© Hendrik Meersschaert 2017
The Order of the Republic

This order was instituted 17 March 1935. 72 Tuvinians and 33 Russians received it for war services in WW2. Two unit awards were also made : one to the Tuvinian infantry regiment, the other to the Tuvinian cavalry squadron that were fighting under Soviet command.

The order has two types - the 1st type of 1935 manufacture and the 2nd type which came into being in 1941. The latter was bestowed during military services and can be seen in the picture.
The Tuvinian Arat Republic (Arat = steppe shepherd) was an independent state (a satellite of USSR like the Mongolian People's Republic) which gained its independence in 1921 and officially joined to USSR in 1944. Its territory lies just between the former USSR and the Mongolian People's Republic. It's also called, for short, Tuva.

Tuvinian volunteers took part in WW2 after 23 May 1943. Tuvinian tank crews, trained in the USSR, were sent to front. One of them became a Hero of USSR. Tuva sent other regular troops too : a Tuvinian Infantry Regiment and a Tuvinian cavalry squadron, etc. Especially the Tuvinian cavalrymen proved to be good soldiers and were awarded many a Soviet award. The Tuvinian squadron was part of the 31 Guards' cavalry regiment as its 4th squadron.
The Medal for Combatant Merit

This medal was instituted 23/06/1944. 90 Tuvinian officers and soldiers were awarded it for military services (69 of them belonged to the Tuvinian cavalry squadron).

1. A. Kutsenko, Y. Smirnov. Orders of Soviet Republics. 1996
2. V. Durov, Y.Fatyanov. Medal for Combat Merit of Tuva. "Armoury", #12, 2000.

Compiled by Yuri Yashnev, edited by Hendrik Meersschaert