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Old 08-13-2012, 06:54 AM   #1
CtahhR
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Medal "300 Years Of The Poltava Battle".

Here is the Medal "300 Years Of The Poltava Battle". It is unknown who issued it but it borrows the ribbon from the Medal "200 Years Of The MVD". The recipients of this are also unknown as there were few veterans of the battle in 2009.
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Old 08-13-2012, 07:21 AM   #2
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Re: Medal "300 Years Of The Poltava Battle".

I am left wondering as to how many of these post-Soviet neo-Tsarist things (and even some of the departmental awards) are nothing more than the creations of enterprising capitalists who make something and then engender a market. In other words, that they aren't awards with any purpose other than increasing the cash balance of the maker.

How similar are they to the private "commemorative" medals that have proliferated in the US and UK or the "pay me and I'll award you the insingiae" that we see with those so-called "international orders": no more than viagra awards?
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Old 08-13-2012, 07:49 AM   #3
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Re: Medal "300 Years Of The Poltava Battle".

That is a very difficult question to answer. There certainly is no simple single answer.

When it comes to National, Ministerial and Departmental commemoratives for events such as 100 or 200 years of this or that the recipients have to have shown service and distinction to whatever it is being celebrated.
Some of the organisational awards are very obvious in nature, attempting to bring attention to or reward participants of something. Other organisations are "funds" that are out to make money available for positive and productive projects. Some organisations are a bit more spurious and then of course there will be bits produced just for the sake of making a quick buck and helping someone get a big rack.

The problem with the spectrum of Russian Federation items is in tarring them all with the same brush. Each award and awarding organisation needs to be approached differently. Some of these awards are authorised for wear on service uniforms and some just look wrong on anyone's chest. S. Umalatova has probably gotten then most attention of all the unofficial award issuers but at the same time her "organisation" has also been acting illegally on top of continuing to "award" Soviet awards to really draw attention. I am sure some of the "organisations" have worked in a selfless and legal manner which doesn't attract attention. Comparison to western organisations could be those such as the "Veterans Of Foreign Wars", National Trade Unions, County and city authorities and on the "bad" end of the scale the Franklin Mint.

Items such as I have been presenting here recently are more for educational purposes than anything else. Some of these unofficial awards have not previously received any English (and sometimes Russian) language coverage and there is no doubt that they will be padding out legitimate service veteran groups in the future (as well as some of those of the recent past).

In this "Unofficial" section I wouldn't be surprised if a few did turn out to be official but only a very few. Apart from that, these items are fun if you enjoy the "stamp collecting" approach - remembering that there is no chance of anyone being able to collect them all.

For me, I collect them in an attempt to understand Russia more - a difficult task. Noticing what is and is not worth commemorating is of cultural value and all these shiny bits of metal have considerably different meanings to different people. Some events and people are commemorated time and time again but some events and people are completely "forgotten".

The enigma of Russia.
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Old 08-13-2012, 08:15 AM   #4
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Re: Medal "300 Years Of The Poltava Battle".

Well said. Moreover, these things exist. We won't know whether their main interest is phaleristic in nature or whether it is sociological, psychological, or economic and this and they will remain enigmatic until we know more, much more. And recording them is an important first step.

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Old 08-13-2012, 08:43 AM   #5
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Re: Medal "300 Years Of The Poltava Battle".

That's what I've always thought. As I've said before, we here today are very close to these "awards" chronologically. Some of the items that were seemingly everywhere 4-5 years ago have now totally disappeared from the market so the chance for many may have gone. There is the problem that not only do we not know who are creating and issuing these items we have no clue in what numbers. Some of the items I have presented may have been made in 10's or 100,000's it is almost impossible to know. Some of the more obscure and less desirable commemoratives not only do not have large numbers of veterans to be awarded but also such a marginal commercial appeal that it wouldn't be profitable to make them far beyond demand and margins.

There is also a GIANT difference in prices different organisations who sell these require. Some times just having participated (and paid your membership or participation fee) may entitle you to the award which may or may not come with paperwork, setting you back just time and a few roubles. Other organisations ask for hundreds or thousands of dollars for a similar sized piece of metal which can be awarded to you by name (even numbered or engraved) for no reason other than having filled in the form and handed over the money.

Such a minefield!
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