Order of Saint George
The Order of Saint George is the highest purely military decoration of the Russian Federation. Originally established November 26, 1769 by Empress Catherine the Great it was revived on August 8, 2000 by Decree №1463 of the President of Russia. The award criteria were amended on September 7, 2010 by Presidential Decree 1099.
The Order of Saint George is awarded to highest and senior military officers for the conduct of military operations to protect the Fatherland from attack by an external enemy which resulted in the complete defeat of the enemy, for the execution of combat and other operations in other states aimed at restoring international peace and security, or for being a model of military science with feats that exemplify military prowess; the Order is also conferred upon officers who were previously awarded state awards of the Russian Federation for distinction in combat.
The Order of Saint George is divided into four classes, from the First Class to the Fourth class; the highest degree being the Order First class. The four classes are awarded sequentially from the fourth to the first. These four classes are individually identified by the size and manner of wearing the two principal insignia of the Order, the cross and the star.
Cross: A white enamelled cross pattée with a central medallion bearing the image of Saint George on horseback slaying the dragon. The cross measures 60mm across in the case of the Order first class and is worn on a sash in the colours of Saint George (orange and black). The same 60mm cross is worn around the neck on a 45mm wide ribbon also in the colours of Saint George for the Order second class. The cross is 50mm across for the Order third class and is also worn around the neck but from a 24mm wide ribbon in the same colours. The Order fourth class is a 40mm cross worn on the left breast hanging from a pentagonal mount covered with a 24mm wide ribbon of Saint George.
Star: A four-pointed silver gilt star with a gold central medallion bearing the cipher of Saint George "SG" topped by a crown and surrounded by a black enamelled band bearing the motto of the order "For Service and Bravery". The star is worn on the left breast for both the Order first and second classes.
Ribbon: The ribbon of the Order of Saint George is 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 (black eagle on a golden background). It was subsequently associated to the colors of the Russian Guard units.