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POSTCARD MAIL IN THE YEARS OF REVOLUTION, CIVIL WAR, AND INFLATION IN RUSSIA (1917-1923)
PART IV: White Areas in Southern Russia and Ukraine
Alexander Epstein (Tallinn, Estonia)


The previous chapters dealt with the postcard rates fixed by the central Soviet Government and effective in almost all the regions of the former Empire which were under the Soviet administration. However, the Civil War that started in the summer of 1918 led to separation from the Soviet territory of vast areas in the South, North and East. Also the postal system in those areas was disconnected from the central one with own postal rates, although in some areas (e.g. North Russia, Urals, Siberia and Far East) the Soviet postal rates persisted till May 1919.
 
Besides, some other territories of the former Empire proclaimed their independence from Russia starting from the end of 1917 - beginning of 1918 and also fixing their own postal tariffs. Those of Finland, the republics of Baltic and Transcaucasia are out of the scope of this paper. However, it includes the postcard rates of Ukraine, since these rates fixed as early as in mid-January 1918 found later their use also in some areas of South Russia as well as in Bessarabia.
 
One should have in mind that contrary to the Soviet rates not every set of postal rates in the non-Soviet areas is supported by documented evidence. This concerns in particular the foreign postal rates, e.g. in North Russia and Siberia with the Far East. However, they could be reconstructed supporting on the available postal material knowing that they were always fixed as multiples of the pre-WWI postal rates as the basic tariffs which, in their turn, expressed in the national currency the rates fixed by the UPU in French Francs. All such non-documented rates are shown in italics; in the most cases, they are confirmed by a sufficient number of items of mail recorded in different collections, offered in the philatelic trade or at auctions etc. In case the number of recorded examples is too small, e.g. only very few copies, the corresponding assumed tariff or set of tariffs is accompanied by a question mark.
 
UKRAINE:
Ukrainian People Republic, then State under Hetman Skoropadski and again People Republic
 
Only inland postal rates were fixed in Ukraine. When the exchange of mail was established with some lands outside Ukraine, i.e. Germany and territories occupied by it (former Russian Poland, Baltic), Austro-Hungary, Soviet Russia, Don, Kuban', Crimea), it took place using the inland rates.

Postal rates 15. January 1918 - 14. November 1918
Ordinary postcard:10 kop
Ordinary greeting postcard, inland:25 kop
Ordinary greeting postcard, local:20 kop
Ordinary printed matter, inland:5 kop
Ordinary printed matter, local:2 kop
Registration fee:+25 kop

Originally, Imperial Russia postage stamps and postal stationery were used without any overprints or surcharges.

Fig. 1: Postcard blank of Kiev Postal/Telegraphic District franked with a 10-kop PSB stamp officially allowed for postage and sent as ordinary postcard on 21 May 1918 from Chernigov to Kiev where arrived on 26 May.

Fig. 2: 3-kop Imperial PS card franked additionally with Imperial Arms definitives 5 kop and 2 kop and sent as ordinary postcard on 8 July 1918 from Reshetilovka to Odessa where arrived on 16 July.

Fig. 3: 5-kop Russian PS card franked additionally with a 5-kop Imperial Arms definitive, sent as ordinary postcard from Ekaterinoslav in July 1918 and addressed to Hamburg, Germany where received on 5 August. The stamps are cancelled by a mute postmark used probably at a town post branch of Ekaterinoslav.

Fig. 4: The inquire half of 3-kop Imperial double PS card franked additionally with Imperial Arms definitives 5, 2 and 1 kop (i.e. overfranked on 1 kop) and mailed as ordinary postcard on 29 April 1918 at TPO Odessa-310-Bakhmut to Austria. The card was examined by the Austrian censorship both at Odessa (number 203) and Vienna.

Fig. 5: Postcard blank of Kiev Postal/Telegraphic District franked with a surcharged Imperial Arms definitive 10 kop/7 kop and mailed as ordinary postcard on 3 April 1918 at Rzhishchev, Kiev province to Yur'ev (Dorpat, Tartu) in Estonia occupied by German troops. After the postal connections with Baltic and Soviet Russia has been established in July and August, the card was routed via Moscow (10.IX.18) and Riga where examined by the German censorship.

Fig. 6: 5-kop Russian PS card franked additionally with Imperial Arms definitives 25, 3 and 2 kop sent as registered ordinary postcard on 12 August 1918 within Odessa (Thomas Berger collection).
These tariffs were also in force in some areas under the Soviet administration until these areas were occupied by German or Austrian forces during March and April 1918.

Fig. 7: Postcard blank of Kiev Postal/Telegraphic District franked with a surcharged Imperial Arms definitive 10 kop/7 kop and mailed as ordinary postcard on 28 January 1918 from Kiev to Kazan'.

Fig. 8: 5-kop Russian PS card without supplementary franking sent as ordinary postcard on 23 February 1918 from Yuzhnograd (formerly Berezovka), Odessa province to Dmitrievski poselok, Ekaterinoslav province where arrived on 17 March. A postage due in the amount of 10 (kop), i.e. the double deficiency to the 10-kop rate was written in the postage due marking of Berezovka.
During July to September 1918, the stocks of Russian PS cards available at the post offices of Ukraine were overprinted with a trident and new value of 10 kop corresponding to the rate in force. The Imperial stamps started to be overprinted with tridents as from August, and unoverprinted stamps and PS cards lost their franking force as from 1 October.

Fig. 9: 3-kop Imperial PS card surcharged 10 kop with Kiev 2 trident and sent as ordinary postcard on 27 September 1918 from Chernigov to Odessa where received on 2 October.

Fig. 10: 5-kop Russian PS card surcharged 10 kop with Ekaterinoslav 2 trident and sent as ordinary postcard on 24 September 1918 from Ekaterinoslav to Warsaw where received by the local town post and examined by German censorship in Warsaw.

Fig. 11: 5-kop Russian PS card surcharged 10 kop with Poltava 1 trident and sent as ordinary postcard on 23 August 1918 from Romny, Poltava province to Sudak in Crimea where arrived on 8 October. A postage due of 10 kop was raised at arrival, since the Ukrainian surcharge was not recognized in Crimea and the postcard face value was taken for the original 5 kop.

Fig. 12: 5-kop Russian PS card without surcharge but supplementary franked with 2 x 2-kop Imperial Arms definitives having the Poltava 1 trident overprint plus a 1-kop PSB stamp officially allowed for postage mailed as ordinary postcard on 19 September 1918 from Poltava to Kiev.

Fig. 13: Picture postcard franked with 3 x 3-kop plus a 1-kop Imperial Arms definitives, all having the Kiev II trident overprint and sent on 6 November 1918 as ordinary mail from Lukashevka, Kiev province to Revel (Tallinn) then under the German occupation. The postcard reached as far as Lutsk (8.11.18) where a cachet "Zurück / Keine Verbindung" was initially applied, although the postal connections with Baltic did exist officially. Therefore, the cachet was later crossed over and the card delivered to the addressee.

Postal rates 15. November 1918 *) - 19. May 1920
Ordinary postcard:20 kop
Ordinary greeting postcard, inland:35 kop
Ordinary greeting postcard, local:25 kop
Ordinary printed matter, inland:10 kop
Ordinary printed matter, local:  5 kop
Registration fee:+25 kop

*) This and the following set of rates were fixed actually in the Ukrainian currency - grivnas where 1 grivna = (100 shags) = 50 kopeks.

Fig. 14: 5-kop Russian PS card surcharged 10 kop with Kiev 3 trident, franked additionally with 2 x 5-kop Imperial Arms definitives overprinted Kiev II and used locally in Kiev on 18/22 November 1918 as ordinary mail. The card was returned to the sender, since the addressee had not been found in the place indicated as the address that confirmed by the address bureau.

Fig. 15: 4-kop Imperial Romanov Jubilee double PS card overprinted with the special Kiev M trident, franked additionally with a 1-kop Imperial Arms definitive having Kiev III overprint and 30-shagiv (= 15 kop) Ukrainian stamp of the original issue and used locally on 2 December 1918 as ordinary mail in Kiev where also examined by the Ukrainian censorship in Kiev.

Fig. 16: 5-kop Russian PS card surcharged 10 kop with Podolia trident, franked additionally with a 20-shagiv (= 10 kop) Ukrainian stamp of the original issue and mailed on 23 January 1919 as ordinary postcard from Kamenets, Podolia province to Kiev where arrived on 27 January.

Fig. 17: 5-kop Russian PS card surcharged 10 kop with Odessa 1 trident, franked additionally with Imperial Arms definitives 4 kop and 1 kop, both overprinted Odessa II (by the latter inverted), i.e. on 15 kop in total, and used on 28 December 1918 as ordinary postcard locally in Odessa. Postage due of 10 kop (double deficiency to the 20-kop rate) was raised.

Fig. 18: 5-kop Russian PS card surcharged 10 kop with Odessa 2 trident, franked additionally with Imperial Arms definitives 7 kop overprinted Odessa II and 3 kop overprinted Odessa I and mailed on 6 December 1918 as ordinary postcard from Genichesk to Yur'ev (Dorpat, Tartu) still under the German occupation. The card was received there as late as 5 September 1919 as a manuscript note evidences.

Fig. 19: Picture postcard mailed locally on 10 January 1919 as ordinary postcard in Kherson and franked with a single 20-shagiv (= 10 kop) Ukrainian stamp of the original issue. Postage due of 20 (kop) was raised as the double deficiency to the 20-kop rate.

Fig. 20: Registered postcard franked with Imperial Arms definitives 25 kop and 2 x 20 kop with Odessa IV trident plus 5 kop with Odessa II trident, i.e. on 70 kop in total, and posted locally in Odessa on 4 January 1919.

Fig. 21: Postcard sent as printed matter on 30 November 1918 as printed matter from Kiev to Frankfurt on M., Germany and franked with a single 20-shagiv (= 10 kop) Ukrainian stamp of the original issue. The card was examined by the Ukrainian censorship in Kiev.

Fig. 22: Picture postcard franked with a 35-kop Imperial Arms definitive overprinted with Kiev I trident and sent on 14 January 1919 as greeting postcard from Berdichev to Vinnitsa where arrived on 17 January.

Postal rates 19. May 1920 - November 1920
Ordinary postcard:  5 Rub.
Ordinary printed matter, inland:  6 Rub.
Ordinary printed matter, local:  5 Rub.
Registration fee:+20 Rub.
No items of mail franked according these rates were ever recorded except of the so-called courier field post covers mailed in the territory of Poland.



BESSARABIA - Moldavian People Republic
Ukrainian postal rates of 15 January 1918 to July 1918
 
Although Bessarabia was soon occupied by Romanian troops, Russian post offices still continued for some time their activities. The postal rates received from Kiev by the Kishinev Post/Telegraph District were put in force.
 

Fig. 23: 3-kop Imperial PS card franked additionally with Imperial Arms definitives 5 kop and 2 kop and mailed on 21 February 1918 as ordinary postcard from Bendery to Chuchulni.
 

Fig. 24: Picture postcard franked with 5 x 5-kop Imperial Arms definitives and sent on 23 April 1918 as greeting postcard from Orgeev to Kobylka.
DON - Cossack Republic under Ataman Krasnov
Ukrainian postal rates of 15 January 1918 to 31 December 1918
 
Even the approximate time of introduction of these rates in Don Republic remains still unknown. This could take place well in January 1918 when this set was received by Don Post/Telegraph District from Kiev, although no corresponding postal evidence is found. Soon afterwards, Don was occupied by Red troops and a Soviet republic proclaimed there that used the postal rates of RSFSR. Thus, the rates of 15 January could be introduced or restored in any time after the proclamation of Cossack republic in May 1918; most probably, however, this happened in August.
 

Fig. 25: Picture postcard franked with a 10-kop Imperial Arms definitive plus a 10 kop/7 kop definitive with Odessa II trident overprint and mailed in December 1918 as ordinary postcard from Rostov-on-Don to Kiev. The 10-kop overfranking against the 10-kop rate is explained by the fact that the mail exchange between Don and Ukraine took place according to their inland rates, but these rates were raised as from 15 November 1918 in Ukraine but not in Don.
 
  
KUBAN' - People Republic
Ukrainian postal rates of 15 January 1918 to 31 December 1918
 
These rates were introduced in Kuban' after driving out the Red forces from Ekaterinodar, the Kuban' capital, i.e., most probably, in August or September 1918.
 

Fig. 26: 5-kop Russian PS card franked additionally with a 5-kop PSB stamp officially allowed for postage and used locally as ordinary mail in Ekaterinodar on 10 December 1918.
 
 
 
 
CRIMEA - Regional Government under General Sulkevich, later Solomon Krym
Ukrainian postal rates of 15 January 1918 
 
These rates were introduced supposedly as from 1 July 1918.
 

Fig. 27: Picture postcard franked with a 10-kop/7-kop Imperial Arms definitive and sent as ordinary mail on 2 July 1918 from Evpatoria to Kharkov, Ukraine where received on 7 July.

Fig. 28: Picture postcard franked with a 35-kop Imperial Arms definitive and sent registered on 5 October 1918 from Simferopol' to Kiev where arrived on 9/10 October.
There are some reasons to believe that also the Ukrainian postal rates of 15 November 1918 were introduced in Crimea on same date at the end of 1918. However, there are no examples of postcard mail recorded from that period.
 
 
 
 
 
 
SOUTH RUSSIA -
territory occupied by the 'White' Volunteers Army, later Armed Forces of South Russia under General Denikin.
Postal rates of Soviet Russia of 28 February 1918 to 31 December 1918
 
These rates were effective particularly in the parts of Black Sea and Stavropol provinces where the postal service was restored.
 
 

Fig. 29: 5-kop Russian PS card franked additionally with Imperial Arms definitives 5 kop and 10 kop/7 kop and sent on 27 August 1918 as ordinary mail from Novorossiisk to Fellin in Estonia under the German occupation. The card was routed via Rostov (31.8.18) and examined by the German censorship in Breslau.

Postal rates of 1. January 1919 - 30. June 1919
Ordinary postcard:  15 Kop.
Ordinary printed matter, inland:  10 Kop.
Ordinary printed matter, local:  5 Kop.
Registration fee:+35 Kop.
This and the following set of rates were effective in North Caucasus, Don, Crimea and parts of Ukraine occupied by Volunteers Army. Only inland postal rates were fixed for South Russia. The few recorded examples of mail abroad are franked as twice against the corresponding inland rate.




Fig. 30: Official postcard blank of Vladikavkaz Post/Telegraph District franked with an Imperial Arms definitive 10 kop/7 kop and a PSB stamp 5 kop officially allowed for postage and used locally as ordinary mail on 20 February 1919 in Ekaterinodar.

Fig. 31: 3-kop Imperial PS card franked additionally with 4 x 3-kop Imperial Arms definitives and sent on 27 April 1919 as ordinary mail from Zheleznovodsk, Terek province to Novocherkassk, Don where arrived on 9 May.

Fig. 32: 5-kop Russian PS card franked additionally with a 10-kop Imperial Arms definitive and mailed on 19 February 1919 from Armavir, Kuban' province to Tuapse, Black Sea province where arrived on 21 February.

Fig. 33: 5-kop Russian PS card with Ukrainian Ekaterinoslav 2 surcharge used as blank, franked with a 15-kop Imperial Arms definitive and sent on 30 June 1919 (the last day of this tariff) as ordinary mail from Tikhoretskaya, Kuban' to Batalpashinsk, the same province where arrived on 5 July.

Fig. 34: Picture postcard franked with a 1-kop Imperial Arms definitive with surcharge "25" applied in Ekaterinodar and sent as ordinary postcard on 25 June 1919 from Petrovsk, Dagestan province to Ekaterinodar where arrived on 28 June. The card was overfranked on 10 kop and the stamp was not destined for using outside Kuban; nevertheless, the postcard was not taxed.

Fig. 35: 5-kop Russian PS card franked additionally with Imperial Arms definitives 7 kop plus 3 x 1 kop and sent on 15 May 1919 as ordinary mail from Yalta to Nei-Shvanenburg in Latvia at that time under the Soviets.
This set of postal rates was applied also in the Crimean Soviet Republic during the short period of its existence (April and May 1919).



Postal rates of 1. July 1919 - 31. December 1919?
Ordinary postcard:  35 Kop.
Ordinary printed matter, inland:  20 Kop.
Ordinary printed matter, local:  10 Kop.
Registration fee:+70 Kop.

Fig. 36: Picture postcard franked with a 2-kop Imperial Arms definitive without any surcharge and sent as ordinary mail on 13 July 1919 from Sochi, Black Sea province to Nakhichevan, Don where arrived on 19 July. A postage due marking with "40" written in was applied at Sochi meaning the double deficiency to the rate then in force: this corresponds exactly to the double difference between the current 35-kop and the former 15-kop rate. In its turn, this means that the 2-kop stamp was used previously in Sochi revalued to 15 kop - the shortage of stamps of the necessary face values looks natural for this place that had been under the Georgian occupation for not too long ago when the available stocks of 1- and 3-kop stamps were revalued to and surcharged 60 kop producing the so-called Sochi provisionals.

Fig. 37: Official postcard blank of Rostov Post/Telegraph District franked with a single stamp 35 kop of "Indivisible Russia" definitives and mailed on 25 July 1919 as ordinary postcard from Rostov, Don to Dinskaya, Kuban where arrived on 28 July.

Fig. 38: 5-kop Russian PS card with the initial supplementary franking by 2 x 15 kop "Indivisible Russia" definitives and sent on 25 August 1919 as ordinary mail from Essentuki, Terek province to Krasnovodsk. However, the addressee turned out to find himself in Petrovsk; so the postcard was re-addressed and a 35-kop Imperial Arms definitive affixed to pay for the ultimate delivery.

Fig. 39: 5-kop Russian PS card surcharged 10 kop with Ekaterinoslav 2 trident, franked additionally with the "Indivisible Russia" definitives 15 kop and 10 kop and sent on 20 November 1919 as ordinary mail from Lugansk, Ekaterinoslav province to station Golovskaya.
While the adhesives with trident overprint (except the ruble values) were officially annulled by the Whites, nothing was said in the corresponding decree about postcards.

Fig. 40: 5-kop Russian PS card having a primary surcharge 10 kop with Ukrainian trident Ekaterinoslav II and secondary surcharge 15 k (partly under the red stamp) applied probably in Rostov for using in the part of Southeast Ukraine occupied by Don troops, franked additionally with "Edinaya Rossiya" stamps 5, 15 and 70 kop and sent registered on 5 September 1919 from Svyatye Gory Izyumskie, Kharkov province to Livadiya in Crimea (Robert Taylor collection).


Postal rates of 1. January 1920 (?) - to the summer of 1920 at most
Ordinary postcard:  50 Kop.
Ordinary printed matter, inland:  30 Kop.(?)
Ordinary printed matter, local:  15 Kop.(?)
Registration fee:+ 1 Rub.
This set of rates was effective in North Caucasus until occupying the corresponding areas by Red Army; its application in Crimea is under doubt, since contradictory postal evidence exists

Fig. 41: Postcard blank of Vladikavkaz Post/Telegraph District franked with the "Indivisible Russia" definitives 35 kop and 15 kop and mailed on 7 March 1920 as ordinary postcard in Terek province (Robert Taylor collection).
 
 
Free postcard mail in South Russia
Mail of the post/telegraph establishments as well as army soldiers' mail could be sent free in South Russia.

Fig. 42: Picture postcard with New Year greetings sent free on 29 December 1918 from Tikhoretskaya Rlw. St. post office to the Head of Armavir Rlw. St. post office.   
         
 

Fig. 43: Picture postcard from an Army serviceman with an official army unit cachet sent free on 18 July 1919 from Ishcherskaya, Terek province to Konstantinovskaya, Stavropol province
   
 
                   
CRIMEA - Government under General Wrangel


Postal rates of summer 1920 - to 14 October 1920
Ordinary postcard:  3 Rub.
Ordinary printed matter, inland:  ?
Ordinary printed matter, local:  ?
Registration fee:+ 5 Rub.

Fig. 44: 5-kop Russian PS card franked additionally with 8 x 35-kop Imperial Arms definitives plus a single 35-kop "Indivisible Russia" definitives, i.e. overfranked on 15 kop the 3-rub rate for ordinary postcard and sent on 7 July 1920 to Simferopol; also examined by the military censorship.

Fig. 45: 5-kop Russian PS card with a cachet indicating cash franking on 2 rub 95 kop sent as ordinary mail on 7 July 1920 from Sara to Simferopol where arrived on 10 July.

Fig. 46: Picture postcard franked with a 5-kop Imperial Arms definitive surcharged 5 rub in Crimea and mailed as ordinary postcard on 5 October 1920 from Yalta to Medvezh'e where received on 9 October. The card is overfranked on 2 rub that was of no great importance under the conditions of high inflation in Crimea.
      
           
 
 
Postal rates of 15 October 1920 (approx. to the end of 1920)
No postcard mail from Crimea is known to me from this period, so it is impossible to indicate these rates.