Born in Kamchatka, Soviet Union in 1921. Distinguished himself as an academic prodigy and master chess player by the age of eight, by which time, he had also earned notoriety for refining various torture techniques on neighbors' pets. He joined the NKVD in 1937 and served as some sort of disciplinarian in a Gulag near Kiev. His whereabouts during the war are unknown, except for a brief mention in 1943, when he was spotted by an O.S.S. officer at Leningrad, interrogating prisoners of war who would later disappear without a trace.
Some time after the war, he emerged again, this time in the employ of SMERSH. He's personally credited with well over 1,000 executions (mostly spies and Soviet dissidents). In 1961, a failed assassination attempt left him without an eye. He was shot in the face at close range by one of UNITY's finest agents at the time Bruno Lawrie.
He escaped by throwing himself off a 70 foot (21 meter) cliff into an icy river. It was presumed that he survived, as no body was ever recovered. Volkov now currently works for the criminal/terrorist organization H.A.R.M. as its Director of Executive Action. Since joining H.A.R.M., he has become one of the world's most highly skilled and most notorious assassins. After killing his targets, he often leaves his trademark, an orchid or a lily, either directly-on or near the victims.
Volkov enjoyed reading detective novels. In the 1960's, Volkov suffered from insomnia. Deputy Director Cottswald was attempting to retrieve a sample of the UNITY airborne sleeping agent to see if it would assist Volkov's insomnia.