlie Pace. He perished when the grenade detonated in his hand, believing that his orders to kill Charlie were, according to Ben, essential to the survival of the Island. He later appeared in a flash-sideway of Jin and Sun as a gangster and an associate of notorious loan shark Martin Keamy.
Before the Island
Bakunin told Sayid that he grew up in Kiev and joined the Soviet Army, performing years of unpleasant actions in the service including a stint in Afghanistan during the war between the Soviets and Mujahaddin. During this time he became familiar with field medical treatments. Mikhail was eventually stationed at a military listening post in Vladivostok, located in the Far East of Siberia on the Pacific Ocean. In the early 1990s his military unit was decommissioned, and he was released from the Soviet Army. He claimed that at the age of 24, he replied to a newspaper advertisement titled "Would you like to save the world?" and was recruited by a "magnificent man." He eventually ended up arriving on the Island around 1993. Before he was revealed as being one of the Others, he had claimed to be a member of the DHARMA Initiative, but later confessed that this was not true. ("Enter 77")
On the Island
Mikhail was put in the charge of the Flame communications station by the Others. He described himself as wanting to work alone like a lighthouse keeper, and the job at the station afforded him that opportunity. At the station, he wore a DHARMA Initiative uniform, and was armed.
The day Oceanic Flight 815 crashed, Ben brought Juliet to the Flame, where Mikhail was already active in screening news reports related to the flight's disappearance, and starting to gather information about everyone aboard. At Ben's request, Mikhail opened a live off-island video feed from Richard Alpert in Miami, showing Juliet that her sister Rachel and Rachel's baby were both alive and quite well, and then cut the feed when Ben told him to. ("One of Us")
Days 72-91 (Season 3)
When Locke, Sayid, Desmond, Nikki and Paulo visited the Pearl station, Sayid was able to rewire the live video surveillance feed to the upper-left monitor (monitor 1). Mikhail, wearing a DHARMA Initiative uniform and an eye patch, appeared. He looked directly at the camera, put his hand over the camera lens, and the signal from the camera was lost. In response, Locke said whimsically, "I guess he'll be expecting us." ("The Cost of Living")
En route to rescue Jack from the Barracks, Kate, Locke, Sayid and Danielle came across the Flame station. Danielle claimed that she had never been there before, and then excused herself from the group, saying that she had managed to survive for so long precisely by avoiding contact with other people on the Island. Mikhail was observed by the group as he performed some chores outside the Flame, and, except for the horse tied up outside that was saddled with short stirrups (and that only Sayid made note of), it appeared that he was the sole inhabitant of the station. Sayid chose to walk unarmed with his hands in the air toward the Flame, but Mikhail shot him in the arm with a rifle. Locke and Kate then charged the station and captured Mikhail. They all then went inside where they interrogated him. Mikhail presented himself as the "last surviving member of the DHARMA Initiative", referred to the Others as the "Hostiles", and implied that they had survived a war known as "The Purge", which had ended with the death of all members of the DHARMA Initiative. Mikhail claimed that the "Hostiles" had been on the Island for a very long time. (Note: Later, Mikhail revealed that he had never been a member of the DHARMA Initiative, but was one of the Others.) A Cyrillic typewriter with a Russian language document by Mikhail was also visible in the room. The text contains the Russian name 'Andrei' and a handwritten note in red on the margins: "My name is also Andrei" [In Russian: "Меня тоже зовут Андрей."]. ("Enter 77")
Sayid and Kate tied him up, and went into the basement of the Flame to investigate. Mikhail managed to untie himself, and he then took Locke hostage by stealing Locke's own knife. ("Enter 77")
When Kate and Sayid returned, they held Bea Klugh, who had been hiding in the basement, hostage. Klugh desperately shouted at Mikhail in Russian to kill her and himself in order to "not let them...get into the territory" (Russian: "Мы не дадим им пройти на территорию."). Mikhail was extremely reluctant, but finally conceded. He asked Klugh for forgiveness, and then shot her in the chest. ("Enter 77")
Immediately after, Mikhail turned the gun on himself, but was quickly subdued by Locke and Sayid before he could follow through. With a rifle pointed at his heart, Mikhail begged for his captors to "finish it," but Sayid decided he was more valuable to them as a prisoner rather than dead. ("Enter 77")
Bound at the wrists, Mikhail traveled with Kate, Sayid, Locke and Rousseau (who rejoined the group) to find the Others' home, the "Barracks". During a discussion, Kate asked Mikhail why he would ever want to return to the Island if he left. He said that it was impossible for her to understand because she was not on "the list". He then went on to detail specific reasons why they were not on the list, indicating that Kate was "flawed", Sayid was "frightened", Rousseau was "weak", and Locke was "angry". Sayid challenged Mikhail, suggesting that he knew nothing about them. Mikhail responded by addressing each of them by their full name, even though none of them had told him this information. Mikhail then said sarcastically that he had no memory of Kate or Sayid, and that he had a memory of "a John Locke", but that the John Locke he knew had been "para-" -- at which point he was cut off by Rousseau.
Once at the Barracks' security perimeter, Mikhail told the other members of the party that it was no longer functional,and that trying to circumvent the perimeter would be a waste of time, as it made a complete loop around the compound. Without consulting Sayid or Kate, Locke suddenly pushed Mikhail between two of the perimeter's sensor pylons, which then began to emit a loud, high-pitched noise. Mikhail thanked Locke for his action, and began to foam at the mouth while blood spouted from his ears. In short order, Mikhail fell backwards and collapsed. Sayid and Kate looked at Locke afterward in shock at his action. After managing to cross the barrier, they left his body there, believing him to be dead. ("Par Avion")
Later it was revealed that Mikhail survived because "the pylons were not set to a lethal level"("The Man Behind the Curtain"). Several days later, shortly after Hurley fired a flare, he came across Desmond, Charlie, Jin and Hurley with the injured Naomi. He attempted to flee, but he was chased down by Jin. Jin overpowered him, and Mikhail offered to help save Naomi if they promised to let him go afterward. Desmond agreed, and Mikhail set to work performing first aid on Naomi. He quickly diagnosed that she had a punctured lung. He ventilated her, and removed the branch that had caused the damage. After bandaging her, he said that she would be ready to move in a day or a day and a half, noting that wounds heal much more quickly on the Island. He then left. Before he could get very far, it was discovered that Naomi's satellite phone was missing. Jin chased him down again, and it was revealed that he had taken it. Desmond still stuck to his word and let Mikhail go, despite Charlie and Jin's protests. Mikhail commented that they should understand that he had to at least have tried to take the phone. ("D.O.C.")
Mikhail then found the Others in the jungle, together with Locke. He reported to Ben that the fence was set at a non-lethal setting, and then told about Naomi's arrival. Ben tried to forestall Locke's request to see Jacob by using this new crisis as an excuse. In response, Locke attacked and beat Mikhail senseless while the Others watched from a distance, despite Ben's orders to some of them to intervene. Later, Mikhail watched Ben and Locke leave to go to Jacob, glaring at Locke. ("The Man Behind the Curtain")
Mikhail was later given the task of securing the Looking Glass when Ben discovered that Charlie had managed to get in. Mikhail arrived at the cable the next day, spotted Desmond in the outrigger just offshore, and fired some rounds at him with his rifle. Desmond dove down to the Looking Glass for safety.
Mikhail then arrived inside the Looking Glass, and found fellow Others Bonnie and Greta, whom he greeted: "I thought you were on assignment in Canada!" He explained that he was there to check up on things. Alone in the Looking Glass' communications room, Mikhail contacted Ben over his portable radio, questioning him why Ben had previously claimed the Looking Glass had been flooded. Ben admitted to having lied to his people about that, explaining that he did it for the good of the Island, and that the lie now needed to be covered up, meaning everyone inside the Looking Glass was to be killed. After deliberation, Mikhail accepted the task. He then emerged from the communications room, shot Greta dead, and fatally wounded Bonnie, before he was himself shot by Desmond (who had been hiding in the weapons locker) with a spear gun. Mikhail fell down, seemingly dead, leaving Desmond and Charlie to continue their mission to stop the Looking Glass from blocking all radio signals on the Island.
However, Mikhail was not dead, and managed to escape from the Looking Glass after diving back into the ocean water. As Charlie was in the communications room, Mikhail appeared outside the porthole without any breathing apparatus and with a grenade in hand. He then made sure to catch Charlie's attention by tapping on the window before setting off the grenade, still in hand, grinning. The porthole shattered and water flooded in, drowning Charlie, with Mikhail perishing when the hand grenade detonated. Charlie managed to save Desmond by closing the door before the water could escape from the room.
Bakunin, now with two functioning eyes instead of just one eye, was a Russian gangster operating in Los Angeles, and an associate of Martin Keamy and Omar, whom they know via Danny. He was able to speak nine different languages, including Korean, and appeared to be trained in the martial arts. Keamy called him in to translate for Jin and Sun in order to interrogate them. ("The Package")
Mikhail translated between the Koreans (Jin and Sun) and Keamy, and Keamy ordered Mikhail to take Sun to the bank in order to withdraw money for him. When she discovered that the bank account was closed, she and Mikhail went to a specified restaurant where they expected to meet up with Keamy, his thugs, and Jin. Mikhail instead, found that Keamy's men had been murdered and that Keamy himself was gravely wounded. Keamy, mumbled with pain, and warned Mikhail to turn around as Jin had snuck up behind him.
Trying to subdue and then escape from Mikhail, Jin fired a gun at the Russian who then abruptly collapsed as the bullet took out his right eye. In the struggle between Jin and Mikhail, another stray bullet hit Sun in the side and Jin immediately rushed her to the hospital. Mikhail, having struggled briefly with Jin, now lay apparently dead on the floor from a gun wound to his head. ("The Package")
"Pickett obviously died earlier, Klugh is gone, Mikhail is dead, so you know there are more of us than the Others, we did pretty well in sort of the final tally."
—Damon Lindelof, producer, Comic Con 2007
As heard on the August 2 podcast, Damon Lindelof confirmed at Comic-Con 2007 that Mikhail is deceased.  This can further be heard on the September 21st podcast and on the Blu-ray Disc of Lost: The Complete Third Season.
- Out of all the main characters, Mikhail has only met Ben, Juliet, Sayid, Kate, Locke, Desmond, Charlie, Jin, Sun, Hurley and Richard.
- In every episode where Mikhail makes a non-flashback appearance with speaking lines, he is brutally beaten up or wounded until he eventually appears to die.
- He appeared in 9 episodes. 8 in the present timeline and 1 in the flash-sideways.
- Mikhail speaks Russian, English and Italian. Later, while treating Naomi, Mikhail seems to also understand Portuguese. ("D.O.C.") His counterpart in the flash-sideways timeline is referred to by Martin Keamy as speaking "like nine different languages," one being Korean. ("The Package")
- When reporting to Ben about Naomi's freighter he translates the 80 miles distance into 130 "klicks." ("The Man Behind the Curtain"). "Klick" is a common military term meaning "kilometer". Its use became popular among soldiers in Vietnam during the 1960s. He also referred to her helicopter as a "helo," a military term for helicopter.
- The character shares his name with philosopher Mikhail Bakunin.
- Mikhail is farsighted.
- Mikhail appears to have some understanding of the Russian martial art sambo (combat variation), which was probably part of his military training.
- Mikhail is the third character in the series to have begged to be killed at gunpoint (the first being Rousseau in "Maternity Leave" and the second being Bea Klugh earlier in the same episode "Enter 77").
- His birthday, November 12th, is also the birthday of Nadia Comaneci (1961-11-12), which makes Mikhail a Scorpio.
- In 1967, Nadia Comaneci joined a newly formed gym club, "The Flame."
- His cat is named after Nadia Comaneci, and also has the same name as Sayid's former lover.
- In the 15th issue of Lost: The Official Magazine, Andrew Divoff claimed he played the shooting of Bea Klugh as if the two were lovers. He also says he thinks Mikhail did not participate in the Purge.
- He has a lot of features very similar to Sayid, including his past in the military, his solitary nature and his experience with communications equipment.
- Witnesses of death: Charlie Pace, Desmond Hume
- Last words: "I'm sorry, Bonnie. I, too, am following orders."
- According to the March 20, 2007 episode of the official Lost podcast, Mikhail's entire story was true except for the part about being in the DHARMA Initiative.
- An early on-set name to describe the character, Patchy, was referenced by script coordinator Gregg Nations on the Fuselage forum.
- Nations also confirmed that Mikhail is not Radzinsky and that Radzinsky is in fact dead.
- During Comic Con 2007, Damon Lindelof listed some of the Others that died, and he included Mikhail in the list.
Reference to anarchist philosopher Mikhail Bakunin
- The real Mikhail Bakunin was a proponent of anarchism and the questioning of authority. Ironically, the show's Mikhail is referred to by Ben as "a loyalist", and he (apparently) agrees with Bonnie that the Others shouldn't question their orders. The real Mikhail was also an atheist, while the show's Mikhail believed in Jacob as a higher power. ("Through the Looking Glass, Part 1")
- For fan theories about these unanswered questions, see: Mikhail Bakunin/Theories
- When and under what circumstances did he meet Jacob?
- When did he arrive on the Island?
- What happened to his eye?
- What is the significance of, presumably, Mikhail's note: "My name is also Andrei"?