Vladimir Ryazhskikh: Who of my colleagues had an easy life back then?

Published in the Transport Gaza (Gas Transport), corporate newspaper of the Gazprom Transgaz Yugorsk administration and Trade Union, October 2012

Vladimir Ryazhskikh has worked at our company for thirty years. The young generation knows his name only from short extracts from brochures, books and museum exhibitions dedicated to Gazprom Transgaz Yugorsk. Today we have an opportunity to narrate his story.

Vladimir Ryazhskikh has a long life and working experience. In 1967, after graduating from Gubkin Russian State University of Oil and Gas he was invited to work at the Krasnoturyinsk Line Pipe Operation Center by Leonid Lugovskoy, Head of the Center himself. He was lucky to enter a team of young and talented specialists. In January 1968 Vladimir Ryazhskikh already took his first position as a chief controller.

“I arrived to Krasnoturyinsk on December 27, a week after my thesis defense. It was very cold there. I was met and immediately taken to the apartment, where I was given a room neighboring to a young family. Right after the New Year I was enrolled.”

The management liked Vladimir’s performance. From the first months of work he proved himself as a responsible and efficient employee. He was appointed shift engineer soon. In a year his wife and child moved to Krasnoturyinsk to him: they were given a double-room apartment. According to Vladimir Ryazhskikh, their life had really improved since then. As if a new motivation in work had appeared.

“I always had good tutors at work. I’m grateful to them for teaching me to be critical to the work quality and not to spare myself. But it was my wife Nina who has always been my main tutor. She has always been supportive and proud of my work.”

“The new position was more important but a bit tedious,” Vladimir Ryazhskikh confesses, “and I wanted to be closer to machines. In fact, my first profession is lath operator. And my father was a blacksmith. As a child I liked to come over to his workplace and watch how lath operators worked in a neighboring workshop, how metal chips separated from details during the operation.

His interest to machines led Vladimir Ryazhskikh to work in a turbine shop. He was appointed Chief Engineer for Repair and Operation. He liked his new work very much. He liked to feel the work. Most of all Mr. Ryazhskikh liked to control the working process personally, that's why he didn’t sit up with papers for long. He worked as an engineer for nearly one year.

Vladimir Ryazhskikh at work

Vladimir Ryazhskikh at work

In summer 1970 he was appointed Chief Engineer at the Pelym gas compressor station workshop. It was headed by Leonard Rafikov at that time. After a while, Vladimir Ryazhskikh became the gas compressor station Head himself. After three years on this position he proved himself as a good, hardworking and very strict executive. “I always liked hard and difficult work. It makes you think, it keeps you up,” he says. On September 9, 1973 he resided in the Sovetsky settlement and started his work as a Chief Engineer of Komsomolsk Line Pipe Operation Center.

“Was it hard for me? I was immediately overloaded with work! But who of my colleagues had an easy life then? Every year the company commissioned one or two gas pipelines, one or two workshops. Several gas compressor stations were under construction all at once: Komsomolskaya, Uzhgorodskaya, Novo-Komsomolskaya and Uzyum-Yuganskaya. And we had to accept their facilities and adjust them. We had to adjust not only the equipment but the whole premises of gas compressor stations, including buildings and facilities, line pipes and shutoff valves.”

Sometimes we had to work round the clock for months. But everyone understood that the country needed gas. Those who couldn’t stand it left for calmer places. “The most important thing is that my wife understood it. She was never angry at me for my late staff meetings. She always looked after my appearance. Sometimes her patience stunned me.”

Because of his refusal to join the Party, it was only in 1978 when Vladimir Ryazhskikh was appointed Head of the Komsomolsk Line Pipe Operation Center. During his headship, he was several times appointed State Commission Chairman for community infrastructure and facilities acceptance. Owing to his personal contribution, several kindergartens were opened in the town, the heating system was installed in flats, schools and shops, the first swimming pool and music school were built.

Vladimir Ryazhskikh was engaged in social activity, he was elected member of the township council of five convocations.

“All the facilities I accepted are still operational. Because I have always been critical to the quality of the work done. I always checked the welded joints, gas pipeline laying, foundations and roofing by myself.

Vladimir Ryazhskikh had been the Line Pipe Operation Center Head for 11 years. Then he was appointed Chief Engineer at the brick-making plant. In several years he became Director of the enterprise. In 1997 he retired with a sense of a well done job. But he went on with the social activity in the municipal board of pardons.

For his flawless performance, Mr. Ryazhskikh has been several times awarded with orders and medals of the USSR and the Russian Federation, he also holds the titles of the Labor Veteran and the Honorary Citizen of Yugorsk.

Looking at the old photos and recalling the compressor stations start-ups, commissioned kindergartens, volunteer clean-ups, birthday parties of his friends, with whom he had worked for many years, Vladimir Ryazhskikh wished all the retirees of Gazprom Transgaz Yugorsk (Tyumentransgaz) the most important thing: health!