Group of 6 Decorations, 7 Award Documents and Documented
Table Medal to Police Lieutenant General Konstantin
Order of the Red Banner of Labor, #1010536; Order of
Badge of Honor, #350232; Order of the Red
Star, #572219; Medal for the Defense of Moscow;
Medal for Distinguished Service in Guarding the USSR
State Border; Medal for Distinguished Service in
Protecting the Public Order.
Details and Condition of the Decorations:
Order of the Red Star is Type 6 Variation 1 (Strekalov
classification), in silver and enamel; measures 45.6 mm
tall, 47.2 mm wide; weighs 24.9 g without the screw plate.
This is the earliest version of the Type 6 which followed
the screw post base variation. Manufactured in 1944 at the
Moscow Mint. Note also the characteristically pointy shape
of the star. Also features straight mint mark approx. 8 mm
in width, flared edges of the star and a barely noticeable
depression on the reverse at the joining of the lower arms.
In very fine to excellent condition. There is a tiny surface
flake to the top arm and some very minor scratches
elsewhere, but the enamel is free of significant wear and
shows magnificent luster. The center medallion is
practically pristine, with exceptionally crisp details and
beautiful dark patina. Matching dark patina to the reverse.
The screw post is full length, approx. 11.5 mm. Comes with
original screw plate in silver which shows dark patina
matching that on the badge itself.
Order of the Red Banner of Labor is Type 6 Variation 2;
silver gilt, enamels; measures
48.0 mm tall (incl. the eyelet), 37.1 mm wide. In excellent
condition. The enamel and details are perfect. Very
attractive dark patina to silver on both sides. The
connecting link is original and hasn't been cut. This and
the other suspension type decorations come on a single five-
place aluminum suspension with relatively recent ribbons.
Order of the Badge of Honor is Type 4, Variation 1.
Silver gilt, enamels;
49.8 mm tall (incl. eyelet), 33.0 mm wide. Features
separately applied letters "CCCP" one of which is missing.
Otherwise excellent, with untouched enamel, perfect details
and dark patina matching that on the other awards. The
connecting link is original and hasn't been cut.
Medal for Distinguished Service in Guarding USSR State
Border is Variation 1 in solid silver; measures
32.2 mm in width; weighs 21.3 grams without suspension and
connecting link. Sub-variation with rounded profile of the
eyelet. In outstanding, excellent condition. Dark patina
matches the other medals. The connecting link is original
and hasn't been cut.
Medal for Distinguished Service in Protecting the Public
Order is Var. 2. in nickel silver with silver plating.
32.1 mm in diameter, weighs 15.5 g. Excellent condition. The
finish and details are perfect. The connecting link is
original and has not been cut.
Medal for the Defense of Moscow is Variation 2
("Voenkomat" version); in brass, 32.0 mm wide. Excellent
Order Booklet, issued on 25 November 1947. Shows single
entry for the Order of the Red Star awarded in April 1944
(corresponding with the May 1944 date for the start of
Order Booklet, 30 April 1976 issue; shows single entry
for the Order of Red Banner of Labor awarded on 12 March
Order Booklet, 11 October 1965 issue; shows single entry
for Order of Badge of Honor awarded on 27 July 1965;
Order Booklet for a 1985 Order of the Patriotic War 1st
cl. #529775 (the order is not included with the group);
Award Certificate for the Border Guard Medal showing a
27 May 1958 date of the award decree. Hand-signed by Deputy
Minister of MGB Deputy Chairman Maj. General Grigoryev.
Award Certificate for the Protection of Public Order
Medal showing a 25 June 1971 date of the award decree.
Award Certificate for the Medal for the Defense of
Moscow, issued on 27 June 1985. Hand-signed by Military
Commissar of Georgia Maj. Gen. Sharashenidze. The Moscow
medal document shows minor stains on the front cover and
light wear along the edges, very good to excellent overall.
The other award documents are in excellent condition.
Table Medal in Commemoration of the 60th Anniversary of
Soviet Police, with original folio / case of issue
containing imbedded award document showing a badge of
Distinguished Employee of MVD. The medal is in bronze, 65 mm
wide. The reverse shows logo of the Moscow Mint and a "77"
date as well as the names of two die-cutters, A. Bichukov
and V. Gurushkin. According to the reference guide
"Commemorative Medals of the Soviet Period, 1919 - 1991" by
Shkurko and Salykov (C. 2005, Moscow), a total of 2500 of
these table medals were struck at the Moscow Mint in 1977.
Both the medal and folio are in excellent condition.
Konstantin Ketiladze was born in 1919 to a peasant family in
a village near Kutaisi, Georgia (then a part of the Russian
Empire.) In 1941, just before the Patriotic War, he
graduated from the Kutaisi Pedagogical Institute. He
initially joined the Red Army as a cadet of a signal school
in the city of Murom near Moscow, but as the Germans
approached Moscow in November 1941, was sent to the front as
an infantry private. After taking part in the defense of
Moscow, he fought at Kharkov and was wounded in the Battle
of Kursk. Following a convalescence in a hospital, he
returned to frontline duty with the infantry of the 3rd
Ukrainian Front, and with it went all the way from
Dnepropetrovsk and Krivoy Rog in the Ukraine to Hungary and
Austria, ending the war near Graz.
Ketiladze earned his Order of the Red Star in April 1944,
while serving as commander of a radio communications company
of the 60th Guards Rifle Regiment, 20th Guards Rifle Div.,
3rd Ukrainian Front. During the night hours of 5-6 April,
two German divisions attacked the understrength 60th Guards
Regiment in the Odessa Region, cutting it off from the rest
of the division. The Nazi thrust aimed at the strategically
important railway station of Razdelnaya and also had a goal
of linking up with the northern group of the German forces.
During the ordeal, Ketiladze managed to establish and
maintain radio connection with the neighboring friendly
units as well as the superior headquarters. Thanks to that,
the staff of his regiment successfully managed the available
resources and summoned necessary support in a timely
fashion. Ketiladze's energy and composure under fire thus
helped to retain the important railway nexus and contributed
to the eventual destruction of the German assault group. For
his role in the operation, Guards Sr. Lieut. Ketiladze was
awarded with an Order of the Red Star on 20 April 1944. This
would remain his only decoration of the war.
In 1947, Ketiladze was released from active duty and
returned to his native Georgia where he took a job as a
Ketiladze's career took a seemingly unexpected turn in 1952,
when he joined MBG State Security as an operations officer.
Judging by his quick rise through the ranks henceforth, we
can only assume that he was in some way affiliated with this
organization even before. In 1960, Ketiladze was made Deputy
Chairman of the KGB of the Adzharia (an autonomous republic
within Georgia.) Two years later, he became Minister of
Interior (MOOP) of Adzharia, and from 1965-70 occupied the
prestigious position of Chief of Department of the Interior
of the Georgian capital Tbilisi. By 1972 he rose to Deputy
Minister of the Interior of Georgia, and in 1972 became
Minister of the Interior of Georgia. It is noteworthy that
Ketiladze succeeded at that post none other than Eduard
Shevardnadze - the future Soviet foreign minister under
Gorbachev and later, president of the independent Republic
of Georgia. Ketiladze held this position until 1979, and
later served as a department chief at the Council of
Ministers of Georgia. He died in 1996.
We should add in closing that documented sets to such
important officials as Ketiladze very rarely appear on
collector's market. This group represents a very interesting
opportunity for the advanced collector and researcher.
Research Materials: photocopy of the award
recommendation for the Order of the Red Star. English
language history of the 20th Guards Rifle Division is
available in the Vol. IV "Red Guards" of the Soviet
Battle series of books by Charles Sharp. Ample biographic
information and photos of Ketiladze can be found on the