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Go Back   The Soviet Military Awards Page Forum > Soviet Awards Forums > Union Of Soviet Socialist Republics > Fake Alert! > Miscellaneous Questions

Miscellaneous Questions Anything else that doesn't fit into the Fake Alert Titles, Orders, Medals, or Documents sub-forums should be posted here.

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Old 09-04-2002, 12:11 PM   #1
Bill Dienna
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Could "original" Soviet awards still be made?

I recall hearing years ago that Communist east Germany, in need of "hard" western currency, had taken advantage of the desire of collectors for Third Reich material, and had assembled some of the original craftspeople to turn out very good copies of Third Reich insignia, in particular SS cufftitles. I never saw any proof of this, though.

However, recalling this story made me wonder about the possibility of the creation of Soviet awards by the current Russian government. Presumably the Moscow Mint still has the dies for any number of higher Soviet Orders and decorations. What would prevent the Russian government from producing (or reproducing) Soviet awards, with original dies and enameling techniques? They could be sent out of the country for quiet sale, with the result that a minimal investment of time and effort could generate a healthy bit of money. Even if this were done for no other purpose than, say, to provide operational funds for some of the activities of the Intelligence Service outside of Russia, it would still seem to be something that would be a profit-making venture.

Anyone think that there is a chance of this being done, or am I just being paranoid?
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Old 09-04-2002, 03:36 PM   #2
Kjetil Kvist
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Don't think so

We know that the russian mint from the emipre up to the soviet republic made minted coins from old dies for collectors. They are called novodels and is a area of collectors interest in it self. All the novodels made by the mint during the later years of the soviet republic is marked with an "H" (="N" for Novodel).

But I don't think that the russian mint would allow newer editions of soviet orders. Not unless they are very well marked, and probably only to replace orders on display in museums (I have never heard of any). Anyway any new production of any order would be very costly. An Alexander Nevskij would cost far more than "second hand" exaples is sold for (The gilding and enamel work is in itself very costly). I would beleive that this would be true for most other of the higher orders too: Suvorov, Kutuzov and the others. A Order of the Patriotic War would cost several times it's market value. The profits would be very slim and they would have risked their reputation.

Forgeries is quite something else. But they should be detectable for experienced collectors.
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Old 09-09-2002, 12:12 PM   #3
Nota Bene
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Gentlemen,

The answer is a big NO, it's against the Russian law. Even copies that differ in size, design, or material, are illegal.

Alexei
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Old 10-28-2003, 08:01 PM   #4
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Russian rule of law - NOT!

Come on, Alexei!

It's against Russian law for Russian generals to sell AKs and other equipment, but they are still doing it to give themselves decent pensions. And it's against the law (and good sense) for Russian BB troops to sell weapons and ammo to the Chechens, but they are still doing it.

Can't you imagine a little informal night shift going on at the mint? You just need the key, a lookout, and the babushi to do the enamel.

One thing about long lasting distatorhips is that when they fall, it takes a very substantial time to re-eastblish the rule of law and in some cases, as in Latin America, it never fully develops. Spain is an example of real success within ten years, Russia is making progress, but success is not within its grasp quite yet.

Dr. Bob
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Old 10-28-2003, 09:06 PM   #5
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Dr. Bob,

The security in a Russian mint rivals any of the west!

It would take far too many people on the take to even consider this feat.

Rusty.
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Old 10-28-2003, 10:52 PM   #6
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Mint security

Rusty:

Must be the only secure place in the whole country. Their nukes certainly are not that safe.

But my main point was that just because it was against the law to be putting out fakes is hardly encouraging given the climate of every-man-for-himself today in Russia.

I have many personal stories of consulting for Russian businesses on privatization schemes of companies putting out fake everything. I once challenged a CEO who was producing running shoes that said "made in Italy" on he bottom. He just laughed and said "don't you Americans have an expression, the customer is always right? We're just giving them what they want." When I reminded him that what he was doing was against an international agreement to which the Russian government was a signatory, he just laughed and said "well, let them arrest me then."

Dr. Bob
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Old 10-29-2003, 12:04 AM   #7
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Mint security

Dr. Bob,

sure, you could argue the point of Russian generals selling weapons to the Chechens and nukes to the highest bidder, but that is not a good argument.

You are basically arguing that criminal activity takes place in the military forces and comparing that to the work that the mint (a governmental institution) does.

It has been a long tradition that the general was considered a Master of sorts in the land where his troops were stationed, hence he could do (almost) anything he chose to with his "business".

The Mints are a bit different... I recall hearing the stories of people being weighed in before and after a shift so to keep track of any "unusual fluctuations". The Mints were always well protected, and as Rusty stated that kind of security could parallel their Western counterparts.

So yes, criminal activity does exist even on the higher governmental levels, however it would take a lot to have the Mint produce old Soviet Orders from the old dyes.

Eric
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Old 10-29-2003, 02:19 PM   #8
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Government run versus military

ERic:

Not to prolong this beyond its natural life, but Russian government institutions are certainly more corrupt than the military, It's just that the military sells stuff that makes really big bangs. From the word of friends and from reading the Russian press, I would say that the most dangerous criminal group right now is the police. A government institution that you would think would be better supervized. Another is the customs service.

I will take your word that the mint is highly secure; you've obviously observed it first hand. I have not.

My point really is that because something is against Russian law, as Alexei says that faking is, does not mean it won't happen. The police enforce "selectively," the courts adjudicate haphazardly, and the population sees this activity as acceptable. It is a sociological problem as much as a legal one and has roots both in traditional Russian culture as well as 70 years of communist rule.

And, as collectors, we HAVE to believe the mint is secure.

Poka, Dr. Bob
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Old 10-30-2003, 06:24 PM   #9
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Re: Government run versus military

Dr. Bob,

When did I ever say that? And please read the original question, which was about "original" Soviet awards.

It's an off-topic, but I am a little curious, what brought you to the conclusion that the Government in Russia is "certainly" more corrupt than the military? I am also intrigued about your statement that the police is the most dangerous criminal group right now.

Alexei


Quote:
Originally posted by skipper1939
ERic:
My point really is that because something is against Russian law, as Alexei says that faking is, does not mean it won't happen.

Poka, Dr. Bob
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Old 10-30-2003, 07:28 PM   #10
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Russian corruption

Privyet Alexei:

I really don't want to get into a polemic about this. I have worked in the Soviet Union and Russia for thrity years. I have lots of friends in responsible positions in the government and the ministry of defense. I am really only saying what they tell me.

Do you read Gazeta.ru? If not, do so today and read about only the latest enormous police "protection" scandal. Or the raping detectives. Nobody I know in Moscow would call the police to help solve a burglary. They would just expect to have more stuff stolen.

If none of this meets your reality test, perhaps we should correspond privately.

Sorry to have used your name. I think that we are misunderstanding each other.

Poka,

Dr. Bob
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