At the end of last week, by decree of President Putin, the commanders of the groupings of troops involved in the special operation in Ukraine were allowed to present awards to especially distinguished fighters directly on the battlefield. Thus, the rather lengthy procedure for presenting awards was simplified: earlier it was necessary to send documents to the personnel authorities of the military districts, and then approve them at the Main Directorate of Personnel of the Ministry of Defense.
We are talking about the presentation of such awards as the Order of Courage, the insignia of the Order of St. George (St. George’s Cross IV degree), the medal “For Courage” and “For the salvation of the dead.”
The day before, on October 10, the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation announced the awarding of the Orders of Courage to two priests. Another clergyman was awarded a medal of the Order of Merit for the Fatherland, II degree. These awards were given to them for “performing pastoral service in troubled spots.” Military priests are on the staff of the Ministry of Defense and have worked with Russian servicemen not only on special operations in Ukraine, but also in Syria.
Petersburg Archpriest Dmitry Vasilenkov was awarded the second Order of Courage. “I strengthened those spiritual values that help to carry out combat missions, not to lose heart,” said Konstantin Kiosev, rector of the Patriarchal Metochion of the Holy Prince Alexander Nevsky, about Vasilenkov.
A few days earlier, the medals of Zhukov and Suvorov were awarded to soldiers, sergeants and officers of the logistics brigade of the Western Military District, who built a pontoon crossing to replace the bridge destroyed by the Ukrainian military. They arranged the passage of military equipment and took civilians out of the shelling.
The most revered among the soldiers and officers are the medals “For Courage and the Order of Courage”.
So far, there is no information about the exact percentage of awards awarded for feats in the framework of a special operation in Ukraine, however, it is Courage and Courage that are the most massive awards.
“A military award as such is not just a symbol of the distinction of a military man, but the qualities of a fighter shown by him,” Colonel-General Georgy Shpak, former commander of the Airborne Forces, a holder of four orders, told Gazeta.Ru. – The “block” of order straps on the chest is like a business card. One glance is enough to understand the fighting qualities of a person. Red Star and Battle Red Banner – a man went through a war in Afghanistan. Orders of Courage – a later period, Chechen companies and other hot spots in the North Caucasus or Central Asia. The medal “For Courage” is a wider time period, dating back to Soviet times, which has survived to this day almost unchanged. And they handed it over exclusively for personal courage and heroism, and not in aggregate. You can’t confuse this gray “block” with a blue stripe with anything, it’s immediately clear that a person has been tested in war.”
The Medal “For Courage”, established back in 1938 (October 17 marks the 84th anniversary of its establishment), has remained one of the few military awards that has survived in Russia after 1991 almost unchanged. The inscription “USSR” was removed from the obverse in the lower part, leaving the silhouettes of three I-16 fighters and a T-35 tank. The statute of the medal itself has also changed slightly, where the main reason for the presentation was “personal courage and courage”. Its significance is also determined by the fact that it is worn on the left side of the chest and is located after the medal of the Order of Merit for the Fatherland, if any.
Among military personnel, the medal “For Courage” is considered the most honorable and respected. This is a distinctive sign that a person received an award in battle or in peacetime under special circumstances, risking his life and showing heroism in this.
In peacetime, the medal “For Courage” was awarded extremely rarely. The most massive awards occurred in the war in Afghanistan, but even there the number of awardees was not so great. For the most part, the soldiers were awarded the medal “For Military Merit”, the officers – the Order “For Service to the Motherland”, the most distinguished in the course of hostilities – the Order of the Red Star and the Red Banner of War.
Now the medal “For Courage” has become one of the symbols of the special operation in Ukraine. It is precisely the servicemen of the front line of contact who are directly involved in hostilities that receive the award.