|“||God knows how many he's killed to get where he is. The trouble is, you can't go on like that without making some enemies. He really is a shark.||”|
—-Nigel Brown describing Sharkovsky to Yassen Gregorovitch
Vladimir Sharkovsky is a Russian multimillionaire and the main antagonist of Russian Roulette. He contributed to many illegal crimes, though he has strong ties to the police and the government. His only appearance was in the aforementioned book. He had a son named Ivan Sharkovsky, and he contributed significantly to Yassen Gregorovich's life.
Sharkovsky first appears in an 'empty' flat which Yassen attempts to burgle. Since he is the smallest of a group of teenage burglars, Gregorovitch is selected to crawl through a fortochka and let in the other members into Vladimir's apartment. Sharkovsky unexpectedly arrives
He brings Yassen to his estate, which is somewhere in a forest. Sharkovsky then forces Yassen to play Russian roulette, where Yassen had to shoot himself, five empty chambers, one loaded chamber, to prove his loyalty. Yassen survives. Incredibly cautious and cruel, he had Yassen replace his food taster and also be a general labourer with menial tasks.
Yassen unsuccessfully attempts to escape twice and is warned if he escapes again, He will be simply killed. Fearing for his life, Yassen decides not to escape again and spends the next four years at Sharkovsky's estate. One night, Yassen eavesdrops on a conversation that Sharkovsky has with his employee and learns that he is responsible for the deaths of his parents and subsequent destruction of his village, having cut corners regarding safety at the factory in order to increase profit. Yassen vows to kill him.
On a later day, a SCORPIA assassin infiltrated his mansion, attempting to assassinate him. He shot Sharkovsky, but yet he somehow survived. Yassen ran away with the assassin. Meanwhile, Sharkosky was hospitalized and returned back home in a wheelchair.
Many years later, Yassen endeavoured to exact revenge on Sharkovsky. He returned to Vladimir's mansion, where he played his own version of Russian roulette: five chambers loaded and one chamber empty. Miraculously, Yassen, once again, survived the game. He then proceeded to shoot Vladimir between the eyes, this time killing him.
Sharkovsky was incredibly cruel and heartless to Yassen, abusing him and brainwashing him to become his permanent slave. He was arrogant, poisonous, greedy, and malevolent, showing that he was not going to hesitate to kill if anyone stood in his path. He was also paranoid, afraid of any of his adversaries wishing him dead, as shown by the highly guarded entrance to his mansion, (and a need for a 'food taster'.) Sharkovsky has also proven to be extremely strong being able to withstand bullets being planted into his chest and being stabbed in the stomach.
Vladimir was also antisemitic, as shown by his "Death to Zionism" tattoo, and a possible Neo-Nazi.