"He said he wanted to see an empire fall."
"With these guys, he could do it. They speak 30 languages, can hide in plain sight. Infiltrate, assassinate, destabilize. They can take a whole country down in one night, and you'd never see them coming."
Steve Rogers and Bucky Barnes[src]

Josef was one of the Winter Soldiers enhanced by the Super Soldier Serum. He was killed by Helmut Zemo while in cryostasis hibernation.


Winter Soldier Training

"Arghhh... It hurts!"
―Josef to Vasily Karpov[src]

Josef training after being enhanced by the Super Soldier Serum.

According to Bucky Barnes, the original Winter Soldier, Josef was part of an elite group of five assassins under HYDRA who possessed the highest kill count out of all the assets HYDRA possessed even before being enhanced by the Super Soldier Serum. He and the others were injected with the Super Soldier Serum to replicate the Winter Soldier himself. Barnes was tasked to train the Winter Soldiers to see if they could overpower him, meaning the experiments were a success. To the delight of HYDRA, it was, with Josef successfully overpowering Barnes.

However, Josef and the others soon lost control and started a riot, resulting in all of them being put under deep sleep in Cryostasis Chambers.


Dead Josef

Josef killed by Helmut Zemo.

"If it's any comfort, they died in their sleep... Did you really think I wanted more of you. I'm grateful to them though, they brought you here."
Helmut Zemo[src]

The Winter Soldiers were eventually found in 2016, by the Sokovian Colonel Helmut Zemo, who Captain America and Iron Man believed was looking for them to turn them into weapons for his own agenda. To the Avengers' surprise, Zemo had actually killed Josef and the rest by shooting them each in the head. [1]

Powers and Abilities


  • Artificially Enhanced Physiology: Vasily Karpov's unit in the Soviet HYDRA base injected Josef with Howard Stark's stolen Super Soldier Serum. This gave him superhuman strength, speed, stamina, healing, intelligence, durability, and other superhuman physical functions, but also increased his aggression.


  • Expert Combatant: Josef received training from the highly skilled Winter Soldier, which gave him great combat ability. He was eventually able to overpower Barnes.
  • Master Spy: According to Winter Soldier, Josef could hide in plain sight and manage to destabilize an entire country in one night.
  • Multilingual: Josef could speak thirty languages.