|Order of Lenin|
Order of Lenin, Type 4 awarded from 1943 to 1991
|Awarded by the Soviet Union|
|Eligibility||Citizens of the Soviet Union; foreigners; institutions, enterprises and collectives|
|Status||No longer awarded (the very last award date 1991)|
|Established||April 6, 1930|
|First awarded||May 23, 1930|
|Last awarded||December 21, 1991|
|Next (higher)||Hero of the Soviet Union|
|Next (lower)||Order of the October Revolution|
Ribbon of the Order of Lenin
The Order of Lenin (Russian: Орден Ленина, romanized: Orden Lenina, pronounced [ˈordʲɪn ˈlʲenʲɪnə]), named after the leader of the Russian October Revolution, was established by the Central Executive Committee on April 6, 1930. The order was the highest civilian decoration bestowed by the Soviet Union. The order was awarded to:
From 1944 to 1957, before the institution of specific length of service medals, the Order of Lenin was also used to reward 25 years of conspicuous military service. Those who were awarded the titles "Hero of the Soviet Union" and "Hero of Socialist Labour" were also given the order as part of the award. It was also bestowed on cities, companies, factories, regions, military units and ships. Corporate entities, various educational institutions and military units who received the said Order applied the full name of the order into their official titles.
The first design of the Order of Lenin was sculpted by Pyotr Tayozhny and Ivan Shadr based on sketches by Ivan Dubasov. It was made by Goznak of silver with some lightly gold-plated features. It was a round badge with a central disc featuring Vladimir Lenin's profile surrounded by smokestacks, a tractor and a building, possibly a power plant. A thin red-enamelled border and a circle of wheat panicles surrounded the disc. At the top was a gold-plated "hammer and sickle" emblem, and at the bottom were the Russian initials for "USSR" (Russian: СССР) in red enamel. Only about 800 of this design were minted. It was awarded between 1930–1932.
The second design was awarded from 1934 until 1936. This was a solid gold badge, featuring a silver plated disc bearing Lenin's portrait. The disc is surrounded by two golden panicles of wheat, and a red flag with "LENIN" in Cyrillic script (Russian: ЛЕНИН). A red star is placed on the left and the "hammer and sickle" emblem at the bottom, both in red enamel.
The fourth design was awarded from 1943 until 1991. Design was same as previous, but was worn as a medal suspended from a ribbon (all previous were screwback).
The badge was originally worn by screwback on the left chest without ribbon. Later it was worn as a medal suspended from a red ribbon with pairs of yellow stripes at the edges (see image above). The ribbon bar is of the same design. The portrait of Lenin was originally a riveted silver piece. For a time it was incorporated into a one-piece gold badge, but finally returned as a separate platinum piece until the dissolution of the USSR in 1991.
The first Order of Lenin was awarded to the newspaper Komsomolskaya Pravda on 23 May 1930. Also among the first ten recipients were five industrial companies, three pilots, and the Secretary to the Central Executive Committee Avel Enukidze. The first person to be awarded a second Order of Lenin was the pilot Valery Chkalov in 1936. Another pilot, Vladimir Kokkinaki, became the first to receive a third Order in 1939.
431,418 orders were awarded in total, with the last on 21 December 1991.