Anatoly Lebed

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Anatoly Lebed
Anatoly Lebed.jpg
Lieutenant Colonel Anatoly Lebed
Personal details
Anatoly Vyacheslavovich Lebed
Анатолий Вячеславович Лебедь

(1963-05-10)10 May 1963
Valga, Estonia
Died27 April 2012(2012-04-27) (aged 48)[1]
Moscow, Russia
AwardsЗолотая звезда Героя России.svg
OrderStGeorge4cl rib.png
Orden of Courage.png Orden of Courage.png Orden of Courage.png
Order redstar rib.png Order redstar rib.png Order redstar rib.png
Order service to the homeland3 rib.png 20YearsServiceRibbon2009.png 15YearsServiceRibbon2009.png
Military service
Allegiance Soviet Union
Service/branchSoviet Army
Russian army
Russian Airborne Troops
Years of service1981–1994
RankLieutenant colonel
Commands45th Guards Spetsnaz Regiment
Battles/warsAfghan War
Kosovo War
War in Dagestan
Second Chechen War
South Ossetia war
President Medvedev decorating Lt Col Lebed with the Order of St George 4th class on October 1, 2008
Medal "From the Grateful Afghan People"

Anatoly Vyacheslavovich Lebed (Russian: Анатолий Вячеславович Лебедь; 10 May 1963 – 27 April 2012), was a Hero of the Russian Federation, Guards Lieutenant Colonel in Special Airborne Forces, and an officer of the 45th Guards Spetsnaz Regiment.


Soviet Military Service[edit]

Lebed was born in the city of Valga, Estonian SSR. He joined the Soviet Army in 1981 starting his military service in Airborne Troops (Russian: Воздушно-десантные войска). He first trained in the 44th Airborne Division in Gaižiūnai in the Lithuanian SSR and later served in the 57th Independent Air Assault Brigade in Taldykorgan in the Kazakh SSR.[2]

Opting for a career change, he entered the Lomonosov Military Aviation Technical School graduating as a flight engineer in 1986. He served on combat operations in Afghanistan in 1986–87 as an aircrew member in a helicopter regiment.[2]

After his return from Afghanistan, he served successively in the Group of Soviet Forces in Germany, in the Trans-Baikal and Siberian military districts in the 329th Transport & Combat Helicopter Regiment and in the 337th Independent Helicopter Regiment.[2]

His service had earned him the Order "For Service to the Homeland in the Armed Forces" 3rd class and three Orders of the Red Star.

Russian Federation Military Service[edit]

He retired to the reserves in 1994 and worked for the Afghan Veterans benevolent fund.[2]

He joined a group of Russian veterans who volunteered in the Kosovo War (1998–99).[3] In 1999, he went to the North Caucasus as a volunteer in the combined militias after purchasing his own equipment and flying to Makhachkala in Dagestan. When military operations moved into Chechnya in October 1999, he went to Moscow and re-enlisted in the service signing a contract with the Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation and immediately returned to Chechnya to participate in counter-terrorism operations. From 1999 to 2007, he made over 10 trips to Chechnya and participated in special operations in the areas of the cities of Gudermes and Argun, as well as in the suburbs of Grozny and the Vedeno region.[2]

In 2003, while engaged in combat in the Ulus-Kert mountains, he stepped on a mine and lost a foot. He refused to resign from the Armed Forces, his superior physical fitness allowed him to remain in the service, to carry on parachuting (over 840 jumps) and to still do martial arts with the prosthesis.[2]

On January 9, 2005 his patrol was ambushed, refusing to let his injured men be captured by the enemy, he single-handedly engaged and overcame an enemy superior in numbers.[2]

In a subsequent battle on January 24, 2005, he was injured by multiple fragment wounds in the back while shielding his men from the blast of a rocket-propelled grenade. Even wounded, he personally neutralised the enemy rocket and machine gun post, before continuing leading the patrol, resulting in the capture and destruction of a terrorist base.[2]

He was awarded the Title of Hero of the Russian Federation on April 6, 2005 by Presidential Decree citing "for courage and heroism in the performance of military duties in the North Caucasus".[4] He then held the rank of captain.

His actions during the 2008 South Ossetia war earned him the honour of becoming only the second Knight of the Order of St. George 4th class.[5] During the October 1, 2008 award ceremony, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said of Lebed: "Among us there is a Special Forces officer, a Hero of the Russian Federation, Anatoly Vyacheslavovich Lebed. He always led from the front during combat operations, always displaying the epitome of personal courage itself".[6]

On April 27, 2012, in Moscow, Lebed was killed in a motorcycle accident.


See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Russia's Hero Anatoly Lebed dies: Voice of Russia". :. Retrieved 2012-08-06.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h "Biography of Anatoly Lebed" (in Russian). War Heroes. 2010. Retrieved 2012-02-24.
  3. ^ "'Russia's Rambo' Killed in Motorbike Accident". The Moscow Times. 2 May 2012.
  4. ^ "Decree of the President of the Russian Federation of May 5, 2005" (in Russian). Site of the President of the Russian Federation – Kremlin News. 2005-05-05. Archived from the original on May 24, 2014. Retrieved 2012-02-24.
  5. ^ "Decree of the President of the Russian Federation of October 1, 2008" (in Russian). Site of the President of the Russian Federation – Kremlin News. 2008-10-01. Archived from the original on March 6, 2012. Retrieved 2012-02-24.
  6. ^ "President Medvedev's speech during October 1, 2008 award ceremony" (in Russian). Site of the President of the Russian Federation – Kremlin News. 2008-10-01. Archived from the original on March 6, 2014. Retrieved 2012-02-24.

External links[edit]