Dr. Rudenko is the Surgeon-Commander for Medical-Life-Support on the Cosmonaut Alexei Leonov during the joint Soviet/USA Jupiter Mission. Its mission is to investigate Discovery and the Jovian Monolith by 2010.
In the final cut of the film adaptation, 2010, Dr. Rudenko is played by Saveliy Kramarov as Dr. Vladimir Rudenko. Vladimir oversees the revival of Walter Curnow and Dr. Chandra from cryogenic sleep. Vladimir is distrustful of the American crewmembers (acting like "he'd found [them] under a rock") but later grows to respect and work with them.
In the novel and the screenplay, the chief medical officer is a middle-aged woman with thick Russian features, by the name of Katerina Rudenko. Katerina is attentive to reviving Heywood Floyd from cryogenics. She becomes a love interest with Walter Curnow, and they eventually marry. She has a more prominent role in Arthur C. Clarke’s 2010: Odyssey Two.