Military Review

Hero of Russia Igor Rodobolsky - the most titled officer of the country

Hero of the Russian Federation Igor O. Rodobolsky was in the Book of Records of the Armed Forces of Russia as the most titled officer. From 2013, the officer is in stock. Before that, Colonel of the Russian Air Force Igor Rodobolsky, who had the qualifications of a sniper pilot, managed to take part in the Afghan, first and second Chechen wars. He received the title of Hero of the Russian Federation in 2003.

In narrow circles, especially among military pilots and professionals, the pilot Igor Rodobolsky was known for a long time as a unique, truly individual pilot. But he gained wide popularity at a new level for himself relatively recently, when the Hero of Russia was added to the Book of Records of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation compiled by the Ministry of Defense, the television channel “Star". In this book, in the section "Aerospace Forces", Igor Rodobolsky is listed as the most titled Russian officer. None of them have such a number of combat awards. In open sources, it is indicated that, in addition to the Star of Hero of the Russian Federation, the pilot has two orders of the Red Star, three Orders of Courage, the Order for Military Merit, the Order for Service to the Motherland in the Armed Forces of the USSR 3 degree, two medals "For military prowess" and other state awards. Although the officer himself does not like to talk about his awards.

The future Hero of Russia and the celebrated pilot was born 18 March 1960, in Grodno on the territory of the BSSR in the family of doctors Oleg and Galina Rodobolsky. At the same time, in 1960, the Rodobolsk family moved to the city of Novopolotsk, Vitebsk region. Here, the future hero studied at the ordinary secondary school №6, at the same time attending classes in the flight section of the Vitebsk DOSAAF. By the time he received his high school diploma, he had already made a choice about his future - he decided to become a military pilot. Remembering later about his childhood and adolescence, he said that his parents wanted him to become a doctor. But in childhood, he had seen enough of how they were returning home from night duty in the hospital after several operations and immediately fell to sleep. He also recalled that for some reason he was afraid of blood, he got used to it later, the service made.

In August 1979, Igor Rodobolsky entered the Syzran Higher Military aviation pilot school, so began his service in the Armed Forces of the USSR. He graduated from college with honors in 1983. After graduating from the flight school as a lieutenant, he served in the aviation helicopter units of the Southern Group of Forces, located on the territory of Hungary. He was a navigator of the crew, then six months later he became the crew commander of the Mi-8 helicopter. His colleagues unanimously said that Igor was extremely persevering, he could literally spend hours analyzing complex flight tasks, consulting with more experienced colleagues, understanding the drawings and engineering manuals of the Mi-8 helicopter. All this was necessary in order to use previously found solutions and tips during training flights. The entire foundation laid in peacetime service helped Igor Rodobolsky in all military conflicts in which he had to take part on duty. It so happened that a lot of combat missions fell to his lot.

In 1985, Igor Rodobolsky was first transferred to Nerchinsk (Trans-Baikal Military District), and then to Uzbekistan, where helicopter crews were prepared for subsequent shipment to Afghanistan. In Afghanistan, a young pilot was seconded to 1986. Life was such that Igor O. spent almost ten years in the war. First, Afghanistan, then from the beginning to the end of two Chechen wars.

Already in Afghanistan, multi-purpose transport helicopters Mi-8 have become a real legend. In many ways, the "turntables" made exactly such pilots as Igor Rodobolsky legendary. In Afghanistan, a young pilot managed to make more than 200 sorties, most of them took place in difficult meteorological conditions, often under heavy fire from the ground. It was in Afghanistan that Rodobolsky used the thorough knowledge of the helicopter that he acquired during his training. The Mujahideen got into his “spinner” from machine guns, machine guns and even MANPADS, but he always returned the car to the base, often with a punched fuel tank, a protrafted body, and parts of blades torn off. In Afghanistan, his Mi-8 evacuated the wounded, delivered ammunition, took the amphibious groups. For the valor and courage shown in the years of the Afghan war, Igor Rodobolsky was awarded three orders, and the helicopter formation, in which the pilot served, was the last among the 40 Army air forces to leave Afghanistan.

After the withdrawal of Soviet troops from Afghanistan, in February 1989, Igor served in various military districts of the Soviet Union, and then Russia. At a difficult time for the country, at the very beginning of 1990, he was sent to Cambodia in Phnom Penh, where he spent the 8 months from July 1992 to March 1993, as part of the UN mission in that country.

At that time, restlessness also became on the territory of Russia itself. Radical Muslim groups in the Caucasus called for the separation of the country and separation from Russia, the creation of Islamic theocratic states in the Caucasus. The military conflict was brewing and threatened to turn into many misfortunes, numerous deaths and crippled lives of tens of thousands of people, but politicians could not agree, and guns really started talking in the Caucasus. In the conditions of the military conflict that broke out in Chechnya, helicopter pilots with real experience of fighting and flying in mountainous conditions were literally worth their weight in gold and Igor Rodobolsky was one of the first to be sent to Chechnya. In Chechnya, he fought as part of the 55-th separate helicopter regiment of the North Caucasus Military District.

Rodobolsky recalls about the war extremely reluctantly, as well as any military officer and a man who had to go to the real hell more than once. In an interview with Zvezda, he said that on the eve of the first military campaign in Chechnya, to the last he did not believe that Russian troops would enter the republic. But the columns really went to Grozny, the Maykop brigade was almost completely defeated in the city. “I took the soldiers out of there. Mi-8 was full of bodies to the ceiling, understand? Straight piles of bodies. And I sat back to them in the cockpit. And those who loaded them in a helicopter, who was nearby ... I do not know what they were like then. When you see that 20 fighters, like meat, are lying, it is hard, ”Rodobl recalled.

Hero of Russia Igor Rodobolsky - the most titled officer of the country

It was during the fighting in Chechnya that the pilot became a real legend of combat helicopter aviation. In total, from 1995 to 2004, he completed more than 1700 sorties, with a total 4800 flying time. In open sources, it is reported that the Hero of the Russian Federation, Igor O. Rodobolsky, brought around 500 people from the battlefield, the colonel himself admits that he never believed. “At first we communicated with some,” smiles the officer. - When you pick up the guys, they climb into the helicopter under enemy fire, and then they will know the name of the crew commander. They wrote me later: "Thank you for leaving alive." But the dead, the “200 cargo,” were much harder to transport. ”

The crew of Rodobolsky was engaged in evacuating Russian soldiers and officers, very often receiving assignments from the category of impracticable. “They were saved by our guys who got into such situations that it seemed they just couldn’t get out. They were doomed. There were only two options: die or surrender. Many chose the first. When you know that only human lives depend on you, then you no longer think about anything. During my combat missions, I could have killed 20-30 times, maybe even more. Apparently, God is watching at the top, protecting, ”- said Igor Rodobolsky in an interview.

Here are just a few examples of his military valor and high professionalism, which allowed him to save hundreds of Russian soldiers. February 25 2000 in the most difficult weather conditions with visibility less than 300 meters, the Rodobolsky helicopter delivered ammunition and food to a special forces platoon that was defensively deployed on the mountain range of Mount Ekrykort (due to the adverse weather conditions in the area, it was not possible to deliver food and ammunition for 12 days).

30 May (according to other data 31 May) 2001, a group of three Mi-8 helicopters commanded by Rodobolsky, began to evacuate a group of army special forces surrounded in the region of Tsentaroy. The pinwheel managed to take on board the 6 wounded soldiers, when they opened heavy fire on it, the helicopter took off and covered the evacuation of the rest of the wounded with its fire. From direct hits from large-caliber machine guns Mi-8 received serious damage. Later it turned out that the car had a broken gas tank, and 30 bullet holes were counted in the case. The helicopter caught fire, but Lieutenant Colonel Rodobolsky managed to bring the almost uncontrollable turntable to the nearest Russian military unit, where he landed.

Photos by Alexander Nemenov

December 31 2001 in the evacuation of seriously wounded soldiers in the area of ​​the Argun gorge in full dark, focusing mainly on signal rockets launched by intelligence, Rodobolsky landed in 400 meters from the attacking militants who fired at the helicopter, focusing on the sound of operating engines. Despite numerous hits from rifle weaponsThe helicopter successfully delivered the wounded to the base.

11 January 2002, Igor Rodobolsky participated in the liquidation of a large Chechen militant base located in the Shar-Argun area. On that day, he led a group of 6 helicopters, first drove his car into enemy positions, causing fire on himself, after which the militant positions found were covered with fire of a helicopter unit. After six landed paratroopers were wounded by fire from a machine gun that had survived an air attack, Rodobolsky dropped and the helicopter “leaned” onto two wheels on a steep mountainside, it was impossible to completely land in this place. When loading the wounded on board, the helicopter received 24 hits, the dashboard fire was damaged by the militants, part of the Mi-8 equipment was damaged, and Rodobolsky himself was wounded in the arm. Continuously maneuvering, he managed to take the turntable out of the enemy’s fire. When this hit from a grenade launcher was damaged by one of the main rotor blades. Despite all the damage, the pilot was able to return the helicopter to the base. The result of this operation was the destruction of a large militant base: 36 members of illegal armed groups were killed, an ammunition depot was blown up, 4 of Igla MANPADS was captured.

In the autumn of 2002, Rodobolsky participated in the liquidation of a gang of militants in the Ingush village of Galashki. In that battle, his helicopter received 20 holes, but the pilot continued to fire at the militants and managed to dodge the missile fired from the Igla MANPADS using a maneuver.

Do not think that in Chechnya, the pilot was engaged exclusively in combat work. He performed and especially peaceful, humanitarian departures. For example, during the heavy flooding in Chechnya in the summer of 2002, the Mi-8 Rodobolsky helicopter flew 98 to the disaster zone, delivering 35 tons of various humanitarian supplies and taking 170 people, including 50, to the wounded and sick. Some of them had to be removed from rooftops. 15 July 2002, Rodobolsky, in his helicopter, took a seriously ill Chechen child and his mother from a highland village in the Argunsky district of Chechnya to provide urgent medical care.

For two Chechen campaigns, Igor O. Rodobolsky was awarded three Orders of Courage, and in 2003 for 12 fighting episodes he was awarded the title of Hero of the Russian Federation with the award of the Gold Star medal, then it was possible to represent Rodobolsky to the hero’s star for each from these episodes, and the head of the award commission, when reading the list of feats of the pilot, burst into tears.

This award is remembered especially for the pilot. But not uttered speeches or solemn atmosphere, but a curious case. “We were brought to the Kremlin, to the Ekaterininsky Hall, instructed: when the name is called, you need to get up, walk along the carpet paths, approach the president of the country and stand, as expected,” the pilot told reporters at Zvezda. - I was called the second in a row, I took this route, I introduce myself: “Comrade Supreme Commander! Lieutenant Colonel ... "And I was stuck like that - I forgot my last name! Putin saw this and patted him on the shoulder: "Lieutenant Colonel, calm down." He smiled that way. Maybe in the Catherine Hall then did not understand anything. Gathered, remembered: "Lieutenant Colonel Rodobolsky."

From 2005, Rodobolsky was the head of the aviation department of the 5 th Army of the Air Force and Air Defense of the Volga-Urals Military District (later the Central Military District will be created at its base). Igor Olegovich completed his military service as the head of the combat training and combat employment department of army aviation, the senior inspector-pilot of the aviation department of the association. Just before his transfer to the reserve, in 2012, Igor Rodobolsky created the Center for Patriotic Education in the Sverdlovsk Region, which he still leads.

In an interview with the journalists of Zvezda, he noted that he no longer feels nostalgia for flights, departed from the war, memories of it, lost his dreams of war. “Sometimes it happens, you look through the photos, and Afghanistan is very much remembered. You start, to think, to analyze what kind of fanatic I was then, when I performed impossible combat missions. And now I just want to relax, ”noted Rodobolsky. As an example of a real Russian officer, he deserved this rest like no other.

Information sources:
Open source materials

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  1. Kuroneko
    Kuroneko 25 September 2018 06: 27
    It is on such people that Russia stands and will stand, in spite of all evil spirits.
  2. shura7782
    shura7782 25 September 2018 06: 27
    Sergey, thanks for the article, I remembered a lot. Amendment for the future. There are no gas tanks on helicopters.
    1. tech3030
      tech3030 25 September 2018 17: 16
      He served in the Strategic Missile Forces, sometimes they dropped us at points on MI-8. Isn’t the tank in the cabin healthy, yellow?
      1. shura7782
        shura7782 25 September 2018 17: 27
        wink Of course, this is a healthy yellow fuel tank, but only kerosene is fed into it. We fly on kerosene. smile
        Did you serve in Tatishchevo?
        1. tech3030
          tech3030 25 September 2018 17: 31
          Here I am dulling of course aviation kerosene! Zhangiz-tobe 90 -92 years. There were many Afghans pilots. I did not communicate, not my level, I was ordinary.
        2. zulusuluz
          zulusuluz 25 September 2018 22: 19
          Of course, this is a healthy yellow fuel tank.
          For some reason, in a car with a diesel engine, the tank is often also called a "gas tank" ... As well as diapers "Pampers".
          1. shura7782
            shura7782 26 September 2018 06: 57
            There is one. winked
  3. Slinqshot
    Slinqshot 25 September 2018 07: 00
    Where does the 8k gas tank come from?
  4. Yura Kharlamov
    Yura Kharlamov 25 September 2018 07: 17
    Health to the officer !!! these must be commanded! And not mummers
    1. Kuroneko
      Kuroneko 25 September 2018 07: 29
      Quote: Yura Kharlamov
      Health to the officer !!! these must be commanded!

      A good combat pilot will not necessarily become a good commander. To each his own and to each his own talents.
  5. Conductor
    Conductor 25 September 2018 07: 36
    Respect to the Officer!
  6. Conductor
    Conductor 25 September 2018 08: 38
    who is again out of the blue minus neutral posts.
    1. Mooh
      Mooh 25 September 2018 09: 56
      Well, minus and minus, found because of what to worry about. Be philosophical, stupid people in any team meet. I put a plus sign, though I don’t think your comment is a masterpiece.
      1. Conductor
        Conductor 25 September 2018 10: 29
        Masterpieces are rarely born, but about the cons, I put in the aspect, so to speak, of an article about Torquemada.
        1. bk316
          bk316 25 September 2018 17: 53
          articles about Torquemada inserted.

          This is called a flood. You had to go to that article and write there, then you probably would plus laughing Well don't be upset, keep a plus. laughing

          And on the topic: 1700 of combat missions, I can not even imagine. This is something epic, no words ...
          Thank you for the article.
          1. Warrior2015
            Warrior2015 28 September 2018 02: 41
            Quote: bk316
            And on the topic: 1700 of combat missions, I can not even imagine. This is something epic, no words ...

            That's it ! And if you still remember that most of them are on the old Mi-8, on which I personally just don’t understand how to carry out combat missions under the dense fire of militants from the ground ... Just beyond the limits ...
        2. Mooh
          Mooh 25 September 2018 18: 41
          Come on, reasonable people do not care deeply about the internecine bickering and the division of virtual power between sofa marshals. In the worst case scenario - bullying the whole flock, you have to change the nickname. All affairs for 5-7 minutes.
  7. Brutan
    Brutan 25 September 2018 10: 30
    Excellent article
    Hero of Our Time good
  8. avia12005
    avia12005 25 September 2018 10: 35
    He served with Igor in Nerchinsk. In 112, almost everyone was such a choice!
  9. NF68
    NF68 25 September 2018 14: 57
    It would not be bad if on ORT they would talk as much as possible about such people, and not about another showdown among the glamorous cattle on the topic of who was sleeping with whom and who made the child some kind of rogue.
    1. tech3030
      tech3030 25 September 2018 17: 19
      It would not be bad to make films about such people! So that young people would watch them and not some sort of "Salvation of a Private .....".
      1. pogis
        pogis 26 October 2018 16: 29
        But the people's money goes to Mikhalkov and his libels, and not to the new "In the zone of special attention", "Return move" and "Solo voyage".
  10. Moreno
    Moreno 25 September 2018 21: 11
    Great article! Thanks to the author!