This picture features Mikhail Kalashnikov holding the highest ranking order of Russian Federation - Order of St. Andrew the First Called Apostle. In October 1998 Kalashnikov was awarded with the Order of St. Andrew the First Called Apostle ¹2.
- The order was instituted by Peter I The Great 300 years ago.
- Tsar Peter I The Great became 7th knight of the order in 1703 as "bombardier-captain Petr Mikhailov distinguished for his bravery and craftsmanship".
- Among the Order knights was Alexandr Suvorov, a Russian Generalissimo, reckoned one of a few great generals in history who never lost a battle. He was famed for his manual The Science of Victory (by the way - Kalashnikov's most favorite book), and noted for the saying "Train hard, fight easy."
- There were number of foreign citizens awarded with Order of St. Andrew the First Called Apostle - for their "sympathy for Russia". In 1807, 5 years prior to invading Russian in 1812, Napoleon Bonaparte was awarded with the order on account of signing The Tilzit peace treaty.
- In 1815 Arthur Wellesley, Duke of Wellington, often referrer to as the Conqueror of Bonaparte, was awarded with the order on account of defeating Napoleon at Waterloo.
- In 1917 Bolsheviks discontinued it but on July 1st, 1998 Boris Eltsin, first President on Russia, re-instituted it.
- Nobel Prize-winning writer Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn (Soviet dissident, author of The Gulag Archipelago) turned down the Order of St. Andrew in December 1998, saying he was unable to receive an award from the authority that had "brought Russia to its present state of ruin" - never before such a denial occurred in the order's 300 years history.
- In January 2002, President Vladimir Putin has conferred the Order of St. Andrew the First Called on Valery Shumakov, Director of the Moscow Research Institute of Transplantation and Artificial Organs. Shumakov was the first in Russia to perform heart transplantation.