Britain Declines Russian Medals for Arctic Convoy Vets

British authorities have decided not to allow Arctic convoy veterans to be decorated with Russian medals, a Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman said on Friday.


Alexander Lukashevich said the British cited domestic legislation preventing that.


Russia still hopes that London will after all find a way of paying tribute to the courage and valor of its veterans.


The Russian president has awarded state medals to a large group of foreign World War II veterans for their participation in the Arctic convoys.


The Arctic convoys involved a string of emergency supplies to the Soviets from their Western allies. Convoys of ships had to steer a treacherous course from the UK through the icy waters of the Arctic Ocean. Winston Churchill once described it as “the worst journey in the world”.


Between 1941 and 1945, the Arctic convoys transported more than 4 million tons of supplies to the Soviet Union, including over 7,000 aircraft, 5,000 tanks, 5,000 antitank guns, as well as ammunition, fuel, equipment an other materials. More than 100 ships were lost with 3,000 sailors losing their lives.


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