The St. George's Cross
The highest Russian military honor, was established in Russia in 1769. The decoration was awarded to officers and generals for outstanding gallantry in combat. Later, since 1807, this military distinction was conferred on soldiers and subalterns in recognition of their distinguished courage on the battlefield.
Until 1913, the St. George Cross was officially referred to as “a Military Decoration Sign of Distinction”. In 1913, the decoration was named the St. George Cross, four different degrees being introduced. No other award represented a more eloquent symbol of combat valor: the St. George Cross was the most honorable and revered sign of battle bravery.
It is worth a mention that in addition to the well-known privileges, a holder of all the four degrees was entitled to stay seated in the presence of the Czar, whilst the rest of those present, including the Czar’s brothers, had to reverently bow down, not daring to take a seat.
Incidentally, Nicolas I had long been dreaming of a St. George Cross but had never been awarded the decoration. Hundreds of Ossetia’s redoubtable sons – high-ranking officers and lower ranks – became holders of this high sign of distinction. Regrettably, the military biographies of our fellow-Ossetians who were awarded the St.George Cross have largely been lost. Hundreds of generals, colonels and other ranks were conferred the Russian decoration upon for their taking part in the Danube and Russian-Japanese wars, WWI…
Dzambolat Tserekov, a native of the Kurta gorge, served in the Irregular Terek Mountaineer Regiment. His courage was admired. The hero’s chest was adorned with four St. George Crosses, other decorations, medals…. The haft of his saber was embellished with a combat valor cross. One of Dzabolat’s sons – Salamgeri, took part in the Russian-Japanese war and was awarded two St. George Crosses. The holder of four St. George Crosses was Elzariko Gazdanov from the village of Olginskoye. The list of the Ossetians who were awarded the St. George Cross four times includes Safron Kudzagov, Soslanbek Agnaev, Timofey Dzakhov, Fedor Dzabraev, Bimbolat Nakusov….