Antonin Dovchenko was a colonel in the Soviet Special Forces. Originally from Siberia, he commanded a unit of Soviet soldiers serving Irina Spalko's quest to claim the psychic powers of the crystal skull in 1957. Dovchenko was a tall and lean man as well as a capable hand-to-hand fighter. Coming across Dovchenko several times, Indiana Jones considered the Russian with the shaved head to be a "thug" and not very intelligent, according to his journal.
"You recognize building, yes?"―Antonin Dovchenko to Indiana Jones[src]
In 1957, Antonin Dovchenko led a group of Soviet soldiers to the Yucatán Peninsula in Mexico and, as an unmarked force, they captured Indiana Jones and George McHale at a set of coastal Mayan ruins. Taking the two and a bag of Jones's recent acquisitions, he and his men, now disguised as an American army convoy, approached the Nevada military base housing Hangar 51. Under the guise of an American army officer "Colonel Truman," Dovchenko commanded the team that infiltrated Hanger 51. Pulling Jones and McHale out of the trunk of a staff car, his men stood aside as Dovchenko tried to question Jones about the building. After punching Jones in the jaw for not answering him, he was forced to give up when Spalko arrived and took over the operation.
After the Roswell remains were acquired, Jones escaped, Dovchenko caught up to the professor, and they crashed into the launch room for an experimental rocket sled. Dovchenko battled Jones, after being thrown through the glass into a control room, accidentally starting the ignition sequence. Dovchenko attacked Jones with a chain, but failed when the rocket sled activated and the two were shot out into the desert on a rail track. The rapid speed rendered the Russian officer unconscious, and when it stopped, Jones was able to push him off the vehicle into the dirt.
Upon recovering he is found by some of his men who followed the rocket sled's trail, and, getting into a jeep, commands the second carload of troops to hunt down and kill Jones before returning to Spalko, having had enough of the hot desert. He desired to return to Russia, but went to Peru with Mac where they captured Jones and Mutt Williams and brought them to Spalko's military encampment in Brazil, where her quest to find Akator would begin. During the truck ride to Akator, Dovchenko became annoyed by the bickering of Jones and Marion Ravenwood, exclaiming "Oh, for love of God, shut the hell up!", before attempting to gag her, whereupon both Jones and Mutt kicked him in the head and knocked him out.
He remained unconscious in the back of the truck for the beginning of the ensuing jungle chase, but when Marion pulled alongside a duck containing Mac, Harold Oxley and several soldiers, Dovchenko awakened and (barely) regained control of the truck after she and Mutt jumped out into the other vehicle.
Infuriated with Jones for knocking him out twice, he gathered the straggling soldiers thrown out during the chase and the truck soon caught up to Jones' party - at a nesting site for a supercolony of siafu. Heedless of the ants, Dovchenko leaped out of the speeding truck and tackled Jones and Oxley to the ground, engaging Jones in a second brutal fistfight, which was allowed to continue unmolested by the ants due to Oxley using the Crystal Skull. This time, Dovchenko managed to actually gain the upper hand in the brawl. Following being beaten upside the head with a log by Jones, a dazed Dovchenko fell into the ant swarm. The ants engulfed his entire body and dragged him headfirst into the nest, where he was devoured.
Behind the scenesEdit
Antonin Dovchenko was played by Igor Jijikine in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. Jijikine, a high-wire trapeze artist in the Cirque du Soleil, performed mandatory military service in the Soviet special forces from 1982 to 1984. Jijikine's large fighting character follows in the tradition of the late Pat Roach's characters from the previous three films.
Hasbro released 3 ¾" and 12" action figures of Dovchenko as well as an Adventure Heroes model. The 12" figure came packed with a few siafu ants. Lego included a minifig of him in a playset of the Jungle Cutter.
While he frequently is seen wearing a hat in the film, he is never depicted wearing a hat in the Crystal Skull comic adaptation. Other interesting characteristics of Dovchenko is that he demonstrates proficiency in the Russian-Military Martial Art of Sambo. Also, he shows to speak Russian very fluently, what is shown when he is dragged towards the siafu nest, as he can be heard screaming "Pomogi mne!" which is Russian for "Help me!".
- Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (First appearance)
- Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull novel
- Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull comic
- LEGO Indiana Jones: Escape from the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull! (Non-canonical appearance)
- LEGO Indiana Jones 2: The Adventure Continues (Non-canonical appearance)