|“|| Do you want to earn the respect of fellow stalkers? Do you want to build a team of loyal friends who will stick up for you in times of trouble? Do you dream of kicking some Duty ass? All this and many other opportunities awaits you if you join Freedom!|
- Freedom propaganda aired on their intercom system
Freedom are Anarchists and daredevils who declare themselves to be fighting for free access to the Zone, and consequently find themselves in constant conflict with army units, military stalkers, and Duty. Freedom is a clan of stalkers who fight for free access to the Zone, and their views are somewhat communistic, believing in collective ownership of the zone and seeing it both as a scientific marvel that could answer the problems of the world, and a breakthrough to numerous technological achievements, similar to the view of the Ecologists. Because of their ideals they constantly find themselves in conflict with the Military and their long time nemesis, Duty. They view Duty as no more than a clan of dimwitted jarheads who see nothing, hear nothing, and only know how to pull a trigger, as instead of finding a way to co-exist with the Zone, they attempt to destroy it, whereby the Zone only retaliates with mutant attacks. Similar in size and manpower to Duty, they have the offensive strength and resources to wage a faction war against them and defend their beliefs.
In contrast to the regimented, highly disciplined atmosphere of Duty, the members of Freedom have a much more relaxed, informal attitude. They appear to have a more casual command structure, often referring to each other as "bro", with a number of members shown making regular recreational use of alcohol and marijuana. This further reflects their status as a clan of like-minded free spirits, unlike the ex-military soldiers of Duty. Regardlessly, Freedom members are able to function very effectively as an organized fighting force when necessary.
Freedom was founded by a group of free stalkers aiming to research the Zone and make its fruit, artifacts and anomalies (in the words of Chekhov a ready-made outdoor lab), available to the general public. The core principle, liberty for all its members, has led its opponents to view it as a volatile mix of anarchists and rogues.
By 2011, Freedom occupied and secured the Dark Valley, reinforcing the unfinished research facility as their base of operations. In September, all Freedom units not deployed elsewhere were recalled to the valley in response to a series of mysterious attacks that claimed many Freedom fighter lives. As discovered by Scar, these attacks were the work of a group of mercenaries hired by an unknown employer, who used their mole, Commandant Lingov, to plan raids on Freedom positions. With Scar's help, the mercenaries were driven from the valley and entrances to the underground tunnel network collapsed.
Elsewhere, in the Army Warehouses, a separate detachment under the command of Kostyan has set up operations near the western passage to Red Forest. Their plan was simple: eliminate the weak military presence in the warehouses and claim them for the faction. The soldiers were stranded in the base following the second emission, unable to call for reinforcements or extraction. Eventually, with Scar's help, the stalkers succeeded and the warehouses became Freedom's second base, temporarily granting them the status of the most powerful faction in the Zone.
This did not last. Freedom has spread its forces too thin in the course of its conquest and the war with Duty. Bandits led by Borov exploited their weakness and pushed them out of Dark Valley, claiming it for themselves. In response, Freedom moved its headquarters to the Army Warehouses and recalled their forces from all territories south of the Bar. Chekhov apparently either resigned or died during this period, with Lukash becoming the next leader of the faction.
Under his leadership, Freedom ceased to actively fight Duty. While relations were still hostile between the two groups, both Lukash and General Voronin were reluctant to continue the war, as it would weaken both factions for no real benefit. Another factor was that Freedom took it upon themselves to maintain the Barrier and defend it from mutants and Monolith fanatics attempting to breach it.
When Strelok shut down the Brain Scorcher, Freedom instantly sent a large, elite detachment of troops to scout and secure Pripyat. As Duty did the same, the two forces clashed in Red Forest, neither willing to step back. This has resulted in the first major engagement between the factions since the war in 2011.
Furthermore, new territories became accessible in the north. Loki, a young yet brilliant leader, was sent together with a large detachment of troops to secure Yanov for the faction. They clashed with Duty forces under Lt. Col. Shulga's command, but had the upper hand as they held the station. In the middle of the fighting, a blowout came. Reluctant to leave their sworn enemies to die in one of the most horrid ways possible, they let them inside the station and hunkered town together. Confused as to what to do in this situation, leaders of both detachments agreed to a ceasefire; while fighting outside the station was fair game, both agreed to treat Yanov as neutral ground and share its facilities.
Freedom has a decentralized command structure. While they are well organized and follow designated commanders in combat, outside of it Freedomers simply do whatever they feel like doing (or whatever they're good at).
Freedom had three distinct leaders by 2012: Chekhov, Lukash and Loki. Each of them ran the faction slightly differently with different goals but still for the same cause of allowing free access to the zone and the same bitter rivalries against their long-time nemesis, Duty.
Freedom under Chekhov
Chekhov's reign was focused more on researching the Zone and less protecting it unlike Lukash, although they still do openly oppose Duty. Freedom documented anomalies, mutants and certain stalkers who have "special abilities" of sorts, some include those who forgone the use of metal weaponry and electronics as they believe it irritates the zone. While some were eventually warped by the zone, there are some who still survive and gained special abilities such as the ability to command mutants away and navigate through any anomaly field. He also did not bar the use of illegal substances like marijuana which is evident with Ganja.
Freedom under Lukash
Under Lukash Freedom played more of a defensive and protective role, protecting The Barrier leading to the Red Forest and protecting some species of mutants from poaching as Lukash says that "Just because they're there doesn't mean you can just kill them like that" which is evident with his job of assassinating Scarecrow for poaching mutants for profit. Although they still do oppose Duty, they have limited their conflict to small scale skirmishes rather than a full scale war. It is implied that General Voronin made a cease fire pact with Freedom, which excludes active military actions but does not exclude skirmishes. The pact was probably made since Freedom has the Army Warehouses under control, so they must protect the Barrier.
Freedom under Loki
He's an oddity for Freedom leaders. Unlike Lukash he is not nearly as protective of the Zone - he doesn't mind in the least sharing the same roof as monster hunters such as Trapper (although killing Bloodsuckers and Chimeras is undeniably needed), and unlike Chekhov he runs a relatively tight ship - there is no mention of drugs or other illegal substances being used by the Freedom chapter in the area. In fact, Loki's chapter runs more like Clear Sky, encouraging further study of the Zone, while being simultaneously protective of it.
Members of the Freedom faction are easily recognizable in the Zone, as most of their armours are patterned with either US Woodland or German flecktarn camouflage. Their primary color is green, supplemented by orange (exosuits).
Freedom primarily employs NATO weaponry, such as the LR-300, Heckler & Koch G36K, SiG SG-550 and others. It may be speculated that they are provided armaments by NATO itself, effectively making their conflicts a NATO proxy-war against the Ukrainian Military. Ironically, the SVD and the SVU are the only non-NATO weapons that Freedom employs, as NATO sniper rifles did not make their way into the Zone due to either the military blockade, lack of interest, and/or political reasons. Also, Freedom carries the AKS-74 in lower numbers, yet another non-NATO weapon.
- Walker P9m
- SIP-t M200
- UDP Compact
- Viper 5
- Chaser 13
- IL 86
- SGi 5k
- GP 37
- Wind of Freedom Suit - Lightweight stalker suit. Includes slightly better protection than the Stalker Suit and the PS5-M "Universal Protection", and weighs only 3.00 kg.
- Guardian of Freedom Suit - Medium grade armored suit. There are two versions; one of which appears identical to the PSZ-9d Duty Suit, except for the color. Protection between the two suits is very similar. This version is only in Shadow of Chernobyl. The version in Clear Sky and Call of Pripyat is a modified Berill-5M Armored Suit. Offers better anomaly and radiation protection than the normal Berill suit, it is comparable to the CS-1 Body Armor.
- Freedom Exoskeleton - An Exoskeleton modified by Freedom. Many metallic components have been replaced with carbon fiber, resulting in decreased weight. Only featured in Clear Sky where it weighs 10.00 kg less than a normal Exoskeleton. The upgrade is available for normal Exoskeletons in Call of Pripyat.
Shadow of Chernobyl
Freedom operates almost exclusively in the Army Warehouses, where their main base is located; they maintain the Barrier, and have their base of operations in the abandoned Army Base to the South. After Marked One deactivated the Brain Scorcher, squads of Freedom Experts assaulted the entrance to Pripyat, coming into conflict with Monolith soldiers and Duty Experts in doing so.
Freedom is much more prevalent in Clear Sky, with their main base of operations being in the Dark Valley. Freedom outposts or squads are located in many other regions as well, such as in Red Forest, the Garbage, and the Army Warehouses. In addition, dead Freedom members can be found alongside Duty corpses in Limansk.
Call of Pripyat
A Freedom chapter led by Loki took over the Yanov railway station and used it as their new main base of operations in the northern sector of the Zone. However after striking a deal with Duty out of pity over an impending emission, they now share a part of the Yanov railway station with Loners acting as a buffer. They continue to maneuver, engaging in light skirmishes with Duty units, and try to win the favor of the Loners in hopes of breaking the tactical stalemate between the two factions.
- In Shadow of Chernobyl, there is a stash in Pripyat that was from an old Freedom leader. Where the stash info is found (or who it is found on), is seemingly random.
- In scripts, they are referred to as "Svoboda".