- "I didn't kill your wife. A decision did. Pawns, John, both of us. We're just pawns serving the same king."
— Rykov to John Kelly
Viktor Anatoly Rykov is a character that appears in the film, Without Remorse.
Rykov was born in Tyumen, Russia. His parents died at an early age and he moved to the United States as a young child where he lived for a time. Rykov later became a deep undercover operative for the CIA. As part of his cover, he recieved Russian special forces training and joined the FSB. He created an established network of embedded agents and publicly held post-Soviet beliefs to bring down the West. At some point, Rykov was officially listed as killed but went into hiding until he recieved further orders from his superiors.
Rykov later became a conspirator in Secretary of Defense Thomas Clay's plan to boost the economies of the United States and Russia by instigating a war between them. In 2019, Rykov was assigned to an FSB team to kill members of a Navy SEAL team that had unknowningly attacked a Russian arms depot in Syria. After successfully killing Rowdy King and Keith Webb, the FSB team traveled to John Kelly's home to kill him. After one FSB operative killed Pam Kelly, who was asleep in bed, Rykov killed him. The intent was that a dead FSB member would be found on U.S. soil, further increasing tensions between the United States and Russia. Rykov's plan backfired, however, as John Kelly was not in the bedroom. Instead, John Kelly had been in the basement listening to music when they entered and managed to kill all the FSB operatives except for Rykov. Rykov was able to shoot Kelly several times but was shot himself. After realizing he was out of ammunition, Rykov left Kelly for dead and escaped.
Rykov then traveled to Russia to await further orders from Clay. After a black ops mission had been approved by Clay to retrieve him, Rykov was ordered to use a suicide vest to kill himself and the black ops team. Like at Kelly's home, the intent was for Russian authorities to find American bodies on Russian soil to finally instigate a war between both countries. Rykov accepted his fate as he saw his actions as a way to save his country. Kelly was the first to enter the building after breaking off from his team. As Kelly approached, Rykov revealed that he worked for the CIA and that the plan all along had been for them to meet there to die. He then told Kelly that their deaths would serve the highest cause and save America. Kelly tried to talk Rykov out of killing himself as the rest of his team arrived but failed. Rykov then mentioned that everything had been orchestrated by "true patriots" in Washington D.C. before detonating the explosives.
Kelly was able to retreat far enough to avoid the explosives but was soon met with fire from two snipers in the adjacent building. Rykov's mention of true patriots in Washington later led Kelly to deduce that Clay had been behind the entire conspiracy.