As the Director of the Russian Secret Police, Gradenko is an aide to Joseph Stalin and the man responsible for much of the USSR's internal security schemes.
Although Gradenko is an outstanding strategist and security expert, being responsible for many Soviet victories in Eastern Asia, he made a number of mistakes at the beginning of the European war which included the loss much of the USSR's stockpiles of nerve gas, a critical element in Stalin's original plans. Stalin also blamed Gradenko for failures in pacifying civilian resistance, and for Albert Einstein's escape.
Gradenko plays a major role in the first half of the Soviet campaign. He is absent from the Allied one. He gives the player his first briefing - pacifying Polish resistance fighters outside Toruń. Later in the campaign, Gradenko's forces on Elba Island are the first Soviet troops to witness the Chronosphere's usage. Gradenko relays this to Stalin, who becomes obsessed with capturing a prototype Chronosphere.
Eventually, Nadia, who is Gradenko's main opponent at the head of the Communist party, convinces Stalin of Gradenko's incompetence. Stalin is, however, reluctant to have him killed due to his belief in Gradenko's commitment to the Soviet cause, even after Gradenko's incompetence endangers the secrecy of the Iron Curtain project when he abandons a truck containing elements vital to the project, forcing a commander to hunt down and destroy it before the Allies can study its contents. Gradenko goes as far to prove his loyalty as to sign the death warrants of Soviet generals who Stalin claims were plotting to assassinate him.
- While his surname is obviously Ukrainian (or also possible Belarusian), name "Radik" (which is diminutive form of name "Radiy" turned to be a separate name) more popular in Caucasus and Turkic-speaking parts of Russia. The name "Radiy" is of Greek origin, but in USSR was reconnected in typical Soviet manner with radium, a highly radioactive element; therefore, Gradenko's first name may be a pun on the Soviet Nuclear Program.
In Lesson in Blood briefing
In Behind the Lines briefing
In Liability Elimination briefing
In Elba Island briefing