When Ava was 6 when her mother was killed by the leader of the Russian mob. Since she was born her actions were dictated by the leader, "the monster with the blacked-out eyes", until one day. One day Natasha Romanoff, the Black Widow, came from under the shadows and freed her. Natasha promised her it was all going to be ok and that she would meet her at the embassy to help her. She never did and Ava learned that if she was going to survive she would have to do it on her own.
She was then brought to America from Ukraine, and was suspected to be a criminal. She was therefore kept in a S.H.I.E.L.D. safe house for 5 years. During her time at S.H.I.E.L.D., she learned a few things on being a spy. On her fourteenth birthday, she escaped the safe house , stole some S.H.I.E.L.D. tech and disappeared.
She moved to Brooklyn and found new friends. Her best friend being Oksana. One day, Sana talked Ava into going to a rave that a guy she liked invited her to. Ava reluctantly agreed to giving her 5 minutes there. But after being distracted by a guy hitting on her, Ava lost her best friend. She saw her being brought into a back room and chased after her. She was able to save Sana, but not without attracting the attention of the police. Ava ran so that she wouldn't be thrown back into the S.H.I.E.L.D. safe house. She escaped and decided she liked how she felt saving her friend. She would then remember how the Black Widow saved her and how she wanted to do the same, only as the Red Widow.