Serafima is a Russian biochemist. During the Cold War she was taken prisoner by the Red Army who forced her to help in their research.
Serafima was a brilliant Biochemist who was taken prisoner for her work during the Cold War. She was taken to the gulag by the Soviets to the area near the Remnants' village as punishment for throwing a drink in a minister's face. The soviets had came to mine the mountains for their resources. Taking prisoners and natives as slaves.
Serafima was kept in the local gulag. There, she met Ivan, a guard whom she saw was feeling bad for the atrocities he was helping commit, and was sabotaging his own crew. She initially told him that he wasn't doing enough, though she eventually fell in love with him, resulting in her giving birth to a daughter. The Soviets took the child from her and arrested Ivan, telling Serafima he was dead. She was later forced to work in a military research project involving developing a way to counteract the pollen within the Wicked Vale, to assist the team who were studying the local ruins.
Embittered from thinking that Ivan was dead, she plotted her escape. After finishing the antidote for the pollen, she mixed a potent strain of the pollen in with the soldiers food, causing them to hallucinate, making them see her as the mythic witch, Baba Yaga. Only one of the men returned, stating that Baba Yaga had attacked them. For the next 40 years, anyone who entered the Vale did not return. Serafima turned the vale into a nightmarish landscape through the use of the pollen.
Ivan himself ventured into the Vale to find her, but succumbed to the pollen's hallucinations and ended up being injured.
Lara Croft, by the request of Nadia, later ventured into the Vale to try and find Ivan. Lara succumbs to the pollen, and sees Baba Yaga, and even her dead father. After falling into a river, she escapes the effects of the hallucinations. Lara deduces that the witch has no real power and is using the pollen. She finds the notes for Serafima's antidote and returns to the Vale seeing it for what it is. Lara and Nadia travel to the temple of the witch, where they find Ivan. Lara confronts and defeats Serafima, not wanting to kill her. Nadia and Ivan arrive, Serafima is shocked as she believed Ivan was dead. He embraces her lovingly. Nadia and Lara leave them alone. Lara is unsure of whether Serafima will ever be able to rejoin the rest of the world after having played the part of the Baba Yaga for so long.