Order of St. George
The Military Order of the Holy Great-Martyr and the Triumphant George (also known as Order of St. George the Triumphant, Russian
Russian language
Russian is a Slavic language used primarily in Russia, Belarus, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan. It is an unofficial but widely spoken language in Ukraine, Moldova, Latvia, Turkmenistan and Estonia and, to a lesser extent, the other countries that were once constituent republics...

: Военный орден Св. Великомученика и Победоносца Георгия, Voyenny Orden Sviatago Velikomuchenika i Pobedonostsa Georgiya) is an order of chivalry of Imperial Russia, the White movement
White movement
The White movement and its military arm the White Army - known as the White Guard or the Whites - was a loose confederation of Anti-Communist forces.The movement comprised one of the politico-military Russian forces who fought...

, and the Russian Federation, originally established in 1769 by Catherine the Great, and revived in 1994 by the Russian Federation. It is awarded in four classes, from the Fourth Degree to the First Degree. The highest degree is the First Degree. There also is an affiliated cross, the Cross of St. George
Cross of St. George
thumb|Original Cross of St. George.Ist and 2nd class were in gold.The Cross of St. George ', or simply the George's Cross, was, until 1913, officially known as the Sign of Distinction of the Military Order of St. George....

 and a medal which is a level lower than the cross.


The decoration of the Order of St. George has to be worn according to its precedence (i.e. higher than any other decoration other than the Order of St. Andrew
Order of St. Andrew
The Order of St. Andrew the First-Called is the first and the highest order of chivalry of the Russian Empire.- Russian Empire :The Order was established in 1698 by Tsar Peter the Great, in honour of Saint Andrew, the first apostle of Jesus and patron saint of Russia...

). The Order is composed of three insignia:

Cross ("Sign"): A white enamelled cross pattée with a central disc bearing the image of St. George on horseback slaying the dragon
A dragon is a legendary creature, typically with serpentine or reptilian traits, that feature in the myths of many cultures. There are two distinct cultural traditions of dragons: the European dragon, derived from European folk traditions and ultimately related to Greek and Middle Eastern...

. Worn on a sash by the first degree, on a necklet by the second and third degrees, and on a chest ribbon by the fourth degree.

Star: A four-pointed gold star with the crowned cipher
In cryptography, a cipher is an algorithm for performing encryption or decryption — a series of well-defined steps that can be followed as a procedure. An alternative, less common term is encipherment. In non-technical usage, a “cipher” is the same thing as a “code”; however, the concepts...

 of St. George at the centre surrounded by the motto of the order "For Service and Bravery" ("Za Sluzhbu i Khrabrost"). Worn on the left chest by the first and second degrees.

Ribbon: orange with three black stripes, commonly called "George's Ribbon". It symbolises fire and gunpowder: the Russian "colors of military glory", and is also thought to be derived from the colours of the original Russian imperial coat of arms
Coat of arms of Russia
The coat of arms of Russia have gone through three major periods in their history, undergoing major changes in the transitions between the Russian Empire, the Soviet Union, and the Russian Federation. They date back to 1472, when Ivan III began using the double-headed eagle in his seal, which,...

 (black eagle on a golden background). It was subsequently associated to the colors of the Russian Guard
Russian Guards
Guards or Guards units were and are elite military units in Imperial Russia, Soviet Union and the Russian Federation. The tradition goes back to the retinue of a knyaz of medieval Kievan Rus' and the streltsy, the Muscovite harquebusiers formed by Ivan the Terrible by 1550...

 units. The ribbon bar
Ribbon bar
Ribbon bars are small decorations that are worn by military, police, and fire service personnel or by civilians. Ribbon bars are mainly used when wearing either full decoration, or when wearing medals is considered inappropriate or impractical. Each military force has its own rules on what ribbons...

 repeats the pattern of the grand ribbon, with a miniature cross on the middle black stripe for the first three degrees (white enamelled for the 3rd, silver for the 2nd and gold for the 1st).


This order was established in the Russian Empire
Russian Empire
The Russian Empire was a state that existed from 1721 until the Russian Revolution of 1917. It was the successor to the Tsardom of Russia and the predecessor of the Soviet Union...

 on November 26, 1769 by Catherine the Great and had four degrees. It was abolished after the Russian Revolution of 1917
Russian Revolution of 1917
The Russian Revolution is the collective term for a series of revolutions in Russia in 1917, which destroyed the Tsarist autocracy and led to the creation of the Soviet Union. The Tsar was deposed and replaced by a provisional government in the first revolution of February 1917...

, but was re-established on March 2, 1994 by the government of the Russian Federation. During the Great Patriotic War, the Order of Glory
Order of Glory
Established on 8 November 1943, the Order of Glory was an Order of the Soviet Union. It was awarded to non-commissioned officers and rank-and-file of the armed forces, as well as junior lieutenants of the air force, for bravery in the face of the enemy.The Order of Glory, which was modelled...

, modeled after the Order of St. George, was awarded to the Soviet military. Similar insignia was born by the Soviet medal For the Victory Over Germany
Medal For the Victory Over Germany
The Medal For The Victory Over Germany In The Great Patriotic War 1941–1945 was one of the most widespread military decorations in the Soviet Union. 14,933,000 people were awarded this medal...



It is the highest military award of the Russian Federation, the highest decoration of all (military and civilian) being the Order of St. Andrew
Order of St. Andrew
The Order of St. Andrew the First-Called is the first and the highest order of chivalry of the Russian Empire.- Russian Empire :The Order was established in 1698 by Tsar Peter the Great, in honour of Saint Andrew, the first apostle of Jesus and patron saint of 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...

" is on the other hand the highest title
A title is a prefix or suffix added to someone's name to signify either veneration, an official position or a professional or academic qualification. In some languages, titles may even be inserted between a first and last name...

, marked by the award of a corresponding medal
A medal, or medallion, is generally a circular object that has been sculpted, molded, cast, struck, stamped, or some way rendered with an insignia, portrait, or other artistic rendering. A medal may be awarded to a person or organization as a form of recognition for athletic, military, scientific,...

. However, the Order of St. George remains the most exclusive: only 25 people have been awarded the 1st rank of the Order (see list below). Of these, there were only four Full Cavaliers.

Eligibility: military officers and generals only, for the display of highest valour and skills in the face of an exterior enemy. This criterion was carried forward when the award was first reinstated in the Russian Federation. However, the statute was amended to permit the award of the order to senior commanders involved in the 2008 Georgia-Russia Conflict. Non-commissioned officers and rank-and-file may receive the Cross of St. George
Cross of St. George
thumb|Original Cross of St. George.Ist and 2nd class were in gold.The Cross of St. George ', or simply the George's Cross, was, until 1913, officially known as the Sign of Distinction of the Military Order of St. George....

, also in four degrees worn on a chest ribbon. Normally a person initially received the fourth degree, and would gradually be promoted to higher degrees for subsequent acts of bravery.

List of recipients (1st degree)

  1. Empress Catherine the Great on November 26, 1769 (creating herself Grand Master
    Grand Master (order)
    Grand Master is the typical title of the supreme head of various orders of knighthood, including various military orders, religious orders and civil orders such as the Ancient Order of Hibernians and the Orange Order...

     of the Order upon its establishment)
  2. General en Chef
    General-in-Chief has been a military rank or title in various armed forces around the world.- France :In France, General-in-Chief was first an informal title for the lieutenant-general commanding over others lieutenant-generals, or even for some marshals in charge of an army...

     Count Pyotr Alexandrovich Rumyantsev
    The Rumyantsev family were Russian counts prominent in Russian imperial politics in the 18th and early 19th centuries. The family claimed descent from the boyar Rumyanets who broke his oath of allegiance and surrendered Nizhny Novgorod to Vasily I of Moscow in 1391.The first Rumyantsev to gain...

    -Zadunaysky on July 27, 1770 (capture of Kagula during the Russo-Turkish War, 1768-1774
    Russo-Turkish War, 1768-1774
    The Russo-Turkish War of 1768–1774 was a decisive conflict that brought Southern Ukraine, Northern Caucasus, and Crimea within the orbit of the Russian Empire.-Background:...

    ; a few days later he was promoted to Field Marshal
    Field Marshal
    Field Marshal is a military rank. Traditionally, it is the highest military rank in an army.-Etymology:The origin of the rank of field marshal dates to the early Middle Ages, originally meaning the keeper of the king's horses , from the time of the early Frankish kings.-Usage and hierarchical...

  3. General en Chef Count Aleksey Grigoryevich Orlov of Chesma on September 22, 1770 (Battle of Chesma
    Battle of Chesma
    The naval Battle of Chesma took place on 5 -7 July 1770 near and in Çeşme Bay, in the area between the western tip of Anatolia and the island of Chios, which was the site of a number of past naval battles between the Ottoman Empire and the Republic of Venice...

  4. General en Chef Count Petr Ivanovich Panin
    Petr Ivanovich Panin
    General Count Petr Ivanovich Panin , younger brother of Nikita Ivanovich Panin, fought with distinction in the Seven Years' War and in the Russo-Turkish War of 1768–1774, capturing Bender on September 26, 1770. In 1773–1775 he participated in suppressing Pugachev's rebellion. He died...

     on October 8, 1770 (capture of Bender
    Bender, Moldova
    Bender or Bendery, also known as Tighina is a city within the internationally recognized borders of Moldova under de facto control of the unrecognized Transnistria Republic since 1992...

  5. General en Chef Prince Vasili Vladimirovich Dolgorukov
    Prince Vasili Vladimirovich Dolgorukov
    Prince Vasili Vladimirovich Dolgorukov was a Russian commander and politician, promoted Field Marshal in 1728...

     of the Crimea on July 18, 1771 (capture of the Crimea
    Crimea , or the Autonomous Republic of Crimea , is a sub-national unit, an autonomous republic, of Ukraine. It is located on the northern coast of the Black Sea, occupying a peninsula of the same name...

  6. General Field Marshal Prince Grigori Alexandrovich Potemkin
    Grigori Alexandrovich Potemkin
    Prince Grigory Aleksandrovich Potemkin-Tavricheski was a Russian military leader, statesman, nobleman and favorite of Catherine the Great. He died during negotiations over the Treaty of Jassy, which ended a war with the Ottoman Empire that he had overseen....

     of the Tauride on December 16, 1788 (Siege of Ochakov
    Siege of Ochakov
    * Siege of Ochakov , first siege during Russo-Turkish War * Siege of Ochakov , second siege during Russo-Turkish War...

  7. General en Chef Count Alexander Vasilyevich Suvorov of Rymnik, later Prince of Italy, on October 18, 1789 (battle of the Rymnik during the Russo-Turkish War, 1787-1792; he was later promoted to General Field Marshal and later still, to Generalissimo
    Generalissimo and Generalissimus are military ranks of the highest degree, superior to Field Marshal and other five-star ranks.-Usage:...

  8. Admiral
    Admiral is the rank, or part of the name of the ranks, of the highest naval officers. It is usually considered a full admiral and above vice admiral and below admiral of the fleet . It is usually abbreviated to "Adm" or "ADM"...

     Vasili Yakovlevich Chichagov
    Vasili Chichagov
    Vasili Yakovlevich Chichagov was an admiral in the Russian Navy and an explorer. He was the father of Pavel Chichagov, a Russian admiral during the Napoleonic Wars.-Background:...

     on July 27, 1790 (battles of Reval
    Battle of Reval
    The naval Battle of Reval or took place on 13 May 1790 during the Russo-Swedish War , off the port of Reval .-Origins:...

     and Vyborg Bay
    Battle of Vyborg Bay
    The Battle of Viborg Bay was a naval battle fought between Russia and Sweden on July 4, 1790, during the Russo-Swedish War...

     during the Russo-Swedish War of 1788-1790).
  9. General en Chef Prince Nikolai Vasilyevich Repnin on July 15, 1791 (battle of Machin during the Russo-Turkish War of 1787-1792; he was later promoted to General Field Marshal).
  10. General Field Marshal Count (later Prince) Mikhail Illarionovich Kutuzov
    Mikhail Illarionovich Kutuzov
    Mikhail Illarionovich Golenishchev-Kutuzov was a Field Marshal of the Russian Empire. He served as one of the finest military officers and diplomats of Russia under the reign of three Romanov Tsars: Catherine II, Paul I and Alexander I...

     of Smolensk on December 12, 1812 (repelling Napoleon's invasion of Russia; Kutuzov was the first Full Cavalier of the Order).
  11. General of the Infantry, Count (later Prince) Michael Andreas Barclay de Tolly
    Michael Andreas Barclay de Tolly
    Prince Michael Andreas Barclay de Tolly , was a Russian Field Marshal and Minister of War during Napoleon's invasion in 1812 and War of the Sixth Coalition.-Early life:...

     on August 19, 1813 (Battle of Kulm
    Battle of Kulm
    The Battle of Kulm was a battle near the town Kulm and the village Přestanov in northern Bohemia. It was fought on 29–30 August 1813, during the War of the Sixth Coalition...

    ; he was later promoted to General Field Marshal).
  12. Crown Prince Charles John of Sweden
    Charles XIV John of Sweden
    Charles XIV & III John, also Carl John, Swedish and Norwegian: Karl Johan was King of Sweden and King of Norway from 1818 until his death...

     on August 30, 1813 (Battle of Dennewitz
    Battle of Dennewitz
    The Battle of Dennewitz took place on 6 September 1813 between the forces of the First French Empire and an army of Prussians and Russians of the Sixth Coalition. It occurred in Dennewitz, a village of Germany, in the Prussian province of Brandenburg, near Jüterbog, 40 km. S.W...

    , while in command of Russian forces).
  13. General Field Marshal (Prussia
    Prussia was a German kingdom and historic state originating out of the Duchy of Prussia and the Margraviate of Brandenburg. For centuries, the House of Hohenzollern ruled Prussia, successfully expanding its size by way of an unusually well-organized and effective army. Prussia shaped the history...

    ) Prince Gebhard Leberecht von Blücher
    Gebhard Leberecht von Blücher
    Gebhard Leberecht von Blücher, Fürst von Wahlstatt , Graf , later elevated to Fürst von Wahlstatt, was a Prussian Generalfeldmarschall who led his army against Napoleon I at the Battle of the Nations at Leipzig in 1813 and at the Battle of Waterloo in 1815 with the Duke of Wellington.He is...

     of Wahlstatt on October 8, 1813 (Battle of Leipzig
    Battle of Leipzig
    The Battle of Leipzig or Battle of the Nations, on 16–19 October 1813, was fought by the coalition armies of Russia, Prussia, Austria and Sweden against the French army of Napoleon. Napoleon's army also contained Polish and Italian troops as well as Germans from the Confederation of the Rhine...

  14. General Field Marshal (Austria
    Austria , officially the Republic of Austria , is a landlocked country of roughly 8.4 million people in Central Europe. It is bordered by the Czech Republic and Germany to the north, Slovakia and Hungary to the east, Slovenia and Italy to the south, and Switzerland and Liechtenstein to the...

    ) Prince Charles Philip of Schwarzenberg on October 8, 1813 (Battle of Leipzig; Schwarzenberg and Blücher were the first foreigners to be awarded the Order while not holding rank or command in the Russian service)
  15. General Field Marshal Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington
    Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington
    Field Marshal Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington, KG, GCB, GCH, PC, FRS , was an Irish-born British soldier and statesman, and one of the leading military and political figures of the 19th century...

     on April 28, 1814 (actions against the French in the course of the year; in 1815 he became Field Marshal of Russia).
  16. General of the Cavalry Levin August, count von Bennigsen
    Levin August, Count von Bennigsen
    Levin August Gottlieb Theophil , Count von Bennigsen was a German general in the service of the Russian Empire....

     on June 22, 1814 (actions against the French in the course of the year).
  17. Louis-Antoine, Duke of Angoulême
    Louis-Antoine, Duke of Angouleme
    Louis Antoine of France, Duke of Angoulême was the eldest son of Charles X of France and, from 1824 to 1836, the last Dauphin of France...

     on November 22, 1823 (intervention in Spain
    Battle of Trocadero
    The Battle of Trocadero, fought on 31 August 1823, was the only significant battle in the French invasion of Spain when French forces defeated the Spanish liberal forces and restored the absolute rule of King Ferdinand VII.-Prelude:...

  18. General Adjutant Count Ivan Fedorovich Paskevich
    Ivan Paskevich
    Ivan Fyodorovich Paskevich was a Ukrainian-born military leader. For his victories, he was made Count of Erivan in 1828 and Namestnik of the Kingdom of Poland in 1831...

     of Yerevan (later Prince of Warsaw) on July 27, 1829 (capture of Erzerum and victory in the Russo-Turkish War, 1828-1829
    Russo-Turkish War, 1828-1829
    The Russo–Turkish War of 1828–1829 was sparked by the Greek War of Independence. The war broke out after the Sultan, incensed by the Russian participation in the Battle of Navarino, closed the Dardanelles for Russian ships and revoked the Akkerman Convention....

    ; he was promoted to General Field Marshal a month later and was the fourth and the last Full Cavalier of the Order).
  19. General Adjutant Count Ivan Diebitsch-Zabalkansky on November 12, 1829 (victory in the Russo-Turkish War; he was later promoted to General Field Marshal).
  20. General Field Marshal (Austria, Russia) Count Joseph Radetzky on August 27, 1848 (recapture of Milan).
  21. Emperor Alexander II of Russia
    Alexander II of Russia
    Alexander II , also known as Alexander the Liberator was the Emperor of the Russian Empire from 3 March 1855 until his assassination in 1881...

     on November 26, 1869 (centennial of the Order)
  22. King Wilhelm I of Prussia on November 26, 1869 (centennial of the Order; he held a fourth-degree Order of St George for his actions during the war against Napoleon in 1814)
  23. General Field Marshal (Austria, Prussia and later, Russia) Archduke Albrecht of Austria on June 20, 1870 (Franco-Prussian War
    Franco-Prussian War
    The Franco-Prussian War or Franco-German War, often referred to in France as the 1870 War was a conflict between the Second French Empire and the Kingdom of Prussia. Prussia was aided by the North German Confederation, of which it was a member, and the South German states of Baden, Württemberg and...

  24. General Adjutant Grand Duke Michael Nicolaevich of Russia on October 9, 1877 (actions during the Russo-Turkish War, 1877–78; he was later promoted to Field Marshal).
  25. General Adjutant Grand Duke Nicholas Nicolaievich of Russia
    Grand Duke Nicholas Nicolaievich of Russia
    Grand Duke Nicholas Nikolaevich of Russia was the third son and sixth child of Tsar Nicholas I of Russia and Alexandra Feodorovna. He may also be referred to as Nicholas Nicolaievich the Elder to tell him apart from his son...

     the Elder on November 29, 1877 (capture of Pleven
    Pleven is the seventh most populous city in Bulgaria. Located in the northern part of the country, it is the administrative centre of Pleven Province, as well as of the subordinate Pleven municipality...

    ; he was later promoted to Field Marshal).

NOTE: all dates are Old Style.

See also

  • Awards and decorations of the Russian Federation
    Awards and decorations of the Russian Federation
    The award system of the Russian Federation has varied and distinct origins. The first being pre-1917 orders of the Russian Empire re-established after 1991. The second is from former Soviet orders that were slightly modified and kept after the USSR's collapse...

  • Order (decoration)
    Order (decoration)
    An order or order of merit is a visible honour, awarded by a government, dynastic house or international organization to an individual, usually in recognition of distinguished service to a nation or to humanity. The distinction between orders and decorations is somewhat vague, except that most...

  • Military decoration
    Military decoration
    A military decoration is a decoration given to military personnel or units for heroism in battle or distinguished service. They are designed to be worn on military uniform....

Further reading

  • Voennyĭ orden sviatogo velikomuchenika i pobedonostsa Georgiia: imennye spiski 1769 - 1920; biobibliograficheskiĭ spravochnik / otvetstvennyĭ sostavitel' V. M. Shabanov. Moskva 2004, ISBN 5-89577-059-2
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