The Solntsevskaya Bratva (Russian: Солнцевская братва), or simply the Bratva, is a powerful Russian Mafia organization. Oliver Queen was one of the highest-ranking members (a captain), due to the fact that he saved Anatoly Knyazev, one of the captains of the Bratva, from Anthony Ivo during his time on Lian Yu. Anatoly later introduced Oliver to the Bratva Pakhan (godfather) Ishmael Gregor, who sent him on a mission against Konstantin Kovar's criminal organization. The resulting events brought Anatoly to the status of leadership in the Bratva, with him becoming the new Pakhan. The organization's entire Moscow branch was massacred by the crime lord Ricardo Diaz when he went after Anatoly for his betrayal.
In 1986, a high-ranking Bratva member, Yuri the Bear, was approached by Rip Hunter and Leonard Snart. They needed his help to break their friends out from Koshmar prison. At first, Yuri refused to help them, even though he didn't like Vandal Savage, claiming the man didn't respect the criminal traditions of his country. Sara Lance was able to change his mind and Yuri provided the team with information on how to break into the prison using Bratva's black market access to Koshmar.
In his last year before returning home Oliver Queen met Anatoly Knyazev while he was in Russia, trying to kill Konstantin Kovar. Anatoly told him that the only way to get Kovar was with the help of the Bratva. So Oliver decided to go through the initiation to become a member and use Bratva resources.
After saving Anatoly from Kovar in his casino, he was, in reward, appointed to the rank of captain and marked with the Bratva symbol.
Upon returning to Starling City, Oliver occasionally used his Bratva contacts, primarily with Alexi Leonov, to aid in his crusade, often doing a favor in return. Such situations included tracking Deadshot, discovering the hidden player in Justin Whicker's sex trafficking ring, searching for Walter Steele, and setting up a meeting with The Count.
Due to his fallout with Alexi, Oliver didn't expect to still be a member. When he made his way to Russia to track General Walker, Oliver received an unwelcome greeting from Anatoly. Although he initially refused to return to the Bratva, he agreed to help one final time in order to gain assistance from the Bratva. However, Anatoly later reminded Oliver that he swore an oath, making him a member of the Bratva for life whether or not he liked it .
The initiation included 3 steps that one must pass, after surviving a violent beating from the other members;
- Fight Bratva members and be the first to ring a bell placed behind them. The purpose of this test is to test your intellect and to see if you can create a strategy to pass the obstacles. Those who fail to ring the bell are killed.
- Trust your comrades with a knife while they cut your back. The meaning of this test is to trust that your brothers will not kill you.
- You must perform a hit successfully. The meaning of this test is to do as you are told. Bratva members will be able to trust you if the results of the hit are good.
Oliver passed the test and gain a few new scars along the way. During the ceremony, Oliver had to proclaim his loyalty by stating "I have no home, no family, no name, I'm Bratva".
- Pakhan: Pakhan is a title held by the leader of the Solntsevskaya Bratva.
The group was shown to operate, within itself, on the basis of immediate reciprocal favors, although how the value of these is judged has not been revealed. For example, to get a meeting with The Count through Alexi Leonov, Oliver was asked to kill a disobedient underling of Leonov. Anatoly Knyazev, in Moscow, seemed to act primarily out of friendship for Oliver, rather than according to this code, although he did expect Oliver to provide his own finance.
- Anatoly Knyazev (Pakhan; former captain at Krasnoyarsk)
- "The Mechanic"
- Riggs Wellington (counterfeiter)
- Yuri (in 1986)
- Ishmael Gregor (removed as Pakhan; deceased)
- Viktor (captain at Krasnoyarsk; deceased)
- Alexi Leonov (deceased)
- Klaus Markos (incarcerated)
- Oliver Queen/Kapot (captain at Star City; betrayed the organization)
- Oleg (deceased)
- Team Arrow
- Vincent Sobel/Vigilante (revealed to be an enemy; deceased)
- Ricardo Diaz's criminal organization
- Team Arrow
- Slade Wilson/Deathstroke
- J.G. Walker (incarcerated in military prison)
- Ricardo Diaz/Dragon (deceased)
DC's Legends of Tomorrow
- "Bratva" (братва) is an informal variant of the word "brotherhood" in Russian, usually used by gangsters (while "bratstvo" (братство) is a formal variant).
- Oliver Queen's Bratva name is Kapot (капот; Russian for "hood"). This may be a simple translation error, as it refers to the hood of a car, rather than a garment. Also in Russian, капот is "poke bonnet", and this name may be just a mockery.
Behind the scenes
- Bratva is a nickname used in Russian to describe gangsters in general.
- Solntsevskaya Bratva is a real criminal organization, recognized as the biggest and most powerful crime syndicate of the Russian mafia. The Solntsevskaya gang was founded in the late 1980s by Sergei Mikhailov, a former waiter who had served a prison term for fraud. Based out of the Solntsevo District of Moscow, the gang recruited local unemployed, aggressive young men as foot soldiers and also made use of the "thief in law" Dzhemal Khachidze to enhance their reputation amongst established criminals.
- The symbol of the organization is a tattoo of a black sun. It is referenced in the name of the organization ("Solntsevskaya" would refer to the district of Solntsevo - "Sun City", which may mirror "Star City", since the Sun is also a star). Interestingly, the black sun is a symbol used by a number of historical and contemporary nationalist movements in Europe.