Illich was born on April 19, 1977 in the Soviet Union. In the 1990s, he was one of several pilots secretly dispatched by Russia to aid pilots of Bosnia's air force during the Bosnian War, acting under the leadership of Colonel Ivan Stagleishov. At some point during the war, he was saved by Andrei Markov from a life-threatening situation, leading him to blindly follow Markov in his quest to claim revenge for the accidental death of his wife, Krista Yoslav, in a United States bombing raid.
East Africa insurgency
After Bosnia, Illich returned to service with the Russian Air Force as a Major and leader of the Red Moon Squadron. In 2015, he and Stagleishov's Big Bear Squadron were sent to East Africa as sleeper agents for Blatnoi under the premise of Russian collaborators to NATO's Task Force 108 in their campaign to defeat the terrorist movement sweeping the region. On December 20, he was saved by Warwolf Squadron in unknown circumstances.
The day after, Illich and his men sortied from NATO's airfield in Hamada to defend it and the nearby oil refineries from a rebel air strike. While pursuing retreating rebels north of the base, he was shot down by insurgency aircraft and ejected into the desert below, where he was "captured" by rebels aware of Blatnoi's involvement. They brought him to a nearby city, and was later rescued by Nomad Squadron on December 22. Upon his return to Hamada, he was hospitalized by the base crew showing signs of fatigue.
New Russian Federation uprising
When the Blatnoi destroyed the city of Carruth with a Trinity missile, Illich assumed leadership of the Russian troops stationed at Hamada. As Task Force 108 were transferred out of the Horn of Africa, he participated in operations against the New Russian Federation from an air base in Volgograd. During his stay at the base in January 2016, he maintained contact with Markov, secretly planning to defect from NATO.
During a joint operation, he reported a "mechanical failure" and departed from the NATO forces, leaving the rest of his squadron with them. He disappeared from radar to join Markov and several supports of the coup in their plot to attack Washington, D.C. Having received a PAK-FA prototype, he refueled in Africa before fleeing to South America, leading the United States Navy to dispatch two aircraft carriers and several ships to the Southern Caribbean.
After the rebels' initial attack on Miami, Illich followed Markov as he fled up the coast of Florida under the cover of Hurricane Alex, where he confronted William Bishop as a distraction to ensure Andrei's arrival at Washington. Bishop fought Illich in a prolonged battle in and out of Alex; he was eventually bested and killed by William, being forcibly thrown out of his plane's canopy as it exploded.
- A portrait of Illich is used in the image of the achievement "Category 5".
- Illich's character could be partly based on Larry "Pixy" Foulke. Both had respect for the main character and both betrayed them by disappearing in the middle of the sortie, only to be shot down by the main character toward the end of the game. Additionally, they share the same English voice actor, Yuri Lowenthal.
- Illich's last words upon being shot down is "Molodtsa!" ("Молодца!"). It is a derivative from "molodets" ("молодец", literally "good fellow"), which is commonly used in vernacular Russian as an expression of approval and respect (Such as "You rock!" or "Nicely done!"). Illich uses this catchphrase throughout the game to compliment Bishop's kills while fighting at his side.
- Illich's paint scheme for his PAK FA seen in Hurricane is the same as Markov's, however his PAK FA does not have the shark's mouth design on the nose. His paint scheme seems to be unobtainable in the game.
- Cutscene and briefing prior to Home Front. Ace Combat: Assault Horizon.
- Cutscene prior to Inferno. Ace Combat: Assault Horizon.
- Inferno. Ace Combat: Assault Horizon.
- Red Moon. Ace Combat: Assault Horizon.
- Cutscene prior to Spooky. Ace Combat: Assault Horizon.
- Briefing prior to Power Play. Ace Combat: Assault Horizon.
- Cutscene prior to Launch. Ace Combat: Assault Horizon.
- Launch. Ace Combat: Assault Horizon.
- Hurricane. Ace Combat: Assault Horizon.