Cryska Barchenowa is one of the main character featured in all media related to the Muv-Luv Alternative Total Eclipse series. An esper-pilot of the Soviet Union, Cryska is initially cold to all around her, but eventually warms up to the main character, US Army 2nd Lieutenant Yuuya Bridges.
While Cryska is typically cold towards strangers and curt towards her fellow comrades, she has no compunctions with displaying sisterly love and affection when it comes to Inia. Her feelings for Inia border on over-protectiveness, and she is willing to suffer humiliation if it meant that Inia would be protected. On the rare occasion that Inia and her are separated, Cryska's main concern becomes finding Inia, sometimes to the point of it being her driving goal and obsession.
A pilot from the Soviet Union's Idar Test Flight, of the 331st Special Experimental Development Corps, commanded by Jerzy Sandek, Cryska, along with Inia Sestina, form the infamous Scarlet Twins, a pairing of Soviet pilots well-known for their ruthless combat tactics. Of the two, Cryska possesses greater combat skill, both in and out of a TSF, and with guns and melee combat. As a Soviet esper of Alternative III, Cryska has the capability to read minds, although her powers are not as strong as Inia's. Originally created to attempt communication with the BETA, she was incorporated into the Soviet Army, likely after Alternative III was discontinued in 1995.
While initially being cold to everyone around her, the events in the Caribbean region during Project PROMINENCE's assignment to the UN's Guadeloupe Base, as part of a morale-boosting publicity drive, revealed much about her inner insecurity, and was the beginning of her opening her heart to Yuuya Bridges. She also has an amicable relationship with Takamura Yui, both of them being fellow pilots.
During Project PROMINENCE's stay on the Kamchatka Peninsula, Cryska's combat aptitude was displayed for all to see, with her and Inia in the Su-37UB Terminator easily dispatching all BETA opposition. However, she displayed no memories of a few select incidences when asked, notably one where she was accosted by non-Russian soldiers of 211 Batal'on Zhar, and another when she claimed no knowledge of having met 211 Batal'on commander Lt. Colonel Fikatsia Latrova. It was unknown where she was exactly during the ц-04 Frontline Supply Base Incident, although Sandek made numerous attempts to have her deployed into the base to combat the BETA there.
The twins later participated in Blue Flag as the Soviet representatives, easily besting all of their assigned opponents. It was also around this time that Cryska became aware of her feelings towards Yuuya Bridges, and the first time where she willingly sought him out to speak with.
When Blue Flag was interrupted by the sudden attack from the Refugee Liberation Front, Cryska was separated from Inia. United after a period of fighting through the RLF's forces, Cryska and Inia led the counterattack on RLF forces guarding key locations, and was instrumental in letting allied forces break through the RLF's guard. Later, the Scarlet Twins would join the effort to stop the BETA released by the RLF from reaching the Red Shift Line, where, in an attempt to unleash the full might of their synergy, compromised by Christopher's unknown device, the Scarlet Twins were driven berserk.
The twins proceeded on a rampage through friends and foes alike; Tarisa Manandal in the XFJ-01b Unit 2 was injured by them and the TSF destroyed, while Takamura Yui and her Type-00F were defeated in close-combat. Cryska, in particular, could not differentiate between allies and enemies, and it took Inia breaking free from her berserked state to stop her from killing Yuuya Bridges in the XFJ-01a Unit 1.
As one of the main heroines of Total Eclipse, Cryska is featured prominently in TE-related promotional images.
- Cryska also has a fear of open bodies of water, although she does not display it as openly as Inia.
- In the anime, the Scarlet Twins were mentally overwhelmed by Christopher in the Su-47E after he activated an unknown device. This results in the same sequence of events in the VN and novels taking place, but with the twins piloting an Su-47E for its duration instead.