Here is an overview of the three periods.
Empire of all the Russia's.
- Tsar Alexander II
from 18 February (= 2 March) 1855 till 1 (= 13) March
The date of issue are according to local computation based
on the Julian or Gregorian Calendar in use. In the 19th
century the Julian Calendar was twelve days behind the
Gregorian Calendar. After 1900 the difference was thirteen
days. In Russia the Gregorian Calendar was introduced
in 1918, January 31 being followed by February 14.
- Tsar Alexander III
from 1 ( = 13) March 1881 till 20 October ( = 1 November)
- Tsar Nicholas II
from 20 October ( = 1 November) 1894 till 2 ( = 15) March
- Provisional government
from 2 ( = 15 March) 1917 till 25 October ( = 7 November)
Russian Socialist Federal Soviet Republic.
- From 25 October ( = 7 November) 1917 till 5 July 1923
On 7 November (new style) 1917, the Bolshevik party under
V. I. Lenin seized power in Petrograd from the Provisional
Elections to a constituent assembly on 25 November (new
style) showed that they were still a minority, ruling
with the support of the armed forces. Reaction against
their collectivist reorganization of society led to the
Civil War, from early December 1917 to 15 November 1920,
ending in the defeat of the anti - Bolshevists.
During the years 1918-22 the postal service was disorganized
by revolution and civil war. Until 1921 the Soviets had
no stamps of their own and in the meanwhile used Tsarist
stamps of the Imperial Arms type, those of the short-lived
Kerensky Govt., and also fiscals. Matters were further
complicated by the rapid depreciation of the currency
and in March 1920 the Arms types, 1 to 20 k., were authorized
for sale at one hundred times face value. Even after the
Soviet issues appeared stocks of Arms type stamps were
used up and in April 1922 stamps of that series were authorized
for sale at one million times face for the kopek values
and ten thousand times for the rouble values. There was
no official surcharge to indicate these changes, but as
early as 1919 different municipalities began surcharging
on their own initiative by means of handstamp and occasionally
manuscript. The surcharge usually consisted of the word
"rouble" abbreviated to "PYb" or "P" and new figure
Most of these stamps are very scarce. So far about 85
different offices of origin have been identified, and
some of these employed two or three different types of
Union of Soviet Socialists Republic
- From 6 July 1923
The U.S.S.R. as first constituted consisted of the R.S.F.S.R.,
the Soviet Socialist Republics (S.S.R.) of Ukraine and
Belorussia and the Transcaucasian Federation. In October
1924 the Uzbek and Turkmen S.S R.s and in December 1929
the Tajik Autonomous S.S.R. were declared constituent
A new constitution was adopted on 5 December 1936, by
which the Transcaucasian Republic was split into the constituent
republics of Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia; the Kazakh
and Kirghiz autonomous republics of the R.S.F.S.R. also
became constituent republics of the U.S.S.R. The Union
thus at that point consisted of eleven republics.
In 1940 a further five republics were added: Karelo-Finnish
(consisting of the Karelian A.S.S.R. and territory ceded
by Finland), Moldavian (consisting of Moldavian A.S.S.R.
and parts of Bessarabia ceded by Rumania) and the former
independent states of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.
In 1956 the Karelo-Finnish Republic became an autonomous
republic within the R.S.F.S.R. reducing the constituent
republics of the U.S.S.R. to 15.
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