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Soviet Military Awards

The Soviet award system differs fundamentally from that of the tsarist government. Its foundation was laid by one of the first Soviet decrees - the decree of the All-Russia Central Executive Committee and the Council of People's Commissars of November 10, 1917, "On the Abolition of Estates and Civilian Ranks", signed by Vladimir Lenin and Yakov Sverdlov.


The Soviet award system did not take shape overnight. It developed gradually, each new stage of socialist construction and struggle with the enemies of the Motherland introducing something new into the system and supplementing it.

In the difficult early years of Soviet power, Red heroes received modest awards for their heroic deeds. Quite a few people remember this order of the Commander of the First Cavalry Army, quoted in the book of memoirs by Semyon Budyonny: 'As recognition for his devotion to the Revolution and skilful command of his battery, I present Comrade Nalivaiko, commander of the second battery, with red riding breeches in the name of the Revolution." In those scanty days, the days of heroic feats, giving clothes, which were scarce, as an award was widely practiced. The awards that were particularly sought after were a watch, a presentation weapon and, not infrequently, just a citation read out in front of one's comrades-in-arms.

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© Alexey S. Zlygostev, 2013-2017
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