Hero of the Soviet Union

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The title Hero of the Soviet Union was the highest honor given by the government of the Soviet Union. The order was founded in 1934, and between that date and the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991 was awarded to 12,745 recipients. 11,635 awards were made during the Second World War but awards were made to scientists, cosmonauts, politicians, foreign leaders and others as well as to military heroes. Marshal Georgi Zhukov and former Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev each received the order four times; Stalin, by contrast, was only once made Hero of the Soviet Union. Other holders of the distinction include Lavrenty Beria, Yuri Gagarin, Valentina Tereshkova, Richard Sorge, Konstantin Chernenko, Nikita Khrushchev, and Fidel Castro