General (1st Class) Zhukov is an old school Vostroyan military man. Blue blooded himself, Spireborn, his father purchased his first commission. He still passionately believes in the purchase system as a way of ensuring that the Imperial Guard is run by the right sort of officer. For him, being in the Imperial Guard, being one of the Firstborn, being Vostoryan even, is a privilege. His military career is unsullied with service with any other formation other than Vostroyans. He has followed a perfectly normal recognised route for a Vostroyan officer, buying each successive commission (partly financed by selling the old one) culminating in recent command of 388th Battle Group by way of a staff appointment (head of internal security) for Lord General Potemkin on Agripinna. These last two were appointments by Lord General Potemkin (and therefore, by extension, by the Lords Militant themselves). He did not have to pay for them, as they are Imperial Guard appointments, not ones within the Vostroyan regimental system.
Although he no longer needs it, he has retained his Colonel’s command of the 8th Vostroyan First Born Grenadier Regiment. All of the subordinate commissions therein and the shenanigans around them are his plaything. He can dispense or withhold his favour as he sees fit. This is his right as the commanding officer, someone who has played the Vostroyan promotions game and spent an awful lot of money. He has indirectly spent his entire career making those like Lord General Potemkin even more wealthy. If an officer of the 8th Vostroyan First Born Grenadiers falls in battle or otherwise dies on active service, his commission reverts to the Regiment (ie to Zhukov). The dead man’s next of kin do not get to sell on the commission, Zhukov does. And he has volunteered them for service in the hottest war zones available.
The command headquarters of 72nd Army Group revolves around the cult of personality. The General is the star about which his staff officers orbit, sometimes in favour, sometimes out. Fully aware of the effect that the coming of the Imperial Guard brings to a world, he allows (some would say encourages) his underlings to make the most of their privileged position. Lechery and Larceny are the order of the day for some of his staff officers. If court red handed (or if important locals complain) they might be reprimanded. But the general reminds his commissars’ that for the Imperial Guard to be sent to a world in the first place, that world requires corrective action and that therefore, to a certain extent, they are all fair game. Also, especially for the Vostroyans, campaigns such as this are an opportunity to acquire enough of a personal fortune to purchase one’s next promotion.
General (1st Class) Zhukov’s attitude to his own worth to the Departmento (ie his position in history) is easily discerned by his dealing with the Lady Inquistrix of the Ordo Hereticus. He referred her straight to General (2nd Class) Tolstoy, citing that man’s command of the only combat formation available as the reason she should deal with him directly. He will keep his subordinates waiting if he can; it reminds them who is in charge. He is also apt to forget that he has said or agreed to something. If it can be proved or is otherwise incontrovertible, he will explain that what was understood was not actually what he meant and the fault lies with the other party, not with him.
General (1st Class) Zhukov is not happy that he doesn’t have a dozen such battle groups to throw at the enemy. He wants to “crush with tanks, pound with artillery and bayonet with infantry” the enemies of the imperium. The paucity of forces available has left him content to sit and wait until he gets the forces that he thinks he needs to complete the task. He has learned very little about Devos IV since he arrived, spending hours each day pouring over the responses to his requisition orders. All for more fighting men to increase his chances of glory, rather than force multipliers that would be useful to 17 Battle Group.