Aleksey Lebedev was the first Red Guardian, created as a Soviet counterpart to Captain America during World War II. He came to the authorities' attention by his heroic actions following an industrial accident. He had lost most of his family to the Nazis invasion of Russia.
He was sent into Berlin in an attempt to secure the strong box of Adolf Hitler. He failed and had to report his failure to Stalin. There he met Captain America, Spirit of '76 and the Patriot.