Originally Posted by BullMcGiveny
I know, but that's not the point. HYDRA was devoted to Schmidt, and are called a personality cult by characters in-movie.
Therefore, it is very unlikely that there were any of them who had stronger allegiances to Zola than to Schmidt.
Not to mention, Zola himself. He's not the having his own loyalists type. You can see he's terrified of Schmidt, and goes along with everything he says out a sense of self-preservation.
Okay, I'll go along with that --- HYDRA probably died when Schmidt did. Or appeared to.
So who does that leave? The Russians? I still don't buy into the idea that the Soviet army would go all psycho on a poor wounded US soldier and start experimenting on and brainwashing him just for kicks.
Let's go back to canon and assume it's Lukin behind all this; but I'd think that Lukin was rogue, and was doing all this for his own purposes and not with Stalin's approval (in much the same way that Johan went off the reservation from the Nazi Party to do his own thing).