Born and raised in the Soviet Union, Zangief is an incredibly patriotic character who has been motivated in some way to fight for his Motherland in every single game he has ever been in. Street Fighter II: The World Warrior depicted that Zangief was from the U.S.S.R. when the game was released in 1991. The Soviet Union ceased to exist by the end of 1991, but due to the heavy use of Soviet iconography in and around Zangief's character, including his homestage (where an iron plant complete with a giant hammer and sickle logo imprinted on the floor), Zangief was depicted as being from the U.S.S.R. as late as 1998, when Street Fighter Alpha 3 was released (though justifiably, the Alpha series takes place between the first and second games, meaning the U.S.S.R. still existed as of then). Street Fighter IV was the first time Zangief was depicted as being from the Russian Federation in 2008.
Zangief's personality has varied from one media source to another, but he's mostly been portrayed as a very fearless and tactiful fighter who's prone to quick temperments, and is always very competitive. Zangief is a man who is immensely proud of his physique, and constantly belittles his opponent's smaller muscular build and blaming their losses on their smaller physique. Despite his short temper, Zangief has shown himself to be rather gentle-natured with a good sense of humor at times, once entering a tournament partly to win the admiration of a group of school children. According to the instruction manual of Street Fighter II: Special Championship Edition for the Sega Genesis/Mega-Drive, Zangief is described as being "good natured, with a great sense of humor, and totally fearless."
Zangief can be easily misled by his overwhelming sense of patriotism for his home country. In Street Fighter Alpha 2, it was revealed that Gorbachev's intentions for Zangief is only for political gain, although Zangief fails to realize this and continues to fight for the glory and honor of Russia, no matter what the reason may be.
While not fighting, Zangief enjoys cossack dancing, vodka, and borscht. Some of the things which he doesn't like includes young women (because he views them as a distraction), bears that don't know how to wrestle properly, and (according to the manual for Super Street Fighter II Turbo for the 3DO) Tiger Shots, Hadoukens, and Yoga Fires.
I'd love to get something started! I'm free pretty much any time I'm on - which is usually the evenings, every day... skipping a day or two sometimes to decompress - but thank you for reading my profile! I get flac about the pronouns thing sometimes. But, meh, ignore the hate to be happier! I'll read over your bio right after sending this comment. That said - I am quite the FG enthusiast, so I'd love to talk games sometime!