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Russian Order of Courage (posthumously): Who Are The Real Heroes Of Russia

The Orden of Courage (in Russian: Орден Мужества, Orden Muzhestva) is a state decoration of the Russia Federation which recognizes selfless acts of courage and valor of the Russian citizens and foreign nationals. Since the establishment of the Order on March 2, 1994, about 90.000 people became recipients of that particular decoration, many of them were decorated posthumously. Their stories are all different, but the courage, selflessness, and sacrifice of these real life heroes are equally significant and of great importance for all people around the world.

Zhenya Tabakov

Zhenya Tabakov's tomb / Zhenya Tabakov

On the 28th of November, 2008, Zhenya and his elder 12-year-old sister Yana were home alone. Suddenly, someone rang the bell. It was an unknown for the children man who said he was a postman and he had a registered letter for their mother. The children replied that there was no adult person at home, and the criminal went away. A few minutes later he came back and asked the girl to sign for her mother. Without suspecting anything, Zhenya and Yana opened the door. The man entered the apartment, closed the door and took out a knife. Then he grabbed the girl and ordered to give him all the money and jewellery they had. Having learnt that the children didn’t know where money and jewellery were, the criminal said to Zhenya to find it dragging Yana to the bathroom and tearing her cloths.

It took Zhenya less than a second to realise what was going on: the boy rushed to the kitchen, took a knife and stabbed it in the criminal’s small of the back. Infuriated, the man left the girl and attached Zhenya. He stabbed the boy in the back eight times. Meanwhile, Yana rushed out of the apartment to call neighbours. Her grid and noises made the criminal run away. Zhenya died on the same day. He was only 7 years old. Zhenya Tabakov is the youngest recipient of the Order of Courage in Russia.

Danil Sadykov

It happened on the 5 of May, 2012. A 9-year-old boy jumped into a fountain to take the plastic bottle he dropped. Suddenly, he got electrocuted, lost consciousness and fell into the water. Everyone was calling for help, but the only person to come to the boy’s rescue was 12-year-old Danil Sadykov, who at the moment was passing by on his bike. He pulled the boy out of the water but got electrocuted himself. Danil Sadikov died before the ambulance came. The young hero was decorated with the Order of Courage posthumously.

Yevgeny Rodionov

Yevgent Rodionov, Andrey TRusov, Alexandr Zheleznov, Igor Yakovlev

Yevgeny Rodionov was born on May 23, 1977. At the age of 18 he was drafted by the border troops. A year later, Evgeny was deployed to Chechnya. Together with three other soldiers, on the 14 of February, 1996, he went to mount guard over the road. During the watch, the soldiers stopped an ambulance and discovered that there was brigade general of Chechen Republic of Ichkeria Ruslan Khaikhoroev and several mercenaries who were transporting weapons. The soldiers were attached and taken prisoners. When they were discovered to be missing, they were initially announced as deserters. Military police came to Rodionov’s mother to search for her missing son, but after the examination of the place the soldiers disappeared from it was established that the missing soldiers had been kidnapped. Rodionov was said to remove the silver cross he wore and convert to Islam, but he refused to do it. After 100 days of imprisonment and torture, Yevgeny Rodionov was again ordered to remove the cross and accept Islam. He refused again. On the day of his 19th birthday, the 23th of May,  1996, Yevgeny Rodionov was beheaded on the outskirts of the Chechen village Bamut. Later the terrorists extorted money from his mother in exchange for the information about the location of his corpse. Yevgeny Rodionov was posthumously awarded the Russian Order of Courage. There was a growing movement within the Russian Orthodox Church to canonize him as a Christian saint and martyr for faith, and several prayers were composed.

Abdurashid Nurbagandov

Abdurashid Nurbagandov, Magomed Nurbagandov

On the 9 of July, 2016, Abdurashid was out for a picnic together with his relatives, not far from the village of Sergokal, Dagestan. Early in the morning, several armed men came up to their camp and began to wake the people up. Abdurashid was shot dead after the attempt to defend his younger brother hit by one of the men. Abdurashid Nurbagandov was decorated with the Order of Courage posthumously. But Abdurashid was not the only hero of the tragedy. A moment later, the men discovered that Abdurashid’s cousin, Magomed Nurbagandov, was a policeman. They pushed him into the boot and, having rode away from the previous place, shot him dead. The men declared themselves ISIS recruits. They filmed the murder and posted the video on one of the extremist websites, having cut out an episode. Later, during the investigation, the whole video was restored. Before killing Magomed Nurbagandov, the terrorists forced him to call upon his colleagues to quit the job. Instead, the brave policeman said, ‘Keep on working, brothers!’. Magomed Nurbagandov was awarded the title Hero of Russia.

Dmitry Makovkin

Dmitry Makovkin's portrait, the Volgograd railway station after the terrorist attack

Dmitry Makovkin was a senior sergeant of the Russian Police Forces who saved dozens of people at the Volgograd railway station on December 29, 2013. That day he was working at the metal detectors. Dmitry Makovkin noticed a woman, whose behaviour seems suspicious. He came up to her to check the documents. The woman got nervous and rushed through the entrance, but Makovkin blocked her way. A second later, the bomb exploded. The woman appeared to be a suicide-bomber but Makovkin’s selfless and quick actions made the bomb explode before the woman got through the entrance, which helped to avoid more victims. Still, the bomb took 18 lives, but if it were not for Dmitry Makovkin, victims would have been much more numerous.

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