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Republic of Abkhazia


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(Think this is the right section...)

The Republic of Abkhazia regards itself to be an independent state, and it is so recognised by a few other sovereign nations, but Georgia reckons it is a region of its own territory, albeit fairly autonomous. There has been contention - sometimes descending to outright brawling - ever since the dissolution of the USSR and Georgia's decision to become independent from the emerging Russian Federation.

Anyway, as they regard themselves as independent, they issue orders, decorations and medals. While information is hard to get, never mind pictures, this is where I have got to... I am sure some of you will be able to correct or expand upon what I have found out so far, and maybe even add to it.

First up is the Medal of Hero of Abkhazia. The title of ‘Hero of Abkhazia’ and its associated medal were instituted on 4 December 1992. It may be awarded to citizens and foreigners alike for individual or collective services to the Republic of Abkhazia and for acts of courage.

Drawing on the historic influences of Soviet ‘Hero’ titles and incorporating national symbols, the medal is worn on the left side of the chest above any other awards, and is always worn entire, not as a ribbon bar. The design consists of a gold eight-pointed star with diverging rays from the centre, overlain with a convex solar symbol and with a gemstone at the centre. On the reverse the inscription HERO OF ABKHAZIA appears in Abkhazian. The medal was designed by Valery Gamgia, and is 35mm from edge to edge.

The ribbon is striped horizontally, four green and three white stripes, mounted on a four-sided frame. It is always worn entire.

(Drat, the Abkhazian text is not rendering correctly... so I have taken it out for the time being.)

Edited by Megan
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Next up, the the Order of Honour and Glory, which was instituted on 10 January 2002, and is the highest Abkhazian Order. It is awarded in three classes to citizens of Abkhazia for outstanding services to the Republic, and may also be awarded to foreigners. A military unit or ship that particularly distinguishes itself may be awarded the distinction in a streamer of the colours of the order’s ribbon: red with narrow white edge stripes.

The first and second classes are worn as neck badges, whilst the third class is worn as a breast badge taking precedence over all other Abkhazian or foreign awards held.

The badge of the order consists of an eight-pointed star in the shape of a solar symbol, being 45mm wide. In the centre there is a red-enamelled disk 15mm in diameter bearing further solar symbols and surrounded by a circlet of laurel leaves and the words HONOUR-GLORY in Abkhazian. The reverse is plain with the recipient’s name and date of award engraved upon it for the first class, a serial number alone for the second and third classes. The badge for the first class is gold, silver with gold circlet for second class and completely in silver for the third class. Military awards bear crossed swords on the uppermost arm of the star – sources are unclear but it appears that swords are worn only on the second and third class badges. The insignia was designed by Levars Butba.

Normally awards are returned on promotion within the order, but an award with swords is retained if the higher award is without them. The first class is returned on the death of the holder, to be placed in the state museum, except in the case of awards to foreigners where – along with holders of lower classes – the insignia may be retained by the family.

Here is the first class insignia:

(Sorry, it's not a very good image and only of the obverse.) Next, the second class badge:

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The Order of Leon was instituted on 4 December 1992 in a single class to recognise acts of bravery and selfless courage prefromed by citizens of Abkhazia or foreigners in the interests of the Republic.

The insignia consists of a breast badge in the shape of a convex diamond made up of rays diverging from the centre. In the centre there is a gold depiction of King Leon mounted on a horse, hand upraised, surrounded by a red-enamelled circle bearing the word LEON above bronze laurels. Behind the badge are two crossed swords, hilts downward. Early examples had the hilts at the top but this was amended in accord with heraldic principles of indicating victory. The width of the badge is 85mm at its widest point. The reverse is plain, with a threaded stud and nut for affixing it to the clothing. The insignia was designed by Valery Gamgia.

The Order does not appear to have a ribbon associated with it.

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As far as I can tell, next in the order of precedence comes the Order of Courage, which was instituted in 2007 to mark acts of bravery, selflessness and courage, and other services, in the performace of military duty; and by Interior Ministry officials and customs officers.

No other information has been found (yet!).

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There is also a Medal for Bravery. This was instituted on 4 December 1992 for personal courage and bravery shown in battle against the enemies of the Republic of Abkhazia or in protecting the state border of the Republic of Abkhazia and for the performance of military duty under conditions involving a risk to life.

It is a bronze medal, 32mm in diameter. The obverse shows a horseman with a bow in his outstretched hand, and the reverse bears the word BRAVERY in Abkhazian and FOR BRAVERY in Russian in two horizontal rows.

The ribbon is three equal stripes of red, white and green.

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As far as I can tell, next in the order of precedence comes the Order of Courage, which was instituted in 2007 to mark acts of bravery, selflessness and courage, and other services, in the performace of military duty; and by Interior Ministry officials and customs officers.

No other information has been found (yet!).

Very interesting Thread Megan,

The offical site only lists the four Medals/Orders as State decorations though so no help there either =S http://www.apsny.ru/...agrada.htm#NGR1

Medal "Hero of Abkhazia''

Order of Leon

Medal "Valour''

Order of ''honour and glory'' ("AKHDZ-APSHA")

Regards Eddie

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Probably the same source that you already have,

Deputies of the Parliament of Abkhazia on the day of the victory in the Patriotic War of 1992-1993. established a new State award the ''order of courage."

The Chairman of the Committee on legislation,Vladimir Nacac said on October 11, 2007 which marks 15 years since the creation of the armed forces of the Republic of Abkhazia.

"The Republic is preparing to commemorate 15 years of victory the people of Abkhazia in the Patriotic War of 1992-1993 war, many participants, including members of the armed forces merit not awarded medals," he said. Order of courage will be rewarded with the soldiers for a particular courage, dedication and courage, others merit shown in the performance of military duty, as well as the police and customs officers.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Next up, the Medal for Distinction in Military Service

Few details have yet been found, but this appears to be the military long service and good conduct award, which comes in three classes.

The obverse shows the National Arms with a wreath below, whilst the reverse shows a trophy of arms upon which a shield displays a Roman numeral indicating which class the medal is. The ribbon is red with narrow yellow edges and one, two or three central narrow green stripes – the same pattern as was used in the Russian Federation for the equivalent medal 1995-2009.

First Class (20 Years):

Second Class (15 Years):

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Next the Medal "For Maintaining Peace in Abkhazia"

Little is known of this medal: it is believed to have been awarded to Russian Federation troops serving on peacekeeping duties in the region. There are indications that it may also have been awarded to Abkhazians involved in military action in support of claims for independence.

The obverse bears the words FOR MAINTAINING PEACE IN ABKHAZIA above a mountain range and the reverse shows the National Arms over a wreath.

The ribbon is dark blue with double narrow yellow central stripes, and red and yellow edges.

Again I'm searching for more details: date of institution, terms of award, Abkhazian name, etc.

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 1 month later...

Likewise I have found a medal 'For the Liberation of Kodor' - trouble is, Kodor doesn't appear on any map! There is a Kodor River in Abkhazia, so it may refer to that area or a settlement therein. No other details are as yet known, but here it is: -

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The last Abkhazian medal that I at least have a picture of is the Ministry of Internal Affairs Medal "For Valour in Service." I have not yet found out anything about it, though, but here's the picture:

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I have found a few other medals online which appear to be Abkhazian, but as of yet do not have pictures that I can use - found them on a Russian sales site :(

Still, I shall share what I have about them.

  • Medal for Military Cooperation - ribbon half orange with black edges, half green/white/red - obverse shows a handshake over crossed swords with a star above, reverse shows the arms of Abkhazia
  • Cross for Aid (or Help?) to Abkhazia - ribbon green with narrow black & white edge stripes - a white-enamelled cross with crossed swords between the arms, the obverse showing an eagle (bit like the Russian Federation Ministry of Defence badge) with the Abkhazian and Russian Federation flags enamelled in colour behind it, reverse plain metal
  • Medal for the Ministry of Defence of Abkhazia - ribbon orange with a narrow white central stripe and narrow black edges (the same as the Russian Federation Ministry of Defence Medal for Distinction in Combat) - obverse shows crossed swords below a star, reverse is the arms of Abkhazia
  • Medal of the Peacekeeping Mission in Abkhazia - ribbon black with 2 green stripes and narrow white edges - obverse shows a soldier in a helmet with his rifle slung over his shoulder looking at a palm tree beside water with a mountain range in the distance, reverse is the arms of Abkhazia

In the same section on this site there were 2 medals relating to South Ossetia. These might have been awarded by Abkhazia or to Abkhazians who helped fight in the South Ossetian cause.

  • Medal for Participation in Countering Aggression in South Ossetia - ribbon blue with a central white (or grey?) stripe - obverse is either mountains or a stylised map framed by 2 sprigs of laurel with the date 2008 below, reverse shows text reading 'For Participation in Countering Aggression in South Ossetia'
  • Cross for Aid to South Ossetia - ribbon 3 equal stripes of white, red and yellow - white enamelled cross with crossed swords between the arms, obverse shows an eagle like the Russian Federation Ministry of Defence one with coloured flags of South Ossetia and the Russian Federation behind it, the reverse is blank

Naturally, I am still ferreting around, but would appreciate any help that I can get!

Image credits for this thread so far are mostly Frank Dutil and Yuri Yashnev.

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Hmm... now found the Medal for Participation in Countering Aggression in South Ossetia, which appears to be an award of South Ossetia. Of course, Abkhanians might have received it, but I don't think it belongs here!

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