MOSCOW, Russia – Chief Rabbi of Russia Berel Lazar was awarded with the 'Peter the Great' First Class Order. The diploma attached to the Order explains that the Chief Rabbi was honored with this award "considering his activities in advancing inter-ethnic and inter-religious relations, and his great contribution to the spiritual rebirth of Russia’s Jewish community and to strengthening Russian state".
The Order was established by the Academy of Security, Defense, Law and Order. It is the highest civic reward in the Russian Federation, which is granted on the basis of unselfish deeds, valor, courage and heroism that is displayed while fulfilling a military, official or civic duty. …
What could that "valor, courage and heroism that is displayed while fulfilling a military, official or civic duty" be? This?
Also of note: According to The Weekly Standard, this is the first year since Andrei Sakharov's death in 1989 that a memorial concert has not been held in Moscow. Sakharov, perhaps the leading dissident in the Soviet Union, is one of the Russians most responsible for the fall of the Soviet Union. His KGB file has just been published in English. Putin, a former senior KGB leader who regards the fall of the Soviet union as a tragedy of epic proportions, is still a great admirer of Josef Stalin.