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How the Modern Warfare 3 Passenger Level Compares to the Controversial No Russian Mission

The Passenger mission in Modern Warfare 3 has some similarities with the original No Russian Mission in Modern Warfare 2 (2009).

how the modern warfare 3 passenger level compares to the controversial no russian mission


  • Modern Warfare 3 has a mission known as Passenger.
  • It sees Makarov execute a terrorist attack and blame it on Urzikstan.
  • A similar false-flag operation happened in Modern Warfare 2 (2009).

Modern Warfare 3 had a campaign early access for individuals who digitally preordered the game. This began on November 5, and despite being plagued with issues, some gamers could play the campaign successfully—the entire game releases on November 10 with all bells and whistles, including the iconic Zombies mode.

The ratings and reviews for the Modern Warfare 3 campaign have since come out and are not favourable. In fact, they are even below mediocre in most cases. That being said, there is a mission in the game that may remind players of the classic No Russians mission in the original Modern Warfare 2, released in 2009.

There was an unpleasant response to the No Russian mission in the original game, and for good reason. The mission saw the player take control of an undercover CIA agent who was forced to kill civilians. The Passenger mission could ruffle some feathers due to similar reasons. It is concluded that the latter isn’t an exact reenactment of the former. But it does share some interesting similarities.

The cinematic for the mission even features the famous “No Russian” phrase.

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What Happens During the Passenger Mission in Modern Warfare 3?

In Modern Warfare 3 (2023), Makarov blames his Terrorist attack on the ULF by forcing Samara.
In Modern Warfare 3 (2023), Makarov blames his terrorist attack on the ULF by forcing Samara.

The mission is hinted at the end of Modern Warfare 2 (2022). That is, a cinematic is presented at the end of the game’s end-credits scene. The cinematic shows Makarov boarding the plane along with his associates. A mercenary is seen wearing a hood and receiving a text message for confirmation.

Then, the final text message in the conversation reads, “No Russian.” Then we proceed towards Modern Warfare 3 (2023), and the mission lets us control a former ULF personnel, Samara Jalal.

After a short conversation, the mercenary goes ahead and says that he knows Samara, as she is a former ULF. The Mercenary reveals that the flight crew and the air marshals were all accomplices in the terrorist attack. He also tells Samara to join him in the attack. Samara retaliates, takes down the mercenary, and wields his weapon.


Everyone on the flight starts to panic. Samaraa tries to take down the mercenaries, only to be caught off-guard by a flashbang. She is knocked out by one of them and is taken to meet Makarov, the antagonist in the Modern Warfare 3 campaign.

Samara is forced to wear a bomb vest as Makarov reveals his evil plans to her. This is where series veterans can see the connection between this mission in Modern Warfare 3 (2023) and No Russian in Modern Warfare 2 (2009).

How the Passenger Mission in Modern Warfare 3 Feels Similar to No Russian

In Modern Warfare 2 (2009), like Modern Warfare 3 (2023), Makarov frames his terrorist attack on the USA by planting a CIA agent at the site of attack.
In Modern Warfare 2 (2009), like Modern Warfare 3 (2023), Makarov frames his terrorist attack on the USA by planting a CIA agent at the site of the attack.

In both of these cases, the path taken by Makarov is a false-flag operation. In layman’s terms, such an operation is executed for the sole purpose of blaming it on the enemy. This is what Makarov does in the Passenger mission. Makarov conducted this attack against his own country and people to blame another country.

This is precisely what happens in Modern Warfare 2 (2009)’s No Russian. The mission sees a CIA agent, Allen, establishing deep cover. He acts as one of Makarov’s associates. No Russian sees Makarov conducting a deeply disturbing homicidal episode at Moscow Airport.

The famous phrase “No Russian” is an instruction to not speak in Russian so as to sabotage Makarov’s plans. He also uses American weapons and plans for Allen, a CIA agent, to force Russia to wage war against the USA.

In the Passenger mission in Modern Warfare 3 (2023), Samara was chosen so as to make sure that the terrorist operation appears to be conducted by Urzikstan’s terrorists.

The mission then concludes with Samara desperately trying to defuse the bomb using her cellphone, which has a timer. Hundreds of passengers are then killed due to Makarov’s attempts, and the blame is conveniently placed on the ULF.

The No Russian mission in Modern Warfare 2 created a lot of controversy because it displayed the morbid and ruthless killing of unarmed civilians. There are other games, like Grand Theft Auto, that allow players to kill civilians. The mission was explicitly criticised for displaying such a population-dense area being targeted.

This was to the extent that the game faced censorship in many countries, and the game’s copy in Russia didn’t allow players to access that level.


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Written by Sparsh

Sparsh Jaimini Sharma is a video games enthusiast and a Games Writer. A true white-blooded Madridsta. He is often seen grinding away at EAFC 24's Ultimate team and learning to code when he is not writing. A Batman fan and Arkham Games connoisseur. He is the quintessential DC aficionado.