Svetlana Chernitskaya

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Svetlana Chernitskaya
D     E     C     E     A     S     E     D
Gender: Female   Female
Died: May 2008
Status: Deceased- died after being shot by Mike Franks.
Portrayed by: Kathleen Gati
 First Appearance
  ●   NCIS: Judgment Day Part 1 (episode).
 Last Appearance
  ●   NCIS: Judgment Day Part 2 (episode).
List of Appearances

Svetlana Chernitskaya was the handler and fiance of former KGB hitman and Russian arms dealer, Anatoly Zhukov and who was also responsible for sending four hitmen after former Agent William Decker and NCIS Director Jennifer Shepard with the attacks resulting in the deaths of both Decker and Shepard before her own death in May 2008.



Not much of Svetlana's own background is known but it's presumed that she was born in an area in Russia.

At some point, she opted to become a criminal. During that time, she met and fell in love with arms dealer Anatoly Zhukov who started selling his services to the highest bidder in the aftermath of the Cold War with the two of them getting engaged to be married.

During the 1990s, NIS agent Riley McCallister directed two assassination attempts against Svetlana and Zhukov. The first operation in Amsterdam involved Agents Whitney Sharp, Kurt Nelson and future NCIS Director, Leon Vance which failed after being compromised.

A few years later in 1999, Gibbs, Jenny and Decker conducted a similar operation this time in Paris and was deemed a success due to the fact that Gibbs ultimately succeeded in killing Zhukov by shooting the Russian in an alleyway.

However, Jenny, still a Probie could not being able to bring herself to kill Svetlana and opted to let the other woman go free, unknowingly setting in motion events that would cost Shepard her life several years later.

Following the failed assassination, Svetlana who had escaped later changed her name to Natasha Lenkov (alias) and founded an import-export business, becoming rich and famous but through the years, despite amassing a vast, personal fortune, could not cope with the fact that the man she had loved and even planned to marry was dead.

As such, her own grief and anger consumed her to such an extent that she spent a long time searching those responsible in the hope of delivering her own brand of justice.

NCIS Season 5

Having finally gotten the information she was looking for, Svetlana hired a group of assassins, one of whom was called Viggo Drantyev and the group set off for the United States, eventually arriving in Los Angeles which they achieved by using fake IDs.

They soon found Decker with the group seeking information but Decker, knowing that the end was near, responded by giving them the name "Oshimida".

As such, the group responded by killing him although how they killed him although according to the Medical Examiner, Decker's death was apparently disguised to look like a heart attack which suggests that Decker may have been given a fatal injection that ultimately mimicked a heart attack.

After killing Decker, the group left and soon discovered that Decker had an insurance policy from his wife which they used to find all the others, ultimately killing all off one by one including Decker's girlfriend, Sasha Gordon.

The group later headed to an abandoned diner in the Californian desert where they confronted Jenny Shepard, triggering a massive gunfight that left Jenny and the four assassins dead although it was later revealed that Franks had stayed behind to ensure that the assassins were dead by personally shooting them before he fled with NCIS Special Agent Anthony DiNozzo and Mossad/NCIS Liaison Officer Ziva David arriving at the diner, presumably a few hours later.

With her own squad as well as almost those involved in her lover's death now dead, Svetlana had one target left: Gibbs and as such, Svetlana personally returned to Washington D.C, ready to finish things once and for all but Gibbs who had also been Shepard's former lover and partner as well as Jenny's mentor also had his own plans in mind.

During a phone call with Svetlana/Natasha while ignoring the orders of Assistant Director Leon Vance who wanted answers in regards to how Gibbs knew Svetlana/Natasha, Gibbs arranged to meet Svetlana/Natasha at Jenny's house which Svetlana agreed to.

Svetlana later arrived at Shepard's house a while later, her gun drawn as she intended to kill Gibbs as well while also revealing that Jenny hadn't been able to kill her nine years ago in Paris but as she raised her weapon, clicking the safety off and just as she was able to fire the shot that no doubt would have killed Gibbs, she was shot in the back and collapsed onto the table, dying instantly with the person who had shot her revealed to be Gibbs's mentor, former NIS agent Mike Franks who had secretly at the house and from the front, killed Svetlana while also saving Gibbs.

A while after Svetlana's death, Gibbs and Mike then opted to cover up the circumstances surrounding Jenny's death by burning her Georgetown mansion to the ground while also informing the media that the body that was Jenny but who was actually Svetlana had died of smoke inhalation.


Svetlana was ruthless and keen to exact revenge on those responsible for the death of her fiancee.

She did not show any mercy or remorse for her actions, suggesting a possible psychopathic or sociopathic nature.


Svetlana was a woman in her late forties, early fifties with long shoulder-length blonde hair and green eyes.


Hand to Hand Combat


Svetlana was an expert at using any all kinds of firearms and was also presumably capable of firing a single shot that could either instantly kill or incapacitate her target.


Known Victims

The following were targets/victims of Svetlana and her hit squad:

  • William Decker- (Murdered with his death being disguised to make it look like he had suffered a heart attack).
  • Sasha Gordon- (Died after suffering a broken neck, having been pushed off a parking lot).
  • Jennifer Shepard- (Was left injured during the gunfight in the diner and later died from her wounds seconds later).
  • Leroy Jethro Gibbs- (Attempted to kill, failed).

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