Potemkin is a large, fat man with yellow skin, narrow eyes, light green hair, and a perpetual smile on his face. He wears a white ruffled shirt over which is a striped green suit, with a diagonal belt across his chest, and bright brown shoes. Potemkin's belt has a pouch that carries his tablet computer. After being infected by the Berserker cells, he transforms into a bipedal version of the Berserker Body identical to the form that Zapan assumed.
Gally and Desty Nova are greeted by Potemkin after they arrive in Jeru via the orbital elevator from Zalem. He reveals that it was his idea to bring Nova to Jeru and takes them to Melchizedek. Nova and Gally learn about Melchizedek's purpose and history, as well as about the Terraforming Wars. Potemkin reveals that Melchizedek has been infected with Berserker cells and asks for their help with both repairing Melchizedek and tracking down the culprit.
Potemkin later allows Gally to enter a Solar System-wide fighting tournament that is being held on Jeru and joins her in the arena after she wins it. He also allows her to obtain Garuede's missing brain cartridge from a store on Jeru as a tournament prize. However Nova then determines that it was Potemkin who was behind the infection of Melchizedek, causing him to flee to Leviathan 1 when he realizes that he has been discovered. Gally and Garuede follow him there, where she confronts Potemkin inside the ship. He breaks down as the Berserker cells infect him and is transformed, becoming a bipedal version of the Berserker Body. He summons two Demon Dogs to help him fight Gally and uses plasma-based attacks.
Potemkin is discussed in volume 3 of Gunnm Works.
He is named after the Russian statesman Grigory Potemkin.