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     Home > SOVIET ORDERS AND MEDALS > Documented Award Groups

    Group of 6 Decorations, 7 Award Documents and Documented Table Medal to Police Lieutenant General Konstantin Ketiladze.

    Group of 6 Decorations, 7 Award Documents and Documented Table Medal to Police Lieutenant General Konstantin Ketiladze.


    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. Measures 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 condition.

    Award Certificates:

    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 privileges);

    Order Booklet, 30 April 1976 issue; shows single entry for the Order of Red Banner of Labor awarded on 12 March 1976;

    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 school teacher. 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 Order of Battle series of books by Charles Sharp. Ample biographic information and photos of Ketiladze can be found on the Internet.


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