Named in honor of the first Christian ruler
of the Russian Empire, the Order of Saint Vladimir was established by Empress Catherine II
on 22 September 1782.
"Whoever at the peril of his own life saves ten lives from fire or water" is eligible for membership in this order.
Rarely awarded in the first class, recipients of the Order of Saint Vladimir were all entitled to hereditary nobility. Initially awarded to any person for distinguished service to the Russian Empire, it was presented with swords to army and naval officers for valor in combat or a long and distinguished military career.