Irmiio Izrailov was born in 1921 in Nalchik, the capital of the Autonomous Republic of Kabardino-Balkaria in the Northern Caucasus in Russia into a family of Mountain Jews. In April 1941, he was studying history at the Kabardino-Balkarian State Pedagogical Institute, when he was drafted into the Red Army. In June 1941, he was sent to the Saratov Tank School. Several days later the Soviet-German war began. In the summer of 1942, the young technician-lieutenant in the tank forces Izrailov was sent to the front to serve with the 120th Separate Tank Brigade, which was deployed in Russia, south of Leningrad (now St. Petersburg). In 1942 and 1943 he fought in northern Russia. In January 1943 he was seriously wounded near Staraia Russa, but refused to be sent to a hospital in the rear, far from his regiment. In 1944, he was appointed deputy commander of a maintenance company within his tank brigade when the brigade was fighting in Belorussia and Lithuania.
Izrailov's job was to repair tanks hit by the enemy. The citations for his wartime military awards (during the war he received two orders: one of the Red Banner and one of the Patriotic War, 1st class, and a number of medals) mention this function. The citations for these awards note, inter alia, that he evacuated three battered tanks from the battle field and repaired five tanks within a very short time. Immediately after his promotion to deputy commander of a company, Izrailov was sent to a Nizhnii Tagil tank factory in the Urals in order to deliver the new tanks to his regiment. This assignment gave him a short respite from the nightmare of combat. Meanwhile, while fighting in Lithuania, when the commander of the company was killed or wounded, as the second in command, Izrailov assumed responsibility for the company. In many cases, he fought as a common tankman. In 1945, Captain Izrailov, deputy commander of a tank battalion, took part in the siege of Königsberg. In February of that year he was seriously wounded again and returned to his battalion only several days before VE-Day.
In the 1990s , Izrailov was the chairman of the Jewish community of Nalchik. At present he lives in Brooklyn.