Born on 11 Jan 1936, USSR.
He graduated from the UPI University in 1958, working in Enterprise PO Box 10 at the time of the events. He was a very athletic man, honest and decent. Ethnically he was Russian but his parents, both university professors, worked in Asia when he was born and gave him an Asian name. Rustem, or Rustik as he was often called, was a man of few words. He was a long distance runner. Rustem liked to play a mandolin that he often took during long hiking trips.
He was 23 years old when he died. Slobodin is buried on March 10, 1959, in Mihayovskoe cemetery, Yekaterinburg, Sverdlovsk Oblast, Russia.
Rustem Slobodin was not only a good athlete, but he could take risks. In the summer of 1958 Rustem together with his father made a traverse from Frunze (present Bishkek) to Andijan, where Rustem's older brother worked. This 300-kilometer trek took place in mountainous sparsely populated area of western Tien Shan. In the less inhabited lands when ethnic Russians travelers meet with Kyrgyz, Uighurs, Uzbeks, Dungans - people that they have nothing in common, words like "internationalism" and "brotherhood" don't carry any weight. In the summer of 1958 Rustem Slobodin and the native inhabitants of the Tien Shan didn't just have different mentality - there was a real civilization gap between them. Hatred doesn't describe it, does not convey the specifics of the inter-ethnic relations. Russians were simply envied for their white skin, the smell of soap and the fact that they did not have fleas. When there are no witnesses to the encounter, everything is possible. Nevertheless, both father and son made it through these dangerous mountains. They relied on their own strength and were ready to stand up for themselves. This trip establishes Rustem as courageous, hardened, dependable and adventurous.
|Rustem Slobodin diary|
Where: Sverdlovsk 9
Malyisheva St ,142 room 71
Sender's address: city of Ivdel, Sverdlovsk region
village of Vizhay
26/I-1959 10 am
Hello sedentary citizens of Sverdlovsk!
Yesterday we safely reached the village of Vizhay. Now we are taking a truck to the starting point - 2nd Northern.
The weather is nice, warm (~ 10-15°). Everything is good. I am sorry I didn't say goodbye - got carried away.
All the best.