Nadia Laksheva is a freelance agent.
That is so totally wrong and yet finding something more accurate that fits in one sentence is probably impossible.
We first meet Laksheva when she is just turning 18 and is leaving her home in the country for a new life in the huge city of Moscow. That is where her sister, Katya, lives. She did not want to be like her sister who earned her living pleasuring men but she wanted to be near her so she lived in a tiny apartment and worked two jobs just to survive but the two young women spent a lot of time together and she was happy.
Then she met Viktor at a party with Katya and she went with him to his bed and in the morning he left money on the dresser and she knew in her own way she was now like Katya. The relationship with Viktor lasted six months but then he was arrested for who knows what and because she had accepted his money, she was tossed into a prison as an accessory ('receiving stolen funds') and told the next dozen years would be spent there.
That is when the man Katya answered to, the powerful gangster Kadinsky, visited her in prison and gave her a chance to get out. At least out from behind bars. She would still be a prisoner of sorts to him for the next five years.
The deal was straightforward. Kadinsky told her, "You'll work for me for five years. Your training will take three, including eighteen months in Britain. I want your English impeccable - not like a newsreader, like a local. Do ten ops for me, then I'll let you both go. Ten ops, five years. Then svoboda ... freedom".
That is how Laksheva became an agent. The freelance part which was not really freelance at all? That would come in time.