Ilya Starinov

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Ilya Grigoryevich Starinov
Илья Григорьевич Старинов
Ilya Starinov
Nickname(s) Grandfather of Spetsnaz
Born 2 August [O.S. 20 July] 1900
Voinovo, Oryol Oblast, Russian Empire
Died 18 November 2000(2000-11-18) (aged 100)
Moscow, Russia
Allegiance  Soviet Union
Service/branch Soviet Army
Years of service 1918-1956
Rank Colonel
Battles/wars Russian Civil War
Spanish Civil War
Winter War
World War II
Awards Order of Lenin x 2
Order of the October Revolution
Order of the Red Banner x 5
Order of the Patriotic War (2nd Class)
Order of Courage

Colonel Ilya Grigoryevich Starinov (Russian: Илья Григорьевич Старинов; 2 August [O.S. 20 July] 1900, village of Voynovo, today's Oryol Oblast – 18 November 2000) was a Soviet military officer.

Starinov joined the Red Army in 1918 and participated in the Russian Civil War. In 1921 he attended a military college for railway troops and served with the Soviet railway troops in the 1920s. He joined the staff of the Ukrainian Military District in 1930 and took part in planning partisan warfare. In 1933 he was posted to Moscow and joined the staff of the GRU. In September 1933 he attended the Military Transport academy where he became acquainted with Michael Svechnykov.

He served with the Republican forces during the Spanish Civil War and was one of the leaders of the Soviet partisan movement during the Great Patriotic War of 1941–1945. He is known as the "grandfather of the Russian Spetsnaz".

The Russian military theorist Michael Svechnykov, executed by Stalin in 1938, had previously proposed the use of very well-trained forces in unequal combat situations. This idea was realised by Ilya Starinov. The two men thought similarly about the use of such forces.

In 1945 Starinov joined the military archive, but was moved to Lvov where he took part in the conflict with the Ukrainian nationalist insurgency. He held several staff posts after 1946, concentrating on developing insurgency tactics. Starinov retired from active service in 1956, but continued lecturing at military academies and took part in writing the official history of the partisan war.

Honours and awards[edit]