On 20 March 1992 under the Law of the Russian Federation ‘On establishment of the title of Hero of the Russian Federation and the special decoration – the ‘Golden Star’ medal was established and put into effect the highest honorary title of Russia – the Hero of the Russian Federation.
The title is awarded by the President of the Russian Federation ‘for services to the state and people implying a heroic deed’. Those conferred with the title are awarded with the ‘Golden Star’ medal (which bar bears the colors of the national flag; that is its difference from the former Star of the Hero of the Soviet Union), a letter of commendation and a certificate on the conferment of the Russian Federation Hero title.
For the first time the title of the Hero of RF was awarded on April 11, 1992 to Pilot-Cosmonaut S. K. Krikalyev who had made a space flight on the board of ‘Mir’ orbital station which had lasted for 312 days and to Major-General S. S. Oskanov (posthumously) who died while conducting a night flight.
A major group of Heroes of Russia is represented by the soldiers of the Great Patriotic War who were not awarded for their deeds for some reason or other with the stars of the Hero of the Soviet Union. The first to receive the title in 1994 were three female war veterans, two of them posthumously: secret service woman V. D. Voloshina and a flight commander E. V. Budanova. And the third title was given to L. I. Shulaykina who fought in assault aircraft of Baltic Navy.
Some of the awards were given for the exploits accomplished after the war which were neither awarded with the highest award of the USSR.
As at the beginning of 2011, there are over 970 holders of the title of the RF Hero. Over 440 of them were awarded posthumously.
Lit.: Об установлении звания Герой Российской Федерации и учреждении знака особого отличия — медали «Золотая Звезда». 20 марта 1992 г. № 2553-I // Ведомости Съезда народных депутатов и Верховного Совета Российской Федерации. 2 апреля 1992 г., (№ 14), ст. 719; Указ Президента Российской Федерации от 7 сентября 2010 г. № 1099 «О мерах по совершенствованию государственной наградной системы Российской Федерации» // Российская газета. 15 сентября. 2010.