Originally Posted by BullMcGiveny
As big as possible. I really hope they don't say it was Hydra that did it.
I could understand how the first movie downplayed Nazis, but there isn't as much stigma about Soviet Russia as there is about Nazis.
Besides, the thing about Winter Soldier is that once he's in the present, he's just someone's indentured assassin.
If they want, he can be working for Lukin, Zemo or whoever. Just say that whoever "owns" him got him from ex-KGB when the Soviet Union ended.
I think it's inevitable that HYDRA were the ones who recovered Bucky's body from the train battle in CATFA. It's also highly likely that Skully recognized Bucky and saw fit to continue the mind control experiments he was doing on him when Cap had rescued him the first time. So Bucky was probably already Red Skull's puppet in the closing days of WWII.
But after Skull's death/disappearance, and after HYDRA was destroyed/driven underground by the Allies, the case can be made for Bucky falling fortuitously into the lap of the Soviet Union as they carve Germany up into East and West. This is probably where Aleksander Lukin becomes the ideal puppetmaster for Winter Soldier during the Cold War. It would also be nice to see Dr. Faustus make an appearance as Lukin's mind control expert, the one who keeps Bucky's memories buried.