- "What happens here today will change the world forever. Nothing can stop this, not even you."
- — Vladimir Makavov
Vladimir Makarov, Yuri, Alexei Borodin (alias Joseph Allen), Viktor, Lev and Kiril arrived at Zakhaev International Airport's underground car parking lot. Makarov found out Yuri betrayed him by alerting the authorities beforehand, and shoots him in the chest with a Desert Eagle and leaves him to bleed out in the parking lot while he and his men enter the elevator to begin the assault.
- "Remember... No Russian..."
- — Vladimir Makarov
Upon entering the terminal, Makarov, Kiril, Viktor, Lev and Allen opened fire on dumbfounded civilians at a security checkpoint, killing all of them as they tried to flee through the crowded choke point of the metal detectors. Makarov and his men then moved methodically throughout the terminal, firing scores of rounds at the fleeing civilians and armed security guards within it, and coldly executing the injured. Many guards attempted to engage the terrorists, only to be mowed down owing to their inferior firepower. Though dozens of civilians were massacred, the majority in the rest of the airport managed to flee as the emergency shutters came down and sealed off the terminal or they can be killed by the player before or right after they escape when the door comes down. A squad of security men attempted to ambush the group using a lift, but it was destroyed when one of the terrorists threw a grenade inside. Meanwhile, the terrorists fired into the terminal on the ground level, killing many civilians fleeing behind the gates. Once the terminal was sealed, all flights to Zakhaev International Airport abandoned their landings and were marked as "Delayed".
After the bloody killing spree of civilians and security guards inside the terminal had ended, when they reached the tarmac, the FSB counter-terrorist unit was deployed in order to engage Makarov and his men and stop the massacre. Considerably more well-armed and skilled compared to the outmatched airport police, the FSB used riot shields to great effect and killed Kiril and Lev in the ensuing shootout, but ultimately failed to stop the terrorist group, leaving only Makarov, Viktor and Allen to escape.
The surviving terrorists reached their getaway vehicle, an ambulance, in which Anatoly and a driver had been waiting for them. Makarov, already aware of Allen's true identity, then betrayed and executed the American as he helped him into the ambulance. The ambulance drove away, leaving Allen's corpse to be recovered by the FSB.
- "The American thought he could deceive us... When Russia sees that body, they will all cry for war..."
- — Vladimir Makarov after killing Joseph Allen.
The FSB then secured the airport, left with the hundreds who lay dead or dying within. Few survivors were found among the bloodied masses of bodies, one of them being Yuri, who was resuscitated after suffering shock and blood loss. Upon Allen's positive identification as an American CIA operative and the use of standard-issue NATO weapons, Russia accused the U.S. of terrorist activities against Russia and declared war, as Makarov intended.