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Rick Research

Victory 1945-2005

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The Soviet Union issued THREE Victory Medals for 1945:

Victory Over Germany for military personnel,

Labor Victory for civilian workers,

and

Victory Over Japan for military personnel (but in degraded precedence as a lesser campaign medal rather than on parity with the "Germany")

Every ten years, from 1965, the Soviet (and from 1995, national) government issued commemorative victory jubilee medals. The 1965 was granted to all armed services personnel on duty then, as well as WW2 veterans. The 1975 and 1985 jubilee medals were issued in military and labor versions. The 1995 was a common design, with award booklets issued by the relevant Republican governments-- all I have seen are the Ukrainian issue.

What, if anything, was just offically issued for the anniversary yesterday I do not know.

The Ministry of Defense also issued a small official WW2 veterans' badge on the 25th anniversary, in 1970. This little badge was worn on the right side, rather than the left.

While all these awards from 1965 on are basically "clutter," issued in decreasing numbers as the veterans die out, they do serve, in groups, as indicators of the physical longevity of Soviet citizens who survived the viciousness of the 1920s, the madness of the 1930s, the horror of the 1940s, the fear of the 1950s, the rising hopes of the 1960s, the urgent drives of the 1970s, the decay of the 1980s, and collapse of the 1990s.

Here as an illustrative example of A Soviet Life are the WW2 Victory awards of ONE man, air force Major General of Engineer Technical Branch Dmitry Fedorovich Petukhov:

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The documents for his 1945 Victory Over Germany Medal, and beneath the small and usually flimsy MoD 1970 Jubilee (as a general officer, his was backed with thick mock blue leatherette), his 1965 Medal.

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By 1975 General Petukhov had apparently retired, as was normal Soviet pattern for men not yet 60 "in the reserves." His 1975 and 1985 Jubilee medal documents:

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And finally, his Ukrainian issue 1995. I obtained his extensive group in 1996, so I assume the General had died in the interim.

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While it was certainly possible for someone to have earned all THREE 1945 Victory Medals, for consecutive service (and that makes me wonder if they "double dipped" for BOTH versions of 1975 and 1985), this is the only PAIR I have encountered for SIMULTANEOUS service--

Comrade Pavel Kuz'mich Grinenko was no teenager who worked in an armaments factory and then went into the Red Army-- he was ALREADY a serving officer of State Security who went on for long years in the "wild west" around Lvov after the war (partisan country well through the 1950s) in railways security, retiring as a Lieutenant Colonel.

Here is his LABOR Victory, as issued by the Kremenchug City PolCom, and his Germany, issued by the Deputy Minister of Ukrainian State Security. (Grinenko only had the MILITARY types 1975 and 1985, BTW)

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Rick

This all seems rather complicated, it must be a nightmare to administrate the issue of these medals !

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Indeed it was! For a totalitarian regime, the Soviet Union's archival system seems to have been a Byzantine jigsaw puzzle without any design on either side of the pieces!

Luckily, as far as the constant series of "jubilee" awards from 1965 was concerned, medals were issued by current units for serving personnel, and at the local Veterans Commissariat where an old soldier lived. To get a "1995," for instance, it was as simple as showing PREVIOUS award documents for an automatic upgrade. I've got one-- someplace in my own Byzantine maze-- where an authorization stamp shows approval based on proof of having a 1945 Victory.

Here are the front and back of the 1995 Victory Jubilee Medal. Like most medals from the 1960s, it was made at the Leningrad Mint, and bears tiny letters :LMD" stamped on the suspension ring.

IS there an OFFICIAL (not "alternate issue" 2005?)

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