I am seeking info, opinions, ideas, anything to shed some light on a recent Decree of the President of the Russian Federation that has had me scratching my head for months now, and since my hair was already thinning quite nicely on its own... I've asked on a few Russian forums but opinions differ enough to cancel out any predominant train of thought.
Below are the seven State Commemorative medals of the Russian Federation issued to date.
Top row: 65 years of Victory, 60 years of Victory, 50 years of Victory.
Bottom row: 300 years of the Russian Navy, 300 years of St Petersburg, 1000 years of Kazan, 850 years of Moscow.
Presidential Decree 1099 dated September 7, 2010 states the following at para 3:
3. Establish that commemorative medals of the Russian Federation, awards established by federal authorities and other federal government agencies, public authorities of the Russian Federation, public and religious associations are not state awards of the Russian Federation.
Presidential Decree 1099 is a huge document that took me weeks to translate, it completely revamps the Russian (state) awards system. The gist of the para is pretty clear, commemoratives are NOT to be considered awards in the recognition/reward sense of the word, not a problem. I even understand why this was added to the decree. The highest awards of the Russian Federation often require any potential recipient to have previously been awarded state awards of a lower grade, because of the poorly written initial decrees on this subject, I can well imagine many actually ineligible candidates for high state awards pointing to the fact these "commemoratives" were in fact mentioned as "state awards"; and since many of these commemoratives were given (notice I didn't say "awarded") to very prominent citizens such as company CEOs and friends of politicians, I'm sure this problem arose more than a few times.
But here's the problem... These commemoratives are still established, produced and dished out under the authority of the state, yet the document (1099) makes no more mention of them at any point, to the extent of not even having them in the order of precedence! Even Presidential Decree 1631 of December 16, 2011 which officialised the new order of precedence of Russian Federation awards makes no mention of them.
Some are of the opinion, which I strongly disagree with, that these are gone, not to be worn anymore, history, finito... The shear numbers given, the depth of social strata involved make this idea completely inane IMHO.
But where would they now go on one's medal bar? State awards go in front of everything else, even the lowest state award goes in front of the highest ministerial award, but these aren't state awards anymore even though they still come from the state... They stay where they always were at the rear end of state awards (albeit with their new designation) or retreat to the far back with all of the other ministerial, departmental, regional, municipal commemoratives?
(Fetching some Aspirin...)