General Kovtun is a general with the USSR Strategic Rocket Forces.
In October 1987, he meets with Elizabeth in Mexico City and tells her about the "Dead Hand" system, which will automatically launch a counter-strike against the USA in the event of a nuclear attack. He expresses concern that Gorbachev has given permission to Fyodor Nesterenko to trade Dead Hand for the American "Star Wars" program at the upcoming summit. He tells her the Dead Hand system is not complete yet, missing a few key pieces of technology. Because the information she now has on Dead Hand is so important, he then gives her a necklace containing a poison pill.