Seeing how many meta-human heroes were coming out of the USA during the cold war, the Soviets tried to create their own super heroes to balance the power and perceived threat. Among their plans was the Rocket Red initiative, which, thanks to the Green Lantern Kilowog became a success. Kilowog was able to make the design of the Rocket Red suit greatly increase strength. He also fitted the suit with the latest high tech weapons.
The Rocket Red brigade was not highly respected until one of their heroes was added to the Justice League International. Unfortunately This Rocket Red number 7 turned out to be a undercover Manhunter and betrayed the league. He was stopped by the Rocket Red Brigade who also saved the Justice League International at the same time. Rocket Red 7 turned out to be a robot and was killed when Booster Gold put a force field around him just as he launched a missile to kill the League. Another Rocket Red was added and was with the league for a long time.
The Rocket Red Brigade were also a part of the Soviet Union's defense system, but after an economic crash, however, the Reds were left to rust and the fall of the Soviet Union saw the battle-suits end up in the hands of Russian criminals.
The Rocket Reds re-appeared during the Infinite Crisis guarding the Russian border once again. The current Rocket Red, Maks Chazov is also the White Queen's Knight in Checkmate.
During the Blackest Night, one of the origianl members of the brigade, Gavril Ivanovich (Rocket Red # 4) was ressurected as a Black Lantern. He is shown briefly attacking the rest of the Brigade in Moscow. He appears to have a new version of his Rocket Red suit, because the one shown is black, and his original suit can still be seen in the Hall Of Justice. it is assumed he didn't kill any of the other Brigade members, but it is unknown how he was defeated.
Important Rocket Red Issues
Green Lantern Corps (Volume One) #208 - The first ever appearances of Rocket Reds.
Justice League International (Volume One) #7 - Rocket Red 7 joins the Justice League International.
Justice league International #9 - Rocket Red #7 betrays the league as a Manhuter and is killed by Booster Gold