- "Where I come from, we are driven by need, not by desire. You are alive because I need you."
- ―Viktor Skobel
Viktor is a former Russian statesman, turned arms dealer, financial businessman and the ringleader of the Thieves in Law. Viktor and his gang were key participants in the Gang War of 2004. In The Getaway, he is referred to as "some Russian geezer", who sold weapons to Charlie Jolson.
A former Russian statesman, Viktor was driven out of Estonia in 1992. Since then he has become an eminent figure in London's finance industry. Viktor is a complex individual whose charming smile conceals a ruthless core. He has a passion for fine art, fine culture and fine women whom he treats like second-class citizens. A tattoo on his left hand hints at a less refined upbringing.
Viktor Skobel was born in Russia in 1955. As he grew up and became older, he got into politics and became a Russian statesman. He was a corrupt politician, however, and became associated with criminals.
In 1992, Viktor was driven out of Estonia. This is presumably because he got involved in illegal activity. Since 1992, Viktor started getting involved in arms dealing and began trafficking around Europe. He also did some time in prison around this period, and after (or even prior to) being released, he got a tattoo resembling a compass rose on his left hand. He had the tattoo placed between his thumb and index finger: it is one of the most painful spots on the body to have a tattoo because it is so near to a bone. Viktor later joked that the only anesthetic he had needed for dealing with the pain was from going to prison.
Upon being released from prison, Viktor got deeper and deeper into arms dealing. Prior to 2000, Viktor had visited and done business in London in the late 1990's and continued this into the early 2000's. He only properly settled down in the city in early 2004.
Viktor became associated with a Russian gang known as the Thieves in Law, also referred to as simply as Russians. Members of the gang come from all over Eastern Europe and are desperate, ruthless people with nothing to lose. Viktor became highly respected within the gang, and would later take a branch of it to settle down in London. He made deals all over Europe in the late 1990's and early 2000's. His clients however were criminals, mainly gangs.
In 2002, Viktor continued to carry out arms deals in London whenever he visited. He mainly sold weapons to gangs and other criminals, not caring what the weapons would be used for. Viktor sold weapons in person to Charlie Jolson and the Bethnal Green Mob in the early 2000's. This can be confirmed by the fact that a member of the Bethnal Green Mob, Eyebrows, mentions in a mission that the gang bought an M79 grenade launcher off a "Russian geezer" and that they're hard to come by. Viktor is Russian, an arms dealer and had sold weapons in London pre-2004, so this is most definitely him. Viktor sold the M79 grenade launcher to Charlie around 2002, which would be used by Jake Jolson and Eyebrows to blow up a prison van and help fake Jake's death.
After Jolson's death and the downfall of the Bethnal Green Mob, the relationship between Viktor and Charlie ended, resulting in Viktor having to make new friendships and alliances within London. This would lead to Viktor moving permanently into London and doing business with Jamahl and the Yardies two years later.
By 2004, Viktor has moved away from arms dealing and was now more into organized crime. Viktor became a ruthless gang leader operating in London. With Charlie Jolson's demise in 2002, the Thieves in Law became the most powerful gang in London. Viktor was so rich and wealthy that he began to ran his own legitimate business and owned a very secure bank in the heart of the City. Due to his passion for fine art, he had a very valuable icon stored in his bank that contained real diamonds which were worth a fortune. He also owned a factory in Borough, a mansion in Mayfair, a boat along the River Thames, a bath house and a construction site. Viktor had made an alliance with another gang leader, Jamahl, and his gang, the Yardies. The two of them had become friends and Viktor had arranged an arms deal with Jamahl at his factory. Jamahl was going to buy a load of weapons off Viktor for a lot of money.
Viktor also became concerned with investigative journalist Jackie Philips, who had been in on the gang's illegal activity. As a result, Viktor men kidnap her and take her to the construction site in order to torture her for information a week before the events of The Getaway: Black Monday.
One day, Danny West, a boxing coach, has hired a crew; Eddie O'Connor, a boxer, Sam Thompson, a nineteen year old computer hacker, Errol, a heavy weight trainer, Arthur, a safe cracker, and John, acting as the cleaner who would make off with the icon after the heist. They were working for Jimmer Collins, the new leader of the Collins Crew and were instructed to pull off a heist on Viktor's bank in order to steal some credit card codes from his safe in the building's top floor. Danny was long before in debt trouble with Jimmer, and needed to pay him back. They also agreed to steal Viktor's icon as a cover up for stealing the codes.
Eddie leads the assault on the bank and Sam gets the credit card codes stored on her laptop. Unfortunately for them, shortly after making it to the top floor and blowing the safe open, John betrays the crew and runs off with the icon. Sam and Errol manage to escape through a vent, but Eddie and Arthur are captured and taken to the construction site. Viktor orders Alexei, nicknamed the Dentist, to carry out the torture of the two men in order to find out the whereabouts of the icon. Alexei kills Arthur, and after torturing Eddie for a while, he leaves after discovering John's hideout. Viktor gives Alexei instructions to return his icon to him at all costs. Eddie however, manages to escape after Sam rescues him, but Errol is discovered and killed during the rescue. Alexei arrives at John's hideout and kills him, but is unable to find the icon, which is hidden in the basement.
Alexei tells Viktor that Danny is the man responsible for the bank heist. Viktor heads over with his heavy Yuri Gorsoy, and other members of his gang to Danny's gym. Viktor then murders Danny in cold blood, and also kills a kid called Sleeves, a friend of Eddie and Danny. His gang then began to murder members of the Collins at the gym who were presumably waiting for Danny's crew to return. They massacre a lot of gangsters and even kill Liam Spencer, and two other high ranking heavies, David Green and Savvy Jones. Jimmer and Viktor however manage to escape. Eddie and Sam make their way back to the gym, and Sam discovers that Danny is dead.
- "Я позвоню (I'll make a call). ...And get me the chief superintendent."
- ―Viktor's first spoken line in-game
Later on, Viktor gets a call from Alexei telling him that one of his men, Levi Stratov, has been arrested. Viktor makes a phone call and had him immediately released. Sergeant Ben "Mitch" Mitchell and his partner Jack Harvey however follow Levi to the construction site where they end up rescuing journalist Jackie Philips, whom Viktor was having tortured there by his heavy, Nadya Prushnatova.
Meanwhile, Eddie goes after Jimmer Collins, believing he was responsible for Danny's murder, but Viktor instructs Alexei and Yuri to take care of him and find the icon. Yuri kills Jimmer after Jimmer reveals Eddie probably has the icon. Eddie overhears the torture and realises that Viktor killed Danny. Viktor meanwhile is with Jamahl at the factory in Borough, carrying out his arms deal which he has been planning for some time. He also has Jackie Philips held hostage, after she has been returned to him after a shooting at a safe house she had been kept in for protection. Viktor instructs Alexei to return to the bank and check if Jamahl's deposit had been made successfully.
Yuri returns to Viktor at the factory but Eddie follows him from a distance. Viktor meets up with Yuri and tells him to take Jamahl downstairs while he phones Alexei. Suddenly, Eddie sneaks up from behind Viktor, puts a gun to his head and threatens to kill him, but Nadya appears and shoots the gun out of Eddie's hand. Viktor has Eddie searched and retrieved of his icon. He then orders Yuri to kill Eddie, but suddenly, a group of armed police led by Mitch show up and break up the arms deal. Viktor flees with Nadya in a truck outside and drive across London. Eddie however kills Yuri and chases after them.
They drive back to Viktor's mansion, where Viktor retreats to the rooftops and orders his men to kill Eddie. Eddie kills more of Viktor's men and chases him across the rooftops, where he then kills Nadya. Viktor flees to a parked car in his garage and phones Alexei, telling him Eddie is after him. Alexei tells Viktor to lure him to the boat and that they will deal with him. Viktor makes a getaway with an armed escort, but Eddie still chases after him. Viktor flees to his boat at the River Thames and gets on board. The boat takes off, but Eddie manages to get on the boat by jumping off a bridge further down the river. Eddie battles his way through the boat and kills Alexei.
- "I'm sure it hasn't escaped your attention, but I am, as you would say, fucked."
- ―Viktor to Eddie
Based on a decision made earlier as to whether Eddie would help Sam or not, Viktor will either hold an unconscious Sam hostage with a harpoon gun, or he will point the gun at Eddie. Viktor explains that where he comes from, he is driven by need other than desire, and he needs Eddie alive as a scapegoat, remarking, if Eddie helped Sam, that even a murderer can be a hostage. If Eddie helped Sam, Sam disables the boat's engine and Eddie attacks Viktor; otherwise, the sudden arrival of Mitch allows Eddie to attack before the harpoon gun goes off, killing the driver. On both occasions, the two of them tumble onto the front of the boat and engage in a fist fight. The boat crashes and Eddie is knocked out.
Viktor flees into the nearby pump house with his men. If Viktor had held Sam hostage, he retreats upstairs into the pumphouse and then throws her off to her death over a railing. If not, he retreats into the pumphouse with Eddie chasing after him. They engage in a shootout and Viktor runs up to the catwalk above the pumphouse where he battles Eddie face to face. After a shootout, Viktor is killed in the game's finale. Viktor falls backwards and drops his icon, spilling the diamonds across the floor. Eddie then escapes, having carried out revenge for his friends' murder.
In the public eyes and on the surface, Viktor Skobel is a legitimate businessman, like many in London, domestic or foreign. But on the deepest inside of his person, he is a monster, cruel, ruthless, corrupt and cold, driven by the need and desire that is money, and as such, he uses arms dealing to obtain the wealth he wants, both legal and illegal, by any means. Unlike most businessmen before and after him, Viktor is not afraid to get into a fight, having fought Eddie O'Connor on various occassions, though it doesn't mean that he will not flee from a person that has outmatched him in almost every way because of his primary reliance on his goons to kill Eddie. Like Charlie Jolson, Viktor has qualms about killing children, by the result of Sleeves' death and holding Sam hostage. However, Viktor's greed reaches onto a point where the Icon is extremely precious to him, and as such, when the Icon was stolen from him, he resorted in immediate action by his Thieves in Law, to retrieve it at any cost. In the end, moments onto his death, his greed became his undoing as Eddie killed him for revenge for the murder of his friends, even Danny West. It is somewhat unclear if he wanted the Icon back for it's religious grandstand or by the diamonds it contains.
Murders Committed by Viktor Skobel
- Danny West - Killed in between "Cons and Icons" and "The Wake of the Shoreditch Massacre" for being responsible for the heist at Viktor's bank.
- Sleeves - Killed in between "Cons and Icons" and "The Wake of the Shoreditch Massacre" for being in the gym at the time of the murder of Danny West.
- Sam Thompson - Killed in "The Fall of an Icon" for being part of the crew that stole Viktor's icon. She is always killed by Viktor if Eddie didn't help her in "Return to the Scene of the Crime".
- Aiding and Abetting (mentioned)
The Getaway: Black Monday
- Finding Miss Philips
- Desperate Measures
- Codes of Honour
- Jimmer Collins
- Your Man with the Tattoo
- The Vor
- Paying Favours
- Beginning of the End
- The Fall of an Icon (killed)
- "Алексей, не говорите мне об этом (Alexei, don't tell me these things)."
- "Алексей, я не хочу знать, чего ты не знаешь (Alexei, I don't want to know what you don't know)."
- "Guns. [...] The largest, most modern armoury in all of London. Apart from my own, of course."
- "I would not want you to use my gift against me."
- "Prison is the only anaesthetic that is required." (referencing his tattoo)
- "Ah, Miss Philips? Who do I have here? I thought that you had a dossier on everyone."
- "This is Mr O'Connor. He is here to return to me... my icon."
- "This is a very expensive tie."
- "Боксер последовал за ним, он сумасшедший (The boxer followed, he's a fucking lunatic)! Почему он беспокоится (Why does he bother)?!"
- "O'Connor! I could have used my gun, of course, but I found this, and I thought, "How apt! Small fish out of his/their depth!" (referencing the harpoon gun)
- "What, no answer? I should just kill her, then?!" (referencing Sam; determinant)
- "Good fucking question. You intrigue me, O'Connor. I'm not wrong, am I? You are just, a boxer?"
- "Even a murderer can be a hostage."
- "A scapegoat, I think you call it. Very strange expression."
- "Who the fuck are you?! I refuse to die by the gun of a man I do not know, but you are a NOBODY!"
- "Oh, the boxer misses his coach! How fucking quaint! You're so ridiculous! You have done this for nothing!"
- "O'Connor! You want her?! You can have her! (as he kills Sam; determinant)
- "The little man deserves to die for his stupidity! ...it was an inconvenience... an inconvenience that ENDS with this...!" (Viktor's last words)
- It is highly likely that Viktor Skobel made arms deals with Charlie Jolson and the Bethnal Green Mob pre 2002. The reason for this is that there is a possible reference to Viktor in The Getaway, in the mission Aiding and Abetting. This is evident when Eyebrows gives Jake a grenade launcher to blow up the prison van he just broke free from. After Jake fires a grenade and destroys the van, he asks Eyebrows if he has anymore grenades. Eyebrows then replies: "No, we got that off some 'Russian geezer'. The pineapples are hard to come by." This 'Russian geezer' could have been Viktor.
- Although it is never confirmed, Viktor is an arms dealer and would have presumably sold guns to other gangs and done business in London pre 2004 so this is in fact most likely him. If true, it means Viktor was associated with Charlie Jolson and even met him in person at an arms deal, meaning the two were allies and therefore friends. In addition, Eyebrows also would have met Viktor, even though he didn't know his name personally, he was aware that the man who supplied the gang with weapons was Russian.
- Unlike Charlie Jolson, Viktor is willing to take part in combat and drive himself about.
- Viktor becomes a playable Free Roaming character after you have completed the last mission in the game, The Fall of an Icon. He starts off outside his bank in the city and in the same car he flees from Eddie in.