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|The Soviet Union in space by Alan...|
|Stampless military mail by V. Sinegubov...|
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|The spreading vine by Patrick...|
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|Notes from collectors|
|The Rossica bookshelf|
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Table of Contents
Honored members, officers, and representatives of the society
Life of the society by Gordon Torrey
Minutes of the 1987 annual meeting by Kennedy Wilson
The Soviet Union in space by Alan McKenzie
Stampless military mail by V. Sinegubov (translated by Michael Carson)
Soviet field post procedures 1941-1945 by Peter Michalove
The spreading vine by Patrick Campbell
Delayed by military censor by David Jay
Divergence in Russian postal rates: 1917-1923 by Ivo Steyn
Notes from collectors
The Rossica bookshelf
No. 110 1987
The Journal of the
Rossica Society of Russian Philately
THE JOURNAL OF THE
ROSSICA SOCIETY OF RUSSIAN PHILATELY
No. 110 for 1987
EDITORIAL BOARD: George Shalimoff, M.E. Wilson
MANAGING EDITOR & PUBLISHER: Kennedy L. Wilson
TABLE OF CONTENTS
LIFE OF THE SOCIETY, Gordon Torrey ....................... 3
MINUTES OF THE 1987 ANNUAL MEETING, Kennedy Wilson ....... 4
THE SOVIET UNION IN SPACE, Alan McKenzie ................. 8
STAMPLESS MILITARY MAIL, V. Sinegubov, translated by
Michael Carson ..................................... 56
SOVIET FIELD POST PROCEDURES 1941-1945, Peter Michalove .. 60
THE SPREADING VINE, Patrick Campbell ..................... 67
DELAYED BY MILITARY CENSOR, David Jay .................... 70
DIVERGENCE IN RUSSIAN POSTAL RATES: 1917-1923, Ivo Steyn 77
MEMBER-TO-MEMBER ADLETS .................................. 84
NOTES FROM COLLECTORS .................................. 85
THE ROSSICA BOOKSHELF ................................... 91
Joseph Chudoba Constantine de Stackelberg
OFFICERS OF THE SOCIETY
PRESIDENT: Gordon Torrey, 5118 Duvall Drive, Bethesda MD 20016
VICE PRESIDENT: George Shalimoff, 20 Westgate Dr., S.F., CA 94127
SECRETARY: Kennedy Wilson, 7415 Venice St., Falls Church, VA 22043
TREASURER: Norman Epstein, 33 Crooke Ave., Brooklyn, NY 11226
LIBRARIAN: David Skipton, 50-D Ridge Road, Greenbelt, MD 20770
BOARD OF DIRECTORS:
Lester Glass, 1553 So. La Cienega Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90035
Samuel Robbins, 3565 Meier Street, Los Angeles, CA 90066
Howard Weinert, 500 Stoneleigh Road, Baltimore, MD 21212
REPRESENTATIVES OF THE SOCIETY
WASHINGTON-BALTIMORE: Gordon Torrey, 5118 Duvall Drive,
Bethesda, MD 20016
NO. CALIFORNIA: George Shalimoff, 20 Westgate Dr., S.F., CA 94127
MIDWEST CHAPTER: James Mazepa, P.O. Box 1217, Oak Park, IL 60304
GREAT BRITAIN: Raymond Ceresa, Pepys Cottage, 13 High Street,
Cottenham, Cambridge CB4 4SA
Anything in this Journal may be reproduced without permission.
However, acknowledgement of the source and a copy of the reprinted
matter would be appreciated. The views in this Journal expressed
by the authors are their own and the editors disclaim all
The membership dues are $20.00, due on January 1st for all members.
Application forms are available upon request from the secretary or
treasurer. Membership lists will be sent annually. Kindly make
all checks payable to:
ROSSICA SOCIETY OF RUSSIAN PHILATELY
c/o Norman Epstein, 33 Crooke Avenue,
Brooklyn, New York 11226 USA
We have a number of back issues of the Journal for sale, both in
English and Russian language editions (some). These may be
obtained from Mr. Wilson.
The Rossica Society
ROSSICA 110 1987 Page 3
LIFE OF THE SOCIETY
by Gordon Torrey
The Society's "life" since the last Rossica Journal (108/109)
published in the spring has been highlighted by the CAPEX Inter-
national Philatelic Exhibition held in Toronto, Canada from June 13
to 21, 1987. Thw writer assisted at the Christie's Robson Lowe
stand and stayed for the entire exhibition. This provided an
excellent opportunity to meet and visit with other Rossica members
and a number of Canadian collectors interested in the Russian area.
I had the pleasure to have dinner with Patrick Campbell and several
others at an interesting Russian restaurant. Andrew Cronin was a
member of the jury, and he and I had an opportunity to visit for
some time at a reception.
From my perusal of the CAPEX catalog I find that there were
not as many names of Rossica members in attendance as there were at
AMERIPEX, nor was there as much Russian area material on exhibit.
Dr. James Mazepa, who heads our Chicago chapter, garnered a gold
medal for his "Poland Airpost to 1939." Moshe Shmuely won a large
vermeil, plus a special award, for his "Around the Russian Borders:
October 1917-October 1922, Civil War and Intervention." Per Anders
Erixon also received a large vermeil for "Russia 1812-1912."
G. Adolph Ackerman, showing "Soviet Airmail, The Early Years"
received a vermeil. In the non-Russian area Jozef Kuderewicz
exhibited "Disinfected Mail: Austro-Hungarian Mail" and received a
vermeil. An exhibit from the Soviet Union, "Postage Stamps of
Soviet Russia and the USSR" won a large vermeil for its owner Boris
At NAPEX (Washington, D.C.) David Skipton exhibited "Russian
Postal Development from the 1870s to 1917" and won a gold medal and
the Postal History Medal; Joseph Taylor showed his "Allied
Intervention in Russia 1918-1920" and was awarded a vermeil. Both
exhibited at BALPEX (Baltimore) and received a gold and a vermeil,
respectively. Skipton was also awarded the Baltimore Philatelic
Society Postal History Award.
Rossica has just published a companion volume to Prigara. It
is K. V. Bazilevich's "The Russian Posts in the XIX Century,"
translated by David Skipton. This new work is $45.00 (postpaid) to
paid-up Rossica members. The price to non-members is $50.00
(postpaid). Prigara's "The Russian Post in the Empire, Turkey,
China and the Post in the Kingdom of Poland" is still available to
Rossica members at $37.00 (postpaid). To non-members it is $42.00
On Saturday, February 7th our Northern California chapter held
a meeting at Filatelic Fiesta, the annual show of the San Jose
Stamp Club. In Chicago Rossica members met at CHICAGOPEX, held
from 6 to 8 November. In the Washington-Baltimore area David
Skipton hosted Rossica members in the spring.
Page 4 1987 ROSSICA 110
ROSSICA SOCIETY OF RUSSIAN PHILATELY
1987 ANNUAL MEETING
BALPEX '87 6 September 1987
The Annual Business Meeting of the Rossica Society of Russian
Philately was held at 12:00 noon, 6 September 1987, in conjunction
with BALPEX '87 at the Hunt Valley Inn, Cockeysville, Maryland.
Roll Call of Officers
President: Gordon Torrey present
Vice President: George Shalimoff excused
Secretary: Kennedy Wilson present
Treasurer: Norman Epstein present
Librarian: David Skipton present
Directors: Sam Robbins excused
Lester Glass excused
Howard Weinert present
Members Present: Leon Finik, Yakov Lurye, Gordey Denisenko,
Clyde North, Edward Paule, Andrew Medwid, Tom Waters, Denys Voaden,
G. Adolph Ackerman, Joseph Taylor, William Welch, William Nickle,
The President, Mr. Torrey, opened the meeting by asking persons
present to stand and introduce themselves.
The President noted that Rossica was in the process of publishing a
second translation by David Skipton. This work, K. V. Bazilevich's
The Russian Posts in the XIX Century was written in 1927 and
intended as a companion piece to the Prigara work, previously
translated and published by Rossica. The book is hardbound and
approximately 175 pages in length, with dozens of photographs and
illustrations. It is currently available from Rossica officers for
$45 postpaid to members, or $50 postpaid to non-members.
The President also noted that copies of David Skipton's translation
of S. V. Prigara's The Russian Post in the Empire, Turkey, China
and the Post in the Kingdom of Poland are still available for $37
postpaid to members, or $42 postpaid to non-members.
Finally, in the realm of recent books the President noted that
David Skipton and Peter Michalove had collaborated on an original
book on Russian and Soviet Postal Censorship. The book was
expected to be available shortly after the first of the year, and
cost of the order of $75.
Following these announcements, the President called for the
ROSSICA 110 1987 Page 5
The Library was moved from Dr. Weinert's residence in Baltimore to
its present location in Greenbelt on 5 October 1986, and by late
October the materials were all unboxed and shelved. My thanks to
Howard Weinert for his help in loading and transporting two
carsfull of books and journals the 40 miles between our homes.
The pace of acquisition for the library has slowed considerably
this year, although a steady stream of additions continues.
Membership use has improved dramatically over the last 12-month
period, and the Library's services have been strengthened by the
addition of a copier machine.
Since the last BALPEX meeting on 31 August 1986, the Library has
grown considerably in two areas: Imperial period and 1920s Soviet.
Some very important titles are now available, most notably an 1803
postal guide, Fabricius' 1864 "Post and Economy in Russia During
the 17th Century," a complete run of the official version of the
"Post-and-Telegraph Journal" for 1904, the 1907 list of "Local
Offices of the Post-and-Telegraph Administration," the 1913 Postal
* Statute, 1926 Postal Rates, the 1927 "Geography of Postal
Communications in the USSR," and the 1928 Soviet railroad mail
route guide, which recently appeared in Rossica 108/109. Recent
and current Soviet publications have been coming in in a trickle.
Almost all of the material has been acquired from either the
Library of Congress, the Slavic Reference Service at the University
of Illinois, or member donations. Many of the titles added to the
Library have come from the Library of Congress, but abstraction has
slowed due to a recent change in lending policy by the Library.
Membership use of the Library
I am pleased to report that since 5 October 1986, 14 members have
requested library loans or copies, for a total of 27 orders. This
represents a 170% increase over the preceding year, and that figure
is expected to improve next year.
Copier machine update
The Society purchased a Sharp 7200 copier from the Delson Company
in New York in early December 1986 at a cost of about $1300. It
was delivered to Greenbelt on 31 December 1986 and set up on 14
January. Initial, repeated problems with scored drums have been
corrected, and all repairs were done on warranty, at no cost to the
Society. Currently the machine is working very well.
The total number of pages run off to date stands at 2,860, of which
several hundred were run through by the technician during his
repairs. Society income and savings from the machine now stand at
$92.73. This is broken down as follows: the lowest local
Page 6 1987 ROSSICA 110
commercial rate obtainable by the librarian is 5 cents per copy,
while use of the Society's machine costs approximately 1.1 cents
each. At this 3.9 cent difference, the 1,620 pages added to the
Library come to a savings of $63.18. Charging 5 cents per copy for
pages ordered by members, another $29.55 has been collected as
Subject index: This is progressing, albeit slowly, due to the
pressures of publishing two books on Russian philately. After
September 30 I will be able to devote more time to this, but
members should not expect a complete index for several years,
because of the large number of titles already in the Library.
Award-winning collections: Recently, a new program was instituted,
whereby the Library attempts to have Russian or Russian-related
collections and exhibits xeroxed for reference material. Many fine
collections and exhibits are broken up by auction, theft, or
destruction and their contents, the owner's time and erudition are
lost to philately. If records of good exhibits can be obtained,
the Library and the Society will benefit. Members may obtain these
xeroxes on loan and get an idea how such material may be presented,
gain new knowledge, and compare them \to their own collections. The
owners will in effect have a permanent exhibit on display, as well
as a record of their own holdings, so that in the event of fire or
theft, they can be used for insurance or identification purposes.
If a member desires to remain anonymous, his or her wishes will, of
course, be respected. As an added service, the Library will either
photocopy the member's exhibit at no cost to the member, or pay to
have this done at rates up to but not exceeding 5 cents per page.
The Treasurer stated that his latest report was included in the
last Bulletin published. At the time of the meeting, he reported
approximately $11,000 in the Society's accounts, against which were
approximately $2,000 of accounts payable, leaving a net balance of
The Secretary reported that as of the annual meeting, the
membership of the Society stood at 251 paid up members. Of these,
198 were members residing in the United States, 11 in Canada, and
the remaining 42 in various other countries. The membership in
Canada and other countries had remained almost exactly the same as
in the previous year, but a decrease of 11 members had come from
residents of the United States.
The Secretary also noted that a new society, the ANZAC Society of
Russian Philately had formed in New Zealand, and was now publishing
a fledgling journal. The ANZAC Society had requested that Rossica
provide them with some back issues of the Rossica Journal to serve
ROSSICA 110 1987 Page 7
as reference material for their Journal. After some discussion,
the Board of Directors approved their request and directed the
Secretary to forward recent copies of the Rossica Journal,
beginning with Rossica 94/95, to the editor of the ANZAC Journal.
As a final note, the Secretary noted that elections were to be held
during 1987, and that he would have ballots ready for inclusion
with the next mailing of the Rossica Journal. Nomination forms
would be mailed out with a copy of the Rossica Bulletin, and those
accepting nomination would be placed on the ballot.
The Secretary also noted that the ballot would contain a number of
proposed amendments to the Rossica Constitution. These proposed
amendments have been published in detail in Rossica 108/109 (pages
12 14), and will not be repeated here. All requirements of the
current Constitution having been met, the proposed amendments would
be placed on the ballot for the approval/disapproval of the
There being no further business to come before the meeting, the
meeting was adjourned at 12:50 pm, subject to the call of the
President at Balpex '88.
Kennedy L. Wilson, Secretary
"* NOTICE FROM THE EDITOR *
This issue marks the return to single issues, as opposed to the
double issues of the last few years. As such, Rossica 110 is the
first issue of two to be dated 1987. The second issue for 1987,
Rossica 111, will be published shortly and mailed to all members
who have paid dues for 1987.
As can be seen, publication of a shorter issue does not allow the
breadth of material which was available in the longer double
issues, particularly when one of the articles is 30 pages or more.
The editor feels it is important to print an entire article in one
issue of the Journal, rather than continue it for a few pages in
each of several consecutive issues as has been done in previous
years. Likewise, some material provided to the editor must be
"held over" for later issues. The photolithographic process used by
our printer requires that journals be printed in multiples of 32
pages, which also provides some constraints on what can be printed.
Every effort will be made to continue our policy of "something for
everyone" in each of our Journal issues. Following the publication
of Rossica 111, an attempt will be made to establish a regular
printing cycle which results in the printing of the first single
issue for any given year sometime around June of that year, and the
second single issue sometime around the December time frame.
Page 8 1987 ROSSICA 110
THE SOVIET UNION IN SPACE
by Alan McKenzie
On October 4, 1957 the Soviet Union launched Sputnik 1, the
world's first artificial satellite and in so doing signaled the
start of the space race between the USA and the USSR. The story
unfolds as some unlikely but compelling piece of fiction by Jules
Verne or H. G. Wells. The story as far as the Soviet Union is
concerned is well illustrated by the array of stamps produced: more
than 300! The Soviet Union's space stamps are a study in
Presented here is a summary of some of the individuals, events
and achievements in the Soviet space program as depicted in their
postage stamps. A brief description of significant individuals and
events is given and will include the Scott or Stanley Gibbons (SG)
catalog numbers of Soviet stamps representing the topic. The lists
are not to be considered absolutely complete or thorough. On
numerous occasions, depictions on one stamp may be assigned to two
or more events. Illustrations are shown in actual size.
ROSSICA 110 1987 Page 9
O Konstantin Eduardovich Tsiolkovsky
(Scott 1582, 1991, 2886)
The story starts with this man, even though he died in 1935.
Tsiolkovsky, a prominent Russian scientist, did research in
astronautics and aeronautics and was a pioneer in rocket develop-
ment. At the end of the last century he built the first wind
tunnel as part of his plan for an all-metal dirigible. Shortly
afterward he published a book on communicating with inhabitants of
other planets and another entitled "Exploration of Cosmic Space by
Means of Reaction Devices." A stamp to commemorate his birth
centenary was issued October 7, 1957--issued, approximately, three
days after the launching of the first satellite.
___ I .
0 Scott 2886
Sputnik 1, October 4, 1957
(Scott 1992-93, 2021, 2653, 2732, 2732a, 2830, 2883, (SG) MS3027a,
3333, 3397, 4007, 4539, 4562, 4589-94, 5083)
The world's first artificial earth satellite was a polished
metal sphere 23 inches in diameter with four aerials up to 9 ft. 6
in. long. In 96 days it made 1400 orbits before it finally
encountered earth's atmosphere and burned up. It was a magnificent
triumph for Soviet technology, and it broadcast its famous "beeps"
to the world as a signal of its success. Instruments on board
included devices for measuring atmospheric density and temperature
as well as the concentration of electrons in the ionosphere. The
word "sputnik" means "traveling companion."
IScott 1992 ScoIT t 2653 Scott 40071
Scott 1992 Scott 2653 Scott 4007
Page 10 1987 ROSSICA 110
Sputnik 2, November 3, 1957 Scott 5083
(Scott 2032-35, 2883)
The world's second satellite carried the first living creature
into space. The dog Laika lived in a pressurized container and
data was obtained on the effects of weightlessness on living
organisms. Laika died when her oxygen ran out seven days after the
launch. Sputnik remained in orbit for 103 days when it re-entered
the earth's atmosphere and disintegrated.
Kibalchich (1853-1881) was a prominent rocket designer. He
conducted research based on the "pulsed momentum principle." He
was executed after being found guilty of preparing explosives for
the bombs which killed Czar Alexander II.
F. A. Tsander
With Korolev, Tsander formed the "Moscow Group for the Study
of Reactive Motion." He was a pioneer into rocket research
development. This German from Riga, Latvia, is credited with
launching the first Soviet rocket in 1933 to a height of 1300 feet.
Tsander died mysteriously shortly afterward at the age of 46.
nH n KMAJIbMn I 4 ..UAUauP E
"nOTAt CCCP nlOTA CCCP
Scott 2887 Scott 2885
ROSSICA 110 1987 Page 11
S Sergei Korolev
(Scott 3578, 4539, 4926)
Korolev was the leader of the Soviet Union's development of
orbital flight. He was the chief designer of the rockets which
launched most of the Soviet Union's early spacecraft, although in
accordance with the official policy he was virtually unknown to the
Soviet public. His importance to space technology only came to
light after his death in 1966, just a few months after directing
the successful development of the "Voskhod" flights. His health
had been undermined by six years of imprisonment during the Stalin
regime. Dedicated to astronautics, he inspired great loyalty among
the nation's cosmonauts and engineers.
Scott 3578 Scott 4539
Sputnik 3, May 15, 1958
(Scott 2083, 2883)
Fifteen times heavier than Sputnik 1, this cone-shaped
satellite was 11 ft. 7 in. long and carried instruments to study
the earth's upper atmosphere and solar radiation.
*^^*HH. ------ -I
Luna 1, January 2, 1959
(Scott 2160, 2187-88, 2831)
Luna 1 was the first spacecraft to achieve earth escape
velocity. It reached a speed of 25,000 miles per hour, "second
cosmic velocity," passing the moon within 3,700 miles. It had been
intended that it should impact the moon but having missed its mark,
Page 12 1987 ROSSICA 110
it eventually went into orbit around the sun. The launch was
effected by a three stage vehicle. The craft was spherical and
equipped with radiation-measuring instruments. Radio contact was
maintained up to a distance of 371,000 miles.
Scott 2187 Scott 2188 Scott 2267
Luna 2, September 12, 1959
(Scott 2235, 2266-67, (SG) MS3027a)
Carrying a pennant bearing the USSR coat of arms, Luna 2
crashed into the moon on 14 September 1959, and in so doing was the
first space vehicle to reach a celestial body. It crashed in the
Sea of Serenity.
Luna 3, October 4, 1959
(Scott 2259, 2309-10, 2832, (SG) MS3027a, 5296)
The first circumnavigation of the moon was accompanied by
dramatic pictures of the far side of the moon transmitted by Luna
3, just two years after the launching of Sputnik 1.
Scott 2259 Scott 2309 Scott 2310
Sputnik 4, May 15, 1960
This was the first Sputnik after a lapse of two years and was
intended as a test flight for the future manned "Vostok" series.
The project failed because the cabin went into too high an orbit
and thus could not be recovered. It eventually reentered earth's
atmosphere five years later!
ROSSICA 110 1987 Page 13
S Sputnik 5, August 19, 1960
The second trial run for a manned Vostok flight was
successful. On board were the dogs Beika and Strelka (and six
mice). After eighteen orbits of the earth, the dogs safely
returned by parachute. Strelka had six pups on January 20, 1961.
Sputnik 8 and Venera 1, February 12, 1961
SSputniks 6 and 7 are the first uneventful test trials not
remembered or celebrated by an issue of Soviet stamps. Sputnik 8
was itself used to launch Venera (or Venus) 1, the Soviet Union's
first planetary probe. The launch was successfully made while
Sputnik 8 was in earth orbit, but Venera 1 missed the planet Venus
by some 62,000 miles and failed to return data.
Sputnik 9, March 9, 1961
This was the fourth Sputnik to contain a live creature. The
dog Chernushka was successfully recovered.
Scott 2457 Scott 2492
Page 14 1987 ROSSICA 110
Sputnik 10, March 25, 1961
The fifth Sputnik also carried a live creature. This time the
dog Zvezdochka was successfully recovered after one orbit of the
earth. Sputniks 9 and 10 were, of course, trials for Vostok 1 the
Vostok 1, April 12, 1961
(Scott 2463-65, 2578, 2631A, 2733, 2733a, 2833, 2889, (SG) MS3027a,
3578, 3840, 3844, 4309, 4431, 4523, 4562, 4589, 4602, 4926-28,
This was the world's first manned space flight! Yuri Gagarin
made space history with his one orbit of the earth, being in space
for 1 hour and 48 minutes. This was the Soviet Union's greatest
triumph. A few days later on May 5, Alan Shepard followed Gagarin
in the USA's "Freedom 7" with a ballistic lob of 486 kilometers,
but not into orbit. The Soviet Union had done it first! Gagarin,
of course, became a national hero and made numerous world wide
television appearances although, incredibly, he continued his
dangerous career as a test pilot. He was tragically killed testing
a military jet in 1968; he was 34 years old. April 12 is
celebrated in the Soviet Union as "Cosmonauts Day," and
commemorative stamps are issued each year.
Scott 4309 Scott 4589
ROSSICA 110 1987 Page 15
M 111K- B i(B l \ "
WIll AJIlEBKI FAIlM
Vostok 2, August 6, 1961
(Scott 2509-10, 2622-23, 2631A, (SG) MS3027a, 4008)
Vostok 2 was the world's fourth manned space flight. Alan
Shepard and Virgil Grissom of the United States were second and
third. Cosmonaut Gherman Titov made seventeen orbits of the earth,
totaling 25 hours 11 minutes in duration and became the first man
to spend a whole day in space. Titov was 26, suffered serious
disorientation during the flight, and had ear trouble for some time
Scott 2509 Scott 4008 Scott 2510
Page 16 1987 ROSSICA 110
Cosmos Series--Cosmos 3, April 24, 1962
(Scott 2586, 2889)
The first of the numerous Cosmos series of satellites was
launched on March 16, 1962. Cosmos 3, which, incidentally, is one
of the very few Cosmos satellites to have a stamp commemorating it,
returned radiation belt and cosmic ray data. The Cosmos series
covers a wide range of Soviet space research projects. The series
numbers have also been allowed to a large number of failed space
probes and other missions. By 1985 around 1700 Cosmos launches had
Pavel Popovich on Vostok 4 comprised the first of many manned
"team" flights. The two spacecraft came within three miles of each
other. T.V. transmissions from space gave the Soviet public the
first demonstrations of weightlessness.
S------ --- --
Scott 2627 Scott 2629 Scott 2628
Vostok 3&4, 11/12, 1962August 1962
(Scott 2627/, 2666, 2884)S..MS3027a, 2834)
A spectacular double flight! Andrian Nikolaev on Vostok 3 and
Pavel Popovich on Vostok 4 comprised the first of many manned
"t eam" flights. The two spacecraft came within three miles of each
weather. T.V. transmissions from space gave the Soviet public the
surface. Due to a fault in its orientation system the craft'sess.
Scott 2627 Scott 2629 Scott 2628
Mars 1, November 1, 1962
(Scott 2662, 2666, 2884)
The world's first Mars probe was successfully launched from
earth orbit and contained instruments for studying the Martian
surface. Due to a fault in its orientation system the craft's
ROSSICA 110 1987 Page 17
antenna no longer pointed to earth and so contact was lost on March
21, 1963 after it traveled 65.8 million miles. It was scheduled to
pass Mars three months later before eventually going into solar
Scott 2666 Scott 2884
Luna 4, April 2, 1963
This commemorative stamp was issued on the
same day as the launching. It was premature
since the mission failed in its objective.
Luna 4 was the first of five spacecraft aimed at
solving problems of soft landing on the moon.
It failed to get to the moon and went into orbit
around the earth. If the Soviet authorities had -
not been so fast off the mark issuing this stamp,
then presumably Luna 4 would have been given a
Cosmos series number.
Vostok 5&6, June 14/16, 1963
(Scott 2748/53, 2835, S.G.MS3027a, 4092, 5153)
The second manned team space flight had Valery Bykovsky on
Vostok 5. He established a new space record of 119 hours which was
to stand for two years until broken by Gemini 5. In Vostok 6, the
world's attention focused on Valentina Tereshkova who, at the age
of 26, became the first spacewoman. According to some reports whe
was a last minute substitute for a more experienced woman pilot who
was indisposed. She completed 48 orbits before returning safely to
earth. To complete the human interest aspect, five months later
she married cosmonaut Andrian Nikolaev, the world's seventh space
man. Within a year a healthy baby girl was born.
Scott 2748 and 2749
Page 18 1987 ROSSICA 110
Scott 2750 Scott 2751
S: 2 ON4TA 0 CGCP 1973
O Q noHTACCCP
Voskhod 1, October 12, 1964
The Voskhod series of manned space flights was similar to the
Vostok series escept for retro-rockets and parachutes which enabled
cosmonauts to remain in the spacecraft during the soft landings.
Voshkod 1 was the first three-manned space flight. The crew were
Vladimir Komarov (pilot), Konstantin Feoktistov (scientist) and
Boris Yegerov (physician), and they made 16 orbits before returning
safely to earth. In order to save weight the cosmonauts did not
wear space suits. As was usual for many of the Soviet manned space
flights, Khruschev chatted with the spacemen by telephone while
they were in orbit. During the conversation Khruschev remarked,
ROSSICA 110 1987 Page 19
"Mikoyan is pulling the receiver out of my hand." That comment
proved to be his last public utterance. The following day
Khruschev was removed from power and replaced by Brezhnev and
3nk1MIKPBoo1I I MuPE TfXMECIaNOIO KOCCIHMnIOfImmA-CIniMAJOCIQ
Voskhod 2, March 18, 1965
(Scott 3015/6. 3019, 3043/4, 3316, 3456, 3844, 4009, 4332, 4590,
This was an important space achievement as evidenced by the
number of stamps issued to commemorate it. Two cosmonauts, Pavel
Belyayev and Alexei Leonov were on board. Leonov created one of
the biggest sensations to date in space development by being the
first man to walk in space. Numerous publications around the world
have reproduced the photographs showing him floating outside the
spacecraft. However, all was not well with this historic flight.
Leonov's spacesuit ballooned, and he had considerably difficulty in
getting back into the capsule. Later, the automatic re-entry
system failed, and it became necessary for a manual re-entry to be
made, the first time this had been necessary for a Soviet flight.
Leonov suffered no ill-effects from his space walk. Belyayev
appeared to have no problems from his flight at the time either,
but he subsequently developed internal troubles, and he died five
years later at the age of 37.
flABIA EEAMu ONJmam i
Page 20 1987 ROSSICA 110
- - -
-fivio nwBOM B
Luna 9, January 31, 1966
(Scott 3160, 3258, 3274/6, 3471)
There were a series of unsuccessful attempts to make a soft
landing on the moon with Luna 5, 6, 7, and 8. Unlike Luna 4 these
failures were not commemorated by the issue of stamps. Luna 9,
however, was successful and thus became the first ever space
vehicle to soft land on the moon. It transmitted T.V. pictures of
the moon's surface for three days.
----- -- --- --- ---- -- ----- --- -- --- -- --- -- --- -- W---- - --
AfT n V.OCMA IECKOM 3PblI VHA9-*HAAVIiE: CORL.Tt'r-
a..Mli IC H"IVHr Fr
Scott 3274, 3275 and 3276
(Illustrated 3/4 size to fit on page)
ROSSICA 110 1987 Page 21
Luna 10, March 31, 1966
(Scott 3192, 3225)
Yet another space "first." This was
the first satellite to go into orbit around
the moon. Scientific results included
measurement of lunar gravitation.
(Scott 3195, 3288, 3543a, 4428, 4528, 4607, 4609, 4667, 4727, 5043,
Many Molniya (Lightning) satellites have been launched.
Between 1965 and 1972, 22 were launched and formed part of the
Soviet Union's communications systems including television,
telephone, and telegraph links to 35 ground stations. Molniya 1
satellites together with more advanced Molniya 2 and 3 satellites
continue to form part of the present communications system.
Scott 3288 Scott 4528 Scott 4609 Scott 4667
Venera 3, November 16, 1965
On November 12, Venera 2 was launched but passed Venus by
14,900 miles and failed to return data. Four days afterward
Venera 3 followed and reached Venus 105 days later. It crashed on
the planet on March 1, 1966 and although it failed to return
information about conditions on Venus, it was nevertheless an
historic flight as it was the first spacecraft to reach a planet.
Page 22 1987 ROSSICA 110
Cosmos 110, February 22, 1966
This biological satellite carried two dogs, Veterok and
Ugolyek. After 330 orbits they were successfully recovered.
-- - -- - -
Scott 3224 Scott 3223 Scott 3289
Luna 11, August 28, 1966
This satellite went into lunar orbit and transmitted data
until October 1.
Proton 1 is on the 10k stamp in the Montreal Expo '67 set.
This series of four satellites studied the nature of high energy
cosmic rays and their interaction with the nuclei of atoms.
Cosmos 186 & 188, October 27/30, 1967
(Scott 3452, 3456/8)
These two unmanned spacecraft were the first to be
automatically docked, and it was the USSR's first docking of any
ROSSICA 110 1987 Page 23
Lnu3A i)>L a:1f .
Scott 3456, 3457, and 3458
Venus recording temperatures of up to 540 degrees F. In attempting
revealed by the data from this mission.
VenSoyz Juber 26, 196
(Scott 3458), 3581)
on April 23, 1967 with the launching of Soyuz i.
On board was Vladinsmittedr Komarov, the pilot of tsphere of the planet
SoVenus recording temperatures of up to 540 degrees F. In attempting
flight. The mission ran a soft landing transmissions ceased abruptly, probably causednd on
throue eighteenth a collision with a mountain. Future spacecraft were
a height of four miles the main parachute harness
redetwisted causing thsurvive longspaceraft theo crash conditions of Venus as
Komarov inby the proess. He wathis missthe first spaeon.
fatality. HO.TA CCCP]
S n o r 25 ad 22, 1967
(Giorgi Beregovi on board. Beregovi continued Scott 35453458)
Venuwith his routrdine objectives of up to 540 degrees F. In attcludedempting
through a collision with a mountain. Future spacecraft were
redesflight. The mission ran into problems aconditions of Venus as
study a height of four miles the main parachute harness king
reKvuarle T the podtats. from s the fir
SoyuzSoyuz 2 and 3 followed on October 25 and 26,October 26, 1968
(Giorgi Beregovi on board. Beregovi continued Scott 3545, 3581)
with his routine objectives which includSoyuz series commened the
study1964 Voskhod 1 mission. Soyuz 1 whilas the firstng
the eighteenth reporbit re-entry was ordered. Ats.
regular T.V. reports.
Page 24 1987 ROSSICA 110
.... ., -.n -. ..
Soyuz 4 & 5, January 14/15, 1969
These two space vehicles were successfully docked manually by
Vladimir Shatalov, the pilot of Soyuz 4. Three other cosmonauts--
Boris Volynov, Yevgeny Khrunov, and Alexsei Yelisyev--were on board
Soyuz 5. T.V. cameras recorded the Soviet Union's first manned
docking which was followed by a space walk by Khrunov and Yeliseyev
lasting 37 minutes. They re-entered Soyuz 4. The mission
successfully rehearsed emergency rescues in space. After the two
craft undocked they both re-entered earth's atmosphere and landed
CO3AAHA 3HCnfPIMENTA nbHA*
S OC M ELA C C rAH MAR
PO MHA r o A V E P fV -'
ROSSICA 110 1987 Page 25
Zond 5, September 15, 1968
Eight Zond-designed flights were launched between April, 1964
and October 1970. Officially they were described as "automatic
interplanetary stations and deep spaceflight technology development
tests." Zond 1 was a Venus flyby mission; Zond 2 was a Mars flyby
while Zond 3 went into an orbit around Mars. Subsequent Zonds were
precursors of the manned Soyuz-type vehicles. Zond 5, shown in
Scott 3579, was the first space vehicle to make a circumlunar
flight and return to earth. The turtles on board were unharmed.
Soyuz 6, 7, and 8, October 11/12/13, 1969
Three manned spacecraft launched over three days containing no
less than seven cosmonauts created the first situation of three
manned spacecraft being in space at the same time. On Soyuz 6 were
Georgi Shonin and Valery Kubasov; Soyuz 7 had Anatoli Filipchenko,
Viktor Shatalov and Alexsei Yeliseyev--both from the Soyuz 4 and 5
missions. Despite speculation as to the purpose of this large
mission there were no dockings or space walks. However interesting
experiments were carried out with remote-controlled space welding.
Also numerous orbital changes were made--31 in all--many of them
----------- ---------- --- ----------
K OOTACCCP-969 K1 OrTACCPi969 K CPTA< 1969 :
Scott 3655, 3656, and 3657
* Venera 5 & 6, January 5/10, 1969
After the 131 day flight to Venus, descent capsules separated
at a distance of 23,000 miles from the planet's surface. Using
Page 26 1987 ROSSICA 110
techniques of reducing speed through atmospheric braking and
parachutes, soft landings were attempted by both craft while
transmitting data to earth. Temperatures up to 508 degrees F. were
recorded and atmospheric pressures between 882 and 2058 p.s.i.
indicated that Venus was a very unpleasant place! When pressures
reached 27 atmospheres (400 p.s.i.) both spacecraft were crushed.
As a result of these flights it became necessary to further
redesign landing craft to withstand the extreme conditions of this
FOCiTAC ICCPG C
Scott 3667 Scott 3668
Zond 6 and 7, November 10, 1968 and August 8, 1969
Zond 6 made the second circumlunar flight as part of a project
to eventually perfect a manned mission to the moon. Zond 7 made
the third circumlunar flight sending back pictures of the far side
of the moon.
HOAET ABlOMATHIECKHX CIAHUIM 3H-30HA- S H HA-7T flO PACC 3EMAR-AYHA-3EMA
flO3HH-TA-CCCP O7XI TA/CPC'
< (30HM-7-8-14-Vfl'8S*t; -,,ABB
ROSSICA 110 1987 Page 27
Soyuz 9, June 1, 1970
Andrian Nikolayev made his second
spaceflight after a wait of eight years.
He was accompanied by Vitaly Sevastyanov
with the primary aim of studying the
effects of prolonged weightlessness and
also to study and photograph oceanic behavior.
A new long-duration record of 424 hours in
space was created and the descent to earth
was watched by Soviets on television for the
first time. The cosmonauts experienced some
difficulty in readjusting to earth conditions
feeling twice their actual weight for about
seven days. Nikolaev is the husband of
spacewoman Valentina Tereshkova. Scott 3748
Luna 16, September 12, 1970
Luna 12 and Luna 14 became the third and fourth lunar
satellites respectively. Luna 13 made the second soft landing on
the moon while, as the space race with the Americans heated up,
Luna 15 unsuccessfully tried to collect and return moon soil only a
few hours before America put the first man on the moon from Apollo
11. Luna 16, however, was a most successful mission though largely
overshadowed by Apollo 11. Luna 16 soft landed in the moon and
with its automatic drilling rig collected lunar samples and placed
101 grams of soil in a sealed container. The automatic spacecraft
then blasted off from the moon's surface and returned to earth with
its prize. In many respects this in one of the Soviet Union's most
impressive space achievements.
"- II 1' ( \ \ MIi,/ I'T II ,I\)( TRAH.\I HA MAIk) n
......... .... ........ IT
So 12 C(FH TH P f170 20 .EHTlG6Pf 1970 24 CENTfl5PfH 970 *
Page 28 1987 ROSSICA 110
Luna 17 Lunokhod 1, November 10, 1970
(Scott 3834/7a, 4010)
Luna 17, like its predecessor Luna 16, demonstrated consider-
able advances made in space technology. It soft landed in the Sea
of Rains and TV cameras checked the surrounding area for boulders
and obstructions. From the USSR's Deep Space Communications Center
one of the two alternative ramps on the space vehicle was lowered
and down the ramp rolled Lunokhod 1. This "moonwalker" operated
for 11 months and traveled 34,500 feet taking over 200 panoramic
moonscapes and 20,000 other photographs. Lunokhod was driven by a
five-man team in the Communications Center consisting of a driver,
a commander, a navigator, an engineer, and a radio operator.
Driving the moonwalker called for unusual skills and techniques
which placed great strain on the operators. The robot was already
several feet ahead of the TV pictures being observed because of the
time delay in transmitting pictures over the 240,000 mile distance.
The robot also had an automatic stop system which worked so well
that it never overturned in the 11 months of its life. Excellent
pictures of the Lunokhod moonwalker and Luna 17 are shown on the
AOCABA.VEII IIA .WYVIi CObxTC)KlIfI A'RTOMANT1'lVCCVII*I
17 I1o0ISPS inTO fOA-A-
Scott 3834 Scott 3835 Scott 3836
ROSSICA 110 1987 Page 29
Scott 3837 Scott 4010
Soyuz Salyut: Soyuz 11 Salyut 1, June 6, 1971
(Scott 3841, 3844, 3904, 3962, 4591, 4929)
Soyuz 10 was launched on April 22, 1971, three days after the
launching of the Salyut 1 space station into orbit around the
earth. Link-ups between the Soyuz spacecraft and orbiting Salyut
space stations form the basis of the current Soviet manned space
programs. Soyuz 10 had three cosmonauts on board--Vladimir
Shatalov, Alexei Yeliseyev, and Nikolai Rukavishnikov. They
manually docked their craft with Salyut 1, but due to technical
difficulties they did not enter the station. After five and a half
hours they undocked and returned to earth.
Soyuz 11 launched another three man crew, Georgi Dobrovolsky,
Vladislav Volkov (his second flight), and Viktor Patsayev. Using
Soyuz 11 as a ferry craft they docked with and entered Salyut 1 and
made history after a 24-day stay in space, mostly in the space
station. The crew returned to their Soyuz spacecraft and undocked
after their marathon activity in space. On June 30 a normal firing
of a braking engine was carried out and from that moment all
communications between the craft and their ground control ceased.
All other functions continued on schedule including an on-target
touchdown. A helicopter crew opened up the spacecraft and
discovered the three cosmonuats dead in their seats. It was a
tragic end to an important space achievement. It was later learned
that their deaths were caused by decompression through a faulty
valve. The cremated remains of the three cosmonauts are now buried
in the Kremlin wall.
Scott 3904 Scott 3962
Page 30 1987 ROSSICA 110
UM --A~ii------------ ^
Scott 4591 Scott 4929
Mars 2, May 19, 1971
Mars 2 comprised a mother ship and a lander. It went into
orbit around Mars in November 1971 and the lander made a "hard
landing" on November 27. From this probe it was established that
nine tenths of the atmosphere of Mars consisted of carbon dioxide.
a- -- -
Scott 3963 Scott 3964
Mars 3, May 28, 1971
(Scott 3964, 4012, 4045)
The Mars 3 capsule which is shown on Scott 3964 landed on Mars
in December 1971, but after only 20 seconds of viewing the surface
of the planet via the television camera, the signals abruptly
ceased. A third Mars orbiter was also launched at this time but
was lost. As was normal for a failed mission it was allotted a
Cosmos series number--Cosmos 419.
ROSSICA 110 1987 Page 31
"3VYmEHMmH COAMHENHOo CMCTEMm YcIEnIHO
Venera 7 and 8, August 17, 1970-March 27, 1972
(Scott 4011, 4044, 4045)
Venera 7 was launched on August 17, 1970 and unlike its
predecessors, did manage a successful soft landing on Venus. It
returned signals for 23 minutes before they ceased. Scott 4011
shows the Venera 7 touchdown.
Venera 8 reached the outer atmosphere of Venus on July 22,
1972 and automatically released its capsule. Aerodynamic braking
reduced its speed from 26,000 mph to 560 mph. It made a soft
landing and transmitted data for 50 minutes before the great heat
of the planet took its toll. The harsh atmosphere of Venus also
destroyed the Venera 8 carrier.
Luna 21 and Lunokhod 2, January 8, 1973
Luna 18 crashed onto the moon.
Luna 19 went into a lunar orbit.
Luna 20, launched February 14, 1972
was similar to Luna 16 in that it soft
landed on the moon's surface, collected
lunar dust, and successfully returned
Luna 21 soft landed in the Sea of
Serenity on January 16 and the new
improved Lunokhod 2 drove off the
Luna 21 ramp. Lunokhod 2 covered a Scott 4071
total of 23 miles before it failed in
Page 32 1987 ROSSICA 110
(Scott 4175, 4428)
The first of the Meteor series of weather satellites was
launched in March, 1969.
----- ----------A Tb
-- -- --- -- -- -- -- -- -- -
Scott 4175 Scott 4428
Soyuz 12, September 27, 1973
It had been over two years since the previous manned space
flight of Soyuz 11, which had ended with the tragic deaths of its
three man crew. Cosmonauts V. G. Lazarev and 0. G. Makorov were on
board this latest Soyuz. Following the disaster of Soyuz 11 the
ROSSICA 110 1987 Page 33
cosmonauts wore their space suits and that is the reason there was
only room for two. Also it was no coincidence that Col. Lazarev
happened to be a physician. The two-day mission functioned without
Scott 4176 Scott 4177
Soyuz 13, December 18, 1973
P. I. Kilmuk and V. V. Lebedev were in Soyuz 13 for eight
days. One of the more interesting aspects about this particular
manned flight was that for the first time Soviet and American
cosmonauts were in space simultaneously--the Americans in Skylab.
Mars 4, 5, 6, and 7, July/August, 1973
(Scott 4255, 4429)
Mars.4 and 5 launched July 21 and 25, 1973 were orbiting relay
craft. Only Mars 5 succeeded in going into orbit and sending back
photographs of Mars.
Mars 6 and 7 were launched August 5 and 9, 1973 and carried
landing craft for release during a Mars flyby. Mars 6 released its
lander as planned but it ceased communication prior to touchdown.
Mars 7 missed the planet.
Page 34 1987 ROSSICA 110
Soyuz 14 and Salyut 3, July 3, 1974
The Salyut 2 space station was launched on April 3, 1973 but
broke up into pieces by April 14. Cosmos 557 launched in haste on
May 11 was the intended replacement just three days before an
American Skylab mission, but it failed to remain in orbit.
Salyut 3 was launched on June 25, 1974. Weighing over 25
tons its two cylinders contained a bedroom and kitchen with a table
for two, as well as working and equipment areas.
Soyuz 14 successfully docked with Salyut 3 with Pavel Popovich
on board--the same man who was on Vostok 4 twelve years earlier.
Together with cosmonaut Yuri Artyukhin, he demonstrated to the
Americans that the Soyuz technical problems were at an end in view
of the forthcoming Apollo-Soyuz link-up.
S-Acccp Scott 4257
Soyuz 15, August 26, 1974
G. V. Sarafanov and L. S. Demin were supposed to make a
second visit to Salyut 3 and stay for a month, but they failed to
reach Salyut from their orbit and after 36 revolutions they
returned to earth. This was a disappointing failure for the
Soviets who had hoped, after all the research and improvements made
following the Soyuz 11 tragedy, that their problems were over.
Col. Demin at the age of 48 was the first grandfather in space.
Soyuz 16, December 2, 1974
This was a practice mission for the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project.
Cosmonauts A. V. Filipchenko and N. N. Rukavishnikov returned to
earth safely on December 8.
Soyuz 17-Salyut 4, January 10, 1975
The new Salyut 4 space station was launched on December 26,
1974 and went into a circular orbit at a height of 214 miles.
Alexsei A. Gubarev and Georgi M. Grechko were on Soyuz 17,
ROSSICA 110 1987 Page 35
made a docking rendevous with Salyut 4 and undertook scientific
experiments including the testing of instruments for controlling
Salyut 4. Gubarev and Grechko created a new record by staying in
space for 30 days before returning to earth.
iCOla 2-6 26ANWA74J
Scott 4311 Scott 4310
Soyuz 18-Salyut 4, May 24, 1975
On April 5, 1975, V. Lazarov and 0. Makarov were launched in
an unnumbered Soyuz (sometimes referred to as Soyuz 18A), but they
failed to reach orbital height because the Soyuz capsule did not
separate from the launch vehicle. The mission had to be aborted,
and both men were safely returned.
Soyuz 18 set off from Tyratum with cosmonauts Pyotr Klimuk
and Vitaly Sevastyanov, and they docked with the Salyut space
station on May 26. They broke the space endurance record of their
Soyuz 17 predecessors by staying in space for two months and
finally returning to earth on July 26.
Apollo/Soyuz Test Project July 15, 1975
(Scott 4338/42, 4430)
The ASTP, as it was known, was the eagerly awaited joint space
venture of the Americans and Soviets. The mission commander was
Brigadier General Tom Stafford, and he was accompanied on the
Apollo spacecraft by Vance D. Brand and 51-year-old "Deke" Slayton.
The commander of Soyuz 19 was the now-famous "space walker"
Colonel Alexsei A. Leonov who took part in the Voshkod 2 mission
ten years earlier. He was accompanied by Valery Kubasov, a
civilian engineer who was on the Soyuz 6 mission in 1969.
The two spacecraft sighted each other on July 17 at a height
of 242 miles and at noon, somewhere over Portugal, the two
Page 36 1987 ROSSICA 110
A number of joint scientific and biological experiments were
carried out. The craft were separated and docked again to prove
techniques. They were finally undocked on July 19.
A beautiful set of stamps were simultaneously issued by the
USA and USSR to celebrated this outstanding achievement in
...j~criypiiMEl a lbl nnntt H-- biig^ c.:Cj* w j iiil-.. H
SScott 4339 and 4340
-... .. ......
c -- 'wt
SottScott 4339 and 4340
,-,.'"-.--t 3 -
Scott 4430 19 75llllY(. B Y~UI. cr...................
ROSSICA 110 1987 Page 37
Venera 9 and 10, June 8 and 14, 1975
(Scott 4392, 5297)
Soviet technology successfully overcame the problems of
dealing with the harsh environment of the planet Venus which had
affected their previous missions. Both Venera 9 and 10 soft landed
on Venus. Venera 9 touched down on October 22, 1975 and
transmitted pictures of a boulder-strewn terrain. On October 25
some 1400 miles away Venera 10's transmissions indicated large
pancake-shaped flat rocks.
Scott 4392 Scott 4475
Soyuz 21-Salyut 5, July 6, 1976
On November 17, 1975 an unmanned spacecraft, Soyuz 20, was
launched and automatically docked with the Salyut 4 space station.
They orbited together for 91 days. On board were biological
experiments. The purpose of this mission was to test the future
techniques of supplying manned space stations with unmanned
The latest Salyut 5 space station was launched on June 22,
1976 at a low orbit of 140 miles which tended to characterize it as
having military reconnaissance purposes. A few days later on
July 6, Col. Boris Volynov and Lt. Col. Vitaly Zholobov were lifted
in Soyuz 21 to dock the next day with Salyut 5. Among their many
experiments were biological studies and the effect of prolonged
weightlessness on humans. Their scientific experiments caused
their craft to be polluted with a harsh, acrid smell which forced
them to terminate the mission after 48 days.
(Scott 4070, 4489/93, 4645/7, 4665/9, 4744, 4747/8, 4820, 4835/7,
4849/50, 4865/7, 4921/3, 4940/2, 5059/62, 5241/44)
A large number of Soviet stamps have been issued and are
still being issued with the Interkosmos logo and/or caption. The
numerous and various experimental missions involve cooperation
between the Soviet Union and other socialist Soviet bloc countries.
The first launch in December, 1968 was Cosmos 261. Most of the
missions involve a Soviet launch vehicle with a foreign satellite.
The international cooperation set of stamps (Scott 4489/93)
includes both Interkosmos missions and other foreign cooperative
ventures with France, India and the USA (ASTP mission).
Page 38 1987 ROSSICA 110
--- -- ----
Scott 4744 oTVccCP-1980o
I M I 7 1
Luna 24, August 9, 1976
Luna 24 is described as an automatic Luna station and was used
to sample lunar soil.
ROSSICA 110 1987 Page 39
Soyuz 22, September 15, 1976
This was Col. Valery Bykovsky's second flight. He had
previously accompanied Valentina Tereshkova during the Vostok 5 and
6 manned team flight back in July 1963. His flight companion on
this mission was Vladimir Aksenov. Their brief 8-day scientific
mission included photographs of earth in multispectral wavelengths.
Soyuz 23, October 14, 1976
Lt. Col. V. Zudov and Lt. Col. V. Rozhdestvensky were launched
in Soyuz 23 with the intention of docking with the Salut 5 space
station. However, once again bad luck intervened and the
cosmonauts were forced to return to earth after only two days.
Scott 4570 I A J*A-0
Soyuz 24-Salyut 5, February 7, 1977
Col. V. V. Gorbatko and Lt. Col. V. N. Glazkov successfully
docked Soyuz 24 with Salyut 5. They performed a number of
experiments and replaced the air in the cabin with a fresh supply
from earth, presumably because of the pollution caused by the Soyuz
21 mission. The mission lasted 18 days.
Soyuz 26, 27 and 28-Salyut 6-Progress 1, December 10, 1977
(Scott 4645/7, 4655, 4663/4, 4758)
The Salyut 6 space station was launched on September 29, 1977.
On October 9, Vladimir Kovalenkov and Valery Ryumin on board
Soyuz 25 failed in their endeavor to dock with Salyut 6 and
returned to earth after 49 hours in orbit.
On December 11, Yuri Romanenko and Georgi Grechko were
successful in docking Soyuz 26 with Salyut 6. They set a record
for men in space of 96 days.
Page 40 1987 ROSSICA 110
Soyuz 27 followed on January 10, 1978 with Vladimir
Dzhanibekov and Oleg Makarov. They too docked with Salyut 6
causing four men to have access to the Salyut space station.
Dzhanibekov and Makarov returned to earth on January 16 in the
Soyuz 26 spacecraft!
On January 20, with Soyuz 27 still docked with Salyut 6, an
unmanned Progress 1 supply vehicle automatically docked with Salyut
6 and resupplied the space station with food, water, and supplies.
Progress 1 was then reloaded with waste and it burned up when it
re-entered earth's atmosphere. Soyuz 27 received the first ever
mail delivery in space.
On March 3, 1977 Romanenko and Grechko were joined by Aleksei
Gubarev and Vladimir Remek from Soyuz 28. Since Remek is a
Czechoslovak, the Soyuz 28 mission is illustrated on the
"Interkosmos" set of stamps (Scott 4645/7). Romanenko and Grechko
returned to earth in Soyuz 27 on March 16 and Gubarev and Remek
returned a few days earlier on March 10.
ME8flYHAPOLHbIE lOETbl B HOCMOC ..M l" ,' *ivtlflHi l II 6t KCMO MEHYHAPOJHbIE fWntllbl 8 KOCMOC
Scott 4645 Scott 4646 Scott 4647
Scott 4663 and 4664
0I POMAkEHKO rMmPEINo
Scott 4663 and 4664
ROSSICA 110 1987 Page 41
B AJNiAImOB Or MAAPo8
Soyuz 29, 30 & 31 Salyut 6 Progress 2&3, June 15, 1978
(Scott 4670/2, 4690/2, 4720)
Vladimir M. Kovalenok and Alexsandr S. Ivanchenkov docked
Soyuz 29 with Salyut 6 and they were joined 12 days later by Pyotr
Ilimuk and Miroslav Hermaszewski (a Pole) from Soyuz 30. The
latter two cosmonauts returned to earth in Soyuz 30 on July 5. On
July 7 and August 4, Progress 2 and Progress 3 respectively,
arrived bringing fresh provisions after which they were jettisoned.
Soyuz 31 joined Soyuz 29 by docking with Salyut 6 on
August 27. Cosmonauts on board were Valery Bykovsky and an East
German Sigmund Jaehn. They returned to earth on September 3 in
Meanwhile Kovalenkov set a new space endurance record and
finally returned to earth in Soyuz 31 on November 2. Their 139
days in a state of weightlessness had no apparent harmful effects
on the cosmonauts.
Both the Soyuz 30 and 31 missions are commemorated on
Interkosmos issues of stamps because of the foreign cosmonauts
MEWYA8 HAPOIOHHbE nOnnThi BOCMOC 1978 ME AYHAPO E b B MEfCJYHAPOnHblE nOnETb BHOCMOC-1978
Scott 4670 Scott 4671 Scott 4672
Page 42 1987 ROSSICA 110
MM YHtAPORoHblE fonlEbl B KOCMUOC MEMHJYHAPOlHbIl [lOfE n rbl B KOMO MEH(VH OPOHbE Ilflbi B KOCMOC
flO5 TA ICoCP -ji7
- - -e
Scott 4690 Scott 4691 Scott 4692
The Prognoz Series were scientific satellites designed to
monitor solar activity and the interaction of solar atomic
particles with the earth's surroundings. The word 'Prognoz' means
'forecast.' The first Prognoz satellite was launched in April
ROSSICA 110 1987 Page 43
Radio 1 & 2
(Scott 4733, 4917)
Launched in October 1978 these two communications units formed
part of a larger amateur radio satellite for use by Soviet radio
Scott 4733 Scott 4740
Venera 11 & 12, September 9/14, 1978
The American Pioneer Venus 2 landed on Venus on December 9,
1978 and recorded temperatures of 900 degrees F on the surface.
Both Venera 11 & 12 successfully soft landed on Venus a few days
Soyuz 32, 33 & 34 Salyut 6 Progress 5, 6, & 7, February 25,
(Scott 4747/8, 4782/3)
Soyuz 32 was launched on February 25, 1979 carrying Lt. Col.
Vladimir A. Lyakhov and Valery V. Ryumin, and they docked with
Salyut 6 the following day. Salyut 6 which had been in orbit for
18 months had been unoccupied since the previous November.
Progress 5 brought fresh supplies on March 14 including rocket
engines propellants and food. Soyuz 33 was launched on April 10
and it was intended to be docked in the place of the now departed
Progress 5. Cosmonauts Nokolai Rukavishnikov and Georgi Ivanov (a
Bulgarian) failed to reach Salyut 6 because of propulsion system
problems, so they aborted the mission and returned to earth on
Progress 6 brought further cargo on May 15 and was released on
June 9. Soyuz 34, an unmanned spacecraft, docked in the vacated
space left by Progress 6 on June 9.
On June 13 Soyuz 32 was released, unmanned, and returned to
earth with scientific experiments. This left room for the Progress
7 supply ship which arrived on June 30 and which was released on
July 18. Progress 7 brought a radio telescope which Lyakhov and
Ryumin installed. The antenna, however, snagged at the end of the
Salyut space station, and both cosmonauts donned their spacesuits
and exited the craft to free the antenna--which they eventually did
with wire cutters!
Page 44 1987 ROSSICA 110
Lyakhov and Ryumin returned to earth on August 19, 1979 in
Soyuz 34 after a record breaking stay in space of 175 days!
Scott 4747 Scott 4782-83 Scott 4748
Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center
(Scott 4862/4, 5355)
A set of stamps was issued on September 15, 1980 to celebrate
the 20th anniversary of the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center,
which had trained over 50 Soviet and foreign cosmonauts.
Scott 4862 Scott 4863 Scott 4864
Soyuz 35, 36, 37 & 38 Salyut 6 Progress 8, 9, 10 & 11,
April 9, 1980 (Scott 4835/7, 4849/51, 4865/7, 4918/9)
1980 proved to be an exceptionally active year with both
manned and unmanned visits to the Salyut 6 space station.
ROSSICA 110 1987 Page 45
First, Progress 8, the unmanned supply ship automatically
docked with Salyut 6 after its launch on March 27, 1980. On
April 9, cosmonauts Valery V. Ryumin and Leonid I Popov were
launched into orbit in Soyuz 35 and docked with Salyut 6 and
proceeded to unload the provisions contained in Progress 8, which
was released on April 26. Further supplies followed a day later on
Progress 9. Progress 9 was released on May 22 and four days later
Soyuz 36 was sent up with V. Kubasov and a Hungarian, B. Farkas.
These two returned to earth on Soyuz 35 on June 3. There followed
a brief visit by Soyuz T-2 (see below).
Scott 4835 Scott 4836 Scott 4837
m APOJM HbI Ot B t KOMtot M[KJlyNp E fl tii8 I.[Oy HJhiLno itlJ*IH b SM.
Scott 4849 Scott 4850 Scott 4851
On June 29, 1980, further supplies were ferried to Salyut 6
and its occupants by Progress 10 and on July 23 Soyuz 37 was
launched carrying V. Gorbatko and a Vietnamese, P. Tuan. These men
departed on Soyuz 36 on July 31. September 18, 1980 saw another
pair of visitors--Y. Romanenko and a Cuban, A. Mendez--on board
Page 46 1987 ROSSICA 110
s. l.<,,. .C g j P I^h" /. .\'.'.'.O,'. C .P S9 .
a B NO HN
Scott 4866 Scott 4918 and 4919 Scott 4867
Soyuz 38. They too returned to earth after a short stay on
September 26. The political and propaganda value of these frequent
visits to Salyut 6 by foreign cosmonauts on Soviet-built spacecraft
is evident, but it is hard to see what other values warranted such
Yet more supplies were delivered by Progress 11 on September
28. Finally this mammoth series ended on October 11, 1980 when
Ryumin and Popov returned to earth in Soyuz 37 after a record 185
days in space. Ryumin had made two previous space flights and had
as a result accumulated 362 days in space.
The Soviet Union had by this time built up a total of 45,564
man-hours in space, approximately twice the man-hours of American
"- COl3 'I
ROSSICA 110 1987 Page 47
Soyuz T-1 & T-2 Salyut 6, December 16, 1979/June 5, 1980
(Scott 4861, 5135)
The new and improved Soyuz T-type capsules which incorporated
automatic docking systems were first tested with the unmanned Soyuz
T-1 between December 16, 1979 and March 25, 1980.
Soyuz T-2 was launched on June 5, 1980 with cosmonauts Yuri V.
Malyshev and Vladimir V. Aksenov. They tested their new Soyuz
computer. There was also a powerful retrorocket intended for soft
landings. They tested its docking capabilities with Salyut 6 and
returned to earth on June 9.
Soyuz T-3 Salyut 6 Progress 12, November 27, 1980
A three-man crew was launched for the first time since the
ill-fated Soyuz 11 mission in 1971. They docked with the Salyut 6
space station which was still docked with the supply ship Progress
11. The crew of Soyuz T-3 were Lt. Col. Leonid Kizim, Oleg Makarov
and Gennady Strekalov. They returned to earth on December 10,
after carrying out crystal growth experiments, and Progress 11 was
released on December 11 pending the arrival of a new supply ship
Progress 12, on January 26, 1981.
H- 4 16 3 '-I- .-M--
Soyuz T-4, 39 & 40 Salyut 6 Progress 12, March 12, 1981
(Scott 4921/3, 4940/2, 4991)
A two-man crew, Vladimir M. Kovalenok and Viktor P. Savinykh
on Soyuz T-4 docked with Salyut 6 on March 14 and unloaded their
supplies from the already docked Progress 12.
On March 22, Soyuz 39 was lifted into space with Vladimir
Dzhanibekov and a Mongolian, J. Gurragcha, and they joined Salyut 6
in place of the now released Progress 12. These two cosmonauts
returned home on March 30.
Soyuz 40, the last of the old type Soyuz capsules, followed on
May 14 with Leonid Popov and a Romanian, D. Prunariu, and returned
to earth on May 22. To a casual observer it appeared that now the
USSR had new Soyuz T-type capsules they had decided to use up their
old supply with these short public relations missions.
The crew of Soyuz T-4 then returned to earth on May 26 after
their stay of 75 days.
Page 48 1987 ROSSICA 110
Scott 4922 Scott 4923
Thiswas the last manned mission to Salyut 6. Progress 12,
which had docked with Salyut 6 on January 26, had also been used
prior to its departure to lift the space station into a higher
orbit. However, it was to no avail. Salyut 6 finally re-entered
earth's atmosphere in July after having been in orbit for 4 years
and 10 months and was burned up.
-- --- .. ..
Scott 4940 Scott 4941 Scott 4942 -
ROSSICA 110 1987 Page 49
Soyuz T-5, T-6, & T-7 Salyut 7 Progress 13 & 14,
April 19/May 13, 1981 (Scott 5059/62, 5126, 5137/8)
The new Salyut 7 space station was successfully put into brbit
from its launch on April 19, 1981.
Soyuz T-5 followed on May 13 and docked with Salyut 7.
Cosmonauts Anatoly N. Berezovoy and Valentin V. Lebedev carried out
scientific experiments. They created yet another space endurance
record of 211 days before they returned home on December 10 (in
I Ic F cOTPYfHVNECTBo
8 IN OCPEO t
Scott 5059 Scott 5060 Scott 5061
Supplies were brought by Progress 13 on May 24 and on June 24
new visitors arrived on Soyuz T-6. They were Valdimir Dzhanibekov,
Aleksandr Ivanchenko and a Frenchman, Jean-Loup Chretien.
M.Chretien was the first western astronaut to be launched into
space in a Soviet capsule. They returned home on July 2.
Progress 14 brought fresh supplies on July 10 and on August
19, Soyuz T-7 was launched with Leonid Popov, Aleksandr Serebrov
and Svetlana Y. Savitskaya the second woman in space. Savitskaya
Page 50 1987 ROSSICA 110
was later to become the first space woman to make two space flights
and the first woman to walk in space. On this mission, however,
attention was focused on the effects of weightlessness on the
female physiology. These three returned home in Soyuz T-5 on
Venera 13 & 14, October 30/November 4, 1981
Both of these Venus probes soft landed on the planet and
confirmed yet again the extremely hostile conditions existing with
temperatures exceeding 850 degrees F and atmospheric pressures 94
times that on earth. The two probes transmitted panoramic colored
photographs of the planet's surface and sky and made chemical
analyses of the Venutian soil. They found traces of magnesium,
silicon, aluminum, sodium, potassium, titanium, manganese and iron.
B. AnRXOB AFtAnEKCAHAPOB n04TA CCCP 1984
Cosmos 1443, Soyuz T-8 and T-9, Salyut 7, March 2 to November
The Salyut 7 space station had remained unoccupied since
August 27, 1981. It was not until March of 1983 that it received a
new and unusual visitor. On March 2 Cosmos 1443 was launched, a
43-foot-long space tug which, in addition to taking over the
station-keeping functions of Salyut 7 also provided an additional
1767 cubic feet of work space for cosmonauts. Furthermore its
solar panels were able to provide an extra 3 kw of power for itself
ROSSICA 110 1987 Page 51
and the Salyut space station. Its automatic docking capability
enabled it to attach itself to Salyut. This important new
development suggested real progress was being made toward a
multimanned space station.
Soyuz T-8 was launched on April 20, 1983 with three cosmonauts
aboard, Vladimir Titov, Gennady Strekalov and Aleksandr Serebrov.
Unfortunately the mission ran into difficulties with its automatic
docking system and as a result it was aborted the following day.
Two months later Soyuz T-9 was launched on June 27 with
Col. Vladimir A. Lyakov and Aleksandr P. Aleksandrov who success-
fully docked with Salyut 7. They unloaded the supplies from
Cosmos 1443 and prepared for a long stay. Initially Aleksandrov
suffered from the common symptom of weightlessness known as "space
adaptation syndrome" but this problem resolved itself after a few
days in space. On August 14, Cosmos 1443, loaded with 45
experiments and other cargo was separated and returned to earth.
On September 27 a new Soyuz T-type transporter with two
cosmonauts on board was preparing for a launch when the launch
vehicle exploded. The Soyuz transporter was jettisoned using an
emergency procedure causing the capsule to be blasted free of the
explosion, thereby saving the lives of the fortunate cosmonauts.
Finally the mission series ended when Lyakov and Aleksandrov
returned to earth on November 23 after having stayed for 150 days
in space. This endurance feat is commemorated by the single stamp
issued for this mission series.
Astron, March 23, 1983
The Astron satellite was a joint venture project with France
and was launched for the purpose of studying cosmic radiation from
galactic and extra-galactic sources. The satellite itself was
modelled upon the Venera type probes. The mission was able to
report some successes discovering as it did excessive ultraviolet
radiation possibly emanating from increased activity of certain
galaxies. Although no specific stamp was issued for the Astron
satellite, the four stamp Intercosmos set issued on June 24, 1982
commemorates Soviet-French space cooperation and it is possible
that one of the satellites depicted on the 45k stamp is meant to
represent the Astron satellite.
Soyuz T-10, T-1 and T-12, Salyut 7, February 8 to October 2, 1984
(Scott 5241/44, 5376 & 5384)
Another series of manned Soyuz missions to the Salyut space
station took place during 1984 commencing with the launching of
Soyuz T-10 on February 8 from Tyuratam, Kazakh SSR. Three
cosmonauts, Leonid Kizim, Vladimir Solovyev, and Oleg Atkov docked
with Salyut 7 and undertook a number of experiments including metal
plating using a type of vaporizer.
On April 3, Soyuz T-11 joined the party at Salyut. The
newcomers were Yury Malyshev, Gennady Strekalov and an Indian,
Rakesh Sharma. Sharma practised his yoga as a means of offsetting
the effects of weightlessness. These three cosmonauts returned
Page 52 1987 ROSSICA 110
to earth on board Soyuz T-10 on April 11. Three of the four stamp
Soviet-India space cooperation set was issued on the same date as
Soyuz T-11 was launched. The miniature sheet was issued two days
Scott 5241 Scott 5242 Scott 5243
IF b: Q tKP iMr KCMOCOE (EHUMIA KOCMONABST
Scott 5244 Scott 5384
Soyuz T-12 was launched on July 17, 1984 with Vladimir
Zhdanibekov, Igor Volk, and woman cosmonaut Svetlana Savitskaya
making her second space trip, the first woman to do so. She also
helped make this an historic mission by becoming the first woman to
make a space walk. This trio returned to earth on July 29.
A new space endurance record was created by the original
visitors to Salyut, Kizim, Solovyev and Atkov, who remained in
weightless space for 237 days before returning to earth in Soyuz
T-11 on October 2, 1984.
ROSSICA 110 1987 Page 53
Venera 15 & 16, (June 2 & 7, 1983), Vega 1 & 2, (December 15 & 21,
(Scott 5324, 5372, 5433, 5434)
Although no specific stamps were issued for Venera 15 and 16,
mention should be made of them as the later Vega missions also
visited the planet Venus. The Venera probes involved East German
participation with their instrumentation development. Both went
into an orbit around Venus and the intention was to map the planet
by means of radar.
The Vega missions on the other hand coupled probes to Venus
with a study of Halley's Comet and were otherwise known as the
Halley Venus Project. Both of the Vega probes deployed balloons
into the Venus atmosphere where they were closely monitored by an
international group of observers from various ground stations
around the world for a period of 46 hours at which time the life of
the batteries expired. The Vega probes also released landing
modules which surfaced on the planet and gave out data for 20
minutes until the extreme heat and atmospheric conditions took
their inevitable toll.
MarapoQamA npOer a Bpa -ranneA
MetmCAynapoAC A npoeKT. Be.epa-ranne .*
MemAynapoAR.d npoeKT A Besopa- rannes& n
-----' -'" -- Scott 5434
Meanwhile the main bodies of the Vega probes continued on
their mission to rendezvous with Halley's Comet from whence they
Page 54 1987 ROSSICA 110
released those now famous pictures of the comet. Four stamps were
issued relating to the international nature of the Halley's Comet
Study and the miniature sheet (Scott 5434) shows not only Vega 1
and 2 but Japan's "Planet" and the European Space Agency's "Giotto"
which also probed the comet.
Soyuz T-13, Cosmos 1669, Soyuz T-14, Cosmos 1686, Salyut 7.
June 6, 1985 to November 21, 1985.
At the time of writing there have been no stamps to
commemorate this mission series although it is possible one may
still be issued. For some reason the Salyut 7 space station had
become badly disabled and Vladimir Zhdanibekov and Viktor Savinykh
were launched in Soyuz T-13 on June 6 to effect repairs.
On July 19, 1985 Cosmos 1669, a free flying space shuttle,
docked with Salyut 7 as an enlargement to the space station.
Soviet reports said it was based upon the Progress supply vehicle.
It was released on August 29 and was destroyed on entering the
Soyuz T-14 was next to dock with Salyut 7 on September 17
ferrying Vladimir Vasyutin, Aleksandr Volkov and Georgiy Grechko.
Nine days later Soyuz T-13 returned to earth with Zhdanibekov and
On September 27 yet another addition to Salyut 7 was made when
Cosmos 1686 was launched and docked on October 2. As a result the
space station doubled in length to 115 feet, providing further
evidence of a commitment to developing an enlarged multimanned
By November Vasyutin had become ill. He and his two remaining
colleagues, Savinykh and Volkov returned to earth in Soyuz T-14 on
November 21, 1985.
Shortly after this latest series of missions to Salyut 7
commenced, an unnamed and unnumbered satellite was launched from
Tyuratam on June 21, 1985 but broke up into three pieces while in
orbit. This was only the second occasion that the Soviet Union had
launched a space vehicle without designating a number and Western
speculation concluded that this was a secret antisatellite test
vehicle. Needless to say there was no stamp issued for this
We can expect to see a continuing spate of Soviet stamps
commemorating past and present space glories and these should prove
to be very collectible items. In June 1988 there are plans to send
two probes to Mars with a possible soft landing on the Martian
satellite Phobos and a rendezvous with the satellite Diemos. This
will be followed in 1989 and 1990 with further probes to the red
planet Mars where studies will be carried out of the polar caps and
the geochemistry of those regions.
In the meantime collectors of Soviet stamps have over 300
stamps depicting space achievements to collect and as this article
demonstrates, these can be a study all of their own!
ROSSICA 110 1987 Page 55
Finally, on 12 April 1986, Cosmonaut's Day, this three-stamp
set celebrated the 25th anniversary of man's first space flight!
Finishing where it all started--with Tsiolkovsky!
- -- - - - --- --I
Ed. Note: The illustrations in this article were kindly provided
by Dr. George V. Shalimoff.
NEW ROSSICA MEMBERS
1258 LAWRENCE SILVERMAN, 277 Spruce Court, Boulder, CO 80309
1259 JOHN C.H. STEELE JR., 1009 Campbellton Drive, North Augusta,
1260 JOSEPH TURLOW, 6145 North Tolman, Chicago, IL 60659
1261 DRAGAN UDOVICIC, 47B Harrington Gardens, London SW7 4LA,
1262 KENNETH W. HOESCH, P.O. Box 199,. Zeeland, MI 49464
1263 ROBERT A. PLEMMONS, Box 188, Oaklyn, NJ 08107
1264 WALLACE A.CRAIG, Box 3391, Fullerton, CA 92634
1265 ROBERT JAMES GRAHAM, 62 Spencer Drive, Plymouth, MA 02360
(continued on p. 59)
Page 56 1987 ROSSICA 110
STAMPLESS MILITARY MAIL
by V. Sinegubov
(Translated from Filatelia SSSR 5, 1981 by Michael Carson)
It is well known that free posting of ordinary letters and
cards of soldiers and sailors was practised in the Tsarist army,
but mailings to military units were subject to payment of postage.
This privilege was confirmed by an order of Narkompochtel' at
the beginning of 1918 (Post and Telegraph Journal No 5-7, 1918).
Letters from the army and fleet continued to be sent free.
They had impressions of unit cachets for parcels or cachets "iz
deistvuyushchei armii (flota)" (from the army (fleet) on active
service). Envelopes from Red Army detachments were inscribed
"Deistvuyushchaya Krasnaya Armiya" (Red Army on Active Service).
The imperialist war had demolished transport and postal
services, and after the revolution they had fallen into complete
ruin as a result of intervention and the intrigues of counter-
revolutionaries. The isolation of regions of the republic
resulting from military actions, and the destruction of railways,
roads and bridges led to a temporary discontinuation of postal
communication between many points. The movement of correspondence
through a number of communications junctions was disrupted.
The Revolutionary Military Council (Revvoensoviet) of the
Republic, taking the necessary measures to support the high morale
of the soldiers, was concerned about soldiers' communication with
relatives--important threads strengthening the unity of the army
and the people. Thus the problem of providing soldiers with
letters, newspapers, magazines and other correspondence remained
extremely important. It was discussed more than once at meetings
of the Revolutionary Military Council.
In March 1919, rules for transmitting postal mailings were
approved by order No. 537 of the Revolutionary Military Council of
the Republic. According to them, addressing was accomplished using
the actual names of the units and organizations, but without
mention of where they were stationed. Field post units of the Red
Army were created for processing, receiving and dispatching mail.
It is interesting to note that at this time decorated "sekretki"
(closed letters) "Letter of a Red Army Man" were issued for
soldiers. In the directions for their use was written "Fold on the
line, and, without glueing on a stamp drop into a postal box."
V. I. Lenin showed great concern about the delivery of
letters. Thus, for example, having received at the end of November
1919 a call about the delay of a railway mail car, he demanded that
Narkompochtel' and Narkomput' find a solution to the problem and
report on the results.
ROSSICA 110 1987 Page 57
In one of the orders to the armies of the Southwestern Front
in 1920, it was stated that mail cars must follow troop movements
without delay. For this purpose, station commandants were
obligated to couple mail cars to all trains, without exception, on
an equal basis with military freight. In order to establish
political control over the activity of field communications and
increase their importance, the political administration of the
Southwestern Front was ordered to appoint commissars to all army
and division postal stations. The great political and spiritual
significance of the proper functioning of the post was underscored
in the order.
At the end of the Civil War, beginning in 1922, and in
connection with quartering soldiers in permanent garrisons, mail to
the army was addressed by the actual name of the units and with
indication of their location. The military field post units were
disbanded, and the postal service of military servicemen was
transferred to stationary communications units.
After the formation of the Union of Soviet Socialist
Republics, the commissariats of military and of naval affairs were
united. Peaceful socialist construction was spreading in the
country. To defend the gains of the October Revolution the
Communist Party defined a plan for building the armed forces. A
statute on the army and navy was approved at the end of 1923, and a
year later a "Code of Laws on the Privileges and Advantages for Red
Army and Red Fleet Servicemen and Their Families in Peacetime" was
issued. One of the chapters bore the title "Postal Privileges".
Red Army men were granted the right to send free of charge three
ordinary closed letters per month not exceeding 20 grams each in
weight, or three postal cards. All letters up to 20 grams in
weight addressed to soldiers with indication of rank were also
transmitted free of charge.
In a 1926 resolution of the Council of People's Commissars of
the U.S.S.R. "On Privileges in the Transmission of Postal and
Telegraphic Sendings" it was specified that regular correspondence
of the rank and file and junior command staff was to be transmitted
free under the condition of its being deposited in postal
establishments by the corresponding units, institutions and
establishments of the Red Army.
The next year a regulation of the Council of People's
Commissars added that letters addressed to soldiers at their place
of service with indication of rank would be transmitted free
without limit of quantity. These regulations entered the new "Code
of Privileges for Military Servicemen and Reservists of the Red
Army and Their Families", enacted in 1930.
The letters and cards which the military postmen deposited in the
communications establishments had to have evidence of compliance
with the demands of law. These functions began to be fulfilled by
imprints of official cachets or of cachets for parcels. On them
were indicated the names of the units.
Page 58 1987 ROSSICA 110
In 1927 the People's Commissariat for Military and Naval
Affairs issued Circular No. 118 "On the Regulation of the Procedure
for Depositing Red Army and Red Fleet Letters in the Post and of
Control over Proper Use of Free Transmission of Letters".
Responsibility for observing the norms for dispatching corres-
pondence was laid on the commanders of the units and ships.
Therefore they independently established procedures for collecting
letters, their processing and delivery to postal establishments.
In particular, battleship commanders who headed crews of several
thousand sailors, ordered the preparation in the ship print shops
of special control vignettes. Each sailor received through his
division commander three vignettes per month. On receiving letters
the postal workers checked the legality of free transmission by the
vignettes, and put on a cachet "Krasnoarmeiskoye" (Red Army). The
battleship vignettes were not taken into consideration. Without
the ship cachet, a letter without a stamp could not pass through
the post free of charge, and the recipient was assessed postage due
on a universal basis.
The various sizes of the labels and their non-uniform text
bear witness to the independent action of the battleship
commanders. In the 1920s there were three battleships in the naval
fleet, and they were all based at Kronstadt. In spite of such a
cramped neighborhood, the vignettes issued by the battleship
"Marat" contained the ship's name and the word "Krasnoflotskoye"
(Red Fleet). The vignette of the battleship "Oktyabr'skaya
Revolutsiya" had the inscription "...rota 1. k. O. R." (company of
battleship Oktyabr'skaya Revolutsiya). Then there are labels with
the text "Bessplatnoye kr-flotskoye pis'mo. K-r" (Free Red Fleet
letter. K-r). These were issued on the battleship "Parizhskaya
Naturally, such a procedure for addressing and identifying
postal material led to the accumulation in postal channels of data
on the numbers and location of troops which damaged the defensive
capability of the country. An attempt was made for correspondence
purposes to give the units arbitrary names which did not correspond
to their location. With this goal in view, it was forbidden for
the battleships to glue on their "stamps".
In 1934 the People's Commissariat of Defense was formed, and
one of its first steps was to take energetic measures to preserve
military secrecy. Each military unit was given a name "Postal Box
No. ...". From it the military unit was determined in the local
postal establishment. For processing correspondence triangular
cachets were used, with the text on the perimeter "Pochtovyi
(yashchik No. ...) besplatno" (Postal (box No. ...) free), and in
the center "NKO". The postal box number was assigned by postal
workers and could be repeated at any location.
However, the system of "boxes" did not prove itself. An error
in one digit was enough to make it impossible to find the
addressee. In 1938 military units were given arbitrary numerical
designations. The text on the triangular cachets was changed and
read: "Krasnoarmeiskoye (pis'mo) besplatno" (Red Army (letter)
ROSSICA 110 1987 Page 59
0 free), and in the center "Dlya paketov' (For parcels). But as
before, correspondence went to the location of the unit.
In September 1939 the liberation campaign began in Western
Belorussia and the Western Ukraine. The troops began to move. The
established military postal sorting points (VPSP) did not know the
military situation and "lost" the units. Therefore full names and
unit locations appeared again in the address.
Because of the absence of means of communication or their poor
condition, service for garrisons on the territories which had
joined the Soviet Union or were leased by it in 1939 1940 was
entrusted to communications junctions in Minsk, Leningrad, etc.
The address for the units consisted of the name of the city where
the garrison's communication junction operated, and a postal box
number. For example, correspondence was addressed "Leningrad 317,
Post box No. ..." These addresses were also on the unit's
It should be noted that one encounters letters from the late
1930's processed, contrary to regulations, with cachets for parcels
with the full name of the military unit. Such breaches were
tolerated in sub-units temporarily stationed away from head-
During the Great Patriotic War the triangular cachets were
replaced by dated cancels on the field and naval posts, which also
indicated free transmission of correspondence. After the victory
of the Soviet people over fascist Germany and militarist Japan the
field post was demobilized. Once again the triangular cachets were
used, but with the words "Soldatskoye (matrosskoye) pis'mo
besplatno" (Soldier's (sailor's) letter free). Now the quantity of
letters sent by soldiers was not limited.
In the law of the U.S.S.R. of 12 October 1967, on general
military service, it is stated that "Letters of enlisted soldiers,
sailors, sergeants and sergeants-major, dispatched by a military
unit, are transmitted free. Also transmitted free are letters
addressed to enlisted soldiers, sailors, sergeants and sergeants-
major at the place of service." Since then on the cachets of
military units there has appeared a single text: "Pis'mo
voennosluzhashchego srochnoi sluzhby besplatno" (Letter of enlisted
military serviceman free).
NEW ROSSICA MEMBERS
(continued from page 55)
1266 HANS MINDER, Oberdorf, 3438 Lauperswil, Switzerland
1267 WILLIAM SCHIPPER, 232, ICU, 3-10-2, Osawa, Mitaka City, Tokyo
1268 MICHAEL M. BIRD, Quickfix, G/4th AVN, APO New York 09185-2381
(continued on p. 69)
Page 60 1987 ROSSICA 110
SOVIET FIELD POST PROCEDURES
by Peter A. Michalove
Elsewhere in this issue is Michael Carson's translation of
V. Sinegubov's "Stampless Military Mail" from Filatelia SSSR 5,
1981. In the present article, an examination of actual covers from
the period 1941-1945 will illustrate how day to day practice imple-
mented and sometimes deviated from the franking and processing
procedures that Sinegubov describes.
Mail from Military Units
Sinegubov states that military personnel could send three ordi-
nary letters or post cards post-free each month. Since soldiers
sometimes sent more than three letters a month, we can illustrate
both franked and unfranked military mail.
6y93ec fiI-i -
Figure 1 shows a post-free letter sent to Alatyr from FPO
01938. It bears a strike of an unnumbered FPO canceler dated
ROSSICA 110 1987 Page 61
Kyaa 1 1- ,
HaueHOBaHm e MecTa, rAe HaxoAiTc 0 noaTa, x /aH o6aacTM pal, a jla cTran A--HaHN -mHOBaHe Keaej0LoA .aoponi.
Pao cea K jo & ,y *
...... ... ...................... .;, .o .. .... ........ .. .... ..... .. -
b J^ ^ ..^ I Y.C l^ ..
floApooaoe amUemHosaume apecTa.
Adpec t aj4 4
de exp diteur .... ... .......... t ... ... ...... ..... .... .................. .. .
Adresse 1) e4 -G-54.'J) %J Ix
de ex diteur
,n -1Q1TOBAFI HAPTO'LI Kj
.. CARTE POSTAL f
"" y a... .. .. .... .... ...
Ac .pec.... ..
.... ..... .1 .. .. .. .. .... ..... .N
de.e our ....;
K y F i ur.....................u r e 3.. ............................................... ............
S... ....... .. .. ..... ....... .. ..... .........
n o n b 3 Y il T E C b A. B M A Q> Oat 0 I
de l....di.. y..r... .......... '.. ......
om npa mum eA ... .......... ...... .................................. ..
dr ess eiF i I
Page 62 1987 ROSSICA 110
Figure 2 shows a card franked with 20 kop. postage, the
correct rate for a domestic post card. It was mailed from FPO 1565
on 24.2.42, and in this case the FPO number appears in both the
return address and the FPO cancel.
Figure 3 is an unusual item in several respects. The card is
franked with 10 kop. postage, the rate for a local post card, but
it is unlikely that this is a local usage; this is most likely a
post-free letter in which the franking was unnecessary. This view
is supported by the strike of the triangular "besplatnoe" cancel,
which Sinegubov states was used in the pre-war period to indicate
post-free military mail. The sender probably used the franked
postal stationery out of force of habit, or because paper may have
been scarce and the card was conveniently at hand.
The use of the triangular cancel at this time (7.12.41) is
unusual in itself for other reasons, and more about that later.
Mail to Military Units
Sinegubov states that all mail to military units was entitled
to the free-frank privilege. Figure 4 shows an unfranked letter
from Kyshtym to FPO 71231/V mailed 11.4.45. On the back is a
strike of VPSP (Military Postal Sorting Point) No. 111 dated
13.4.45 and there will be more about the VPSP's later, too.
Figure 5 is a card from a civilian in Poti to FPO 67240, mailed
29.8.45 and franked with 20 kop. postage for a domestic post card.
In this case the postage was unnecessary. The card received a
strike of an unnumbered FPO cancel on 6.9.45.
ROSSICA 110 1987 Page 63
H CAR E I
-e lMMluw rj uxouANc 9 0 6C7, 1a 1 6 A N Kpan u en-uA -4m ue ou eI
P-5cm ceic *n AtVCynK^
................ ......... .................... ..... ...... ...... ...... ............. ... ... ---- -
Kom y ----------- --------------- ---- ---
S.................. ....................... .. ----... ........ .................... ..... ........ -- ....--.........-
HA RbAWO0 nOqTOBO OTPABAEH.UHIIHmRTE CBOOSPATHbl-
A TE POSTAL
Ha.... W, ; -------------.---;----
- - - - -"- ---- -,
auuemEMO Se ueMT A t IOAMTC nOT, oacT pa Ao opor
---- .------ .------ .-..--- .-------------- .------------ p J ^ IS j ----- --------------. -- --...--- .------
--------------. ....... l. p.
YAsUn. J% lOMs U K8ap 7Np ji
Ko. y --- -
A Iloapo6noe mHaumeROsane NspecarT.
--- -- -.. ............... .... .... .. ................ .
FIMNuT nlPABfJIlbHblE, TO4HblE H PA3BOPIHBblE AAPECA
de I'expediteur .. ............j .
Page 64 1987 ROSSICA 110
Figure 6 shows a card from one FPO to another. Here again, the
postage was unnecessary, and the postal authorities recognized this
by not cancelling the 20 kop. postage. Even the VPSP No. 33 was
obviously careful to place its cancel (of 3.3.45) away from the
printed indicium. There is an earlier card from the same corres-
pondence bearing no postage.
Mail among Civilians
Civilian mail was still subject to the regular postal rates,
and the topic is somewhat outside the scope of this article. The
two letters shown here are included to illustrate the continued
imposition of postage on civilian mail, and to remind collectors
that not all triangular letters of the period are to or from
Figure 7 is a letter from Krasnodar to Megri, in Armenia, mailed
10.11.44. This is an unusual example of a triangular letter
bearing a postage stamp, in this case paying the correct 30 kop.
rate for a domestic letter. The bilingual Russian-Armenian cancel
is also of interest.
In Figure 8, a postage stamp has been removed from the lower left
corner. However, the postage originally applied was apparently
insufficient, and the letter received an oval "Doplatit" mark for
The letter was sent to Kiev from Tashkent, where a good many
civilians had been evacuated for the duration of the war. The
letter was mailed 27 February, 1942, but Kiev had fallen to the
Germans the previous September. Kiev was retaken in November 1943,
and the letter was delivered more than two years after being
mailed, as shown by the Kiev backstamp of 28.3.44.
ROSSICA 110 1987 Page 65
t.!I -cr t. L, tn#4 WHE ii ,,,,; '* k
Page 66 1987 ROSSICA 110
The VPSP's: What were They?
Although cancels of the Military-Postal Sorting Points (VPSP's)
have been known previously, their function has not been clearly
understood. We may surmise their role from Sinegubov's comments.
He mentions that, as troops went on the move, the VPSP's sometimes
"lost" military units when a particular FPO was no longer where it
used to be. Thus it appears that, successfully or not, the VPSP's
were in place to keep track of FPO and PO box numbers which had
been numerically coded for security. In examining a number of
domestic letters of the period, I have found VPSP cancels only on
mail addressed to military units, though not on all such letters.
Such a security system would require that mail to soldiers be
addressed simply to a particular FPO or box number, and that is the
format most commonly seen on this type of mail. Figure 9 is
unusual in that it is not simply addressed to Box 112, letter "b",
but it spells out the location of that box: the Ukrainian city of
Khartsyzek in the Stalin Oblast'.
In fact, the censor may not have allowed delivery of this
letter because of the explicit address. The cover bears no receipt
mark, no VPSP cancel, and no "passed by censor" cachet. The letter
originated in the Krasnopol' region, and there is no sign that the
letter ever went further than Krasnopol' where it received the
9.10.41 cancel in the upper right corner.
The Triangular Military Cancels
These cancels were introduced before the German invasion in
June 1941, and were superceded by the circular dated cancels at
that time. Of course, there must have been some transitional period
between the two, but the triangles are rare after June 1941.
Figure 3, from October 1941, is one of the few war-time examples to
my knowledge, and the only one showing a triangle and a circular
dated cancel in use together.
Sinegubov states that the triangular cancels were reintroduced
after the war, and they may still be in use. (I recently saw an
example of one on a stampless military letter from the 1960s.)
Sinegubov mentions that the triangular marks were originally
introduced by the Narkomat oborony (People's Commissariat for
Defense), and we may infer from this that the initials NKO, often
found in the center of these cancels, stand for the name of this
ROSSICA 110 1987 Page 67
THE SPREADING VINE
by Patrick Campbell
As described in my article Collecting Railway Mail (Rossica
108/109, p 56), one of the most significant events in the history
of the Russian railway system was the formation of the Railway Mail
Administration (UPPZD) in 1869. One of the results of this was the
setting up of a numbering system to identify mail carried on each
railway line by a number, with odd numbers indicating one direction
and even numbers indicating the reverse direction. As described in
the article, the circular date cancels bore the words,"Postal Wagon
No. 1-2," meaning that the mail had been carried on the St.
Petersburg to Moscow railway, but it was not clear whether the
cancel had been placed on Line 1 (St. Petersburg-to-Moscow) or on
board the train on Line No. 2 (Moscow-to-St. Petersburg).
After 1880 the system was changed, and all cancels of this
type included only a single number, so if it said "Postal Wagon No.
2" on a loose stamp, you would know it was used on the line from
I soon began to wonder how the numbers had been allocated and
assumed that all eastbound trains were odd numbers and even numbers
westbound. After a lot of work on this, trying northbound and
southbound, and south-east and north-west, it was clear that none
made sense. Further research resulted in rejecting any alphabetic
allocation system or a chronological sequence. Analysis by railway
region and by geographical region also failed, as did extensive
research of all the literature and letters to several who might be
likely to know, but all was in vain.
Finally, I started out a new track by card-indexing all 352
lines and naming each end of the lines with a date. Some of these
changed several times, with just one example to illustrate:
Dunaburg to Orel 1872
Riga to Orel 1881
Riga to Vitebsk 1884
Orel to Dunaburg 1891
Orel to Dvinsk 1895
Orel to Riga 1915
With these cards and a huge map showing all the towns, I finally
found a system that made sense; I call it "The Spreading Vine."
If you start with St. Petersburg as the root of a vine, then
the first branch, Line 1, goes to Moscow (even number is the
return); the second branch, also from St. Petersburg, goes to
Virballen as Line 3 (and back, Line 4). Part way along Line 3,
from Vilno, the next branch (Line 5) goes on to Warsaw (and back).
From that line, the vine develops a new branch from Dunaburg to
Orel (Line 7), and from Dunaburg to Riga (Line 9). Then Line 11
starts growing from Moscow and goes to Ninji-Novgorod. Also from
Page 68 1987 ROSSICA 110
THE SPREADING VINE
BP 39 SPB
R 85/ 0 C 23 K
S7 57 33 N4N
*G SR Pe M
1 15 M 63 S
/ 7, 53 K / 3\ S
25 z K 7 O0
G 55 Kv
S73 V 51
VA 21 67 Z
37 19 \. 79
5R Od N R-o-D \
"* Some liberties have been taken with the geography in the
interests of clarity.
"* Odd route numbers shown; even numbers in opposite directions
"* Apparently non-conforming: 45-46, 55-56, 81-82, 83-84
ROSSICA 110 1987 Page 69
Moscow, Line 13 goes to Voronezh. This can be continued with
virtually all railways, starting from a "node" on the line and
branching outward with odd numbers, and gradually spreading all
across the vast area of Russia. I have traced this spreading vine
into the eighties (Lines 81, 83, etc) and it still holds good. I
am sure it will break down at some point, but the explanation seems
to work as far as I have gone.
Another way to put it is that if a railway engine had started
out at St. Petersburg in 1869, it could have visited virtually
every station on the entire system without ever leaving the broad-
gauge (5-foot gauge) rails of the system. The engine could not, of
course, leave Russia, as everywhere else in Europe (except Spain)
is on the narrow (4-foot 8.5 inch) gauge. I say the engine could
visit virtually every station because there are a couple of
exceptions. The literature (Bibliography, reference 2) shows line
45-46 as going from Libava to 3THAEJ in 1872, a town I have been
unable to locate on a map. The same source shows Line 45-46 as
going from Romni to Libava in 1881, and from Minsk to Libava in
1884. The first two do not seem to fit my spreading vine theory,
but the third one does. I have the same problem with lines 55-56,
81-82, and 83-84. Some of these might have indeed been started as
separate railways, but all the others fit the theory nicely, using
only the first entry of my card index in each case. It may be that
some of the four anomalies could be explained by using the second
or third card entry, checking that the dates could make sense.
It seems highly probable then, that UPPZD used this method of
numbering as the system developed, with odd numbers outward from
the vine and even numbers back. This may seem obvious, but it was
not to me, and I have not found it explained anywhere in the
NEW ROSSICA MEMBERS
(Continued from p. 59)
1269 BARRY HONG, P.O. Box 5078, Caldonia, Ontario NOA 1AO, Canada
1270 ROBERT B. BAIN, 3132 Bayswater Court, Fairfax, VA 22031
1271 ERICK MOURET, Maison Dahon, Quartier Les Terrins, 83210
Sollies Pont, France
1272 STEPHEN K. LEHTO, 2720 NW Forest Avenue, Beaverton, OR 97006
1273 RICHARD F. MARKOWSKI, 7 Woodgate Street, Nashua, NH 03063
1274 JOHN H. CARPENTER, 1559 SE 12th Avenue, St. Cloud, MN 56301
1275 LOUIS HORNBERGER, c/o Harmers of New York, 14 E 33rd Street,
(llth floor), New York, NY 10016
1276 STEVE MURAWSKI JR., 7885 Jackson Way, Buena Park, CA 90620
1277 RICHARD K. KOEHN, 112 Peninsula Dr., Port Jefferson, NY 11777
Page 70 1987 ROSSICA 110
DELAYED BY MILITARY CENSOR
by David Jay
Russian covers from the World War I period that were passed by
Russian censors are quite common--almost any large auction lot of
Russian postal history has a few. But what of the letters that
were disapproved by the censors? Were they immediately destroyed,
saved pending the end of hostilities, or forwarded to higher
officials for .investigation of the sender? In this article I have
attempted to trace the course of a group of registered letters that
were apparently detained in the early months of the war, only to be
released and sent on their way in October and November 1917. It is
perhaps best to begin at the end and state that all were forwarded
to the US dead letter office, whence (after in many cases being
sadly mutilated) they reached the philatelic trade.
Dates and place of origin for the pieces in my possession are
summarized in Table 1. All of these locations were in the western
part of the Empire in the Ukraine, White Russia or Vilno Province
but were behind the front at the time these letters were mailed
(November 1914 to March 1915). All were properly franked. Of the
items on which a destination can be determined, two were to
Chicago, one to Boston, one to New York, and one to Brooklyn. All
passed through New York in the period from January to March 1918.
The receiving dates on the pieces are not necessarily the first
date of handling in New York, as this may have been cut off, but
the fronts and complete covers show a spread of only a few months
from initial handling by the New York Registry Office to final
handling by the New York Foreign Office.
Figure 1 shows a typical case, the reverse from a letter
sent from Chemerovtsy, Podolia on November 4, 1914. After
remaining in limbo for three years, the letter received a Petrograd
1 Expeditsia cancel on 6 November 1917 (faint, just beneath the
upper-left-most 3k postage stamp) and eventually arrived in New
York on 30 January 1918 (black Registry Division stamp, purple
Foreign Division (12) stamp, and two strikes of another, partially-
legible, English-language purple date stamp). It was returned to
the New York Foreign Office on 2 March 1918, after (presumably) it
had remained unclaimed. All of the covers and most of the pieces
bear indications that the letters were to be returned to the
writer. That they were not probably reflects the prevailing chaos
in Russia, and the difficulty in international postal communi-
cations. There is only one partial exception to this pattern--the
letter from Fastov to Chicago (Figure 2) was forwarded to San
Francisco (Mar ??, 1918) before being returned to New York. This
may indicate an unfulfilled intent to return it by a trans-Pacific
ROSSICA 110 1987 Page 71
Date of Place of Forwarding Date Received Franked
Origin Origin PBO censor #/ in US w/Scott #
Label type addressee
13-10-14 Lida, Vilna -- 8-2-18 2x#95
(small piece) #1405/52
15-10-14 Novograd-Volinsk, 18-10-17 9-2-18 5x#76
Volinsk #covered/? Max Schulman
4-11-14 Chemerovtsy, 6-11-17 30-1-18 6x#90,
(front) Podolia #46/52 2x#88
8-11-14 Uman', Kiev 7-11-17 30-1-18 2x#95
1-12-14 Stolptsy, -- 16-3-18 2X#93
(piece) Minsk #87/52
13-12-14 Zhvanetz, -- 16-3-18 2x#94,
Volinsk #1405/51 Rabinovitch #89
15-12-14 Stolptsy, -- 8-2-18 2x#90,
(piece) Minsk #95/52 2x#92
12-1-15 Berestechko, -- 22-4-18 #96,5k
Volinsk #1496/52 D. Kofman patriotic
6-2-15 Gusyatin', -- 1-3-18 5x#91
(piece) Podolia #1496/51
7-2-15 Fastov, Kiev 7-11-17 9-2-18 2x#78,
#87/51 A. Goodman 2x#90
3-2-15 Brest-Litovsk 6-11-17 30-1-18 9x#90,
(piece) Gorod, Grodno #87/52 3x#88
It is almost certain that letters From Russia to countries
other than the US were also detained, though I know of only one
example. This is a cover listed but not pictured in the
17 November 1984 Schneider Auction Catalog from Essen, West
Germany. It was sent 29 March 1915 from a military field post and
franked with two 10k, Scott #70. It was forwarded in Petrograd on
26 March 1918 and received in Geneva only on 19 August 1918. There
is no indication that this item was registered.
Page 72 1987 ROSSICA 110
Figure 1. Reverse side and (at right) a small part of the front of
a of registered cover from Chemerovtsy, Podolia 4 November 1914
franked with five 3k and two 1k Romanovs, forwarded by the 1st
Expeditsia in Petrograd on 6 November 1917, received in New York 30
January 1918 and last handled March 2, 1918. Two Speeckaert type
52 censorship labels have been used to reseal the cover and they
are tied with two strikes of a Speeckaert type 29 purple censorship
All of these items were censored in Petrograd. Two types of
labels have been used to reseal the letters. The first says:
"PETROGRADSKAYA VOENNAYA TSENZURA" ("Petrograd military censor-
ship") in two lines. This is label type 51 from the recent catalog
of WORLD WAR I Russian censorship markings of A. Speeckaert. The
second says: "VOENNAYA TSENZURA P.B.O." in two lines. There are
two sub-types of this marking (capital and small letters, and all
capital letters, the latter appearing in two varieties differing
only in the size of the type). The are listed by Speeckaert as
comprising label type 52. Type 51 is stated to have been used from
December 1915 to November 1917 and type 52 from May 1917 to August
1918. If I understand correctly the explanation in Flemish,
,2\;i 6 (7)
1918. If I understand correctly the explanation in Flemish,
ROSSICA 110 1987 Page 73
S the paper of the type 51 labels was white until May 1917. Other
colors (e.g. brown, as here) were brought into use in November
There is also on front and reverse, tying each label, a two-
line purple, boxed censorship stamp, with the censor number on the
first line: "Vskryto B. tsenz. No (opened by military censor
no. and "P. B. O." on the second.
I F '.- '- .
C I '. "AO '. "i, .
Figure 2 (front)
Figure 2. Front and reverse of a registered cover from Fastov, Kiev
to Chicago, canceled 7 February 1915, franked with two 3k Romanovs
and two 7k arms, forwarded by the Petrograd 1st Expeditsia on 7
November 1917, and received in New York 9 February 1918, in Chicago
10 February 1918, in San Francisco in March 1918 and back in New
York again on 20 March 1918. The censorship label is Speeckaert
type 51, the censorship stamps tying the label are type 29. There
is an additional illegible purple, boxed censorship stamp
overlapping and extending below the two 3k stamps. Finally, there
is an unlisted black straight line mark on the reverse indicating
that the item has been delayed by censor. This mark ties the
censorship label and must have been applied in Petrograd.
Page 74 1987 ROSSICA 110
t2 ., ,>
Figure 2 (reverse)
This is Speeckaert censorship stamp type 29, recorded from January
1917 to October 1918 with censor numbers from 43 to 1721. The
censor numbers and label types are listed in Table 1. Speeckaert
also states that after January 1916, the censorship service was in
the 1st Expeditsia, but in the 6th Expeditsia prior to this time.
The uniformity of the purple, boxed stamp, the PETROGRAD 1
Expeditsia cancels listed in Table 1 and the dates of usage are all
consistent with the conclusion that all of these Petrograd censor-
ship marks were applied in late 1917 rather than at the time the
letters were sent, in 1914-15.
The Fastov cover also exhibits one other possible censorship
marking. It is faint, purple and overlaps the two stamps, below
which it is in part visible in Figure 2. I have not been able to
At least two of the covers (one to Chicago and one to Boston)
were opened by censors for a second time in the US, but the other
two complete covers show no signs of US censorship. The dissimi-
larity of the handling of the Boston and Chicago covers suggests
that US censorship was not imposed upon first receipt in New York,
ROSSICA 110 1987 Page 75
S but rather, at some later time. The letter to Chicago is sealed by
a strip of four "officially sealed" stamps covering the Russian
censorship label, while the item to Boston is sealed with a large:
"OPENED BY CENSOR. 5159" label in three lines.
Two hypotheses may be advanced to explain the delay of these
letters. The first is that they were all part of a mail bag (or
bags) lost in the confusion of the war early in 1915 and found only
in October 1917, whence the letters were censored and dispatched in
the normal way. This hypothesis is favored by the uniform Petro-
grad censorship markings. Arguing against it is the 4 1/2 month
time span of the original posting dates. Even with postal service
disrupted by war, there is no reason to think that mail should have
accumulated for that long a period without being forwarded. It
might be argued that the registration of the letters explains this
circumstance, in that the postal authorities did not wish to
forward registered mail, if its safety could not be guaranteed.
The difficulty with this argument is the 3 1/2 week span of the
Petrograd 1 Expeditsia marks and the several month span of the US
receipt dates. These further delays show that the letters were not
handled routinely as part of a single Russian mail shipment.
Rather, it was the registration and subsequent non-delivery of the
letters that caused US authorities to bring them together in 1918
and preserve them.
The second hypothesis is that these letters were all delayed
for some reason by the censors and were not destroyed, but instead
dispatched to Petrograd. One can easily imagine provincial
officials at the beginning of the war either being confused by
their new censorship duties or being instructed to forward all
suspicious letters (or perhaps only the registered ones ?) to
St. Petersburg. Officials in the capital held the letters until
October 1917 and then, over a period of some months, reviewed and
released them. It is possible that changes in the political
climate associated with the October revolution facilitated the
release of the letters; however, the first 1 Expeditsia cancel of
18 October 1917 predates the change of government on 25 October.
The other cancels are all in early November.
Unless only registered delayed letters were forwarded to
Petrograd, the registration of the letters is not, in this
hypothesis, central to their preservation and eventual forwarding
by the Russians. Still, registration may have strengthened the
sense of responsibility amongst Russian postal officials to deliver
this mail, despite the embarrassing delay. One might possibly then
also find delayed, non-registered letters with these markings
preserved. That no non-registered items were found in the group of
material that I purchased may simply reflect a difference in
handling between registered and non-registered mail by US
authorities. Undeliverable, non-registered mail might even have
been sent back to Russia.
Page 76 1987 ROSSICA 110
Because none of the contents of the letters have been
preserved, and in most cases even the names of the sender and
addressee removed, it is difficult to determine why these letters
were delayed. The only suggestion I can advance is the names of
the addressees, which are (Table 1), in the four cases where they
have been preserved, all at least vaguely German or Jewish
In favor of the hypothesis of delay by censors is the black
straight line mark in the upper right of Figure 2: "Zaderzhano
voennoj tsenzuroj" (delayed by military censor or censorship).
This marking was applied over the label sealing the envelope and
must, therefore, be a previously undescribed mark of the Petrograd
censorship office. Why it does not appear on any of the other full
covers is curious, considering the otherwise uniform handling of
the items in question. It may, of course, have appeared on some of
the covers that were cut up into pieces. If this second hypo-
thesis is correct, it is also strange that no censorship marks from
the first reading by censors in 1914-5 appear. The absence of
censor markings from 1914-15 may indicate that the various
provincial offices that originally handled these letters were
acting under a uniform set of instructions regarding letters
detained. Can some other reader can shed further light on this
whole matter, either with additional covers or with the text from
the relevant official Russian documents?
Speeckaert, A. (undated) Russische Postcensuur 1914-1918.
Kon. Postzelgelvereiniging van het Land van Waas, Belgium,
"* NOTICE *
Rossica has received the following request, via the APS. Anyone
desiring to respond is encouraged to do so directly to Mr.
"I would very much like to find a pen-friends and exchange
partners in your beautiful country and therefore, ask you to pass
my address to a series collector or to publish my advert in your
A. V. KARTALOV
ul. S.K.D. 38 kv.41
Exchange: mint and used stamps (want list and new issues), blocs,
F.D.C., post cards with original stamp, card maximum, coins,
postcards badges, records, souvenirs, etc."
ROSSICA 110 1987 Page 77
DIVERGENCE IN RUSSIAN POSTAL RATES: 1917-1922
by Ivo Steyn
Is this cover/card correctly franked? This simple question is
one of the first to be asked whenever a philatelist examines any
kind of item that purports to have gone through the post. Often,
the answer to this question can help in identifying faked covers,
philatelic monstrosities, and covers from which stamps have been
removed. Unfortunately, there is a period in Russian history when
postal rates changed so rapidly that not even the postal officials
of the time were able to keep up with the changing rates. I refer,
of course, to the early years of Soviet Russia, the years of Civil
War, NEP, and hyperinflation.
The collector who finds a cover from this period (which
roughly covered the years 1918-1923) immediately refers to the
literature to see if the franking on his find corresponds to the
approved rate of the period or possibly to that of the previous
period if the postal official who accepted the letter at the time
was running behind. Unfortunately, there seems to be an increasing
number of rate tables to choose from, and the various tables do not
all agree with each other all the time. In a recent article in
Yamshickl, Ross Marshall demonstrated the difficulties in the
literature. He used the table published by the Cercle Philatelique
France-URSS2 and a table from the BJRP3), and noted that the two
tables differed frequently. Both tables differ at several points
from another source, the rates table from the Lobachevski4 catalog.
While napping postal officials, fraud, and mass confusion certainly
explain a considerable percentage of the covers that seem to be
incorrectly franked (by whatever table one prefers to use), I
suspect there is another reason for the curious multitude of postal
rates found during this period.
At the time of the October Revolution in 1917, the dissolution
of the Russian Empire was already well underway. Finland and
Poland were well on the road to secession, and in the Ukraine, the
Rada was publishing increasingly separatist universalss" or
manifestos. During 1918 many peripheral areas of the Empire
seceded, some as an expression of reborn nationalism, others
because they served as springboard for the White movement. In this
way, the Ukraine, Transcaucasia, Siberia, the Cossack states and
several others removed themselves from the authority of the
Bolshevik government in Moscow.
This also had implications for postal rates. From the moment
of secession, the government of the new state assumed responsi-
bility for the postal system, and that responsibility included
setting rates. Thus, the rates during the second half of 1918 in
the Ukraine were set by a different authority than those in central
Russia or in the Don area. Different rates in different terri-
tories are therefore not only natural but extremely likely, as the
economic conditions in the various new-born states differed widely.
Page 78 1987 ROSSICA 110
This article will not be an attempt to trace all postal rates
in all separatist states. It will require a philatelist who is
better versed in the Civil War than I to write such an article.
Here I will briefly mention the dates from which differing postal
rates can be expected in a number of border territories and examine
my own favorite, Siberia, in some detail. I leave it to the
specialists to do the same for the other Civil War states.
1. The Ukraine5
To identify the exact moment at which the Ukraine seceded from
Russia is not as easy as it sounds. The Ukraine moved toward
independence (of sorts) in several steps, and the line between
autonomy and independence is difficult to draw. After the February
revolution, the Ukrainians lost no time in expressing their long-
suppressed national feelings. During the Ukrainan National
Congress in Kiev, April 19-21, the Rada was recognized as the
supremee national authority." The Rada hoped for good relations
with the Provisional Government and confidently looked forward to,
if not complete independence, then at least far-reaching autonomy
within the confines of a Russian Federation, to be organized by the
Constituent Assembly. However, the Provisional Government was not
feeling cooperative and denied the Ukrainians every right at self-
determination until the Constituent Assembly could sort things out.
An Gebriider S E N.; '
in L Z I L I Ko
........ ................................................(D eu t ee h -a n d- ) ... .. ...... ..... ......
A card from the Hetmanate Ukraine: AMUR, EKATERINOSLAV to
Leipzig, 31-7-1918. According to Lobachevski's table it
should have been franked with 12 kopeks. It is franked with
10 kopeks, as are all my Ukrainian cards from this period.
ROSSICA 110 1987 Page 79
The Rada then (on June 23) published an official manifesto, the
First Universal, which contained the phrase "Without either
separating from Russia or breaking with the Russian state, let the
Ukrainian people on their own territory have the right to manage
their own life!" It is clear that far-reaching autonomy was then
still the aim, not complete independence. On July 15, the
Provisional Government and the Ukraine reached a compromise: a
"General Secretariat" would be created as a "higher organ for the
administration of regional affairs." Still no sign of slackening
of the bonds to the central government.
The failure of the General Secretariat to live up to the
Ukrainian hopes, the Second and Third Universals--these we will not
examine in detail. The Third Universal, proclaimed on November 27,
did mention--for the first time--the phrase "Ukrainian National
Republic." The Fourth Universal, proclaimed on January 25, 1918,
finally made the last step to complete independence, but German
invasion, Bolshevik invasion, and general chaos made the whole
matter academic until a semblance of stability was restored under
Hetman Skoropadsky on April 29.
So, responsibility for postal rates could have been assumed by
the Ukraininan government on any one of a number of dates:
June 23, 1917 (1st Universal), July 15 (General Secretariat),
November 27 (3rd Universal), January 25, 1918 (4th Universal). and
April 29 (Hetmanate). I tend toward the third date, since cooper-
ation between the Rada and the Petrograd government virtually
ceased after that date. From then on, the Ukrainian National
Republic and the Bolsheviks would only communicate by bullets. The
area controlled by the Ukrainian government also fluctuated from
time to time. Later, in 1919, most of the Ukraine would be overrun
by the Volunteer Army of General Denikin, while certain parts were
controlled by Nestor Makhno, Bolshevik guerillas, and what not.
2. The Don and Kuban areas6
Here the determination of the secession date is much simpler.
Both the Don and the Kuban Hosts initially demanded no more than a
form of regional autonomy within a Russian Federation. War with
the Bolsheviks erupted mere days after the October Revolution and
from that moment on, the Don and Kuban areas no longer considered
themselves part of the Russian Empire, and certainly no longer
followed the edicts of the Petrograd government. During 1918 parts
of these areas changed hands with confusing regularity, so the
question of which area was under which government can only be
answered by meticulous study of the military history of the Civil
War in South Russia. Political matters also confused the issue, as
the volunteer Army quarreled with the Don and Kuban governments. I
seem to recall seeing a cover franked with Kuban surcharges not
being accepted by the Volunteer Army7).
Again, the first moves toward independence were made during
1917, but the proximity of the Turkish front prevented any
Page 80 1987 ROSSICA 110
S. .. ..... .
lC i ...'
A card from KISLOVODSK, TEREK to Nakhichevan, dated
29-4-1918. Total franking 20 kopeks which does fit with
the Soviet rate. As far as I've been able to tell,
Kislovodsk was under Soviet rule at the time of the
spectacular secessions. In Transcaucasia, the story of the
secession is mostly a story of political parties: the Mensheviks
in Georgia (who soon dominated the Social-Democrat party there and
who were willing to cooperate fully with the other parties), the
Dashnaktsutiune in Armenia, and the Mussawat in Azerbaijan. All
three were actually willing to wait for the Constituent Assembly to
determine the form of their autonomy.
The October Revolution was condemned by all three parties, and
the formation of local governments began. On the 19th of November,
the Transcaucasian Commissariat was formed by Mensheviks, Dashnaks,
Mussawats, and SRs. Unfortunately for them, the Bolskeviks
concentrated on subverting the Transcaucasian Army, and the Turkish
front soon began to collapse. Under the pressure of the Turkish
advance, the shock caused by the Brest-Litovsk negotiations and the
increasingly bad relations with the Bolsheviks, the Transcaucasian
Commissariat collapsed when Georgia proclaimed its independence on
May 26, 1918. Armenia and Azerbaijan soon followed suit. While it
is still unclear if the authority of the Tanscaucasian Commissariat
extended to setting postal rates, edicts from Petrograd were
certainly ignored after the October Revolution, since none of the
three dominant political parties considered the bolshevik govern-
ment legitimate. So diverging postal rates could have started
appearing as early as November 19th.
ROSSICA 110 1987 Page 81
A card from TIFLIS to Paris, dated 5-9-1917, well
before any chance of diverging postal rates. But the
Lobachevski table mentions a rate of 8 kopeks for a
In Siberia, Soviet power lasted well into 1918. The counter-
revolution, when it came as the result of the Czech mutiny on May
25th, immediately spawned a number of local governments of which
the two most successful ones would be the Samara government (Yes, I
know that's in the Urals. The Samara government was made up of ex-
Constituent Assembly members and dominated by SRs) and the Siberian
Commissariat at Omsk. Later in the year, during a conference in
Ufa, the two decided to cooperate and the so-called Directorate was
formed. It--or rather, its SR members--wasn't very popular with
the more conservative Omsk circles, and a coup placed all power
into the hands of Admiral Kolchak on November 18th. Divergent
postal rates can therefore be expected soon after the Czech coup,
but uniform rates for Siberia no sooner than the formation of the
Directorate on September 23rd.
It is interesting to trace the development of postal rates in
"White Siberia" in some detail. My own collection contains very
few items from 1918 and the early half of 1919, but covers and
cards with dates before the Czech coup are franked in accord with
the rates set by the Soviet government. During Kolchak's rule,
inflation took a firm grip on postal rates, and the rate for an
ordinary letter abroad went from 35 to 50 to 70 kopeks, and later
to 1 ruble and 2 rubles. By then--December 1919--Kolchak's
authority had collapsed and it was only in the first month of 1920
Page 82 1987 ROSSICA 110
that this rate was still applied all over White Siberia (which by
then had shrunk to the area East of Lake Baikal). The final
fragmentation of White rule during February 1920 opened the door
again for locally differentiated postal rates. Vladivostok kept
the 2 ruble rate going until June, when it started experimenting
with currency reform. In October of the same year Vladivostok and
environs (up to Khabarovsk) switched to a Gold Ruble standard and
the rate for a letter abroad became "10 Gold Kopeks." At this
point, the rest of Eastern Siberia was still using inflated rubles
and Lord knows what rates.
In May 1921, Vladivostok formally seceeeded from the Far
Eastern Republic, so again we have the possibility of diverging
postal rates. By then. the part of Siberia West of Laike Baikal
was of course back into the Soviet fold and presumably followed
Soviet postal rates. I have a cover from Tomsk from 1920, and the
franking fits in with the Lobachevski tables.
The reunification of the Far Eastern Republic in October 1922
re-opened the way for a uniform Eastern Siberian rate system, and
this lasted through 1923 until the Gold currency was introduced in
the rest of the Soviet Union in early 1924.
I hope I've made clear what a hideously complex puzzle the
determination of postal rates during the Civil War is. For each
cover we must ask ourselves where it 'came from, which government
held sway over that place at that time before we can even begin to
think about whether the cover is correctly franked or not. A lot
of work remains to be done.
Registered letter from SPASSK, PRIMORSK (9-1-18) to Rakov,
Minsk gubernia. This intercity sealed letter from the Soviet
Siberian period is correctly franked with 35 kopeks.
ROSSICA 110 1987 Page 83
1. Marshall, Dr. A. R., "Russian Postal Rates 1916-1924",
Yamshchik 16, p 51-56
2. Cercle Philatelique France-URSS "Catalog of Soviet Stamps",
3. Karlinski, V., "Soviet Inland & Overseas Postal Rates 1917-
1971" (from Soviet Collector 9), British Journal of Russian
Philately 60, p 46-52
4. Rossica Journal 100/101, p 70-72
5. All dates are in New Style. Information for this chapter comes
from "The Ukraine, 1917-1921: A Study in Revolution", Taras
Hunczak, editor; Harvard Ukrainian Research Institute, 1977
6. All information from "Civil War in Russia 1917-1920",
J.F.N. Bradley, B.T. Batsford, Ltd., London 1975
7. British Journal of Russian Philately 50, p 13-14; from the
collection of M. Rayhack
8. All information from "The Struggle for Transcaucasia, 1917-
1923", Firuz Kazemzadeh, Philosophical Library, New York,
9. All information from "The Siberian Intervention", J.A. White,
Greenwood Press, New York 1969
"* EXPERTIZATION *
One of the privileges of membership in Rossica is one free
expertization per membership year. Policy on these free
expertizations is as follows:
1. Only one free expertization per membership year.
2. The privilege must be used during the membership year it
can not be accumulated. The service was begun in the 1978
membership year; prior membership in the Society has no bearing.
3. The item must be submitted on an official expertization form
available from Norman Epstein.
4. Return postage must be included.
5. Only one item per expertization form.
Anyone wishing to avail himself of this service merely has to write
our Treasurer and Chairman of the Expertization Committee, Norman
Epstein, at 33 Crooke Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11226, enclosing a legal
size stamped envelope for an expertization form. When submitting
material for free expertization, the owner must provide return
postage for his material. Items submitted will be expertized by
Rossica members specializing in the various aspects of Russian
Page 84 1987 ROSSICA 110
The purpose of the member-to-member adlet section is to allow
members to advertise special requirements and interests and to make
contact with fellow collectors for the acquisition of needed
material and information. The adlets are not designed for purely
commercial users, but as a service to individual collectors in the
pursuit of their philatelic inquiries. The rates have been kept
purposely nominal to cover printing costs only. Due to minimum
printing page format requirements and cut-off deadlines, Rossica
cannot guarantee that such adlets will be printed in the next
Journal issue, but all ads will be processed on a first come, first
served basis. Finally, since Rossica cannot assume any responsi-
bility for transactions resulting from member responses to adlets
nor get involved with mediating disputes, members are cautioned to
be fair in offering and honest in responding. Any material of
value sent through the mails should be insured for each member's
protection. The regulations and prices for adlets are as follows:
1. Rossica adlets will be limited to 6 Journal lines, each
consisting of 68 characters or spaces per line.
2. The price per adlet line is $1.00 per issue.
3. Each adlet must include the name and address of the member
placing the ad.
4. No general buy or sell ads will be accepted as adlets. The
Journal makes different provisions for strictly commercial
5. Adlet service is available to Rossica members only.
6. All adlets will be accompanied by a check for the correct
amount made out to Mr. Norman Epstein, Treasurer,
33 Crooke Avenue, Brooklyn, New York 11226.
7. All adlets and checks will be mailed to Dr. Kennedy Wilson,
Secretary, 7415 Venice Street, Falls Church, Virginia 22043.
WANTED: Covers. Used abroad and imperial dotted numerals. Buy or
trade. Send description and price. M. R. RENFRO, Box 2268,
Santa Clara, California 95055.
WANTED: TURKISH covers and cards before 1919 with Turkish
franking. ROBERT W. STUCHELL, 1027 Valley Forge Road, Unit 211,
Devon, Pennsylvania 19333.
RUSSIAN REVENUES (Fiscals), Vignettes (Labels), Seals, Locals
(Zemstvo), Fiscal Paper & Documents wanted. Imperial, States,
Armies & Soviet. Will exchange or purchase. MARTIN CERINI,
21 W. 12th Street, Huntington Station, New York 11746.
WANTED: MONGOLIA, Scott #1 through 61, including perforation
varieties and errors, surcharge varieties. Please state condition
and price. KENNEDY WILSON, 7415 Venice St., Falls Church VA 22043.
ROSSICA 110 1987 Page 85
NOTES FROM COLLECTORS
WHAT IS THIS AZOV MARKING?
A picture postcard franked
with a 50 shagiv stamp is post-
marked AZOV 18.7.19 (Figure 1).
The marking is black; the
outer ring 26 mm in diameter,
the inner ring 17 mm.
Following the name "AZOV" are
a capital cyrillic letter "N."
and a lower case "g." with two
ornaments and an "a" across
the bottom (Figure 2). The
marking is unlike any markings
of the area for that period.
A short text on the back and
address appear to be written
in Polish. Can anyone shed
any light on this usage and
AN INTERESTING FAKE
Information concerning the Fournier forgeries of Russia, Scott
Nos. 39 and 40, is admirably summarized in the Lobachevski catalog
translation in Rossica 94/95. As described therein, some fakes
were made using genuine paper taken from the wide margins of the
1889-1904 issues. Others were printed on a different vertically
laid paper. It is this paper that is of primary concern here.
I recently received from a European auction house a fake copy
of Finland, Scott #69, the 10M stamp of the 1901 provisional issue
on chalky paper. The genuine stamp is similar in size, format and
perforations to the Russian 3.50 ruble value (Scott #39). This
fake Finland stamp seems to have been made using the same center as
Page 86 1987 ROSSICA 110
the fakes of Russia, Scott #39 and 40--there are only 12 feathers
on the eagle. The paper fits the description of the paper in the
Lobachevski catalog and is exactly as I remember the paper on a
fake Russia #39 that I once bought. The laid lines are narrower
and slightly closer together than on a genuine stamp; there are 17-
18 lines instead of 15 to 16 across the stamp.
There is also a fake watermark created with a grease pencil of
some kind; this is visible in ordinary light when the stamp is dry
but invisible when the stamp is immersed in watermark fluid. This
watermark is more crudely executed on this Finland #69 (sketched in
Figure 1) than it was on the Russia #39. In addition to this fake
watermark, there is also a real watermark, having the form of a
capital letter "R," that I have not previously seen described
(sketched in Figure 2). It is faint and invisible without water-
mark fluid. It appears to be part of a larger pattern and other
letters may appear on other forgeries. It does not resemble any
Russian letter, at least not in modern script, and may, therefore,
indicate a western origin of this paper.
Figure 1 Figure 2
Finally, the cancel is obviously bogus. It is a double ring,
trilingual Wiborg cancel with vertial bars above and below the
date. The outer ring is 29 mm in diameter, the inner ring is faint
and incomplete. The giveaway is that the date (3. V. 02.3) is
inverted relative to the trilingual town name; that is, when the
date is upright, the Russian town name at the "top" center of the
cancel is inverted.
RARE COVERS FOUND
Many Soviet commemoratives of the early 1950s were printed in
small numbers which are reflected in their values in the usual
stamp catalogs. Quite often the catalog price of a used copy
approaches or exceeds the price for an unused copy. And, as all of
us are aware, all too often used means CTO (canceled-to-order).
One such issue is the 1950 set picturing planned and built
high rise buildings in Moscow, listed in the 1987 Scott catalog
(Nos. 1518-1525) at $30.00 unused and $40.00 used. In the 1980
catalog of postage stamps of the Soviet Union, the set is priced at
250 rubles unused and 40 rubles used.
ROSSICA 110 1987 Page 87
Nevertheless, the implication is clear that the stamps, whether
unused or used, are somewhat in short supply, even though one
million sets of this issue were printed according to the Soviet
catalog. This is compared to other issues for this period with
much lower catalog values.
Recently I obtained an auction lot containing a correspondence
between an American in Moscow and various members of his family in
the USA. There were two covers with two of these skyscraper
stamps, indicating that they indeed were on sale in Moscow at
least. Figure 1 shows a rate of 1 ruble 40 kopeks for an airmail
letter, the correct rate. Figure 2 shows a registered airmail
letter where the rate should be 2 rubles 10 kopeks. One stamp in
the upper right corner is missing, presumably a 1 ruble value to
make up the correct rate.
In the same correspondence there was a cover franked with
Scott 1341A, an engraved stamp issued in 1948 depicting a medal
"that is similarly catalog valued $15.00 in both unused and used,
whereas in the Soviet catalog it merits no elevated values. This
cover, dated 5.3.48 is an airmail, registered, special delivery and
is franked 3 rubles 30 kopeks (Figure 3). The additional 1 ruble
awarenre nt ed the s ecial deliv ery fee..
is franked 3 rubles 30 kopeks (Figure 3). The additional 1 ruble
apparently covered the special delivery fee.
Page 88 1987 ROSSICA 110
-Figure 2 .
-' -, --- --- ... .
/ ... CCC cp
It is a pleasure to see these scarce stamps on cover and to
share them with other readers.
Robert F. Minkus
ROSSICA 110 1987 Page 89
PETROGRAD IN LENINGRAD
If you receive a letter from Leningrad with a postmarking
"Petrograd," do not think that the city established by Peter the
Great has reverted to its Russian name. Look at the marking
carefully. On it you will see printed: J7-R E7TpoP4A. COPT. YCP -K.
CCCP (Figure 1). Transliterated this is "L-D PETROGRAD. SORT.
UCH-K. CCCP." This inscription can be deciphered as follows:
"Leningrad Petrogradiski Sorting Facility, USSR."
In the Great Soviet Encyclopedia, it states: "Leningrad is
located in the western Neva lowland, where the Neva River flows
into the Gulf of Finland and on 42 islands of the branched Neva
Delta, including Vasilevskii, Petrogradskii, Krestovskii....
islands." So one can deduce that the marking shown here was
applied at the sorting facility on Petrogradskii island in
As a matter of fact, Peter the Great did not name the new
capitol after himself but named it.Saint Petersburg, in honor of
his patron saint. The renaming of the city in August 1914 to
Petrograd was only a translation into the Russian language which
does not require a translation of the word "saint." Thus, for
example, the word "saints" is also missing in the city name
"Borisoglebsk," which was named for the brothers Boris and Gleb,
sons of a Kievan prince. The brothers were canonized by the
Russian Orthodox church in the XIth century.
However, even up to 1914, the city was simply called "Peter"
and its inhabitants "Peterburgers." it is interesting that
Leningraders up to now occasionally call their city "Peter," just
as they continued to call the main thoroughfare the "Nevsky" which
the Soviet authorities had initially renamed "October Prospect."
Consequently it was renamed back to its original name.
Now on the pages of Soviet newspapers one reads about the need
of returning to cities their old names. Whether Leningrad returns
to either of its earlier names--only time will tell.
A NEW ODDITY
After reading George Shalimoff's article on "Changelings," I
sent this copy of a #3104 oddity to him for evaluation. His
Page 90 1987 ROSSICA 110
comments are as follows:
"Your copy of Russia #3104 with speckled red is a new one for
me. I have never seen it before or anything similar. In addition
to the speckling of the color, the wavy lines in the background of
the bust are missing as is the outline of the map in the lower
portion. Even if some of the color were removed, I wouldn't expect
these outlines to disappear.
"The genuine stamp that I have shows three colors on the bust,
pink forehead and left edge of the profile, rose shading on the
cheek and a muddy dark rose behind the ear and down the neck.
These three shades are not apparent on the xerox of your genuine
nor on the speckled variety. Only the last two shades are
apparent. It's really hard to say what has happened to this stamp.
"I showed your xerox to others at our local meeting last
weekend but no one could come up with an explanation. I don't have
any duplicates of this issue to try to chemically reproduce it, but
if I find some copies, I'll play around a bit and see if it can be
created with a little chemistry."
#3104 normal stamp #3104 with speckled background
Do any of our readers have additional comments?
Robert F. Minkus
Abolition of the "parallel posts." The Northwest District People's
Land Commission Representative has issued an order to all
provincial land administrations to use only the postal system for
sending their correspondence (which consists primarily of money
mail), beginning immediately. By eliminating parallel communi-
cations and the courier [system] employed by some individual
establishments, an increase in the Northwest Communications
District's profitability should be partially achieved.
(from "Khronika in "Zhizn' i Tekhnika Svyazi", June, No. 6,
1924, p. 167. translated by Dave Skipton)
ROSSICA 110 1987 Page 91
THE ROSSICA BOOKSHELF
THE BRITISH JOURNAL OF RUSSIAN PHILATELY, No. 63, 1986, 136 pages;
The Journal of the British Society of Russian Philately, published
by BSRP, ed. by R. L. Joseph, 53 Malham Road, Stourport-on-Severn,
Worcs DY13 8NT, Great Britain.
This is the Golden Jubilee Issue of this venerable Journal,
which is the oldest continuously published journal on Russian
Philately produced in the English language. The issue is worthy of
"a Golden Jubilee issue, with the cover printed in three colors from
"a new pictorial design by Dr. Raymond Casey. It is also the
longest journal issue published by the BSRP to date, a whopping 136
The content of the issue is no less spectacular and retains
the BSRP trademark of something for everyone. The issue opens with
translations of sections of the Handbook of the Imperial Russian
Post Office (undated) giving translations of postal rates, rules
and regulations, a listing of Russian postal treaties, and
translations of foreign exchange rates from 1866. There is an
article entitled "The Plague and the Post: Russian Disinfection
Procedures up to 1832" by David Skipton. It is followed by a
comprehensive and well illustrated article on "Ship Mail from
North-West Russia" by Dr. Raymond Casey, certainly a seminal
research article on this subject.
Next comes an update on the "Pre-adhesive Datestamps of
Tiflis" by P.T. Ashford, an article on "New Information about
Sending Zemstvo Mail inside a District" by M. Minskii (translated
by Dr. T.T. Rutkowska), and an article on "Zemstvo Post of Tula
District" by D. Kuznetsov (also translated by Dr. Rutkowska).
Dr. Edward Kossoy writes a very informative article on "The Un-
numbered T.P.O.s of Imperial Russia" in which he divides the
railway mail car routes not possessing postmarks into three groups:
suburban lines, feeder lines, and temporary T.P.O.s.
The Rev. L. L. Tann has a short item about a registered cover
posted at the Vitebsk railway station in St. Petersburg destined
for a location in central Europe in "The Wrong Station".
August Leppa has an article entitled "The Russian Army on the
Roumanian Front 1916-1917" discussing this difficult philatelic
area of field post mail from the Romanian front in World War I,
along with an interesting bit of historical research, which has
become Mr. Leppa's trademark. Robin Joseph (the editor) follows
with an extensive research article on "The Batum and Kobulety
Postmaster Provisionals" (where does he find the time ?). Next
comes "A Date in Vladivostok: The Arms issue of 1921" by Ivo Steyn,
and two articles on damage markings: "More Soviet 'Damaged'
Markings" by R. P. Knighton and "A 'Damaged' Cover to Latvia by
M. Shmuely describes and illustrates material in his
collection in an article entitled "Soviet Posts in Bukovina and
Bessarabia, 28 June 1940 5 July 1941". N.J.D. Ames and A. Pritt
Page 92 1987 ROSSICA 110
provide additional information on a postcard which was discussed in
the previous BJRP issue with "A Philatelic Detective Story: Russia
1941 to Switzerland 1942. New Information." J. Lloyd discusses
and illustrates some hitherto "Unrecorded Anglo-Soviet-Iranian
Censor Markings of the Second World War".
J.G. Moyes makes a substantial contribution to Russian revenue
collectors in "Some Additions to the Forbin Revenue Catalog." In a
well illustrated article, he adds some 54 new items to the Forbin
The Golden Jubilee Issue closes with a posthumous article by
Hilary Norwood on "Tax Stamps for Philatelic Exchanges," a
veritable catalog of the philatelic tax stamps. The article
carefully explains each issue, lists the stamps and overprints, and
the varieties. It will be the definitive article on these popular
stamps for some time to come.
This issue ends with an upbeat editorial by the new editor of
the BJRP in which he predicts that Russian philately should
continue to thrive and interest in the philately of the Russian
group should continue to increase in the second half-century of the
BJRP. If this issue is any indication at all, we all have a lot of
enjoyment coming. A truly outstanding issue, and one which sets
the standards which any other journal of Russian philately should
strive to attain.
Kennedy L. Wilson
PROVISIONAL POSTMARKS OF THE DISTRICT OF BYDGOSZCZ 1945-1947, by
Marian Koscielnik, issued by "Bydgoski Komunikat Filatelistyczny",
Bydgoszcz, Poland, 1973. (in Polish)
The Bydgoszcz Chapter of the Polish Philatelic Society
(Polski Zwiazek Filatelistow) has issued the periodical "Bydgoski
Komunikat Filatelistyczny" dedicated to Poland's philately and
postal history since 1970. They sponsored the book which is the
subject of this review.
The author, Marian Koccielnik, is a well known postal
historian who has previously written several books on the subject
of Post-World War II postmarks in Poland. His book of 1973 deals
with provisional postmarks used in the Bydgoszcz District defined
with 1970's borders. These borders differ from those in 1945/47
due to transfers of lands to and from the District of Bydgoszcz in
1945 and 1950.
In the two years following World War II, postmarks were often
non-standardized in Poland and were homemade devices fabricated by
postmasters of individual post offices. In some cases German
inscriptions were removed from the two ring cancellers used during
World War II with the exchangeable date remaining in the bridge.
The name of the town was occasionally added to these "dumb"
postmarks by means of a separate rubber stamp. Some postmarks were
fabricated from rubber or carved in cork or in wood. Some post
ROSSIA 110 1987 Page 93
offices used Postal Agency seals from before World War II. They
are a two ring type with the Polish eagle in the center whose crown
was partially or completely removed. These provisional postmarks
are all illustrated and arranged alphabetically by towns of the
To a large extent, the book is based on the philatelic
material contained in the collection of the well known Polish
philatelist Stanislaw Adamski. All these postmarks represent a
highly specialized, complex, and difficult area of Poland's postal
history from these unstable and troubled times.
The author did an excellent, systematic and thorough job of
writing this book. Of course, he could not completely exhaust this
material. Other provisional postmarks exist which have not been
cataloged or described.
Dr. Stanley Kronenberg
Sovetskii Kollektsioner No. 22, 1984, published by Radio i Svyaz,
Moscow. (in Russian)
The yearly magazine "Sovetskii Kollektsioner", intended for
serious collectors, unfortunately always comes out late and in very
small numbers. "Sovetskii Kollektsioner" No. 22 is dated 1984 but
it was sent to press in January 17, 1985 and placed on sale at the
very end of 1985. Half of the pages of the issue are filled with
B. Kaminskii has an excellent documentary study of the "Postal
Rates of Prerevolutionary Russia" from the time of the postal
reform of 1783 when a single uniform rate of weight charges
depending on distance was introduced, up to the reforms of 1843
when a uniform weight payment for all the empire independent of the
distance was introduced and when stamped envelopes appeared in
Secondly, there is an excellent documentary study titled
"Russian Stamped Envelopes of the First Period 1845-1863" by the
late V. Lobachevskii. This is a major comprehensive catalog of
stamped envelopes encompassing all previous efforts, including
Ascher, Moen, Higgens and Gage and others. Included are historical
discussions, descriptions of the indicias, watermarks and knives,
areas and numbers of usage, cancellations used on these covers,
varieties and a catalog style rating system of value. It is a
long overdue definitive work in this subject. Contributions by
Rossica members O. Farberge and M. Liphschutz are acknowledged.
M. Dobin's article "The Exchange of Correspondence Between
St.Petersburg and the Suburbs" adds to the author's previous
article entitled "From The History of the St. Petersburg Post"
published in S.K. No. 16 in 1976. It covers the development of
postal communications between the capital and its suburbs, routes
and the railroad lines, with emphasis on the various postal and
railroad markings, such as the small circular POEZD markings.
Page 94 1987 ROSSICA 110
M. Minskii in his article "Zemstvo Post in the Verkhoturskovo
Uyezd" tells of the help of the Zemtsvo post to the cultural and
economic development of the uyezd (district) in 1873-1913.
Included are the history of the post in the region, the rules,
stamps and postal markings and many other details based on archive
material of the Zemstvo post. Again there are contributions from
Messers Farberge and Liphschutz for some of the illustrations.
Other short philatelic articles cover the topics of air
communications with blockaded Leningrad during World War II and
postal printings and markings of the Ukraine in 1920-1922. An
interesting article on world philately of the Olympic Games
1900-1924 completes the philatelic portion of this issue.
The journal continues with scholarly articles on historical
picture postcards, a section on numismatics that includes articles
on medals and a question of some 17th century coins, and a section
on paper money with articles on bank coupons used as money in 1917
Sovetskii Kollektsioner No. 23, 1985, published by Radio i Svyaz,
Moscow. (in Russian)
The lead article is a continuation of "The Postal Rates of
Prerevolutionary Russia" by B. Kaminskii for the period 1861-1875.
It gives a detailed explanation of the weight charges and insurance
charges for all types of correspondence and parcels. It is a
scholarly examination of archive material, to be continued in
future issues of this journal.
A. Levin's article "Mute Cancels of Russia During the First
World War" is the first part of two on the short lived markings of
WW I with numerous illustrations of quite interesting pieces
showing attempts and failures to block out the places of origin for
security reasons. Numerous western sources are cited in the
references indicative of the prior efforts to chronicle these
An editorial informs us of the efforts to publish articles on
the pre-stamp period markings of Russia in the 18th and 19th
centuries which would ultimately be the basis of a catalog on this
subject. In line with this, the current issue has an article by M.
Dobin on the "Classification and Systematics of Prestamp Postal
Markings of Russia." He illustrates the basic types and develops a
coding system indicating the type of usage--domestic, official,
foreign, receival, money mail, or local types of correspondence,
ship markings, and special markings. This is followed with codes
for the physical form of the marking which along with the size and
period of use would allow compilation of inventories of markings on
covers. Adoption of such a coding system by collectors could
simplify research in this area.
ROSSICA 110 1987 Page 95
Linnard follows with an article on the "Postal Markings of
Estonia in Prestamp Russia" with 181 illustrations of markings and
lists using the coding system described by Dobin in the previous
The article "The Penza Uyezd (District) Zemstvo Post" by M.
Minskii summarizes the local post in that area from 1865 to 1918.
It is another in a fine series of Zemstvo post articles by Soviet
authors that have appeared in their literature the past years.
The final philatelic article covers the special postal
emissions of the world for the Summer Olympics of 1928 and 1932.
It is a continuation by V. Furman of an article published earlier
on this specialized theme.
Another section of the journal discusses World War II picture
postcards. Under "Numismatics" we find articles on A. S. Pushkin
commemorated on medals, Soviet commemorative coins of the XXII
Olympiad in Moscow, and Soviet memorial medals of 1982-1984. Under
the section "Paper Money" there is a fine illustrated article on
Soviet war bonds of the Second World War.
George V. Shalimoff
"SIBERIA, Postmarks and Postal History of the Russian Empire
Period" by Philip Robinson, available from the author at 2
S Rydalhurst Ave., Sheffield, S6 4BG, Great Britain, US$ 15.00
surface, or US$ 22.00 airmail.
I honestly think it is impossible to recommend this book too
Long ago, when I first started out collecting Russia, I walked
into a well-known philatelic literature shop in central London and
asked for a book on all Russian postmarks. I was amazed and
appalled to hear no such book existed and left the shop vowing to
change this situation. Of course, when I found out how many post
offices has been in operation in the Russian Empire, I gave up on
the job. But I still would feel much happier with a nice set of
reference works on the bookshelf, putting all Russian postmarks
within reach while peering at some particularly unclear
As a result, I was delighted to learn of reference works like
Peter Ashford's "Imperial Russian Stamps Used in Transcaucasia,"
the legendary "Used Abroad" series by Tchilinghirian and Stephen,
and the Imhof study of the postmarks of St. Petersburg. I had a
vision of the impossibly huge job of recording all Russian
postmarks being divided into manageable gubernia-sized chunks.
Imagine my delight on first hearing of this book. I have
Always been interested in Siberia, and this book basically does for
Siberia what Tchilinghirian and Stephen did for "Used Abroad" and
Ashford did for Transcaucasia: it provides us with a complete list
of all post offices in operation in Siberia before 1918, a set of
very well-drawn and useful maps, a HUGE number of postmarks
Page 96 1987 ROSSICA 110
presented in a very easy-to-use format, considerable information on
railroad and shipping lines and even a realistic guide to valuation
which wisely gives an interval of prices for each rarity category.
Of course it isn't complete, but at one stroke a lot of
postmarks have been recorded. Further progress is now possible by
using this listing as a reference. But even the inevitable
criticism that it isn't complete can't stop me from recommending
this book to all collectors. Where else will you find so much
information on the pre-stamp markings of Siberia? The TPO markings
of that amazing railroad, the TransSiberian Railway? The
development of the post office network in Siberia? And every
category of postal cancellation is here: "ordinary" postmarks
(including Telegraph markings and the marking of the Omsk Vystavka,
the only postmark in the "H" or highest rarity category), TPO
markings and Station markings, Ship Mail cancellations (from such
obscure lines as YAKUTSK-USTKUTA and VLADIVOSTOK-KAMCHATKA) and
even Doplait or Postage Due markings!
"Siberia" is an amazing piece of work and a credit to the
author and his collaborators. Well, who's going to do the Urals?
The North Caucasus? Bessarabia? ...
THE RUSSIAN POSTS IN THE XIX CENTURY
by K.V. Bazilevich
translated by David M. Skipton
THE ROSSICA SOCIETY PRESENTS AN ENGLISH
TRANSLATION OF KONSTANTIN V. BAZILEVICH'S
1927 WORK, "THE RUSSIAN POSTS IN THE XIX
CENTURY". INTENDED AS A COMPANION PIECE
TO S.V. PRIGARA'S "THE RUSSIAN POST IN
NP! THE EMPIRE, TURKEY, CHINA AND THE POST IN
THE KINGDOM OF POLAND", THIS TRANSLATION
IS NOT A CATALOG, BUT STRICTLY POSTAL HIS-
TORY. COPIES ARE NOW AVAILABLE FOR IMME-
DIATE SHIPMENT AT THE FOLLOWING PRICES:
CURRENTLY PAID UP ROSSICA MEMBERS $45
LAPSED ROSSICA MEMBERS AND NON-MEMBERS
THIS BOOK IS HARDBOUND, WITH DARK PURPLE
COVER, IMITATION GOLD FOIL LETTERING ON
FRONT AND SPINE, AND DUSTJACKET. SIZE -
8.5 X 11". APPROXIMATELY 175 PAGES,
WITH DOZENS OF PHOTOGRAPHS AND ILLUSTRA-
TIONS. SEND ALL ORDERS TO THE PRESIDENT,
TREASURER, OR LIBRARIAN.