is an honorary title awarded to cities in the USSR distinguished for their heroic defences during the Great Patriotic War of 1941-1945.
This title has been awarded the cities of Moscow, Leningrad (currently St Petersburg), Volgograd, Kiev, Odessa, Sevastopol, Novorossiysk, Kerch, Minsk, Tula, Murmansk, Smolensk, and Brest Fortress (the Hero Fortress). Kiev and Odessa are now located in Ukraine, Minsk and Brest Fortress are now located in Belarus, while the others are located in Russia.
The Hero City title was first used in an order of the Commander-in-Chief of May 1, 1945 in respect of Leningrad, Stalingrad (currently Volgograd), Sevastopol, and Odessa.
As a state award the title was officially established on May 8, 1965 by a Decree of the USSR Supreme Soviet Presidium.
Cities holding this title were presented with the highest award of the USSR, the Order of Lenin, and the Gold Star medal.