|“||World's a complex place. Who's to say who's the villain and who's the hero? [...] Good, evil, hero, monster... My friend, truth is a matter of perspective.||„|
|~ Kovar to Oliver|
Kovar is the main antagonist of the flashback storyline in the fifth season of Arrow. He is portrayed by Dolph Lundgren.
Shortly before her death on Lian Yu, Taiana mentions to Oliver how her village is controled by Kovar. She begs Oliver to free the village from Kovar, which he promises.
On his search for Kovar, Oliver kills one of Kovar's disciples in Krasnoyarsk. In return, Kovar sends the criminal organization Bratva to eliminate Oliver. However, as one of Bratva's captains, Anatoli Knyazev, is an old friend of Oliver and owes him a favor, Oliver is instead able to join Bratva to be able to get closer to Kovar.
Days later, Kovar sends some of his men to attack the Bratva headquarter to remind them to stay away from his organization. Instead, the Bratva reveal to Oliver that they will go after Kovar's newest operation, a casino Kovar wants to build. As Kovar needs investors, one of the high-ranking Bratva members reveals to Oliver that they want him to get inside the casino, posing as an investor. He tells Oliver that Oliver is to blow up the casino. However, while attempting to do so Oliver is knocked out by Kovar's men.
When he wakes up, Oliver finds himself tied to a chair, confronted by Kovar. Kovar reveals himself to be unimpressed by the threat of the Bratva. After breaking the neck of Oliver's companion, Kovar introduces himself.
Over a week, Oliver is tortured and interrogated by Kovar's men. However, eventually, Queen is brought to a table full of food where he is to dine with Kovar. During the dinner, Kovar admits that he is quite intrigued by Oliver, the shipwrecked playboy who is presumed dead. Kovar also tells Oliver that he suspects that Oliver is sent by the Bratva, calling Oliver a 'unique' enemy of his. He also admires that Oliver has thus far not broken under torture and only repeatedly cried the name of Taiana.
Kovar then has an elderly maid enter the room, a woman he seems quite close to. After thanking the woman, he leads her out again, afterwards revealing to Oliver that this woman was the mother of Taiana and Vlad. Kovar claims that the woman came to him after her two children disappeared and that Kovar immediately offered her work so that she could manage to live on her own until her children returned. Kovar also hands Oliver a file about a man Oliver killed for the Bratva, as the Bratva claimed that this would help him get to Kovar. However, Kovar reveals that this man was no associate of his but a man whose business Bratva wanted to take over. Kovar attempt to convince Oliver that good and evil is always a matter of perspective but while he talks, Oliver jumps up and rams a knife into Kovar's hand, swiflty ending the man's lecture. Although Kovar's men immediately draw their guns, Oliver is able to take Kovar hostage.
Forced by Oliver, Kovar orders his men to drop their guns. However, as Oliver is about to escape through the building with him, more men with guns appear and Oliver is forced to release Kovar. Kovar is amused by the entire situation and tells Oliver that he should have found out by now that it is far more likely that the Bratva is only using him than it is that Bratva is letting an American into their operation. Kovar then disarms Oliver while claiming that Oliver is too weak to even know the difference. When Oliver challenges Kovar, provoking him by claiming that maybe Kovar is the weak one, Kovar accepts and the two brutally start beating up each other. Kovar emerges victorious but the battle is ended when a high-ranking Bratva member and some of his associates enter the room. Before he leaves Oliver to talk to the criminal, Kovar tells Oliver that Oliver now has proof about the Bratva's involvement with Kovar. Kovar later gives Oliver over to the Bratva agent.
Obtaining Merlyn's gas
After Oliver has been surrendered to the Bratva, Kovar continues his business. Eventually, he meets with Malcolm Merlyn. Merlyn informs Kovar that the arrangements have been made, that whatever Kovar wanted from him is delivered and that all Kovar needs to do is retrieve it. Their meeting is cut short when the Bratva turns up. Kovar learns that Ishmael Gregor, who was on Kovar's payroll, is no longer leader of the Bratva. Instead, the new Pakhan is Anatoli Knyazev who is an associate of Oliver.
Kovar inquires about Gregor's killer and Anatoli tells him that Gregor's last words described a man with bow and arrow. Kovar then mentions that he hears that Anatoli had differences with Gregor due to Gregor's deal with Kovar. Anatoli admits that he questioned the deal but claims that as Pakhan, he is obligated to honor the comittments Gregor made. Content with this answer, Kovar starts talking about how Russia got weak after the fall of the Sovjet Union and that the right man could make the country strong again. Anatoli realizes that Kovar plans to overthrow the Russian government and tells Oliver when he later returns to the Bratva.
When Kovar sets out to retrieve the shipment, revealed to be a deadly gas, he and his men are attacked by Oliver and the Bratva. Seeing the Bratva near his shipment, Kovar opens fire at one of the gas canisters, killing the Bratva soldier nearest to it. He then engages Anatoli and beats him up. Making his way up to the truck with his shipment, Kovar hijacks it and drives off, having successfully evaded the Bratva and Oliver. From one of Kovar's men they captured at the docks, Oliver and the Bratva learns that Oliver will invite important government and military officials to the opening of his casino where he intends to poison them all with his gas.
At the Casino's grand opening, Oliver infiltrates the building. He also paves the way for the Bratva. Meanwhile, Kovar is informed that one of his workers is a traitor. He interrogates the woman, who is the mother of Taiana and Vlad, in the casino's basement. Eventually, Kovar murders her. While his men take the invading Bratva soldiers prisoner, due to help from a traitor, Kovar informs the guests that there has been an attempt by the Bratva to murder all officials in the casino. He claims that the situation is under control and that the culprits have been captured. The men are brought in and Kovar claims that the Bratva succeeded in launching the gas and killed all officials but also succumbed to the gas themselves. He adds that this is what the newspapers will report at least, dons a gas mask and leaves the room. The officials realize what is happening but as the gas streams into the room, they find that all doors are locked.
When Oliver arrives in the cellar and turns off the gas, he is confronted by Kovar. Kovar and Oliver start fighting each other and Kovar is able to remove the hood from Oliver's head, recognizing him as Oliver Queen. The battle continues and eventually, the two men bust into the casino main room where some of the guests have meanwhile died from the gas. The remaining guests flee and only the Bratva remains to see Oliver's fight with Kovar. Oliver brutally slices Kovar's face with a knife and throws Kovar to the ground. Anatoli then tells Oliver that he does not need to kill Kovar, as Kovar will face justice anyhow, and Oliver agrees that he will. Nonetheless, he rams his knife into Kovar's neck, presumably killing him.
However, despite the Bratva celebrating its victory, Kovar is alive. With help from Malcolm Merlyn, Kovar is brought to a doctor who manages to save Kovar's life. The doctor claims that he will take weeks to recover but Kovar will definitely live.
- In DC comics Kovar was the father of Leonid Kovar, a Russian superhero known as Red Star.