Yuri was presumably born in Kazakhstan (As that was where he later operated) and at one point began to work for The KGB, becoming a border guard.
Yuri was created by Larry Hama and Mark Texeira for Wolverine #66.
Major Story Arcs
Prophecy/Valley O' Death
Yuri (Along with Ahmed) was one of many soldiers who were spying on Wolverine as they believed his Russian security identification to be fake. Along with the other soldiers, he entered the bus Logan was on and opened fire at him - leaving him for dead.
When showing Logan's clothes off to some women at a nearby village, Yuri learned that The Hand had placed a bounty of 100 million yen on Wolverine's head. Wanting to claim the reward, Yuri travelled back to the scene of the shooting to look for Logan's body (Although he had recovered not long ago and already left). Believing that someone must have dragged his body away, Yuri followed the footsteps left there.
Later finding Wolverine, Yuri attempted to run him over. However, Logan entered the vehicle Yuri was on and killed him along with the other soldiers.