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South Russia - Overview

1918 - 1920

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1918
October Don Cossack Republic Issue
November Crimea, General Sulkevich Issue
November Kuban Cossack Republic Issue
December Sochi Issue
1919
March Donetz Basin Issue
May 2 Denikin Issue
1920
August Crimea, Wrangel Issue

 

"South Russia" is a term of convenience, subsuming a number of semi-independent, anti-Communist governments in the southern part of Russia during the Civil War era. It excludes the Ukraine (except as occupied by Volunteer Army forces during 1919), and likewise the Caucasian Republics (Armenia, Azerbaidjan and Georgia).

The "First Issues" which follow were necessitated by the catastrophic inflation of the paper currencies in circulation (in January of 1919, the monthly salary of a mid-level office worker was 100 rubles; by October of the following year in the territory still under White control, it cost 100 rubles to mail an ordinary letter), and by the gradual exhaustion of stocks of higher denomination stamps at offices in the area. With no prospect of resupply from the Bolshevist-occupied north, and literally millions of low denomination stamps on hand which were otherwise completely useless, surcharging these was the only viable expedient.

With the exception of the Kuban Republic issue, none of these replaced formerly used stamps; they were created as suppliments to them, and were used alongside them within the areas they were issued in and for.

A few notes common to most of these issues:

The definitive overview account of these, easily available to anyone interested in them, is "The Postal History of South Russia 1917 - 1920 : Issues and Rates" by Alexander Epstein (in "The Postrider," Issue Nr. 47, available from The Canadian Society of Russian Philately).

[The CSRP is no longer active but their archive has been taken over by ROSSICA and issues of Postrider are available from the University of Floida Digital Collections. Issue 47 is available here and the article covers pages 7 to 53.]

All information on this page was generously contributed by Bill Wagner (WSRP, BSRP). He, and he alone, deserves all credit. Any errors in the presentation are solely the responsibility of the webmaster.

Page created 19 Feb 2014 Page updated 19 Jan 2016