- "That is the thing about oaths, Oliver. They are never temporary. They are for life."
- —Anatoly to Oliver Queen.[src]
Life in the Soviet Union
As a child, Anatoly Knyazev worked as a lookout for Bratva in 1986. As the time-traveling Sara Lance entered the locker room of the banya and engaged in a fight with members of Russian Bratva, Anatoly almost immediately ran from the room.
At some point in his life, Anatoly became an operative of the KGB, secret service of the Soviet Union. According to Knyazev himself, it "taught him many things", particularly information on the workings of landmines.
Prisoner on the Amazo
Under unknown circumstances Anatoly was captured by Anthony Ivo, made prisoner on the Amazo and taken on Lian Yu. During this time Anatoly was forced to undergo their "trial" by digging out a bullet in his torso and stitching it up.Some time after this, he met Oliver Queen, and was quick to get along with. After Oliver escaped, he promised Anatoly he'd come back for the others. Later, right when Ivo was about to gouge out Anatoly's eye, Oliver set off an explosion on the beach that distracted Ivo, so he never did actually remove Anatoly's eye, instead he took measures sending his men to the beach to capture Oliver, Slade, and Sara. Oliver allowed himself to be captured so as to feed Ivo misinformation on the whereabouts of Slade and Sara, effectively allowing them to come aboard unnoticed and allowing Sara to free the other prisoners. The plan succeeded and Anatoly and the others were freed. Upon returning to land, Anatoly was the first to notice Oliver's disappearance and they discovered that Slade Wilson had taken Oliver prisoner. They later agreed to trade Oliver for an engineer they had and attempted to kill Slade with landmines but failed. Oliver and Sara then fixed a nearby submarine to destroy the Amazo in the event they failed to cure Slade of the Mirakuru. Anatoly waited for a time limit given to him by Oliver and reluctantly destroyed the ship, dragging Sara, Slade, and Oliver to their presumed deaths.
Anatoly and the other former prisoners of the Amazo later managed to leave the island, presumably with the Japanese submarine, and return to their homes.
In KrasnoyarskAnatoly and Oliver are later reunited in Russia, where the latter intended to hunt and kill government strongman and part-time crime boss Konstantin Kovar, a brutal ruler of Krasnoyarsk. Anatoly, who oversaw the Krasnoyarsk division of Bratva at that time, recognized Oliver, saved him from death and, in return for what he did for him on Lian Yu, offered to help him become a full-time member of the Solntsevskaya Bratva, a membership he needed for his mission. After a dangerous initiation process, Anatoly brought Oliver before the other Bratvs bosses in Krasnoyarsk, who, after listening to the American, agreed to give him formal Bratva membership, nicknaming him "Kapot".
Some times after this, Anatoly introduces Oliver to Bratva Pakhan Ishmael Gregor, who send him on an undercover mission to destroy one of Kovar's casinos. However after he discovered that Pakhan Gregor had made a deal with Kovar, Anatoly questioned his decision as it betrayed the organization, so he was beaten badly by Pakhan's men. After Oliver visited him and found out about what happened, he proposed to Anatoly a plot to kill the Pakhan.
Moving to Moscow
Anatoly eventually met with Oliver in Moscow, Russia to help him find information regarding the whereabouts of Lyla Michaels. They found out she broke into a "gulag" prison known as Koshmar, but evidently had trouble breaking back out. He later helped them break Lyla Michaels, John Diggle, and Floyd Lawton out.
Due to his time on the island Anatoly developed a warrior's perspective, believing that living isn't for the weak, and was willing to hand Hendrick over to Slade for Oliver, as he knew Slade would kill Oliver but was less sure what he would do to Hendrick. His time under Ivo's torture and the island he also seemed to have developed a sadistic sense of humor, as he was perfectly willing to make Ivo suffer once he became his prisoner.
Despite his status as a mafia leader, Anatoly is a man of honor, as he awarded Oliver Queen the rank of Captain in the Bratva, and therefore granting him access to its resources, for saving his life, even though it was extremely rare for an American to hold such a rank in the organization. Even Oliver stated that his relationship with the Bratva and Anatoly is an extremely valuable one. Anatoly holds Oliver in high regard, to the point he doesn't hesitate to help Oliver in anyway he can, and also takes an immediate liking to anyone Oliver vouches for. Anatoly is also shown to be a very considerate individual, as he was the first person who asked where Oliver was after escaping the Amazo. Anatoly also likes people with an unbreakable determination as he stated he took a liking to Diggle when he refused to deter from his mission to save Lyla from the Gulag, despite hearing how dangerous of a mission it is. His loyalty to his friends is without question, and oddly enough for a mafia leader, Anatoly is exceptionally friendly.
Anatoly is shown to be a very talkative person as Alexi learned from him Oliver went to Russia to break into a Gulag.
- Keen intellect/Master tactician/Expert Leader: As the leader of the Solntsevskaya Bratva, Anatoly is a capable tactician and leader.
- Indomitable will/High pain tolerance: Anatoly has an extremely high tolerance for pain, presumably due to his time in the KGB. He is shown to be quite resistant to tortures and has proven to know how to broke his own fingers to freed himself from handcuff.
- Explosives expert: Due to the fact that he once worked for the KGB, Anatoly is an expert in explosives. He knows how Russian and Japanese bombs work, Anatoly was also able to disarm a Japanese land mine on Lian Yu, something that Slade Wilson and John Diggle are unable to do. He tried to teach some of his skills to Oliver Queen, during his stay in Russia.
- Expert marksman/Firearms: As a former member of the Russian navy and KGB, Anatoly is skilled in the use of firearms.
- Multilingualism: As a native Russian, Anatoly speaks that language fluently, in addition to English.
- Network: As a leader of Solntsevskaya Bratva and a former agent of KGB, Anatoly has established many connections who provides him aid for various natures.
DC's Legends of Tomorrow
- "Fail-Safe" (young)
Behind the scenes
- In DC Comics, Anatoly Knyazev is a villain known as "KGBeast". After Deadshot, Garfield Lynns and Dollmaker, KGBeast is the fourth member of Batman's rogue gallery to be included in the show. However, he is the first one to appear as an ally rather than an adversary, similar to how Caitlin Snow is an ally of the Flash, rather than an enemy.