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Orders of the Soviet Union

1. The title of HERO OF THE SOVIET UNION was the top award. According to its Statute, this title was bestowed on servicemen for personal or collective services to the Soviet state and society that involved heroic feats. Every Hero of the Soviet Union received the Order of Lenin and the Gold Star medal as marks of special distinction. The national Mint produced 13,700 Gold Stars during the award's existence. However, many of them were never received.

2. The ORDER OF VICTORY was the highest Soviet military award. The Order was presented to top military leaders and commanders for their successful frontline operations that drastically changed the military situation. The Order is the largest, most beautiful and valuable order of the Soviet period. It is a platinum star with 72mm rays adorned with a ruby and 170 diamonds (total mass, 16 carats). Only 20 Orders of Victory were presented to 16 people during the Soviet period. Marshal Georgy Zhukov was the first to receive the Order of Victory, the second was Marshal Alexander Vasilevsky, and the third was Josef Stalin. The three received the awards in 1944 for their contribution to liberating Ukrainian regions on the western bank of the Dnieper River. Stalin, Zhukov and Vasilevsky received Orders of Victory once more at the end of the war. Ten military leaders, including marshals Konstantin Rokossovsky, Rodion Malinovsky, Fyodor Tolbukhin, Leonid Govorov, Semyon Timoshenko and Kirill Meretskov, as well as General of the Army and General Staff chief Alexei Antonov, were awarded.

Five foreigners also received the Order of Victory: Josip Broz Tito (Yugoslavia), Michal Rola-Zymierski (Poland), Dwight Eisenhower (USA), Bernard Montgomery (Great Britain) and King Mihai I of Romania.

3. The ORDER OF LENIN. According to its Statute, the Order of Lenin was presented for particularly outstanding achievements in the field of the revolutionary movement, for labor achievements, for the defense of the socialist homeland, for strengthening friendship between nations, for strengthening peace, and other feats.

4. THE ORDER OF THE RED BANNER was the top Soviet wartime award until the advent of the ORDER OF VICTORY in 1943. The Order of the Red Banner remained an elite award throughout the war. It was presented for particularly outstanding heroic and high-risk military exploits, for bravery, courage and valor displayed during the successful fulfillment of special assignments. This was the only Soviet order to have the number of times it had been awarded to an individual engraved on obverse of the medal. Moreover, the Order was affixed to weapons, i.e., gilded-handle shashkas (Cossack sabers) and Mauser automatic pistols presented to high-ranking military leaders.

An Air Force captain, A. Artyomov, was the first to receive the Order of the Red Banner during the Great Patriotic War. Junior officers and soldiers could not receive this award. Nonetheless, some unique cases of awarding the Order of the Red Banner should be mentioned. School student Igor Kravchuk, 12, who saved two regimental banners, became the youngest Soviet citizen to receive this award. Kerch teenager Volodya Dubinin was given the Order of the Red Banner posthumously at the age of 13. Sea cadet Igor Pakhomov, 14, had two Orders of the Red Banner. Some foreigners, including Pierre Pouyade, a commander of the Normandie-Niemen air-force regiment, and regimental pilot Marquis Roland de la Poype, were awarded the Order of the Red Banner. In all, 238,000 Orders of the Red Banner were presented during the war.

5. ORDERS OF ALEXANDER SUVOROV AND MIKHAIL KUTUZOV, ORDERS OF ADMIRAL NAKHIMOV AND ADMIRAL USHAKOV were presented to high-ranking military commanders and admirals for their outstanding troop-control successes, for conceiving and conducting outstanding military operations and naval battles that inflicted serious losses on the enemy (with insignificant Soviet losses). The ORDER OF ALEXANDER NEVSKY was presented to commanders (regardless of their rank) for personal bravery. The ORDER OF BOGDAN KHMELNITSKY was presented to Red Army officers and soldiers, as well as guerillas who fought behind the enemy lines, for daring exploits, bravery and ability to fight the enemy.

6. THE ORDER OF THE GREAT PATRIOTIC WAR was one of the most popular Soviet war awards. In all, 345,000 officers and soldiers received the Order of the Great Patriotic War, First Class. More than 500,000 people were awarded the Order of the Great Patriotic War, Second Class. This Order's Statute consists of several pages, listing seemingly "routine" feats, such as personally destroying enemy planes in mid-air, suppressing enemy pillboxes, destroying tanks, building a bridge across a river under enemy fire, seizing a "good" prisoner for interrogation, conducting a successful landing, sinking enemy ships, etc.

7. Two million WWII participants received the ORDER OF THE RED STAR. This was mostly an officers' award, which was also given to junior officers -- platoon and company commanders who could receive the Order of the Red Star and the Order of the Great Patriotic War. The Order of the Red Star was one of the first Soviet awards. The five-point Red Star, which symbolized the Soviet Army, was initially worn on soldiers' field-service (garrison) caps, eventually turning into the Order of the Red Star that was affixed to tunics. This Order featured a soldier pointing his rifle at the enemy against a ruby-enamel background. The first Order of the Red Star was presented to an army commander, Vasily Blukher, in 1929 for his successful efforts to stop a military conflict along the East China Railroad. The Order's Statute called for awarding it to commanders, who skillfully supervised military operations during the Great Patriotic War. It was also awarded for bravery, courage and for successfully fulfilling the high command's special assignments.

8. The ORDER OF GLORY, FIRST, SECOND AND THIRD CLASS was mostly presented to soldiers for their glorious feats of courage, bravery and valor. The holders of all three Orders of Glory rank among this country's most honored citizens. The tsarist Russian army had a similar award, the St. George Cross. The designers of the Order of Glory copied the black-and-orange colors of the St. George Cross moire ribbon used to affix it. The Cross itself was replaced with a star. The Order of Glory, First Class featured a gold star. The Order of Glory, Second Class and the Order of Glory, Third Class both featured a silver star.

The Order of Glory was instituted in November 1943. A soldier had to perform three unique feats to receive all three Stars. For example, he could save a unit banner, or continue to fight the enemy inside a burning tank, or bring down an enemy plane. He could storm into an enemy pillbox, risking his life to save a commander, etc. Such heroic exploits were not a mere coincidence. Therefore, those in possession of all three Orders of Glory could be called genuine heroes.

Order of Lenin

1

Order of the October Revolution

2

4

Order of Victory

3

Order of Suvorov of the I degree

5

Order of Suvorov OF THE II degree

6

Order of Suvorov OF THE III degree

7

Order of Ushakov of the I degree

8

Order of Ushakov OF THE II degree

9

Order of Kutuzov of the I degree

10

Order of Kutuzov OF THE II degree

11

Order of Kutuzov OF THE III degree

12

Order Of [nakhimova] of the I degree

13

Order Of [nakhimova] OF THE II degree

14

Order of Bogdan [Khmelnitskiy] of the I degree

15

Order of Bogdan [Khmelnitskiy] OF THE II degree

16

Order of Bogdan [Khmelnitskiy] OF THE III degree

17

Alexander [Nevskiy]'s order

18

1. Order of Lenin. 2. order of the October Revolution. 3. order of victory. 4. 5. order of Suvorov of the I degree. 6. order of Suvorov OF THE II degree. 7. order of Suvorov OF THE III degree. 8. order of Ushakov of the I degree. 9.[Orden] of Ushakov OF THE II degree. 10. order of Kutuzov of the I degree. 11. Order of Kutuzov OF THE II degree. 12. Order of Kutuzov OF THE III degree. 13. Order Of [nakhimova] of the I degree. 14. order Of [nakhimova] OF THE II degree. 15. Bogdan [Khmelnitskiy]'s order I [stepeni].16. Order of Bogdan [Khmelnitskiy] OF THE II degree. 17. Order of Bogdan [Khmelnitskiy] OF THE III degree. 18. Alexander [Nevskiy]'s order.


Order of the Patriotic War of the I degree

1

Order of the Patriotic War OF THE II degree

2

Order of the Red Star

3

Order

4

Order

5

Order

6

Order of the glory of the I degree

7

Order of the glory OF THE II degree

8

Order of the glory OF THE III degree

9

Order of the Red Banner of Labor

10

Order

11

1. Order of the Patriotic War of the I degree. 2. Order of the Patriotic War OF THE II degree. 3. Order of the Red Star 4. order "for the service to the native land in [VS] of the USSR" the I degree. 5. order "for the service to the native land in [VS] of the USSR" THE II degree. 6. order "for the service to the native land in [VS] of the USSR" THE III degree. 7. order of the glory of the I degree. 8. order of the glory OF THE II degree. 9. order of the glory OF THE III degree. 10. Order of the Red Banner of Labor. 11. Order "the sign of honor".




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