Vasily Karpov is a minor yet pivotal antagonist in the 2016 Marvel film Captain America: Civil War. He was a HYDRA operative who was responsible for overseeing the Winter Soldier Program and the deaths of Howard and Maria Stark, the parents of Tony Stark (aka Iron Man).

He was portrayed by Gene Farber.


Starting out as a Soviet colonel in league with HYDRA in 1991, Karpov was assigned by Arnim Zola (who transferred much of his brain and knowledge into a supercomputer after dying from a terminal illness in 1972) to carry out the assassination of Howard and Maria Stark. To that end, Karpov brainwashes Bucky Barnes to successfully complete the task, much to his delight.

Karpov was also assigned to carry out the creation of the Winter Soldiers that would do HYDRA's bidding. He managed to get Barnes to steal the Super Soldier Serum to make it happen, but as the Winter Soldiers were going through training combat after receiving the serum, they rebelled against the other HYDRA officers by beating them to their deaths. This forces Karpov to put the the Winter Soldiers in cryogenic chambers to cool their minds down until further orders.

25 years later, Karpov forced himself into hiding in a house in Cleveland, Ohio after HYDRA was dismantled following the deaths of Alexander Pierce, Wolfgang von Strucker and Crossbones. He is eventually found by former Sokovian soldier Helmut Zemo, who plans to dismantle the Avengers in revenge for his family's demise caused by their battle against Ultron and his army. Zemo partially submerged Karpov's head in a sink filling with tap water in an attempt to extract the 1991 mission report from him. However, Karpov refused to talk by telling Zemo to go to hell, so Zemo took the book with the trigger words and fills up the water faster. Heavily restrained and unable to lift his head from the water, Karpov accepts his fate by saying the HYDRA oath before drowning to his death.

Zemo would later find the Winter Soldier and used Karpov's book to manipulate him into doing his bidding and killing the other Winter Soldiers. He then reveals the truth behind Howard and Maria Stark's deaths to Captain America, Winter Soldier and Iron Man, which resulted a fight between a vengeful Iron Man (who wanted to kill Barnes for this) and Captain America (who attempted to defend Barnes). This resulted a stalemate and the Avengers to be officially disbanded, though Zemo ends up being arrested and taken into custody for his crimes despite his success.


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Vasily Karpov



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Vasily Karpov
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