Rodionov was born on 23 May 1977 in the village of Chibirley, Kuznetsky District, Penza Oblast. He was drafted into the army at the age of 18, serving serving at the 3rd border outpost of the 479th border detachment of special purpose on the border of Ingushetia and Chechnya. On February 13, 1996, Rodionov, along with three other soldiers were taken prisoners by Chechen militants. He was beheaded by Chechen militants for refusing to renounce his Orthodox faith on May 23, 1996, aged 19. He was posthumously awarded the Order of Courage. Although he has not been canonized by the Russian Orthodox Church, his religious icon is popular among the faithful.