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PM Modi conferred with Russia’s Highest Civilian Honour Order of St. Andrew

Context: Prime Minister Narendra Modi was awarded Russia’s highest civilian honour, the Order of Saint Andrew the Apostle.

Russia’s Highest Civilian Honour: Order of St. Andrew

Purpose of the Award

  • Given to prominent government and public figures, military leaders, and outstanding representatives of science, culture, art, and various sectors of the economy.
  • Also awarded to heads of foreign states for exceptional services to the Russian Federation.

Historical Background

  • Named after Saint Andrew, one of Jesus’s 12 apostles, who travelled to Russia, Greece, and other regions, founding the Church of Constantinople, which led to the Russian Orthodox Church.
  • Saint Andrew is the patron saint of Russia and Scotland.
  • The ‘X’ symbol on the Scottish flag, called the ‘Saltire,’ is derived from his symbol, representing his crucifixion on a cross of similar shape.

Order of St. Andrew conferred upon PM Modi_4.1

Establishment and Abolition

  • Established by Tsar Peter the Great in 1698.
  • The chain of the Order consists of 17 alternating links, featuring a gilded image of the State Emblem of the Russian Federation, a double-headed eagle.
  • It includes a badge, star, and light blue silk moire ribbon. For combat distinction, the badge and star are adorned with swords.
  • Abolished in 1918 following the Russian Revolution and re-established in 1998 by a Presidential Executive Order.

Notable Russian Recipients

  • Military engineer and gun designer Mikhail Kalashnikov.
  • Author Sergey Mikhalkov.
  • The last leader of the Soviet Union, Mikhail Gorbachev.
  • Russian Orthodox Church leaders Patriarch Alexy II and the current head, Patriarch Krill.

Notable Foreign Recipients

  • Chinese President Xi Jinping in 2017.
  • Former President of Kazakhstan, Nursultan Nazarbayev.

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