The statute of the Order of Saint George was passed on August 8 2000 by a Presidential decree in order to improve the system of state decoration. The decree came into force on the date of signing.
The Order of Saint George was originally established on November 26, 1769 by Catherine II to distinguish officers in the battle field. It was abolished after the October Revolution in 1917 and in 1992 the Supreme Body of the Russian Federation made a decision to restore the Order. The statute of the restored Order was confirmed on August 8, 2000 by a Presidential decree. The Order of Saint George is the highest military award of the Russian Federation.
The Order of Saint George is awarded to senior and higher officers for military operations of protection of the Fatherland against an exterior enemy, which ended by a full defeat of the enemy, and which became a model display of the military art, and whose feats are an example of valor and courage for all generations of defenders of the Fatherland, and who have been awarded with state awards of the Russian Federation for having distinguished themselves in the operations.
There are four degrees of the Order. 1st degree is the highest. The Order of the First and Second degrees has a sign and a star, and that of the Third and Fourth degrees has only a sign. It is awarded subsequently, from the lowest, to the highest degree. For immortalization, the surnames, names and patronymics of the awarded are recorded on the marble boards in the Saint George’s Hall of the Big Kremlin Palace in Moscow.
On August 13, 2008 in connection with the war in South Ossetia, the status of the Order was changed. Now it can also be awarded for fighting and other operations in territory of other states for maintaining or restoring international peace and security.
Lit.: Об утверждении Статута ордена Святого Георгия, Положения о знаке отличия — Георгиевском Кресте и их описаний: Указ Президента РФ от 08. 08. 2000. N 1463 [Электронный ресурс] // Президент России. Б. д. URL: document.kremlin.ru/doc.asp?ID=3023&PSC=1&PT=3&Page=1; Орден Святого Георгия [Электронный ресурс] // Государственные награды России. 1999. URL: http://award.adm.gov.ru/orden/orden_13.htm;.
From the Presidential library materials: