The story begins in Russia, we see a giant prison during a thunderstorm. There are several prisoners in the prison yard fighting in the rain. It’s very brutal and the guards are just standing by. One of the prisoners is a giant man with a mask. This masked man lifts up another prisoner and kills him. After the battle is over the masked man must be captured by the guards. In the meantime we see a man in his cell writing something in his book. He is writing about the nature of man. Soon enough he finishes writing and stabs his cellmate to death. The following day we see the prison guards burying the dead prisoners nearby the notorious prison.
The following day we are introduced to Kyle LeBlanc. He is working in Russia in Magnitogorsk. He is an American and he is very often away from his family. We see Kyle having a conversation with his wife. She is worried that he is working too much and not spending enough time with her.Kyle promises that this will be his last job and he will be back home very soon.
After he stops talking with his wife Kyle goes back to work. That same night Kyle is driving home and once again talking to his wife on the phone. She tells him that she feels lonely in this city all alone. Kyle and she talk but they get interrupted when the power runs out in her apartment. Kyle’s wife is now scared and we see that a dangerous man is stalking her home. Kyle is also worried about his wife and tries to call her back. He calls her and she picks up. For a moment everything seems fine but then the horrible man attacks Kyle’s wife and starts to beat her. Kyle hears her scream on the other line and tries to rush home as fast as he can. Kyle almost gets into several traffic accidents because of his reckless driving. In the meantime Kyle tries to call the police but they do not understand him. Soon enough he reaches his house and rushes to save his wife. When Kyle finally reaches her its too late, she is already dead. Kyle is heartbroken and does not know what to do. He then gets furious and runs after the killer. He goes outside and spots the killer boarding a train. Kyle rushes after him and also gets on the train. The two then start a brutal fight. Kyle is fighting with everything he has but the killer is very skilled.
Soon they both end up in the street fighting. The police then arrive and they arrest Kyle but the killer gets away. After a while Kyle ends up in court and his lawyers are trying to convict the killer. The killer is called Sergio Kovic and he comes from a very wealthy family. For that reason the judge releases Sergio and he is now again a free man. Kyle cannot believe that the killer will not face any punishment. The judge lies and tells everyone that there is not enough evidence to convict Sergio of anything. Kyle is totally furious and loses control. He attacks one of the courthouse officers and takes his gun. Kyle then tracks down Sergio and shots him multiple times in front of everyone in the courthouse. Kyle then gets arrested and actually gets into big trouble. He is then prosecuted and gets sentenced to life in prison. Kyle also finds out that he will not be allowed to have parole or minimize his sentence.
Kyle with the rest of a new group of prisoners gets taken to Kravavi Prison. That is the same military prison we saw at the start of the story. Kyle really does not care what happens to him at this point. When the prisoners reach the prison they get harassed by the older prisoners there. Soon they all form a line and are introduced to General Hrushov, he is the warden of the prison and very corrupt and brutal. General Hruschov presents a prisoner that tried to escape the prison and shows him off as an example that they will never be able to run away from this prison. We are then introduced to Billy Cooper, he is only 21 years old and he is also an American.
Kyle’s problems in the prison start right away, all the prisoners must give away everything they have. Kyle refuses to give away his wedding ring. When he starts to create problems the guards beat him. The first night in the prison Kyle sees Billy Cooper being taken away by the guards. Billy is really scared and does not know what is happening. Soon the guards take him to a russian gangster called Andrei. Andrei then beats and assaults Billy. Andrei is also one of the best fighters in the entire prison so he is feared by many.
The following morning Billy is totally traumatized, he is barely talking. Andrei and the guards semengly work together to give him new victims. Kyle seeing all of this decides to step in and help. Kyle is furious at Andrei because he is very similar to the man who killed his wife. Kyle starts a brutal fight with Andrei and soon the guards get involved and take Kyle to solitary confinement. In this dark room Kyle spends many days. At some point he decides to refuse food so that he can die. He then also tries to hang himself. Both of his attempts to kill himself fail and he must continue living in this horrible prison. While he is still alone in solitary confinement Kyle remembers his loving wife and decides to survive for her.
Soon after that Kyle gets transferred into a new cell. His cellmate is called Inmate 451. he is a prisoner that is also from America and he is feared by many in the prison. Inmate 451 is known to kill his cellmates. He is very dangerous and sadistic. We are also introduced to Lieutenant Tolik; he is the one who sent Kyle to be in the same cell with Inmate 451. Lieutenant Tolik strongly believes that Kyle will soon be killed and he wanted to set him up with the worst prisoner he could.
This plan seems to fail as Kyle and inmate 451 start to bond and they become allies. As time goes on the two men form a trust between each other and decide to help each other. Soon after that we see Kyle gets to meet more of the prisoners. Kyle talks with Billy for the first time. Billy tells him that he is serving only a year and a half sentence. He was driving while being drunk and crashed into a restaurant with his girlfriend. Kyle also gets introduced to Malakai, he is also from America and he is in a wheelchair. Malakai tells Kyle how things work in this horrible prison. He explains that there are specific rules and dangers. The most problematic is the Russian mafia who directly work with the guards.
We then find out that General Hruschov organizes special fights between rival gang members in the prison. He bets a lot of money on these games and they are very brutal. Andrei and his men seem to hate Kyle and want to torture him. Kyle gets into trouble with them very often. After a while he decides to train so that he can defend himself and others from the evil prisoners. Kyle starts to brutally train every day but his cellmate is worried about him. Soon after that Kyle becomes part of the fighting tournament and his first opponent is Andrei. Andrei and Kyle fight and Andrei is a lot more skilled in combat. Nevertheless Kyle wins the fight as he is very brutal. He bites Andrei on his neck and kills him that way. It’s very shocking as no one expected Kyle to win. Kyle is in shock after seeing Andrei die in front of him. He starts to lose his mind and the guards are also afraid of him. Kyle then decides to continue fighting other prisoners. After some time passes it seems that he has made peace that he will live in this prison until his death. A lot of the prisoners now fear him and see him as a leader. Kyle on the other hand has become more brutal and his past self is almost totally gone.
He soon meets with his brother who wants to help get him out. Kyle refuses his help as he knows everything will fail. Kyle knows that he will stay here forever and he has no hope left. Billy has had enough of the abuse he suffers every day so he decides to finally escape from the prison. He tries several times and fails each time. While the Russian guards are celebrating he tries once more but gets betrayed by Malakai. Malaki tells the guards this information because he will get him more medicine. 451 finds out about this betrayal and he burns Malaki and kills him.
Billy gets captured and they put him in the same cell as Valya, another ruthless fighter who wants to abuse him. Billy gets beaten through the entire night and after some time he dies from his injuries. Before his death Billy telLs Kyle that he must not allow this prison to ruin him as a person.
Kyle is ordered to fight in another prison fight and he wants to prove to himself that he has not totally lost himself in the prison. Kyle must fight Valya but he refuses. The guards are furious with him and they hang him by his arms in the yard so that everyone can see him. The gangs are all impressed how Kyle stood up to the guards and they decide to no longer help the guards and the evil warden. When warden Hruschov demands that they fight, everyone in the prison refuses.
Kyle gets released from hangin in the sun and has to recover. He then remembers his wife and wants to honor her memory. After some time he gets confronted by Hruschov who is very angry at the entire situation. He hates that the prisoners do not listen to him anymore. Hruschov tells Kyle that he must fight against Miloc and that will be his final fight. Miloc is notorious and is kept away from all the other prisoners. Kyle actually had communication with Miloc through his time in the prison. When their fight begins Miloc recognizes Kyle as a friend and they hug. The guards pull out their guns and demand that they fight but then Kyle tells them that they will have to kill him. Kyle will fight no longer.
The prisoners are now furios and they start to yell and scream at the guards. Soon after that Miloc and Kyle fight the guards and start to free the prisoners. Miloc gets shot in the prison riot by protecting Kyle. There is now total chaos in the prison as everybody is fighting against the guards.
451 and Kyle join forces to get free from the prison. Prisoner 451 gives Kyle secret papers that show evidence of all the corruption in the prison over the past 20 years. The guards start to regain control of the prison and 451 shows Kyle a secret passageway that leads to the prison garage. Kyle now must fight Valya to escape. Their fight is brutal but Kyle gets the upper hand. Finally Kyle kills Valya as revenge for what he did to Billy.
The guards arrive and take away Kyle, their plan is now to kill him as he has caused massive problems for them. 451 attacks the guards and kills one of them. Kyle takes one guard as a hostage and takes the key to free himself. Kyle then puts on the guards uniform and drives off in one of the cars. 451 decides to stay in the prison and kill General Hrushov. Kyle is now finally free and away from the prison. Prisoner 451 brutally kills Hruschov and is then taken away by the guards. Kyle returns back to America and using the documents he got from 451 he reports everything that happened in the prison. The Kravavi prison is then shut down.