- "Almost, but nothing ever really dies. There are always echoes. You'll learn that soon enough."
- —Kovar to Oliver Queen on Lian Yu[src]
General Konstantin Kovar (died 2012) was a government strongman who ruled over Krasnoyarsk, Russia. He also used his governmental position as a front for his personal criminal organization that had a rivalry with the Solntsevskaya Bratva. Oliver Queen, wanting to honor his promise to Taiana Venediktov that he would kill Kovar infiltrated the Bratva. Eventually, culminating in a final battle on Lian Yu, Kovar was killed by Oliver.
Konstantin Kovar grew up in poverty listening to stories of popular wisdom from his mother and his father's proverbs. As an adult, Kovar served in the Russian army rising through the ranks until he became a general. He eventually gained enough political influence and connections to became a government strongman and the ruler of Krasnoyarsk.
Ruler of Krasnoyarsk
Taiana Venediktov mentioned Kovar to Oliver Queen when describing the village she'd come from. Taiana wanted to use the power of the Khushu Idol to come back to Krasnoyarsk and free it from Kovar's control. Her last wish was for Oliver to go to Russia, find her parents and then complete her mission.
Intending to honor Taiana's last wish, Oliver traveled to Krasnoyarsk and joined an illegal fighting ring, seeking to locate Kovar. He ended up killing one of the best "money-makers" in Kovar's criminal empire, after which the latter sent some Solntsevskaya Bratva thugs to take revenge on Oliver. Oliver was almost killed by a Bratva superior before the timely intervention from Anatoly Knyazev. When Oliver asked Anatoly to help him find and kill Kovar, the Russian crime boss wasn't ready to agree easily, since Konstantin Kovar controls not only the underworld, but also a whole army of government soldiers, and getting to him would be a suicide mission. As Oliver pressed on, Knyazev decided to help with his plan, firstly by training him as a member of the Bratva.
Oliver finally got a chance to meet Kovar himself when the Bratva Pakhan Ishmael Gregor sent him on a mission to infiltrate and destroy the casino built by Konstantin Kovar's criminal organization. Oliver, along with another Bratva grunt, were apprehended by Kovar's men while setting the bomb, before being brought before the governor-turned-crime boss. As he took off his jacket and drank a glass of vodka, Kovar revealed his knowledge of Oliver's Bratva association, telling the American a story with the moral of unity always being a path to strength, before snapping the neck of Oliver's Bratva partner.
Kovar then brought Oliver for a dinner at his mansion, questioning the American on his reasons for joining the Bratva and going after the governor of Krasnoyarsk. When he understood that Oliver is here to avenge Taiana's mother, Galina, Kovar claimed that the woman decided to work for him when her children, Taiana and Vlad disappeared. Oliver attempted to threaten Kovar, wounding his hand with a knife and disarming his thugs, only for more gangsters to appear and ambush Oliver. Kovar explained that the Bratva agreed to lay off hostilities as exchange for a percentage to his casino's profits, leaving the American on his own. After Kovar gave Oliver a beating, Pakhan Ishmael Gregor arrived at his premises and asked to take Oliver back to the Bratva, as part of their deal.
After Oliver was taken by Gregor and his men, Konstantin presumably continued his plan to take over Russian government. However, his operation hit a setback with the death of his primary revenue, Misha Yurievich, whom Oliver killed with the help of Talia al Ghul. Kovar's base was also attacked by the mysterious "Luchnik"/"Kapiushon", who was there to steal information about his deal with Gregor. Later, Konstantin had a meeting with Malcolm Merlyn, discussing their deal about a shipment of sarin gas in exchange for information regarding Unidac Industries. The two were interrupted by the new Pakhan, Anatoly. Anatoly and Kovar started discussing the reports on the Kapiushon, who had killed Gregor and what his last words were. Kovar started talking how Russia became weak following the destruction of Soviet Union, which led Anatoly and Oliver catching on to his intentions.
Malcolm sent a sarin gas shipment to Moscow, where Kovar began retrieving it with his men. Suddenly, they were attacked by Oliver and other members of Bratva, but managed to escape. Kovar then invited many members of the Russian government and military to his casino, but later realized that he was betrayed by Galina, who had given Oliver access to the casino. Enraged, Kovar interrogated Galine before snapping her neck. Afterwards, Kovar gave a short invitation speech to his guests and then his gas mask on, launching the sarin gas. While Oliver tried to stop the gas attack, Kovar attacked him. After a prolonged battle, Kovar was presumably killed by Oliver.
However, due to Malcolm's help, Kovar survived after extensive surgery, though it took months for him to completely recover.
Revenge and death
After his near-death experience, Kovar desired revenge. While healing, Kovar had his men spy Oliver and Anatoly. After learning Oliver's plan to fake his rescue from Lian Yu, Kovar and his men followed Oliver and Anatoly there. After Anatoly left and while Oliver was building his bonfire, Kovar and his men snuck up on Oliver and tranquilized him. Kovar took Oliver to the Chinese prison on Lian Yu. Instead of killing Oliver, Kovar wanted to make him suffer to such an extent that he would want to kill himself. Kovar began to psychologically torture Oliver by injecting him the Red Death, a KGB interrogation drug. The Red Death made Oliver relieve the worst moments in his life as Kovar touched his scars. Kovar soon put Oliver in a cell and left him with a gun, believing that in time, he would commit suicide to escape the suffering.
However, Oliver used the gun to escape and Kovar gave his men strict orders to find, but not kill him. After Oliver killed all of his men, Kovar got onto his chopper, planning to shoot and kill Oliver from above. However, Oliver shot down both him and the chopper. In his final moments, Kovar was determined to make Oliver miss his boat home. Kovar brought out a gun, trying to shoot Oliver. As they grappled with the firearm, Kovar pressed its smoking muzzle against Oliver's pectoral, burning the latter. As they fought, Kovar tried to kill Oliver by pushing him against the flaming plane wreckage, which failed. Oliver soon began to overpower Kova and eventually had him in a headlock. Oliver's watch then beeped, signaling the boat's arrival. Believing he succeeded, Kovar merely laughed and told Oliver that the island would be his prison. Oliver snapped his neck, killing Kovar and ending his tyranny. Kovar's body was left on Lian Yu.
Five years later, Kovar's body was seen on Lian Yu, now decomposed into a skeleton.
- "World is a complex place - who’s to say who’s the monster and who’s the hero?"
- —Konstantin Kovar to Oliver Queen[src]
Konstantin Kovar was an imposing and cocksure man, taunting his prisoners with his mannerisms. He was also quietly cruel, executing a Bratva thug himself, and generally being known across Krasnoyarsk as an incredibly ruthless man, so much that even the peaceful Taiana Venediktov wanted to use dark magic to kill him. Kovar believed in unity above all else, this moral of his coming from the tale his mother told him. He despised the Solntsevskaya Bratva as "scum", despite controlling a criminal organization of his own, using his governmental position as a front. He also thought that one should not become "a damn farmer".
After being almost killed by Oliver Queen, Kovar became fascinated by him. He desired to break and personally kill Oliver, while still respecting him. Even on the verge of death, Kovar didn't show any remorse for his actions, only taunting Oliver on how he would miss his boat home.
- Peak of human physical condition: Kovar was shown to be in top physical form, as he was strong enough to easily break Bratva thug's neck. He was physically powerful enough to easily outmaneuver and incapacitate Oliver Queen with only a few punches in their first fight as well as physically contend with him after he had been trained by Talia al Ghul and even pin him down. Even after crashing with his helicopter and having visible injuries, Kovar was able to continue fighting with no deterioration on his performance, able to take on Oliver for a long period of time.
- High-level intellect/Master tactician/Leader: Kovar was an extremely sharp-witted, methodical, alert and adaptive individual. He was an effective leader capable to rule over a whole town. Kovar even executed a near-successful coup on the Russian government.
- Master hand-to-hand combatant/Martial artist: Kovar was evidently very powerful in unarmed combat, effortlessly overpowering and killing a Bratva grunt with a single trained neck snap and defeating Oliver relatively easily in their first fight. In their second fight, Kovar managed to stalemate and even at times overpower and pin down Oliver despite the latter having been trained by Talia before being ultimately defeated. Even after being visibly injured from his helicopter crashing, Kovar still proved to be a difficult challenge to Oliver, at first overwhelming him before Oliver turned the tides against him.
- Master knife wielder: Kovar was shown to be an excellent knife wielder, as shown in his second fight with Oliver, in which he was shown to be dexterous enough to quickly shift a knife from his left to right hand and land a stab on Oliver, briefly overwhelming him before being disarmed. In his final fight with Oliver, Kovar managed to slash him squarely before he could react.
- Expert marksman: Kovar is skilled at using firearms, such as handguns and sub-machine guns. Even using them in close quarters fight, as seen in his final fight with Oliver.
- Network: Being a Russian governor in Krasnoyarsk, Kovar used his governmental position for the sake of profit, covering up his personal crime ring rival to the Bratva.
- Swords: Kovar owned a gallery of swords that was placed on the wall behind his seat in his mansion.
- Firearms: Kovar used different types of guns, such as handguns and sub-machine guns.
- Knife: Kovar often wielded a knife against Oliver in their battles.
- Konstantin is the last person Oliver Queen killed on Lian Yu before Oliver ended his five-year exile from what was then known as Starling City.
- Like Adrian Chase, Konstantin revenge on Oliver by making him suffer and breaking him psychologically. However, Kovar failed where Adrian briefly succeeded.
Behind the scenes
- In the DC comics Konstantin Kovar was the father of Leonid Kovar, a Russian superhero known as Red Star, a member of Teen Titans, New Titans and an ally of Red Robin. Konstantin eventually turned up as a villain, the man behind "meta men", before his apparent death.
- In real life the Governor of Krasnoyarsk Krai in 2011 was Lev Kuznetsov. Interestingly enough, fictional Russian surname Kovar is similar to Ukrainian/Slavic word "koval'" which means "blacksmith", while surname "Kuznetsov" is based on a Russian word for blacksmith, "kuznets".
- His "mother's story" Konstantin Kovar told to Oliver is actually a common Russian fairy tale "Repka", or "The Turnip".
- Kovar served as the main antagonist of the "flashbacks arc" of Season 5 of Arrow.