Hero of Socialist Labour ((ロシア語:''Герой Социалистического Труда'')) was an honorary title of the Soviet Union and other Warsaw Pact countries. It was the highest degree of distinction for exceptional achievements in national economy and culture. It provided a similar status to the title Hero of the Soviet Union that was awarded for heroic deeds, but unlike the latter, was not awarded to foreign citizens.
The Honorary Title "Hero of Socialist Labour" was introduced by decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union on December 27, 1938.
Originally, Heroes of Socialist Labour were awarded the highest decoration of the Soviet Union, the Order of Lenin and a certificate from the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union.〔 In order to distinguish the Heroes of Socialist Labour from other Order of Lenin recipients, the "Hammer and Sickle" gold medal was introduced by decree of the Presidium on May 22, 1940, to accompany the Order of Lenin and the certificate.
The first recipient of the award was Joseph Stalin, awarded by the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet in December 20, 1939. The second recipient of the award was the designer of machine guns Vasily Degtyaryov (2 January 1940). The third time (and the last before the onset of Operation Barbarossa) the award was issued to nine weapons designers, including Fedor Tokarev, Boris Shpitalny, Nikolai Polikarpov, Alexander Yakovlev and Vladimir Klimov. Post 1945 recipients include Mikhail Kalashnikov, Emilian Bukov, Alexander Tselikov, Dmitri Shostakovich, Nikolai Afanasiev, German Korobov and Peter Andreevich Tkachev.
By September 1, 1971, 16,245 people had been awarded the title of Hero of Socialist Labour (including 4,497 women). One hundred and five people (including 25 women) have been awarded two or more "Hammer and Sickle" medals. By 1991, at the dissolution of the Soviet Union, over 20,000 people had been awarded the title.
In April 2013, Vladimir Putin resurrected the award in Russia under the title "Hero of Labour".〔(【引用サイトリンク】title=Russia seeks new generation of 'heroes' )〕
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