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Anatoli Knyazev is the tertiary antagonist in the 2016 superhero movie Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. He is a Russian vicious and cunning arms dealer, a mercenary and a gangster whose working as the henchman of Lex Luthor.
Anatoli Knyazev is a Russian gangster and henchman of Lex Luthor. While investigating Knyazev, Batman finds out Luthor's involvement with Knyazev.
Knyazev was present in Nairomi during Lois Lane's interview with a warlord. He at first acted as the general's boyguard during an interview with Lois Lane, exposing Lois' assistant Jimmy Olsen as a CIA spy. However, Knyazev and his mercenaries then killed the warlord's guards, resulting in a battle with many casualties. After killing all enemies, Knyazev and his men fled the base on motorcycles while the compound was destroyed in a dronestrike. The casualties were later blamed on Superman, who had arrived to save Lois.
Near the end of the movie, Luthor has his henchmen kidnap Superman's mother Martha. Additionally, Knyazev kidnaps Lois Lane and brings her to LexCorp. Knyazev then flies off in his helicopter and heads to the warehouse Martha is kept in. To save Martha, Batman and Superman team up. Tracking Knyazev's mobile phone, Batman arrives at the warehouse, jumps out of the Batwing and defeats all of Knyazev's men, eventually arriving inside the room where Knyazev holds Martha. Knyazev tells Batman to drop the gun he took from one of Knyazev's men, claiming that he'd burn Martha with his flamethrower should Batman not comply. Stating that he believes Knyazev, Batman shoots the tank of Knyazev's flamethrower, resulting in an explosion and Knyazev's apparent death. Batman shields Martha from the blast, leaving Knyazev's fate unknown.
When Superman returns to Luthor, Luthor realizes that he hasn't killed Batman. He calls Knyazev to have him kill Martha but Batman answers the phone, telling both Superman and Luthor that Martha is alive.
Anatoli Knyazev is a ruthlessly cruel man, completely obedient to the orders of his employer Lex Luthor, being more than willing to commit atrocities (such as to indirectly murder Cesar Santos, directly murder Kahina Ziri and many other Nairomians, as well as to burn Martha Kent alive) if ordered by the latter to do so.
- Expert Marksman: Knyazev is a highly skilled marksman, personalty dispatching most of the Nairomian terrorists in rapid succession.
- Expert Infiltrator: Knyazev is highly skilled in infiltration, managing to easily get himself and his men employed by a Nairomian warlord (without the latter ever suspecting his true motives), and to later pose as a janitor in a building (in order to capture Lois Lane). He also managed to use his connections to Gotham City's criminal underworld to have inmates murder Cesar Santos in prison, without it getting tied to him.
- Bilingualism: Knyazev, apart from his native Russian, also speaks fluent English, albeit with a slight accent.
- Flamethrower: Knyazev's primary weapon, used to burn the corpses of the Nairomian terrorists (incriminating Superman), and the device he intended to kill Martha Kent with.
- Anatoli Knyazev is the movie's adaptation of the DC supervillain KGBeast. However, he never became KGBeast in the film.
- Many fans confuse Knyazev as the film's secondary antagonist. However, although Anatoli was introduced as the secondary antagonist at the beginning, he was outranked by the true secondary antagonist.
- Knyazev is similar to Dennis of The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie:
- They are mercenaries.
- They were hired by the film's main antagonist (Alexander Luthor, Jr. and Plankton respectively).
- Although they work for the film's main antagonist, they never interact with their bosses onscreen.
- They tried to kill the main protagonists (although Knyazev focused more on trying to kill Batman than Superman).
- They apparently perished battling with the film's protagonist (although Dennis also fought with Patrick, the film's deutagonist).