- "I worked every day of my life to be here! You didn't do anything! You were just picked off the street like garbage!"
Viktoriya Malikova was born in 2017 to a woman related to her grandmother, Illyana Malikova. Vik's grandmother's family is descendant of the Ainu people, native inhabitants of Sakhalin Island before it was retaken by Russia from Japan. During the Kaiju Wars, she was relocated to Sakhalin Island to live with her grandparents. Illyana and her husband raise her, but tell her little of her parentage at first.
Daughter of the Kaidonovskys? (2024)
Vik grows up idolizing Sasha and Aleksis Kaidonovsky. She follows their career as the pilots of Cherno Alpha. Her fascination with Cherno Alpha led to attempts to reach the sea to watch them fight, but her grandparents would stop her, reminding her that the sea was "death".
Eventually, Illyana tells Vik that she is the daughter of Sasha and Aleksis, but she could tell no one about it. Vik believes it and hopes that the Kaidonovsky's will come to get her after the war is over. Eventually, she tells Maksim, a local nine year old she knows, but is not friends with. The boy calls her a liar and pushes her to the ground.
Maksim calls her an orphan on the assumption she didn't know who were real parents were. Angry and humiliated, she grabs a rock off the ground and throws it at him. She retreats into the woods, fearing the repercussions of her actions. Remembering that Cherno Alpha was fighting with the Kaiju Vodyanoi, Vik tries to get to sea to watch the battle. During her journey, she loses consciousness from the cold and nearly freezes to death.
She is saved by her grandfather who takes her to an old a logging hut. When she regains consciousness, her grandfather explains that she was fortunate that he heard her yell, or she would've died. Vik fears Illyana's anger over what she did to Makism, and when asked, explains what transpired between them. Vik's grandfather asked if believing she was the daughter of the Kaidonovsky's made her feel strong, and she believed it did.
The following day, her grandfather returns her home to Illyana, who admonishes her for preoccupying her grandfather when he had work to do. Vik apologized for her actions, taking her grandmother's admonishing without argument. When Illyana calmed down, Vik stated - rather than asked - that she wasn't the daughter of Sasha and Aleksis. her grandfather's surname was different. Illyana insisted that the elder Kaidonovskys were likely living in Moscow. They used her maiden name, "Malikova", because it was safer and the authorities asked no questions. Vik challenges her grandmother, and tells her that Sasha's maiden name was "Vasiliev".
Illyana tells Vik that, when she was born, they did not name her immediately, following the warning of an old folktale that foretold the abduction of children by demons who learned of their names. She tells Vik that the Kaiju would steal her if they knew her real name and the Kaidonovsky's would not be able to protect her and the coast of Russia at the same time. When Vik thinks the Kaiju could learn first name, "Viktoriya", Illyana suggests that they could rename her "Tori". Vik objects the suggestion and decides "Vik" is a name that wouldn't draw attention. Illyana agrees and punishes Vik for attacking Makeish, taking away her television privileges.
When Vik asks if the Kaidonovsky’s don’t visit her to protect her, Grandma Malikova doesn’t answer. Later, Vik goes to the bar after school to find out what happened with Cherno Alpha. Before she goes to bed, she lists Vodyanoi down next to Cherno Alpha's previous kills and goes to bed hoping that the Kaidonovsky’s are her parents.
Later on, Vik eventually learns both her mother and father were killed in a Kaiju attack.
Working with the Harvesters (2024-2025)
Near the end of the 2024 saw an increase of Kaiju attacks. Five days following the Vermin attack, Vik's grandfather is killed in a logging accident that disfigured him. He was buried with his casket closed and Vik only learned that he was "messed up" through gossip. Following the death of her grandfather, Illyana is forced to relocate them to Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, where her grandmother was promised work.
They move into a tiny apartment that was five stories tall. Vik grew bored of the apartment after a while. Vik’s grandmother worked in a chemical plant where she cleaned bathrooms and employee uniforms. Because she was often away at work, she left Vik money for school and instructions on how to make dinner for herself.
On the way back to the apartment, Vik meets a man named Andrei, who offers her forty rubles to buy meat. Later at lunch, Vik claims that she was able to buy the meat cheap because they planned to discard it. Illyana accuses Vik of stealing when she realizes they're eating meat; Vik is honest about not stealing the meat, but doesn't tell her who provided the money to buy the meat.
December 24, 2024, Vik passes the market and notices a crowd gathering around a television display. Joining them, she sees Striker Eureka and Vulcan Specter's fight against Mutavore in Sydney, Australia.
When civilians begin believing that they’re doomed because the Anti-Kaiju wall was broken through, Vik openly declares that they’ll be saved by Cherno Alpha. The follow day, Vik meets Andre again, and, after buying a pastry, asks what she needed to do to get the money he offered before.
Andre, once he learns that she’ll be out of school for the winter and would have to wait to be registered into school, tells her to go home and return tomorrow. The following day, Vik goes to see Andre again and he orders a woman named Eun to lead her to the place of a dead Kaiju. Vik, realizing what’s been asked of her, refuses to go anywhere near the dead Kaiju. Eun lets her go, and tells her to find her own way back home.
Pan Pacific Defense Corps
At some point in time, Vik decides to join the Pan Pacific Defense Corps, determined to become a pilot. Though she passes the written exams, she fails the entrance exam three times. The PPDC intended to reject her entirely on account of her lack of control, but Mako Mori intervenes. Unaware of Mako's intervention, Vik is finally allowed to join the academy at the Moyulan Shatterdome.
Sabotage of Chronos Berserker
Departing from a third class train ride from Vladivostok, Vik arrives at the Moyulan Shatterdome later than the other cadets, but in time for their orientation supervised by Nathan Lambert and his co-pilot, Joseph Burke. Though she keeps her distance from the cadets, Lambert attempts to start a conversation with her when he points out how impressed the cadets are with Chronos Berserker.
Vik finds nothing wrong their regard for the Jaeger, but suggests that they, including Lambert, don't belong in the PPDC. Catching the slight, Lambert attempts to deflect her remarks as blind criticism of strangers. Vik makes a note of their status by reminding him he arrived to the Shatterdome in a executive jet while she rode third class in a train. Though he apologizes and calrifies he was only looking for conversation, Vik makes it clear that she is only present to train and become Jaeger pilot.
Following the sabotage of Chronos Berserker, which resulted in the death of a cadet named Braga and the retirement of another named Vu, Vik listens to the remaining cadets, Suresh Khuran and Meilin Gao, mourn the loss of Braga, Vik interjects into their conversation and calls Braga an idiot who was killed because he did respect the world for what it was.
Thinking she was being too harsh, Ou-Yang Jinhai reproved her. Annoyed, Vik redirects the cadets' attention toward Jinhai by implying that he was allowed to join the PPDC on account of his parents, Ou-Yang Ming-Hau, and Ou-Yang Suyin, the pilots of Shaolin Rogue. When the cadet Renata suggests that Chronos Berserker's malfunction is the result of a sabotage, Vik agrees with her.
Academy Training Begins
When Lambert begins training the cadets in the Kwoon Combat Room, Vik is paired against Jinhai to test their Drift comparability. Vik fights Jinhai aware that Mako Mori is observing them, and, after being beat once, goads Jinhai into attacking her. After slapping him in the face, she prepared to attack again when Mako asks her to stop. Mako steps into the ring and asks Vik to try and hit her. Vik tries twice, hitting Mako's palm each time. Mako, disappointed in Vik's performance, requests that she demonstrate self-control when its asked of her.
As rumors concerning the sabotage begin to circulate, Vik tells the other cadets that she overheard that Kaiju Worshipers may have been involved in the incident. After Braga's funeral, Vik and the cadets continue their training in the Kwoon with instructors and begin to go over the biology of the Kaiju and how to attack them. The afternoon following their class, Vik approaches Jinhai in the mess hall, and tries to talk to him. She expresses her disappointment with the idea of never seeing a living Kaiju, to which Jinhai is relieved about.
Vik mockingly asks him why he chose to join the Academy and questions whether or not it was his parent's decision. Jinhai observes she isn't good at conversation, and Vik makes it clear that she doesn't like him, but thinks they're Drift compatible. Jinhai is doubtful, but Vik is certain her hypothesis would be proven correct.
Later, Vik is interviewed by Mako Mori about the incident with Chronos Berserker in an effort to weed out the culprit. When Mako asks about her childhood, Vik states that she never knew her parents and was raised by her grandparents, and that the Kaidonovskys inspired her to become a Jeager pilot.
Determined to do their own investigation, the cadets leave the confines of the Shatterdome to speak privately to each other. While Meilin Gao believes that she doesn't believe anyone among their group was responsible for the sabotage, Vik regards her decision as naive, and casts suspicion on everyone, herself included. Vik accuses Jinhai of sabotaging Chronos on the assumption that he wants a reputation apart from his family’s name.
Working with Jinhai
During the Drift sync training session supervised by Burke, Jinhai and Vik are paired up. Vik picks the right side of the mock Conn-Pod knowing it’s the dominant side of the Jaeger. Still doubtful, Jinhai repeats that he doesn’t think their Drift compatible; Vik rightfully deduces he makes the presumption based on his parent’s relationship.
Vik considers Jinhai lucky that he got to know his parents, as hers were killed by the Kaiju. Jinhai admits being scared that his parents wouldn’t return to him when he was a kid. Vik gets angry when Jinhai tries to compare his situation to Vik’s parents’ death. Their first Drift attempt is not entirely successful. They manage to glimpse each other’s memories, but fall out of sync as a result of their shared antagonism.
Vik meets with Mako again for another evaluation. Mako notes that her first attempt to Drift with Jinhai was "difficult", Vik reluctantly admits the experience wasn't pleasant, but Mako reassures her that she and Jinhai are Drift compatible was all that matters. When Mako begins evaluating Vik's history with the academy, Vik becomes defensive about her noted failure to pass the entrance exam. Mako informs her she didn't pass anything save the written test because of her lack of control, and was only present in the academy because she intervened.
Mako expresses confidence in her choice to keep Vik in the academy, Vik humbly remarks that she made the right choice. Vik becomes evasive again when Mako begins asking about her connections to the Kaiju Worshipers. Vik admits that she met some after encountering the remains of Kaiju in Yuzho Sakhalinsk, but detested their blind worship of the creatures. Mako reassures that she only wanted to know about the woman speaking of Kaiju recorded in her Drift records. Vik explains she believed the woman was a Preacher, but she did her best to avoid her. Satisfied, Mako dismisses Vik and she returns to the cadet barracks.
Pacific Rim: Uprising
When Vik and the other cadets are introduced to Amara Namani by Ranger Nathan Lambert, she takes an immediate dislike to her, frustrated with her induction into the Jaeger Program. Lambert tells Vik to get Amara settled into their quarters, but she disregards his order. She asks Amara if she was responsible for building the Jaeger, Scrapper. When Amara confirms it, Vik dismisses her and tells Amara to find another occupation if wants to be a mechanic.
Vik remains distant from Amara and the other cadets as training sessions begin. Following the death of Secretary General Mako Mori, the cadets begin to speculate who could've sent Obsidian Fury. When Suresh tells the others he doesn't want dozen, Jinhai jokes he would be lucky to get "half a Jaeger" to attend his memorial. Looking to cause trouble, Vik remarks that Amara was found in half of a Jaeger. Amara argues in Scrapper's defense, but makes the mistake calling Vik "Viktoriya".
Angered by Amara’s actions, Vik declares a larger Jaeger is the better machine. Amara tries to defuse the situation in Russian, thinking she told her to calm down. Vik grabs Amara in a chokehold and call her garbage that did nothing to earn her place in the PPDC. Amara breaks free of Vik's hold and pins her down in a triangle choke until they are separated and reprimanded for their behavior by Lambert.
After Jinhai is injured by Kaiju blood exposure inside Obsidian Fury, Amara is relieved of her cadet status and is set to leave the Shatterdome. Vik, assuming Amara is on her way out, tells her to build a bigger Jaeger next time.
Vik is caught in the chaos of the drone hybrid attack on the Shatterdome, and attempts to flee to safety with the other cadets and PPDC officers. When Liwen Shao is able to disable the drones, Vik and the other cadets work to restore the surviving Jaegers to full functionality to face the three Kaiju --- Shrikethorn, Raijin, and Hakuja --- that were able to escape the Breach created by the drones.
Vik pilots the rear of Bracer Phoenix with Amara and Jinhai at the front. They take on Raijin with Lambert and Jake Pentecost in Gipsy Avenger. Gipsy Avenger is knocked across the city by Raijin, Vik, Jinhai and Amara go against the Kaiju on their own. They fire a missile barrage against Raijin, but they are knocked aside. When Retena and Ryoichi Hatayama call for assistance in Saber Athena, Vik enters the Gunner Pod situated below Bracer Phoenix's cockpit and fires on Shrikethorn, pulling is attention away from the Mark-7 Jaeger.
The Kaiju regroup and are fused together to create a stronger species of Kaiju. The Mega-Kaiju destroys Saber Athena and Guardian Brave, leaving only Bracer Phoenix and Gipsy Avenger standing. Vik, Amara and Jinhai attempt to take the Mega-Kaiju on with the Titan Redeemer's presupposed M-19 Morning Star, but only succeed in damaging its horn. The Mega-Kaiju attacks Bracer Pheonix and begins tearing the Jaeger apart. Thinking fast, Vik ejects herself from the Gunner Pod after Jinhai and Amara escape. Out on the streets, Vik helps the others retrieve Ilya out of the ruined Guardian Bravo and watch the remaining battle from a safe distance.
Vik considers herself one of the best cadets still in training to become a Jaeger pilot. However, Vik's personnel analysis suggests she suffers from deep seated emotional problems, enough so that her behavior reminded Mako of herself. Vik is insecure about her position within the PPDC on account of her previous failures to join the academy before she was allowed to join by Mako Mori's request.
She detests people who come from comfortable or privileged backgrounds and makes a point of avoiding them when possible. Vik expresses dislike toward Jinhai because she knows his parents were Jaeger pilots and was given preferential treatment. Her insecurities about her position in the PPDC are further aggravated when Amara Namani is conscripted into the PPDC and given what she believes is special treatment. While Vik remains antagonistic with most, she is able to set aside her own feelings and work with others for the good of the world or her own personal benefit.
Vik is a proficient fighter, competent enough to match the skill of instructors training cadets to become Rangers. She excels in close-quarters combat, and is particularly aggressive against her opponents. As a result she often sacrifices discipline and focus in favor of besting her partners to prove she is the better fighter. Her self-assurance in her skill as a fighter, however, leaves her open and vulnerable to surprise attacks should she underestimate her opponent.
- The name of Ivanna Sakhno's character was not provided by Internet Movie Database or major media outlets until after the New York Comic-Con 2017.