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The Imperial Order of St. Alexander Nevsky was an order of chivalry of the Russian Empire.


The introduction of the Imperial Order of St. Alexander Nevsky was planned by Emperor Peter I of Russia. It was established by Empress Catherine I of Russia on May 21, 1725 in memory of the deeds of Saint Alexander Nevsky in defending Russia against foreign invaders.

The order was originally awarded to distinguished Russian citizens who had served their country with honor, mostly through political or military service. Among the most prominent recipients of the order were Aleksandr Danilovich Menshikov, Alexander Suvorov, Nikolay Adlerberg, Mikhail Kutuzov, Fyodor Ushakov, and Count Peter de Lacy.

Tolstoy states in Anna Karenina that the Order of St. Vladimir and Order of St. Andrew were higher honors.

After the 1917 Russian Revolution the order continued to be bestowed by the heads of the House of Romanov. Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna of Russia claims to be the current Grand Mistress. On January 27, 2006, she bestowed the order on Metropolitan Kirill of Smolensk (later Patriarch Kirill I of Moscow).

In 1942, the Soviet Union revived the order as a purely military decoration, and renamed it the Order of Alexander Nevsky.


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