By the later stages of the Second World War he became a major and a well known nuclear warfare strategist.
Kosygin became disillusioned by Stalin's methods, especially as the dictator became enraged at the Soviet's failing war effort and took out his anger on subordinates. The major contacted the Allies and offered to defect. He was extracted from Riga, Latvia during an attack led by Field Commander A9.
At the Allied headquarters he answers General Gunther von Esling's inquiries concerning the state of the Soviet nuclear program. He summarizes Stalin's televised announcement by warning the general the dictator was preparing to launch nuclear weapons. Based on Kosygin's intelligence von Esling directs Field Commander A9 to destroy the Dark Horseman base, the primary missile manufacturing facility, and its launch capability.
Vladimir Kosygin appears only in Red Alert.
His surname was apparently loaned from high-ranking Soviet statesman Alexei Kosygin, who was Premier of Soviet Union in seventies. He may also be inspired by the real Cold War era defector, Polish colonel Ryszard Kukliński, a Warsaw Pact strategist and CIA informant, passing on strategic plans regarding the use of Soviet nuclear weapons to Carter administration. Kuklinski was evacuated from Warsaw by the CIA the similar (though less spectacular) way as Kosygin in the game.