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Sergei Alexandrovich Khudyakov (Armenian: Սերգեյ Ալեքսանդրի Խուդյակով; Russian: Серге́й Алекса́ндрович Худяко́в); (born Armenak Artem Khanperiants (Armenian: Արմենակ Արտեմ Խանփերյանց, 7 January [O.S. 25 December] 1902 – 18 April 1950), was a Soviet Armenian Marshal of the aviation.

Sergei Alexandrovich Khudyakov
Sergei Khudyakov.jpg
Native name
Armenian: Արմենակ Խանփերյանց
Russian: Серге́й Алекса́ндрович Худяко́в
Birth nameArmenak Khanferiants
Born(1902-01-07)7 January 1902
Böyük Tağlar village, Shushinsky Uyezd, Elisabethpol Governorate, Russian Empire
Died18 April 1950(1950-04-18) (aged 48)
Moscow, Soviet Union
Allegiance Soviet Union
Service/branch Soviet Air Forces
Years of service1918–1945
RankMarshal of Aviation
Commands heldChief of the Air Staff
1st Air Army
12th Air Army
Battles/warsRussian Civil War
World War II
AwardsOrder of Lenin
Order of the Red Banner (2)
Order of the Red Star
see below


Russian RevolutionEdit

Armenak Khanferiants was born in 1902 in Böyük Tağlar village, Shushinsky Uyezd, Elisabethpol Governorate, Russian Empire. His father died in 1908, leaving a widow with three sons. Khanferiants travelled to Baku to study and started working at oilfields owned by Armenian tycoon and philanthropist Alexander Mantashev. In 1918, he was involved in the production of the newspaper Iskra.

Whilst in Baku, he joined the Bolsheviks and organized the Red Guards of Baku in April 1918. While he was in Astrakhan during the Russian Civil War, he was saved from drowning in a steamer sunk by a British gunboat by his friend, Sergei Khudyakov, who was later be killed fighting the Whites. Khanferiants adopted Sergei's name as his own as memorial to the man who saved his life.[1] He continued to serve as a cavalry officer until 1920. In 1929, Khudyakov was admitted to the Tiflis Cavalry School, and in 1931 went to Moscow to attend the Zhukovskii Military Air Academy. He graduated with honors in 1936. Khudyakov became head of the Operations Branch of the Air Staff in 1937 and Chief of Logistics Management Air Force in 1938.

World War IIEdit

The war greatly accelerated his career, and he jumped four ranks in just three years.[2] During the Great Patriotic War (1941–1945), he was chief of staff of the Air Force and commander of the Air Force of the Western Front, chief of staff of the Red Army's Air Force, commander of the 1st Air Army, chief of staff and deputy commander of the Red Army's Air Force. Aviation units under his command took part in the offensive of the Western Front forces in the Rzhev-Sychevka direction and supported the ground troops in the Rzhev-Vyazma operation. In 1943 Marshal Khudyakov coordinated combat operations of the Air Force of the Voronezh and Steppe Fronts in the Battle of Kursk and the Battle for the Dnieper.[1] During the Battle of Kursk, his 14-year-old Victor was killed in an enemy air raid. Victor's body was taken to Moscow and was buried in the Novodevichy Cemetery.

He was tasked with organizing his air flight of the Soviet delegation to the Tehran Conference in 1943. He fulfilled his assignment of the Supreme Command.

Khudyakov became chief of staff and deputy commander of the Red Army Air Force in August 1944 and coordinated air operations to complete victory in the Battle of the Dnieper. He then took part in the Iasi-Kishinev Front. In August 1944, by the Decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union Sergei Alexandrovich, Khudyakov was given the rank of Marshal of Aviation.

Khudyakov is shown standing behind Stalin in the Yalta conference

In February 1945, he took part in the Yalta conference of The Big Three as a military adviser.[2] Later in 1945, he helped direct the defeat of the Imperial Japanese Army in the Far East being commander of the 12th Air Army.[1]


On 14 December 1946, he was arrested in Chita and taken to Moscow, where he was accused of having been recruited as a spy by the British. An investigation of the case lasted for more than four years and ended in 1949. He was sentenced to capital punishment, execution, on 18 April 1950 and was shot on the same day at the Don Cemetery.[2]

His wife and younger son were also arrested on 13 January 1951 as members of a family traitor to the motherland, and sent to Krasnoyarsk Krai in the Taseyevsky District. In accordance with the Decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union on 27 March 1953, amnesty was granted to his family and they were allowed to return to Moscow from exile.


After Stalin's death, the Supreme Soviet began a process of rehabilitation for victims of political repression.[2]

In August 1954, in the Main Military Prosecutor's Office began a supervisory review of archival materials-investigation case number #100384 of Sergei Khudyakov. The military prosecutor had concluded that the introduction of archival evidence of the case for reconsideration of the Military Collegium of the Supreme Court with a proposal to revoke the sentence because of newly discovered evidence. This service document had for the first time called him by his real first and last name - Armenak Khanferiants. The retrial by the Military Collegium of the Supreme Court found that the prosecution of Khudyakov-Khanferiants had lacked any objective data.

On 18 August 1954, the Military Collegium of the Supreme Court decided: the judgment of 18 April 1950 in respect of Sergei Alexandrovich Khudyakov, who is also Armenak Hanferyants, is cancelled on newly discovered evidence.

By Decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet, Khudyakov was rehabilitated by the court on 6 July 1965 and was posthumously restored to the military rank of Air Marshal and rights for his awards.


Khudyakov on a 2013 stamp of Nagorno-Karabakh

Many books and monographs have been written about Khudyakov and many streets and avenues in the former Soviet Union are named after him.

A museum of Khudyakov is located in his home village of Mets Takhlar in the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic.

On 1 April 2005, an institute of the Armenian Air Force was named after him.

Awards and honorsEdit


  1. ^ a b c Armenia: The Survival of a Nation Archived 2012-07-13 at
  2. ^ a b c d S. M. Plokhy (2010). Yalta: The Price of Peace. Penguin Publishing Group. p. 212. ISBN 978-1-101-18992-4.