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Hero City is a Soviet honorary title awarded for outstanding heroism during World War II (Eastern Front was known in the former Soviet Union as The Great Patriotic War). It was awarded to twelve cities of the Soviet Union. According to the statute, the hero city is issued the Order of Lenin and the Gold Star medal.
Located on the approaches to Moscow, the city of Smolensk saw fierce fighting in the summer of 1941. German armoured divisions of Army Group Centre began an offensive on July 10, 1941 to encircle Soviet forces in the Smolensk area. Soviet resistance was strong, and several counter-attacks were conducted. The Soviets even managed to temporarily break the German encirclement and to evacuate troops out of the pocket. The battle ended in early September. The bitter fighting had considerably delayed the overall German advance toward Moscow, so that defence lines further east could be strengthened. Smolensk was awarded the title Hero City in 1985.
Date of issue: 04.05.2000
In the centre, a little to the left denomination of the coin: the figure 2 and words under it RUBLES and BANK OF RUSSIA written horizontal, below along the rim and on the right part of the disc the stylized vegetable ornament (vine sprig) in form of a branch with two interwoven caulescents, to the right at the rim the Moscow Mint's trademark (MMD).
Depicts two artillerymen loading the "Katyusha" (multiple rocket launcher), to the left the Gold Star Medal. In the background outlines of the city of Smolensk. In the lower part of the ring the inscription along the rim: SMOLENSK.