Hero (Title)
The title of Hero is presented by various governments in recognition of acts of self-sacrifice to the state, and great achievements in combat or labor. It is originally a Soviet-type honor, and is continued by several nations including Belarus
Belarus , officially the Republic of Belarus, is a landlocked country in Eastern Europe, bordered clockwise by Russia to the northeast, Ukraine to the south, Poland to the west, and Lithuania and Latvia to the northwest. Its capital is Minsk; other major cities include Brest, Grodno , Gomel ,...

, Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

 and Ukraine
Ukraine is a country in Eastern Europe. It has an area of 603,628 km², making it the second largest contiguous country on the European continent, after Russia...

. It was also awarded to cities and fortresses for collective efforts in heroic feats. Each hero receives a medal for public display, special privileges and rights for life, and the admiration and respect of the nation. Some countries without Soviet connections also award Hero honours.

Hero of the Soviet Union

The first hero title established, "Hero of the Soviet Union
Hero of the Soviet Union
The title Hero of the Soviet Union was the highest distinction in the Soviet Union, awarded personally or collectively for heroic feats in service to the Soviet state and society.-Overview:...

", was created by decree of the Presidium
Presidium of the Supreme Soviet
The Presidium of the Supreme Soviet was a Soviet governmental institution – a permanent body of the Supreme Soviets . This body was of the all-Union level , as well as in all Soviet republics and autonomous republics...

 of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR on 16 April 1934. The identifying badge, the "Gold Star Medal
Gold Star
The Gold Star medal is a special insignia that identifies recipients of the title "Hero" in the Soviet Union and its communist allies, and several post-Soviet states.-Soviet origin:...

", was not created until 1 August 1939. The title was awarded for "personal or collective deeds of heroism rendered to the USSR or socialist society" and it was awarded to both military personnel and civilians.

Hero of Socialist Labor

The second hero title was "Hero of Socialist Labor
Hero of Socialist Labor
Hero of Socialist Labour was an honorary title in the Soviet Union and other Warsaw Pact countries. It was the highest degree of distinction for exceptional achievements in national economy and culture...

", also created by decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR, was established on 27 December 1938. Its badge, the "Hammer and Sickle
Hammer and sickle
The hammer and sickle is a part of communist symbolism and its usage indicates an association with Communism, a Communist party, or a Communist state. It features a hammer and a sickle overlapping each other. The two tools are symbols of the industrial proletariat and the peasantry; placing them...

 Medal", was created on 22 May 1940. The title was awarded for heroic labor achievements which significantly increased production, "thereby promoting the national economy, science, culture, might, and glory of the USSR."

Each "Hero of the Soviet Union" and "Hero of Socialist Labor" was given the highest Soviet award, the Order of Lenin
Order of Lenin
The Order of Lenin , named after the leader of the Russian October Revolution, was the highest decoration bestowed by the Soviet Union...

, and a diploma describing the heroic accomplishment.

A "Hero of Socialist Labor" held the same official stature as a "Hero of the Soviet Union", with identical rights and privileges, but the title's prestige was eroded by the sheer numbers awarded (over 19,000 compared to 12,745).

Hero-City, Hero-Fortress

The Soviet Union awarded the title to twelve (12) cities and one fortress for outstanding heroism during the Eastern Front
Eastern Front (World War II)
The Eastern Front of World War II was a theatre of World War II between the European Axis powers and co-belligerent Finland against the Soviet Union, Poland, and some other Allies which encompassed Northern, Southern and Eastern Europe from 22 June 1941 to 9 May 1945...


The twelve Soviet cities awarded the title "Hero-City" are
  • Minsk
    - Ecological situation :The ecological situation is monitored by Republican Center of Radioactive and Environmental Control .During 2003–2008 the overall weight of contaminants increased from 186,000 to 247,400 tons. The change of gas as industrial fuel to mazut for financial reasons has worsened...

  • Smolensk
    Smolensk is a city and the administrative center of Smolensk Oblast, Russia, located on the Dnieper River. Situated west-southwest of Moscow, this walled city was destroyed several times throughout its long history since it was on the invasion routes of both Napoleon and Hitler. Today, Smolensk...

  • Kiev
    Kiev or Kyiv is the capital and the largest city of Ukraine, located in the north central part of the country on the Dnieper River. The population as of the 2001 census was 2,611,300. However, higher numbers have been cited in the press....

  • Odessa
    Odessa or Odesa is the administrative center of the Odessa Oblast located in southern Ukraine. The city is a major seaport located on the northwest shore of the Black Sea and the fourth largest city in Ukraine with a population of 1,029,000 .The predecessor of Odessa, a small Tatar settlement,...

  • Moscow
    Moscow is the capital, the most populous city, and the most populous federal subject of Russia. The city is a major political, economic, cultural, scientific, religious, financial, educational, and transportation centre of Russia and the continent...

  • Leningrad
    Leningrad is the former name of Saint Petersburg, Russia.Leningrad may also refer to:- Places :* Leningrad Oblast, a federal subject of Russia, around Saint Petersburg* Leningrad, Tajikistan, capital of Muminobod district in Khatlon Province...

     (Saint Petersburg),
  • Tula
    Tula, Russia
    Tula is an industrial city and the administrative center of Tula Oblast, Russia. It is located south of Moscow, on the Upa River. Population: -History:...

  • Sevastopol
    Sevastopol is a city on rights of administrative division of Ukraine, located on the Black Sea coast of the Crimea peninsula. It has a population of 342,451 . Sevastopol is the second largest port in Ukraine, after the Port of Odessa....

  • Kerch
    Kerch is a city on the Kerch Peninsula of eastern Crimea, an important industrial, transport and tourist centre of Ukraine. Kerch, founded 2600 years ago, is considered as one of the most ancient cities in Ukraine.-Ancient times:...

  • Murmansk
    Murmansk is a city and the administrative center of Murmansk Oblast, Russia. It serves as a seaport and is located in the extreme northwest part of Russia, on the Kola Bay, from the Barents Sea on the northern shore of the Kola Peninsula, not far from Russia's borders with Norway and Finland...

  • Stalingrad (Volgograd), and
  • Novorossiysk
    Novorossiysk is a city in Krasnodar Krai, Russia. It is the country's main port on the Black Sea and the leading Russian port for importing grain. It is one of the few cities honored with the title of the Hero City. Population: -History:...


The one fortress awarded the title "Hero-Fortress" is Brest
Brest Fortress
Brest Fortress , formerly known as Brest-Litovsk Fortress , is a 19th century Russian fortress in Brest, Belarus. It is one of the most important Soviet World War II war monuments commemorating the Soviet resistance against the German invasion on June 22, 1941...


Each was awarded a Gold Star Medal to attach to its banner, and is allowed to the image of the medal on its coat of arms
Coat of arms
A coat of arms is a unique heraldic design on a shield or escutcheon or on a surcoat or tabard used to cover and protect armour and to identify the wearer. Thus the term is often stated as "coat-armour", because it was anciently displayed on the front of a coat of cloth...


Repeat awards

Repeat awards of the titles "Hero of the Soviet Union" and "Hero of Socialist Labor" were allowed until the practice was abolished during perestroika
Perestroika was a political movement within the Communist Party of the Soviet Union during 1980s, widely associated with the Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev...

. Afterwards, each title could be awarded to a recipient only once in their lifetime.

Non-Soviet titles

Several nations with communist governments other than the Soviet Union, many part of the Warsaw Pact
Warsaw Pact
The Warsaw Treaty Organization of Friendship, Cooperation, and Mutual Assistance , or more commonly referred to as the Warsaw Pact, was a mutual defense treaty subscribed to by eight communist states in Eastern Europe...

, adopted their own hero titles. These titles closely followed the Soviet model.

Not all communist
Communism is a social, political and economic ideology that aims at the establishment of a classless, moneyless, revolutionary and stateless socialist society structured upon common ownership of the means of production...

 or socialist
Socialism is an economic system characterized by social ownership of the means of production and cooperative management of the economy; or a political philosophy advocating such a system. "Social ownership" may refer to any one of, or a combination of, the following: cooperative enterprises,...

 nations issued hero titles. Conversely, some nations that issued hero titles were not affiliated with the Soviet Union or communism.

List of non-Soviet titles

  • Afghanistan
    Democratic Republic of Afghanistan
    The Democratic Republic of Afghanistan was a government of Afghanistan between 1978 and 1992. It was both ideologically close to and economically dependent on the Soviet Union, and was a major belligerent of the Afghan Civil War.- Saur Revolution :...

     - Hero of Revolutionary Afghanistan
  • Albania - Hero of the People, Hero of Socialist Work
  • Bulgaria - Hero of the People's Republic of Bulgaria, Hero of Socialist Labor
  • Cuba
    The Republic of Cuba is an island nation in the Caribbean. The nation of Cuba consists of the main island of Cuba, the Isla de la Juventud, and several archipelagos. Havana is the largest city in Cuba and the country's capital. Santiago de Cuba is the second largest city...

     - Hero of the Republic of Cuba
    Hero of the Republic of Cuba
    The title Hero of the Republic of Cuba is a distinction in Cuba, awarded for heroic feats in service to the Cuban state and society. It has been received by only a few individuals, including Arnaldo Tamayo Méndez, Juan Almeida Bosque, Leonid Brezhnev and the Cuban Five....

  • Czechoslovakia
    Czechoslovakia or Czecho-Slovakia was a sovereign state in Central Europe which existed from October 1918, when it declared its independence from the Austro-Hungarian Empire, until 1992...

     - Hero of the CSSR, Hero of Socialist Labor
  • East Germany - Hero of the German Democratic Republic, Hero of Labor
  • Hungary - Hero of the Hungarian People's Republic
  • Jamaica
    Jamaica is an island nation of the Greater Antilles, in length, up to in width and 10,990 square kilometres in area. It is situated in the Caribbean Sea, about south of Cuba, and west of Hispaniola, the island harbouring the nation-states Haiti and the Dominican Republic...

     - Order of National Hero
    Order of National Hero (Jamaica)
    The Order of National Hero is an honour awarded by the government of Jamaica. It is a part of the Jamaican honours system that has been in place since 1969.-Description:...

  • North Korea - Hero of the Republic, Hero of Labor
  • Mongolia - Hero of the Mongolian People's Republic
  • Romania - Hero of the Socialist Republic of Romania, Hero of Socialist Labor, Hero of the Agrarian Revolution
  • Yugoslavia
    Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia
    The Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia was the Yugoslav state that existed from the abolition of the Yugoslav monarchy until it was dissolved in 1992 amid the Yugoslav Wars. It was a socialist state and a federation made up of six socialist republics: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia,...

     - People's Hero of Yugoslavia
    People's Hero of Yugoslavia
    The Order of the People's Hero was a Yugoslav gallantry medal, the second highest military award, and third overall Yugoslav decoration. It was awarded to individuals, military units, political and other organisations who distinguished themselves by extraordinary heroic deeds during war and in...

  • Vietnam - Hero of Vietnam

Post-Soviet titles

The titles "Hero of the Soviet Union" and "Hero of Socialist Labor" were awarded until the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, which resulted in 15 independent republics. Each nation eventually began issuing their own titles, orders and decorations.

Some republics, like the Baltic republics of Estonia
Estonia , officially the Republic of Estonia , is a state in the Baltic region of Northern Europe. It is bordered to the north by the Gulf of Finland, to the west by the Baltic Sea, to the south by Latvia , and to the east by Lake Peipsi and the Russian Federation . Across the Baltic Sea lies...

, Lithuania
Lithuania , officially the Republic of Lithuania is a country in Northern Europe, the biggest of the three Baltic states. It is situated along the southeastern shore of the Baltic Sea, whereby to the west lie Sweden and Denmark...

 and Latvia
Latvia , officially the Republic of Latvia , is a country in the Baltic region of Northern Europe. It is bordered to the north by Estonia , to the south by Lithuania , to the east by the Russian Federation , to the southeast by Belarus and shares maritime borders to the west with Sweden...

, did not create hero titles. Others, such as Russia, Belarus and Ukraine, continue with their own successor hero titles. The award criteria for these titles were kept largely intact.

Ukraine is the only former Soviet republic to continue the two-hero award system: the "Order of the Gold Star" for heroism, and the "Order of the State" for labor. Georgia
Georgia (country)
Georgia is a sovereign state in the Caucasus region of Eurasia. Located at the crossroads of Western Asia and Eastern Europe, it is bounded to the west by the Black Sea, to the north by Russia, to the southwest by Turkey, to the south by Armenia, and to the southeast by Azerbaijan. The capital of...

 established the title "National Hero" and the decoration "Order of National Hero" in 2004. A breakaway region of Georgia, Abkhazia
Abkhazia is a disputed political entity on the eastern coast of the Black Sea and the south-western flank of the Caucasus.Abkhazia considers itself an independent state, called the Republic of Abkhazia or Apsny...

, has its own hero title, "Hero of Abkhazia".

List of post-Soviet titles

  • Belarus - Hero of Belarus
    Hero of Belarus
    Hero of Belarus is the highest title that can be bestowed on a citizen of Belarus. The title is awarded to those "who perform great deeds in the name of freedom, independence and prosperity of the Republic of Belarus". The deed can be for military performance, economic performance or great service...

  • Kazakhstan
    Kazakhstan , officially the Republic of Kazakhstan, is a transcontinental country in Central Asia and Eastern Europe. Ranked as the ninth largest country in the world, it is also the world's largest landlocked country; its territory of is greater than Western Europe...

     - National Hero of Kazakhstan
  • Russia - Hero of the Russian Federation
    Hero of the Russian Federation
    Hero of the Russian Federation is a Russian decoration and the highest honorary title that can be bestowed on a citizen by the Russian Federation. The President of the Russian Federation is the main conferring authority of the medal, which is bestowed on those committing actions or deeds that...

  • Turkmenistan
    Turkmenistan , formerly also known as Turkmenia is one of the Turkic states in Central Asia. Until 1991, it was a constituent republic of the Soviet Union, the Turkmen Soviet Socialist Republic . Turkmenistan is one of the six independent Turkic states...

     - Hero of Turkmenistan
  • Ukraine - Hero of Ukraine
    Hero of Ukraine
    Hero of Ukraine is the highest state decoration that can be conferred upon an individual citizen by the Government of Ukraine. The title was created in 1998 by President Leonid Kuchma and as of August 25 2011 the total number of awards is 265. The award is divided into two classes of distinction:...

     (Order of the Gold Star and Order of the State)
  • Uzbekistan
    Uzbekistan , officially the Republic of Uzbekistan is a doubly landlocked country in Central Asia and one of the six independent Turkic states. It shares borders with Kazakhstan to the west and to the north, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan to the east, and Afghanistan and Turkmenistan to the south....

    - Hero of Uzbekistan
The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.