Recently, the APS has received several articles related to the postal history of Ukraine from our members that we wanted to share.
The first article was sent to us as part of a "letter to the editor" for the American Philatelist by Lawrence R. Mead.
The Republic of the Ukraine
The republic of the Ukraine evolved from the medieval state of Kievan Rus. During the 14th century, this state was dissolved and the region dominated by three powers: the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, Kingdom of Poland and the Crimean Khanate. In the early 19th century, Russia conquered the Crimea (dissolving the Khanate) as well as most of the territory that is current Ukraine. Russia held this territory until the Russian revolution of 1917. During the turmoil, the Ukrainian revolt resulted in an independent Republic of the Ukraine from 1917 to 1921.
In 1917, Russian stamps were used overprinted by the Trident symbol. This symbol (also used currently) is the coat of arms of Grand Prince Volodymyr of Ukraine. In 1918, all Russian stamps were ordered destroyed and new issues were printed (as below). During this time of independence, Ukraine issued its first postage stamps (see below, notated 1918). The issues shown noted as 1920 were printed but never issued.
Russian stamps overprinted with trident symbol of Ukraine, in use from 1917-1918.
However, Russia invaded in 1919 and re-established control of the region in 1921. The Ukraine thus became one of the founding regions of the Soviet Union whose first premier was appointed by the Ukrainian Communist Party in 1938: Nikita Kruschev. From this period on, Ukraine solely used Russian stamps of the time. This was the fate of the Ukraine until the breakup of the Soviet Union in 1991 after which it became once again an independent Republic alligned both politically and economically with Europe and the West.
The stamps of independent Ukraine 1917-1919 (top three left)
In 2014, the Crimea was invaded by Russia for the second time in the history of the region and once again annexed. This conflict was begun in the Donetsk and Luhansk areas by pro-Russain Ukrainians and Russian mercenaries. A full-scale invasion of the Ukraine began on 24 Feb. 2022 – again, the second Russian invasion of the Ukraine.
The next article was submitted and written by Ed Andros, a member of the Garfield-Perry Stamp Club, and features some covers recieved from Kyiv.
Covers From Kyiv
On March 9, 2022 I received a stamp catalog from Lithuania. It was mailed February 21st, 3 days before the Russian attack on the Ukraine. Philatelist Dr. Antanas Jankauskas, had deliberately chosen to use a stamp celebrating a victory of allies over an invader of the Ukraine.
I found an online source for the Polish and Ukrainian versions of this three-nation joint souvenir sheet issue on the occasion of the 400th Anniversary Battle of Chotino/Chotyn/Khotyn, Sep 2021.
They had both stamps. I bought all three as three separate orders and requested they not consolidate the shipment. I received all three covers from Kyiv on March 28th. Here is one example:
To learn more about the history of Ukraine, click here to see a list of our articles of distinction, some of which are submitted by the Ukraine Philatelic and Numismatic Society.