Little is known of Phobos's early life. He gained prominence for his inventing skills (of unknown weapons) in the USSR military.
Phobos, now quite popular in the government, approached his seniors and requested that he train mutants to be the ultimate Soviet super soldiers. Prior to this, the secret police would kill all mutants at the instant manifestation of powers due to their posing a threat to the "equality" and "harmony" of the people. Phobos's wishes were granted and he started a secret academy of mutants.
Phobos has ulterior motives for this academy, though. He had developed a way to siphon off the powers of nearby mutants using a machine. The machine would then transfer the power into a power suit that granted him extraordinary abilities. A side effect of his machine was that it would kill the mutants it stole from.
Phobos was given dozens of young mutants to train (from 14 years of age to about 25), and his machine gradually sucked out their powers and lives. Each death he passed off the government as a training casualty, since his superiors did not care if some died if it meant creating perfect soldiers. Eventually though the Vanguard (later a new Red Guardian)
investigated the academy and discovered his plot. A battle ensued at Phobos was defeated. Sadly, only three mutants were left: Ursa Major
, and Darkstar
Phobos may have been killed in the battle or he may have been captured. If the latter was true he would probably have been executed swiftly. If he did manage to escape, it is unknown if he retained his power suit and whether it retained its powers.
Dark Beast and a team of scientists working for Norman Osborn at the time he was head of the US superhumans invented a machine similar to Phobos's. It required a mutant to be put in a certain area of it and strapped down, yet it slowly siphoned their powers. It was mostly used to power up Weapon Omega as well as weaken and kill enemy mutants, but it might have also given energy to power suits and weapons. It is unknown if the Omega Machine used any of the tech from Phobos's, but such an idea would seem likely considering vast amounts of Soviet intelligence were uncovered at the fall of the USSR. Perhaps Phobos had been involved in the building of it; Osborn certainly did employ killers and even mass murderer during his reign.
Phobos invented a machine that gradually siphoned away the abilities of nearby mutants. The energy was then transferred into a power suit that Phobos wore. The suit gave him telepathy, telekinesis, blast powers, and additional siphoning abilities.