For all the hackneyed phrase: “A country should know its heroes,” it’s hard not to admit its justice: if the hero is unknown, what kind of hero is he? However, contrary to this logic, in recent years, the Kremlin has embraced the passion for secret rewards through “closed” decrees.
Do you know, for example, how many people received the title of Hero of Russia, introduced in 1992? Officially, such statistics have not been published anywhere, and the average person does not know how many heroes have gained a golden star in these 17 years. And, most importantly, for some feats.
President Dmitry Medvedev during the 9 videoconference on April 2009 of the year said: “Since its inception, the title of Hero of Russia has been awarded to 826 citizens.” Here, only by that time there was other information in the public domain: by March 2007 of the year the 876 assignments of the title of Hero were made, of which 408 was posthumous. For the next two years, from March 2007-th to April, 2009-th, many more gentlemen of the Golden Star appeared.
According to rough estimates, it turns out that in the line of various departments for fighting in the North Caucasus, the title of Hero of the Russian Federation was awarded about 500 times, or even more. During World War II, the title of Hero of the Soviet Union was awarded 11739 times, including 3051 posthumously. That is the difference - in some 20 times, with all the incompatibility of the scale of these wars and their results! And one more comparison. For a much longer and wider than the Chechen war in Afghanistan, the title of Hero of the Soviet Union was awarded to 85 people (28 posthumously). 85 Gold Stars for Afghanistan and 322 (this is only the Ministry of Defense) for Chechnya!
The conflict with Georgia brought a new unprecedented harvest of the stars of the Hero of Russia. The title of Hero for it was awarded, if we count from open sources, at least 19 times. This is a five-day war! One can notice a remarkable pattern: out of 12 living Heroes, only one soldier is a sergeant tankman, three more are junior officers, but eight are senior officers.
Perhaps such incidents would not have happened if the data on the awards with the biographies of the heroes and a brief description of their feat were regularly published. But the presidential administration either has a strong shortage of paper and Internet resources, or the majority of those awarded are secret agents whose name and feat are unknown. However, some such secret heroes sometimes become apparent. For example, in March 2003 of the letter from the fighters of the Alpha group to one of the newspapers, it suddenly became known that by closed decrees the title of Hero of the Russian Federation was given to the ex-Minister of the Interior and then Secretary of the Security Council Vladimir Rushailo, FSB Director Nikolai Patrushev and Prosecutor General Vladimir Ustinov . Do not be lazy to look into the officially approved "Regulations" on this rank. It says in black and white: "The title of Hero of the Russian Federation is awarded for services to the state and the people associated with the accomplishment of a heroic deed." What specifically "heroic feats" are listed in the battle account years. Rushaylo, Patrusheva and Ustinova - air ramming, successful deployment to the rear of the enemy or testing of military equipment with the risk to life? This is a mystery to this day.
In 2003, Vladimir Putin told the public that Attorney General Vladimir Ustinov received the title of Hero of Russia "for good work in Chechnya."
But for what the Golden Star was awarded to the deputy director of the FSB, Vladimir Pronichev, is known. For Nord-Ost: he was one of the leaders of the operational headquarters of the counter-terrorist operation. It was the operational headquarters that did not take measures to provide proper medical care to the hostages who had been stormed by the gas, and to promptly evacuate the injured to the hospitals. As a result, 130 died from 129 gas victims.
Obvious violations of the statute of the award is enough even with the "unclassified" assignments of the Hero. According to the decree №1317 from 3 of October 2007, the title of Hero is received by the senior shepherd Babu-Dorzho Mikhailov "for his heroism and dedication in saving sheep flocks and high achievements in labor". 7 November 2008, by Medvedev’s decree, was awarded the title of Hero to the Chairman of the Agricultural Cooperative Viktor Sviridov - also “for his heroism and dedication in saving the livestock farm from fire and high achievements in labor”. High achievements in labor and the rescue of sheep, of course, are worthy of all praise, but the Hero's star is still assigned to something else. Valery Shelyakin, a foreman, risking his life, saved children during a fire - February 2 1995 was awarded the medal "For Courage in a Fire". Where is the logic: for the rescued flock of sheep - the Golden Star, for the rescued children - the medal "For courage in the fire" ...
It is strange with other awards. Do you want to know how many people were awarded the Order of Courage for the first Chechen war? Alas, this is impossible: decrees for 1995-1996's. unavailable. But from unofficial sources, you can learn that in February, the march of 1995, the Order of Courage was issued with the order number 2412, and in the middle of the 1996, it was already the order of number XXUMX. A simple arithmetic operation shows that even before the end of the first Chechen war, over 22609 thousands of these awards were presented. According to the statute, the Order of Courage is awarded "for selfless deed, courage and bravery", as well as "for courageous and decisive actions" in the performance of military duty. I would venture to ask a blasphemous question: if behind each of those thousands of orders there really was a feat or a brave act, why was the war lost?
Separate conversation deserves the first in stories In post-Soviet Russia, eight people were awarded the Orders of St. George. The Order was established by decree of President Putin on August 8 of 2000 of the year. But until August 2008, the awards were not made: as the highest military award, he relied for participating in hostilities "to defend the Fatherland in the attack of an external enemy." After the start of the operation against Georgia, President Medvedev, by his decree (No. 1205 of 12 in August 2008), amended the statute of this order, which made it possible to award awards for operations on the territory of other states "while maintaining or restoring international peace and security."
Of the eight people who were awarded the order, only two names were officially communicated: Colonel General Sergei Makarov, commander of the troops of the North Caucasian Military District, and Lieutenant Colonel Anatoly Lebed. The Statute of the Order states that they are awarded for military operations that have become "a model of military art" and feats, "which serve as an example of valor and courage." Regarding the figure of Lieutenant Colonel Lebed there are no questions: the officer of the special forces of the Airborne Forces, a veteran of several campaigns, fought in Afghanistan (three orders of the Red Star), in Dagestan and the second Chechen (two orders of Courage and the golden star of the Hero of Russia); many injuries; having blown up on a mine, he lost his foot, but with the prosthesis he remained to serve and fight. This hero, what can I say. But what kind of "samples of military art" showed the commander of the North Caucasian Military District Makarov?
And, of course, it is interesting to find out who are the six “incognito” who were awarded the Order of St. George, together with Lebed and Makarov. Above the four gentlemen, the veil of secrecy was lifted a few months after they had committed heroic deeds. In October of last year, the head of the Main Directorate of Combat Training and the Service of the Troops of the Defense Ministry Lieutenant-General Vladimir Shamanov was spotted with a bar of the Order of Saint George. At one of the collectors' sites it was reported that he received the order for number XXUMX. But nowhere will you find a decree awarding Shamanov, a message about the award of this award to him, or, finally, a description of his feat, as required by the statute.
Another cavalier cut through just as suddenly: in December 2008 of the year, it turned out that among the awards of the Commander-in-Chief of the Air Force, Colonel-General Alexander Zelin, there is the Order of St. George - that was what appeared in one of the official press releases. Later it turned out: the order of the II degree from the commander-in-chief of the Air Force, although the statute approved by the president reads: "The awarding of the Order of St. George is carried out only consistently, from the lowest to the highest." The decree on awarding, as well as the description of the feat of General Zelin, is also in vain. The operation that demonstrated the Zelensky "military art" was, apparently, fighting, during which the Russian Air Force not only could not cover their troops from the air, but also suffered disproportionately heavy losses.
Speaking at the Academy of Sciences following the August events in the Caucasus, Chief of the General Staff General of the Army Nikolai Makarov described the situation: “The pilots are degrading. In the course of the conflict with Georgia, we had to count all the pilots who can perform combat missions in simple conditions, literally on the fingers ”.
So why was Airforce Celine awarded Zelin?
However, General Makarov continued, the situation in the Ground Forces was even worse: “We had to search for each piece of lieutenant-colonels, colonels and generals for all the Armed Forces so that they would take part in the hostilities. Because the regular commanders of the "paper" divisions and regiments were simply not able to solve combat issues. When these commanders were given people, they gave equipment, they were just confused, and some even refused to follow orders "...
Apparently, for the fact that in our army there are such full-time commanders who cannot - and even refuse! - to carry out combat orders, orders of St. George - and at once of the II degree - received the speaker himself, Chief of the General Staff, Army General Nikolai Makarov and Commander-in-Chief of the Ground Forces Army General Vladimir Boldyrev. The NGSH Order No.002, the Commander-in-Chief of the Air Force, No.003, the Commander-in-Chief of the Ground Forces, No.004. No wonder that all these awards with the highest military award went quietly, covertly, in the official biographies of military leaders on the website of the Ministry of Defense they do not appear.
In fairness it is worth noting that with civilian awards in modern Russia leapfrog and confusion are no less than with the military. And “closeness” is no less. This is most noticeable in the history of the Order of Merit for the Fatherland.
The Statute clearly defines that the award “is carried out consistently: persons represented for the Order of the IV degree must be awarded with the medal of the Order for Services to the Fatherland” of the I degree ”. And the "medalist", in turn, must first be awarded a medal of II degree.
In fact, orders are awarded according to the statute, not to the nomenklatura rank of the official. Some are awarded, as expected - from medals to the order, from the lowest to the highest. And others, apparently, are shamefully happy first with some kind of IV degree, not to mention medals. And such important people are immediately crowned with the second or third, if not the first, degree. Of the two full cavaliers of all four degrees of this order, Yegor Stroyev and the late lawyer Oleg Kutafin, the rules of successive rewarding were observed only with regard to the latter. At first Stroyev was awarded the third degree at once, then he received the second, then the first and only then ... the fourth.
However, among 27 famous gentlemen of the highest degree “Merit” there is not a single person, when rewarding which the statute of the award would be observed! Tatarstan President Shaimiev immediately received a second, then first degree. The former head of Dagestan Magomedali Magomedov - the third and then immediately the first ...
In addition to Kutafin and Stroev, there is another full cavalier of the order who was awarded, however, without publicizing the fact of rewarding and maintenance of acts that were awarded such a high rating, is the same former head of the FSB, now the Security Council Nikolai Patrushev. In what sequence he gained the star of the order and all four degrees is again a secret: the decrees on his awarding are closed, information is obtained from the official biography on the Security Council website. Which strangely differs from the one that hangs on the website of the FSB. According to the FSB, in addition to the Hero's star, Patrushev still has the Order for Military Merit and seven medals. According to the version of the Security Council, all four degrees of the Order “For Services to the Fatherland” and the Order of Courage are added to the list of regalia.
But other sources also note the presence of such an award on Patrushev’s breast as the Order of Marine Merit. In general, if we sum up all these data, Nikolai Platonovich has seven orders, not counting the hero star. 7 of May of this year, Nikolai Patrushev was also awarded the Marshal Zhukov State Prize - as a coauthor of the textbook “Basics of Special Training for Federal Security Service Officers Commanded to the Counter-Terrorism Operations Zone in the North Caucasus”. The laureate of the State Prize is awarded a medal and a solid monetary reward. To complete the collection, it remains to acquire only the Orders of St. Andrew and St. George.
Have you heard about Peter the Great's gold medal "For Labor Valor"? It is not included in the state heraldic register of the Russian Federation. But, many entrepreneurs can boast of this or other awards with pretentious names. There are a myriad of “foundations”, “unions” and “associations” awarding non-state awards. The terms “order” and “medal”, sovereign symbolism are often used. Winners "for the contribution", "revival", "loyalty" and other merits often turn out to be unknown people.
No wonder: such a business. Many foundations choose their nominees from the ratings of dynamically growing companies — one fine day, the head of such a firm receives a notice of awarding him an award. The cost of making the "order" and the organization of the solemn ceremony should be taken by the lucky one.
Yevgeny Shchedrin, the general director of the Severnaya Chern plant from Veliky Ustyug (produces silver jewelry), for example, received a letter from the International Charitable Foundation "Patrons of the Century" at the beginning of the year: the plant’s staff was awarded the Golden Diploma of Patrons of Art (free), Shchedrin himself was nominated for the Order of the Patron. “I put the certificate in the museum, Shchedrin recalls. And I felt sorry for 150 000 rubles, which I had been asked for as an organization fee.” The owner of the Grizzly Moscow apparel company, Olga Berezansky International Forum "World Experience and the Economy of Russia", this fall announced the award of the Order "Leader of the Russian Economy" (294 000 rubles). Olga, however, refused to pay the award.
The authors of the Orders "For Selfless Labor for the Good of the Fatherland" and "For the Revival of Russia" approach to pricing flexibly. According to Anatoly Bezuglov, President of the Fatherland Revival Foundation, the amount "depends on the capabilities of the Order holder." “Totally acceptable” is considered the amount of $ 50 000, but you can go down to $ 30 000.
“Of course, before 1917, the holders of orders made a contribution to the Chapter (the state office that was in charge of awards. Forbes) for charitable purposes — the content of shelters, the institution of noble maidens, and so on,” says the chief herald of Russia Georgy Vilinbakhov. “Modern public organizations take the money they receive for their needs.”
But the “gentlemen” get a lot, Bezuglov objects: the ceremony takes place in the President Hotel and includes a banquet. The order itself is encrusted with diamonds and "worth $ 10 000." The general director of a small construction company, who wished to remain anonymous, told Forbes that he was advised to accept such an award: “assistants advised”: useful for the image (the paid nature of the ceremony is usually not advertised, but the award sounds beautiful).
Finally, at the ceremony "paid" customers can easily chat with "free" —the leaders of art and science, major officials, who are given public orders to raise the prestige of the orders themselves. “Of course it is, and it is natural,” says Bezuglov. - In general, all these parties for what? People want to meet, exchange business cards ... "
Here's how it happens: 26 December 2003 of the year in the President Hotel was awarded the costly award “For the Revival of the Fatherland” to the Minister of Communications of the Russian Federation Leonid Reiman. Together with an influential official, Nikolai Ponomarev (OOO KC Peter), Alexey Feoktistov (Zet Sinematic Film Studio) and a dozen cavaliers of the Order and the Golden Cross “For Selfless Labor for the Good of the Fatherland” took part in the banquet.
Another example: March 3 2004 Yury Luzhkov received in the Column Hall of the House of Unions the Order of Minin and Pozharsky “Exalt Russia” in the company of such colleagues as Yury Vekshin (Bakhus OJSC), Vyacheslav Yarmanov (Brick Factory CJSC), Valentin Samko (Samko Brewery OJSC), and 46 entrepreneurs. This list can be continued.
What to do if the official you need, for example, is not on the list nominated for any order? Not a problem either.
The Forbes correspondent, who identified himself as an assistant to the general director of a manufacturing company, asked the director of the Minin and Pozharsky State Foundation for Assistance Initiatives to Strengthen the Minin and Pozharsky Mikhail Zherebkin so that Boris Aleshin, the head of the Federal Industry Agency, received the Foundation award ).
After a bit of thinking, Zherebkin agreed to organize everything: “We will send him [Alyoshin] a completely official letter, which is signed by Deputy Chairman of the Federation Council Torshin, Rector of Moscow State University Sadovnichy. It’s like in the ranks of all other awards he will receive an award. ”
You can even make the award to the official (in our case, a ruby star on a massive gold chain) handed the immediate “customer” of the event. To do this, you just need to become a sponsor of the entire ceremony. The price of the issue is $ 45 000.
The number of public "orders" established in Russia is incalculable. Here are some of them.
Reward - who gives:
Order of St. Alexander Nevsky "For Labor and Fatherland" - Organizing Committee of the award "For Labor and Fatherland"
Order of Honor and Dignity “Rus Sovereign” - Russian Heritage of Russian Sovereign Public Movement
Order “Revival of Russia. XXI century "- International Public Foundation" Pilar "
Order “Leader of the Russian Economy” - International Forum “World Experience and Economy of Russia”
Order of Peter the Great "For Labor Valor" - Foundation "Managers of the New Era"
Golden Star for Russia's Loyalty - President Club of the Russian Federation
Golden Medal "Public Recognition" - National Foundation "Public Recognition"
Order “For Benefit” - Club of Orthodox Patrons
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