Leonid Veger was born in 1924 at the Gulag prison camp on the Solovki Islands (in the White Sea, northern Russia). His parents – Tamara Veger, the scion of a bourgeois Jewish family; and her party comrade, Leonid Lebedev, a non-Jewish Russian worker – had been anarchists. Their anti-communist stance put them at odds with the Bolshevik authorities, which arrested them (in 1922 and 1920, respectively) and imprisoned them at Solovki. In 1925, both were "released" from prison and exiled to Siberia. Leonid Lebedev's subsequent fate is unknown, and the year of his death is uncertain. Leonid's mother most likely died in 1938, and the youth was adopted by her sister, Maria Veger, who lived in Iessentuki, in the North Caucasus. Despite his mixed ethnic origins, Leonid Veger identified as a Jew. In his memoirs (Leonid Veger, Zapiski boitsa-razvedchika, Moscow: Novyi Vek, 2003), he even recalls some antisemitic insults hurled at him during his Red army service.
In July 1942, a year after the outbreak of the Soviet-German war, Veger was drafted into the Red Army. He was sent to an infantry school in Baku, Azerbaijan, and saw action as early as October 1942, when his brigade was deployed in the North Caucasus to guard the approaches to the oilfields of Grozny. After these first battles, Veger realized that he would not last long in the infantry, and so, at the first opportunity, he volunteered for reconnaissance duty, where the mortality rate was slightly lower. In the winter of 1942-43, the brigade advanced westward, approaching Krasnodar in 1943. In January that year, on his way westward, Leonid passed near Iessentuki, where he had spent his youth. Despite the risk of being arrested as a deserter, he left his unit and made the 20-kilometer trip to the town – only to learn that his aunt Maria Veger, who was like a mother to him, had been shot by the Nazis in September 1942. In February 1943, Veger was seriously wounded, losing an eye. After spending a year at hospitals, he was discharged from the military.
Following the end of the war, Leonid settled in Moscow and graduated from a technical institute (university) with a degree in economics. In the 1960s-80s, he worked at the Institute of Economics, teaching a course on Science Economics at various educational institutions. In 1992, Leonid Veger immigrated to Israel. He lives in Haifa.