Iakov Belashkin was born in 1915 in Berdichev, Ukraine. In June 1941, some days before Operation Barbarossa began, he entered the Kiev military communications school. With the start of the war, the school was evacuated eastward, and Iakov continued his studies. In May 1942, he was sent to the frontline (the Northwestern Front) as the commander of a communications platoon in a rifle battalion of the famous 8th Guards Division, a.k.a. the Panfilov Division. His duty was to establish or re-establish telephone communication, most often under enemy fire.
He fought in the area of Staraia Russa, northwestern Russia, then in Latvia, taking part in the re-capture of Riga in the fall of 1944 and in the liquidation of the Courland Pocket of the German army in 1945. In 1943, during an operation to take an "informer" (a German soldier to be interrogated at a Red Army headquarters), Iakov was wounded. Despite this, the informer was delivered to the headquarters and Belashkin was promoted to the rank of senior lieutenant. In July 1944, during fighting in eastern Latvia, he was wounded again.
Belashkin was awarded two military orders – that of the Red Star and of the Patriotic War, 2nd Class, and at least one medal –For Courage. He finished the war with the rank of captain.
In 1974 Iakov Belashkin immigrated to Israel, where he lived in Kiryat Byalik. In 2014 he died at the age of 99.