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Anya Ragova and Marta Stevens are the main antagonists of "Payback", the series premiere episode of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. They are two Bosnian women who were raped and tortured by Serbian soldier Stefan Tanzic during the Bosnian War, and who castrate and murder him years later in New York City.

Anya is portrayed by Gordana Rashovich, and Marta by Mili Avital.

Background

Anya and Marta are from a small village in Bosnia, where they both worked as schoolteachers. When the Bosnian War broke out, Serbian soldier Stefan Tanzic, a mutual acquaintance of both women who commanded an ethnic cleansing unit, kidnapped, raped, and tortured them both, while also murdering Anya's husband and grandson. Anya and Marta managed to escape Tanzic's captivity and relocate to New York City, where Marta worked at a graphic design firm and Anya opened a restaurant. Anya was pregnant with Tanzic's child when she left Bosnia, and married when the child, a boy who looks just like Tanzic, was a baby.

One day, Anya hailed a taxi driven by Tanzic, who had fled Bosnia under indictment for crimes against humanity and was living under the name Steven Panachek. Anya recognized him immediately, and later conspired with Stevens to kill him. They stalked Tanzic for weeks, memorizing his routine, before finally ambushing him and cutting off his penis before stabbing him to death.

In "Payback"

Special Victims Unit detectives Elliot Stabler and Olivia Benson investigate the murder, believing Tanzic to be "Victor Spicer" because he was using Spicer's hack license. They eventually uncover his true identity and learn of his crimes, and interview his surviving victims, including Anya and Marta. Both claim that they were at work at the time of the murder, although both admit to hating him and being glad that he is dead. Benson and Stabler notice that Anya has a cut on her hand, which she claims is from a kitchen accident.

Eventually, Benson and Stabler uncover enough evidence to prove that Anya and Marta killed Tanzic, and they arrest Marta first while she is at work. They then go to Anya's restaurant to arrest her, but she commits suicide by stabbing herself before they can take her into custody. As he dies, Anya whispers to Stabler that she wants to be with the family that Tanzic stole from her.

At the SVU precinct office, Marta confesses to killing Tanzic, but claims that she and Anya committed the murder on impulse after randomly getting into Tanzic's cab. Benson and Stabler suspect that the murder was premeditated, but choose to accept Marta's story because they feel sorry for her and believe that Tanzic got what he deserved. Assistant District Attorney Abbie Carmichael evidently feels the same way, as she gives Marta a lenient sentence: Eighteen months in a psychiatric facility.

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