Prisoner of war
A prisoner of war is a person, whether a combatant or a non-combatant, held in custody by a belligerent power during or after an armed conflict. The earliest recorded usage of the phrase "prisoner of war" dates back to 1660. Belligerents hold prisoners of war in custody for a range of legitimate and illegitimate reasons, such as isolating them from enemy combatants still in the field, demonstrating military victory, punishing them, prosecuting them for war crimes, exploiting them for their labour, recruiting or conscripting them as their own combatants, collecting military and political intelligence from them, or indoctrinating them in new political or religious beliefs. For most of human history, depending on the culture of the victors, enemy combatants on the losing side in a battle who had surrendered and been taken as a prisoner of war could expect to be either slaughtered or enslaved; the first Roman gladiators were prisoners of war and were named according to their ethnic roots such as Samnite and the Gaul.
Homer's Iliad describes Greek and Trojan soldiers offering rewards of wealth to opposing forces who have defeated them on the battlefield in exchange for mercy, but their offers are not always accepted. Little distinction was made between enemy combatants and enemy civilians, although women and children were more to be spared. Sometimes, the purpose of a battle, if not a war, was to capture a practice known as raptio. Women had no rights, were held as chattel. In the fourth century AD, Bishop Acacius of Amida, touched by the plight of Persian prisoners captured in a recent war with the Roman Empire, who were held in his town under appalling conditions and destined for a life of slavery, took the initiative of ransoming them, by selling his church's precious gold and silver vessels, letting them return to their country. For this he was canonized. During Childeric's siege and blockade of Paris in 464, the nun Geneviève pleaded with the Frankish king for the welfare of prisoners of war and met with a favourable response.
Clovis I liberated captives after Genevieve urged him to do so. Many French prisoners of war were killed during the Battle of Agincourt in 1415; this was done in retaliation for the French killing of the boys and other non-combatants handling the baggage and equipment of the army, because the French were attacking again and Henry was afraid that they would break through and free the prisoners to fight again. In the Middle Ages, a number of religious wars aimed to not only defeat but eliminate their enemies. In Christian Europe, the extermination of heretics was considered desirable. Examples include the Northern Crusades; when asked by a Crusader how to distinguish between the Catholics and Cathars once they'd taken the city of Béziers, the Papal Legate Arnaud Amalric famously replied, "Kill them all, God will know His own". The inhabitants of conquered cities were massacred during the Crusades against the Muslims in the 11th and 12th centuries. Noblemen could hope to be ransomed. In feudal Japan, there was no custom of ransoming prisoners of war, who were for the most part summarily executed.
The expanding Mongol Empire was famous for distinguishing between cities or towns that surrendered, where the population were spared but required to support the conquering Mongol army, those that resisted, where their city was ransacked and destroyed, all the population killed. In Termez, on the Oxus: "all the people, both men and women, were driven out onto the plain, divided in accordance with their usual custom they were all slain"; the Aztecs were at war with neighbouring tribes and groups, with the goal of this constant warfare being to collect live prisoners for sacrifice. For the re-consecration of Great Pyramid of Tenochtitlan in 1487, "between 10,000 and 80,400 persons" were sacrificed. During the early Muslim conquests, Muslims captured large number of prisoners. Aside from those who converted, most were enslaved. Christians who were captured during the Crusades, were either killed or sold into slavery if they could not pay a ransom. During his lifetime, Muhammad made it the responsibility of the Islamic government to provide food and clothing, on a reasonable basis, to captives, regardless of their religion.
The freeing of prisoners was recommended as a charitable act. On certain occasions where Muhammad felt the enemy had broken a treaty with the Muslims, he ordered the mass execution of male prisoners, such as the Banu Qurayza. Females and children of this tribe were divided up as spoils of war by Muhammad; the 1648 Peace of Westphalia, which ended the Thirty Years' War, established the rule that prisoners of war should be released without ransom at the end of hostilities and that they should be allowed to return to their homelands. There evolved the right of parole, French for "discourse", in which a captured officer surrendered his sword and gave his word as a gentleman in exchange for privileges. If he swore not to escape, he could gain the freedom of the prison. If he swore to cease hostilities against the nation who held him captive, he could be repatriated or exchanged but could not serve against his former captors in a military capacity. Ea
Poland the Republic of Poland, is a country located in Central Europe. It is divided into 16 administrative subdivisions, covering an area of 312,696 square kilometres, has a temperate seasonal climate. With a population of 38.5 million people, Poland is the sixth most populous member state of the European Union. Poland's capital and largest metropolis is Warsaw. Other major cities include Kraków, Łódź, Wrocław, Poznań, Gdańsk, Szczecin. Poland is bordered by the Baltic Sea, Russia's Kaliningrad Oblast and Lithuania to the north and Ukraine to the east and Czech Republic, to the south, Germany to the west; the establishment of the Polish state can be traced back to AD 966, when Mieszko I, ruler of the realm coextensive with the territory of present-day Poland, converted to Christianity. The Kingdom of Poland was founded in 1025, in 1569 it cemented its longstanding political association with the Grand Duchy of Lithuania by signing the Union of Lublin; this union formed the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, one of the largest and most populous countries of 16th and 17th century Europe, with a uniquely liberal political system which adopted Europe's first written national constitution, the Constitution of 3 May 1791.
More than a century after the Partitions of Poland at the end of the 18th century, Poland regained its independence in 1918 with the Treaty of Versailles. In September 1939, World War II started with the invasion of Poland by Germany, followed by the Soviet Union invading Poland in accordance with the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact. More than six million Polish citizens, including 90% of the country's Jews, perished in the war. In 1947, the Polish People's Republic was established as a satellite state under Soviet influence. In the aftermath of the Revolutions of 1989, most notably through the emergence of the Solidarity movement, Poland reestablished itself as a presidential democratic republic. Poland is regional power, it has the fifth largest economy by GDP in the European Union and one of the most dynamic economies in the world achieving a high rank on the Human Development Index. Additionally, the Polish Stock Exchange in Warsaw is the largest and most important in Central Europe. Poland is a developed country, which maintains a high-income economy along with high standards of living, life quality, safety and economic freedom.
Having a developed school educational system, the country provides free university education, state-funded social security, a universal health care system for all citizens. Poland has 15 UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Poland is a member state of the European Union, the Schengen Area, the United Nations, NATO, the OECD, the Three Seas Initiative, the Visegrád Group; the origin of the name "Poland" derives from the West Slavic tribe of Polans that inhabited the Warta river basin of the historic Greater Poland region starting in the 6th century. The origin of the name "Polanie" itself derives from the early Slavic word "pole". In some languages, such as Hungarian, Lithuanian and Turkish, the exonym for Poland is Lechites, which derives from the name of a semi-legendary ruler of Polans, Lech I. Early Bronze Age in Poland begun around 2400 BC, while the Iron Age commenced in 750 BC. During this time, the Lusatian culture, spanning both the Bronze and Iron Ages, became prominent; the most famous archaeological find from the prehistory and protohistory of Poland is the Biskupin fortified settlement, dating from the Lusatian culture of the early Iron Age, around 700 BC.
Throughout the Antiquity period, many distinct ancient ethnic groups populated the regions of what is now Poland in an era that dates from about 400 BC to 500 AD. These groups are identified as Celtic, Slavic and Germanic tribes. Recent archeological findings in the Kujawy region, confirmed the presence of the Roman Legions on the territory of Poland; these were most expeditionary missions sent out to protect the amber trade. The exact time and routes of the original migration and settlement of Slavic peoples lacks written records and can only be defined as fragmented; the Slavic tribes who would form Poland migrated to these areas in the second half of the 5th century AD. Up until the creation of Mieszko's state and his subsequent conversion to Christianity in 966 AD, the main religion of Slavic tribes that inhabited the geographical area of present-day Poland was Slavic paganism. With the Baptism of Poland the Polish rulers accepted Christianity and the religious authority of the Roman Church.
However, the transition from paganism was not a smooth and instantaneous process for the rest of the population as evident from the pagan reaction of the 1030s. Poland began to form into a recognizable unitary and territorial entity around the middle of the 10th century under the Piast dynasty. Poland's first documented ruler, Mieszko I, accepted Christianity with the Baptism of Poland in 966, as the new official religion of his subjects; the bulk of the population converted in the course of the next few centuries. In 1000, Boleslaw the Brave, continuing the policy of his father Mieszko, held a Congress of Gniezno and created the metropolis of Gniezno and the dioceses of Kraków, Kołobrzeg, Wrocław. However, the pagan unrest led to the transfer of the capital to Kraków in 1038 by Casimir I the Restorer. In 1109, Prince Bolesław III Wrymouth defeated the King of Germany Henry V at the Battle of Hundsfeld, stopping the Ge
Order of the Red Banner
The Order of the Red Banner was the first Soviet military decoration. The Order was established on 16 September 1918, during the Russian Civil War by decree of the All-Russian Central Executive Committee, it was the highest award of Soviet Russia, subsequently the Soviet Union, until the Order of Lenin was established in 1930. Recipients were recognised for extraordinary heroism and courage demonstrated on the battlefield; the Order was awarded to individuals as well as to military units, ships and social organizations, state enterprises. In years, it was awarded on the twentieth and again on the thirtieth anniversary of military, police, or state security service without requiring participation in combat; the Russian Order of the Red Banner was established during the Russian Civil War by decree of the All-Russian Central Executive Committee of September 16, 1918. The first recipient was Vasily Blyukher on September 28, 1918; the second recipient was Iona Yakir. During the Civil War, there existed named orders and decorations established by the Soviet communist governments of several other constituent and nonconstituent republics.
The August 1, 1924, decree of the All-Russian Central Executive Committee established the all-Soviet Order of the Red Banner for deserving personnel of the Red Army. Other nonmilitary awards used the phrase "Order of the Red Banner" in their title. From 1918 till the late 1930s there was a Soviet collective variant - the Revolutionary Red Banner of Honor; this was in the form of a special military color awarded to distinguished Red Army, Soviet Air Force, Soviet Navy units. It was older than the Order of the Red Banner, having been established on August 3, 1918, a month and several weeks before; as a military decoration, the Order of the Red Banner recognised heroism in combat or otherwise extraordinary accomplishments of military valour during combat operations. Before the establishment of the Order of Lenin on April 5, 1930, the Order of the Red Banner functioned as the highest military order of the USSR. During World War II, under various titles, it was presented to both individuals and military units for acts of extreme military heroism.
In some ways, the Order of the Red Banner was more prestigious, as it could only be awarded for bravery during combat operations whereas the Order of Lenin was sometimes awarded to non-military personnel and political leaders. Nearly all well-known Soviet commanders became recipients of the Order of the Red Banner; when the Order was awarded to whole formations, the prefix "Red Banner" was added to their official designations. Naval vessels flew a special ensign; the Order of the Red Banner was used as a "long service award" between 1944 and 1958 to mark twenty and thirty years of service in the military, state security, or police. Decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR of September 14, 1957, emphasised the devaluation of certain Soviet high military Orders used as long service awards instead of their intended criteria; this led to the joint January 25, 1958, decree of the Ministers of Defence, of Internal Affairs, of the Chairman of the Committee on State Security of the USSR establishing the Medal "For Impeccable Service," putting an end to the practice of awarding long service variants of the Order of the Red Banner.
The Order consisted of a white-enamelled badge, which had a golden Hammer and Sickle badge surrounded by two golden panicles of wheat on a Red Star, backed by crossed hammer, torch, a red flag bearing the motto Proletarians of the World, Unite!. The whole was surrounded by two golden panicles of wheat. Additional awards of the Order bore a white enamelled shield with a silver sequence number at the bottom of the obverse. A recipient of multiple Orders of the Red Banner would wear a basic badge of the Order with a numeral corresponding to the sequence of the award on a cartouche over the wheat at the bottom of the badge; the early variants of the Order were screw back badges to allow wear on clothing. Variants hung from a standard Soviet pentagonal mount with a ring through the suspension loop; the mount was covered with an overlapping 24mm wide red silk moiré ribbon with 1.5mm wide white edge stripes and a 7mm wide white central stripe. The Order of the Red Banner was worn on the left side of the chest and when in the presence of other Orders and medals of the USSR, was placed after the Order of the October Revolution.
If worn in the presence of Orders or medals of the Russian Federation, the latter have precedence. Baltic Fleet Soviet Northern Fleet Pacific Ocean Fleet Far Eastern Military District First Army First Guards Tank Army Second Guards Tank Army 1st Rifle Division 6th Rifle Division 24th Rifle Division 45th Rifle Division 27th Guards Rifle Division 39th Guards Rifle Division 19th Motor Rifle Division 76th Guards Airborne Division 85th Rifle Division 100th Guards Rifle Division 106th Guards Tula Airborne Division 17th Rifle Regiment, 32nd Rifle Division 72nd Mechanized Brigade French fighter squadron Normandie-Niemen Feats of valour worthy of the award of the Order of the Red Banner were as much against internal as against external enemies of the USSR, as detailed below: Stalin's Chief Executioner Va
Third Battle of Kharkov
The Third Battle of Kharkov was a series of battles on the Eastern Front of World War II, undertaken by the German Army Group South against the Red Army, around the city of Kharkov between 19 February and 15 March 1943. Known to the German side as the Donets Campaign, in the Soviet Union as the Donbas and Kharkov operations, the German counterstrike led to the recapture of the cities of Kharkov and Belgorod; as the German Sixth Army was encircled in Stalingrad, the Red Army undertook a series of wider attacks against the rest of Army Group South. These culminated on 2 January 1943 when the Red Army launched Operation Star and Operation Gallop, which between January and early February broke German defenses and led to the Soviet recapture of Kharkov, Kursk, as well as Voroshilovgrad and Izium; the Soviet victories caused participating Soviet units to over-extend themselves, though this was due to Manstein's strategy of controlled retreat towards the Dneiper. Freed on 2 February by the surrender of the German Sixth Army, the Red Army's Central Front turned its attention west and on 25 February expanded its offensive against both Army Group South and Army Group Center.
Months of continuous operations had taken a heavy toll on the Soviet forces and some divisions were reduced to 1,000–2,000 combat effective soldiers. On 19 February, Field Marshal Erich von Manstein launched his Kharkov counterstrike, using the fresh II SS Panzer Corps and two panzer armies. Manstein benefited from the massive air support of Field Marshal Wolfram von Richthofen's Luftflotte 4, whose 1,214 aircraft flew over 1,000 sorties per day from 20 February to 15 March to support the German Army, a level of airpower equal to that during the Case Blue strategic offensive a year earlier; the Wehrmacht flanked and defeated the Red Army's armored spearheads south of Kharkov. This enabled Manstein to renew his offensive against the city of Kharkov proper on 7 March. Despite orders to encircle Kharkov from the north, the SS Panzer Corps instead decided to directly engage Kharkov on 11 March; this led to four days of house-to-house fighting before Kharkov was recaptured by the 1st SS Panzer Division on 15 March.
The German forces recaptured Belgorod two days creating the salient which in July 1943 would lead to the Battle of Kursk. The German offensive cost the Red Army an estimated 90,000 casualties; the house-to-house fighting in Kharkov was particularly bloody for the German SS Panzer Corps, which had suffered 4,300 men killed and wounded by the time operations ended in mid-March. At the start of 1943, the German Wehrmacht faced a crisis as Soviet forces encircled and reduced the German Sixth Army at Stalingrad and expanded their Winter Campaign towards the Don River. On 2 February 1943 the Sixth Army's commanding officers surrendered, an estimated 90,000 men were captured by the Red Army. Total German losses at the Battle of Stalingrad, excluding prisoners, were between 120,000 and 150,000. Throughout 1942 German casualties totaled around 1.9 million personnel, by the start of 1943 the Wehrmacht was around 470,000 men below full strength on the Eastern Front. At the beginning of Operation Barbarossa, the Wehrmacht was equipped with around 3,300 tanks.
As the forces of the Don Front were destroying the German forces in Stalingrad, the Red Army's command ordered the Soviet forces to conduct a new offensive, which encompassed the entire southern wing of the Soviet–German front from Voronezh to Rostov. On 2 February, the Red Army launched Operation Star, threatening to liberate the cities of Belgorod and Kursk. A Soviet drive, spearheaded by four tank corps organized under Lieutenant-General Markian Popov, pierced the German front by crossing the Donets River and pressing into the German rear. On 15 February, two fresh Soviet tank corps threatened the city of Zaporizhia on the Dnieper River, which controlled the last major road to Rostov and housed the headquarters of Army Group South and Luftflotte 4. Despite Hitler's orders to hold the city, Kharkov was abandoned by German forces and the city was recaptured by the Red Army on 16 February. Hitler flew to Manstein's headquarters at Zaporizhia. Manstein informed him that an immediate counterattack on Kharkov would be fruitless, but that he could attack the overextended Soviet flank with his five Panzer Corps, recapture the city later.
On 19 February Soviet armored units approached the city. In view of the worsening situation, Hitler gave Manstein operational freedom; when Hitler departed, the Soviet forces were only some 30 kilometers away from the airfield. In conjunction with Operation Star the Red Army launched Operation Gallop south of Star, pushing the Wehrmacht away from the Donets, taking Voroshilovgrad and Izium, worsening the German situation further. By this time Stavka believed it could decide the war in the southwest Russian SFSR and eastern Ukrainian SSR, expecting total victory; the surrender of the German Sixth Army at Stalingrad freed six Soviet armies, under the command of Konstantin Rokossovsky, which were refitted and reinforced by the 2nd Tank Army and the 70th Army. These forces were repositioned between the junction of South. Known to the Soviet forces as the Kharkov and Donbas operations, the offensive sought to surround and destroy German forces in the Orel salient, cross the Desna River and surround and destroy German Army Group Center.
Planned to begin between 12–15 February, deployment problems forced Stavka to push the start date back to 25 February. Meanwhile, the Soviet 60th Army pushed the
The Workers' and Peasants' Red Army shortened to Red Army was the army and the air force of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic, after 1922, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. The army was established after the 1917 October Revolution; the Bolsheviks raised an army to oppose the military confederations of their adversaries during the Russian Civil War. Beginning in February 1946, the Red Army, along with the Soviet Navy, embodied the main component of the Soviet Armed Forces; the Red Army provided the largest land force in the Allied victory in the European theatre of World War II, its invasion of Manchuria assisted the unconditional surrender of Imperial Japan. During operations on the Eastern Front, it accounted for 75–80% of casualties the Wehrmacht and Waffen-SS suffered during the war and captured the Nazi German capital, Berlin. In September 1917, Vladimir Lenin wrote: "There is only one way to prevent the restoration of the police, and, to create a people's militia and to fuse it with the army."
At the time, the Imperial Russian Army had started to collapse. 23% of the male population of the Russian Empire were mobilized. The Tsarist general Nikolay Dukhonin estimated that there had been 2 million deserters, 1.8 million dead, 5 million wounded and 2 million prisoners. He estimated the remaining troops as numbering 10 million. While the Imperial Russian Army was being taken apart, "it became apparent that the rag-tag Red Guard units and elements of the imperial army who had gone over the side of the Bolsheviks were quite inadequate to the task of defending the new government against external foes." Therefore, the Council of People's Commissars decided to form the Red Army on 28 January 1918. They envisioned a body "formed from the class-conscious and best elements of the working classes." All citizens of the Russian republic aged 18 or older were eligible. Its role being the defense "of the Soviet authority, the creation of a basis for the transformation of the standing army into a force deriving its strength from a nation in arms, furthermore, the creation of a basis for the support of the coming Socialist Revolution in Europe."
Enlistment was conditional upon "guarantees being given by a military or civil committee functioning within the territory of the Soviet Power, or by party or trade union committees or, in extreme cases, by two persons belonging to one of the above organizations." In the event of an entire unit wanting to join the Red Army, a "collective guarantee and the affirmative vote of all its members would be necessary." Because the Red Army was composed of peasants, the families of those who served were guaranteed rations and assistance with farm work. Some peasants who remained at home yearned to join the Army. If they were turned away they would prepare care-packages. In some cases the money they earned would go towards tanks for the Army; the Council of People's Commissars appointed itself the supreme head of the Red Army, delegating command and administration of the army to the Commissariat for Military Affairs and the Special All-Russian College within this commissariat. Nikolai Krylenko was the supreme commander-in-chief, with Aleksandr Myasnikyan as deputy.
Nikolai Podvoisky became the commissar for Pavel Dybenko, commissar for the fleet. Proshyan, Steinberg were specified as people's commissars as well as Vladimir Bonch-Bruyevich from the Bureau of Commissars. At a joint meeting of Bolsheviks and Left Socialist-Revolutionaries, held on 22 February 1918, Krylenko remarked: "We have no army; the demoralized soldiers are fleeing, panic-stricken, as soon as they see a German helmet appear on the horizon, abandoning their artillery and all war material to the triumphantly advancing enemy. The Red Guard units are brushed aside like flies. We have no power to stay the enemy; the Russian Civil War occurred in three periods: October 1917 – November 1918: From the Bolshevik Revolution to the First World War Armistice, developed from the Bolshevik government's nationalization of traditional Cossack lands in November 1917. This provoked the insurrection of General Alexey Maximovich Kaledin's Volunteer Army in the River Don region; the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk aggravated Russian internal politics.
The situation encouraged direct Allied intervention in the Russian Civil War, in which twelve foreign countries supported anti-Bolshevik militias. A series of engagements resulted, amongst others, the Czechoslovak Legion, the Polish 5th Rifle Division, the pro-Bolshevik Red Latvian Riflemen. January 1919 – November 1919: Initially the White armies advanced: from the south, under General Anton Denikin; the Whites defeated the Red Army on each front. Leon Trotsky reformed and counterattacked: the Red Army repelled Admiral Kolchak's army in June, the armies of General Denikin and General Yudenich in October. By mid-Nove
Gdov is a town and the administrative center of Gdovsky District in Pskov Oblast, located on the Gdovka River, just 2 kilometers from its outflow into Lake Peipus. Population: 4,379 , it was first mentioned in the beginning of the 14th century, as an outpost guarding the city of Pskov. Between 1431 and 1434, Pskovians built a fortress there, the remains of, it was attacked on numerous occasions by Swedes and Poles, captured by Swedes in 1614, but was returned to Russia in 1617 according to the Treaty of Stolbovo. In the course of the administrative reform carried out in 1708 by Peter the Great, Gdov was included into Ingermanland Governorate. Gdov was mentioned as one of the towns into. In 1780, Gdov was granted town status. Between 1874 and 1912, Gdov issued Zemstvo stamps; the first stamp, worth two kopecks, appeared on April 16, 1874. Stamp production ceased, with the coming of World War I. In 1919, Gdov was an area where important events of the Russian Civil War and the Estonian War of Independence were taking place.
The area east of Lake Peipus was under control of the revolutionary government. On May 15, 1919, the detachment under command of Stanisław Bułak-Bałachowicz captured Gdov and the whole uyezd thus came under control by the White Army troops of Nikolai Yudenich. In November 1919, the Red Army recaptured Gdov. On August 1, 1927, the uyezds and governorates were abolished and Gdovsky District, with the administrative center in Gdov, was established as a part of Luga Okrug of Leningrad Oblast, it included parts of former Gdovsky Uyezd. On July 23, 1930, the okrugs were abolished and the districts were directly subordinated to the oblast. Between March 22, 1935 and September 19, 1940, Gdovsky District was a part of the restored Pskov Okrug of Leningrad Oblast, one of the okrugs abutting the state boundaries of the Soviet Union. Between July 19, 1941 and February 4, 1944, Gdov was occupied by German troops; the town was damaged during the war but restored afterwards. On August 23, 1944, the district was transferred to newly established Pskov Oblast.
Within the framework of administrative divisions, Gdov serves as the administrative center of Gdovsky District, to which it is directly subordinated. As a municipal division, the town of Gdov, together with sixty-two rural localities, is incorporated within Gdovsky Municipal District as Gdov Urban Settlement; the economy of Gdov is based on timber industries. A railway connection, now suspended due to lack of commercial traffic, existed between Gdov and Slantsy further reaching Saint-Petersburg. Before the WWII this railway line reached Pskov, but once it was destroyed during World War II, the stretch between Gdov and Pskov was never rebuilt. Gdov is connected by roads with Pskov, Kingisepp via Slantsy, Plyussa. There is a daily bus service via Slantsy and Kingisepp. There are local roads, with bus traffic originating from Gdov. In the mouth of the Gdovka there is a harbour for leisure boats. However, due to lack of customs and borderguard offices sailing to Estonia is not possible. During 1950-1980-ties an unpaved airfield in Gdov was used for commuter air transit to the neighbouring town of Slantsy.
During World War II Gdov hosted the headquarters of the Chudskoye Lake Flotilla. Russian Airforce base, now abandoned, was located northeast of the town. Gdov is included into border security zone, intended to protect the borders of Russia from unwanted activity. Visits to the zone or transit through it are subject to the Frontier Regime Regulations set by the FSB that stipulate cases where permits are required or where holding a passport is enough. Permits may be obtained electronically four weeks ahead of the planned journey; however there are no checkpoints on the roads to the town. Gdov contains two cultural heritage monuments of federal significance and additionally twelve objects classified as cultural and historical heritage of local significance; the federal monuments are archaeological sites. Gdov has an ancient fortress built in the 14th century. Only fragments of the original fortress walls have survived; the St. Dimitry Cathedral reconstructed in the 1990s; the only state museum in the district is the Gdov Museum of Regional History.
It was founded in 1919, destroyed during the German occupation of Gdov, re-created after World War II. The museum hosts local interest collections. Dmitri Iosifovich Ivanovsky (alternative spelling Dmitrii or Dmitry Iwanowski, he was the discoverer of viruses and one of the founders of virology. Псковское областное Собрание депутатов. Закон №833-оз от 5 февраля 2009 г. «Об административно-территориальном устройстве Псковской области». Вступил в силу со дня официального опубликования. Опубликован: "Псковская правда", №20, 10 февраля 2009 г.. Псковское областное Собрание депутатов. Закон №420-оз от 28 февраля 2005 г. «Об установлении границ и статусе вновь образуемых муниципальных образований на территории Псковской области», в ред. Закона №1542-ОЗ от 5 июня 2015 г. «О внесении изменений в Закон Псковской области "Об установлении границ и статусе вновь образуемых му
Gatchina is a town and the administrative center of Gatchinsky District in Leningrad Oblast, Russia. It is located 45 kilometers south along the E95 highway leading to Pskov. Population: 92,937 , it was known as Khotchino, Trotsk, Krasnogvardeysk. Gatchina is the largest town in Leningrad Oblast, is best known as the location of the Great Gatchina Palace, one of the main residences of the Russian Imperial Family during the 18th and 19th centuries. Gatchina is placed high in quality of life rankings in Russia, the historic center and Gatchina Palace are part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site's Saint Petersburg and Related Groups of Monuments. Gatchina was first documented in 1499 under the name Khotchino as a village in possession of the Novgorod Republic. In the 17th century it was passed to Livonia and to Sweden in a series of wars, until the early years of the Great Northern War at the turn of the 1700s when the area was returned to Russia. In 1703, Gatchina found itself in the southern vicinity of the new Russian capital, Saint Petersburg, being constructed 45 kilometers north at the mouth of the Neva River.
Despite technically still belonging to Swedish Ingria, in 1708, Gatchina was given by Peter the Great to his sister, Natalya Alexeyevna, after her death in 1716 Peter founded an Imperial Hospital and Apothecary there. In 1765, it became the property of Count Orlov. In 1765, Catherine the Great, Empress of the Russian Empire, purchased Gatchina Manor from Prince Boris Kurakin, which featured the village and a small manor. Gatchina was gifted by Catherine to one of her favorites, Count Grigory Grigoryevich Orlov, who organized the assassination of Tsar Peter III three years earlier, resulting in her becoming empress. Between 1766 and 1788, Count Orlov built the massive Great Gatchina Palace in place of the original manor, with 600 rooms, an extensive English landscape park over 7 square kilometers, with an adjacent zoo and a horse farm. A triumphal arch was erected to a design by the architect of Gatchina Palace, Antonio Rinaldi, forming a monumental entrance. Upon Orlov's death in 1783, Gatchina Palace was bought by Catherine from his heirs, gave it to her son Grand Duke Pavel Petrovich, the future Tsar Paul I.
During his ownership, Paul made alterations to the palace, but began developing the village of Gatchina into a town using experience from his travels around Europe. After ascending to the throne, Paul granted Gatchina the status of Imperial City, an honorary designation for towns that possessed a royal palace. Gatchina Palace was expanded and altered numerous times by its subsequent imperial owners, with the addition of Rococo interiors designed by Rinaldi and Vincenzo Brenna, executed by Italian stucco workers and Russian craftsmen. In 1854, a railroad connecting Gatchina and Saint Petersburg was opened, the territory of Gatchina was expanded with several villages in the vicinity being incorporated into the city; the following year Gatchina Palace came under the ownership of Tsar Alexander II, who used it as his second residence. Alexander built a hunting village south of Gatchina into a retreat where he and his guests could enjoy the unspoiled wilderness of northwestern Russia. Following the assassination of Alexander II in 1881, Gatchina Palace was passed to his shaken son, the new Tsar Alexander III, advised that he and his family would be safer in Gatchina as opposed to at the Winter Palace in Saint Petersburg.
Alexander spent most of his life at Gatchina Palace, which became known as "The Citadel of Autocracy" after the Tsar's reactionary policies. Here he signed decrees, held diplomatic receptions, theatrical performances and costumed balls, other events and entertainment. Alexander III introduced some technological modernizations new to Russia at the Gatchina Palace, such as indoor heaters, electric lights, a telephone network, non-freezing water pipes and a modern sewage system, his son, the future Tsar Nicholas II and the last Russian Tsar, spent his youth in the Gatchina Palace, although he and his family would make Tsarskoye Selo his home. His mother, Dowager Empress Maria Feodorovna, widow of Alexander III, was the patron of the city of Gatchina, the palace and its parks. Gatchina was honored as the best-kept city of Russia at the 1900 World's Fair in Paris; the quality of life, medical services, public safety in Gatchina were recognized as the best, it was recommended as an example for other cities in Russia.
In 1910, one of the first airfields in Russia was established in Gatchina, with the city becoming one of the first centers of aviation and engine technology in Russia. The pilot Pyotr Nesterov was trained at the Gatchina airfield and made his first long-distance flight from Gatchina to Kiev. Gatchina Palace remained one of the official imperial residences of Tsar Nicholas II, presiding over annual military parades and celebrations of the Imperial Russian Army garrisons, stationed in Gatchina until 1917. During World War I, major medical hospitals in Gatchina were visited by the Tsar Nicholas II and Empress Maria Fyodorovna, the mother of Nicholas II, his wife the Empress Alexandra Fyodorovna, as well as their daughters Grand Duchess Olga, Grand Duchess Tatiana, Grand Duchess Maria, Grand Duchess Anastasia. In March 1917, the Russian Empire collapsed upon the abdication of Nicholas II following the February Revolution, leading to a decline in Gatchina's importance as the town and its palace became state property of the Russian Provisional Government, who converted