Vasily Grigorievich Kostenetsky came of a noble familfy from the Chernigov gubernia (province). He studied in the Artillery and then in the Engineering Military Schools and after graduating was sent to the artillery in the rank of cadet.
He took part in the Russian-Turkish war of 1787-1791. He participated in the storm and capture of the strong Turkish fortress Ochakov.
In 1796 he formed one of the first in Russia horse artillery company. With this company he fought and distinguished in the campaigns of 1805 and 1806-1807 against Napoleon.
In 1812 year he commanded the artillery of the 6-th Infantry Corps of General Dokhturov in the 1-st Western Army and participated in all battles from Vilno to Smolensk.
In the Borodino battle after the death of General Kutaisov Kostenetsky commanded the whole artillery of the Russian army.
In this battle he showed himself as usual: he was well-known by his fearlessness and ability to keep presence of mind in the most critical situations. He was very tall and usually in fightings used intead of a usual sabre the special broad-sword of the one and a half length made specially for him.
For his service in the Borodino battle he was rewarded with the Order of St. George of 3 Class. Then he fought at Tarutino, Maloyaroslavets and Krasny.
In 1813-1814 he commanded artillery of differenst corps, took part in the main battles and got several rewards. In the Dresden battle he rescued the artillery withdrawing it from the swamp.
He had an enormous physical strength and was loved by the soldiers.
He died in 1831 during the hard epidemic of cholera in Russia.