BREAKING — For a short time only, stamp dealer Oleksandr Skrypka is offering souvenir Great American Stamp Show 2023 covers for sale. But unlike the other dealers on the floor here in Cleveland (who we hope you'll also patronize), Skrypka's covers come direct from the Ukrainian warfront.
Garfield-Perry Stamp Club member Ed Andros has brought us news of a limited-time opportunity that allows collectors to secure a cover mailed from Zaporizhzhia during the dates of GASS.
An example of the limited-edition cover, featuring the art of Ilya Repin.
A must-have for collectors of Ukrainian stamps and postal history, GASS memorabilia, and wartime philately, the cover features the painting Reply of the Zaporozhian Cossacks by Ilya Repin, a Ukrainian-born Russian artist. The original painting is exhibited in the State Russian Museum in Saint Petersburg, with another version by Repin in the Kharkiv Art Museum in Kharkiv, Ukraine. The iconic painting depicts a supposedly historical tableau, set in 1676, when the titular Cossacks came together to pen a boldly crude reply to a demand of surrender. Though the original painting features the subjects figuratively thumbing their nose at the Ottoman Empire, presumably the message can just as easily be applied to Ukraine's current foes.
Skrypka and his son in 2023.
Andros (who served for 28 years in the US Army and retired in 1997 in the rank of Lieutenant Colonel) tells us that after viewing a presentation on Russian Strategic Culture by Finnish Colonel Martti J. Kari (Retired), Instructor on the Faculty of Information Technology at the University of Jyväskylahe, he felt moved to help Ukraine (you can download his summary of the talk with links to an English translation here). After purchasing an item from Skrypka's ebay store, he reached out with an offer to assist his fellow philatelist, and the pair have now been corresponding for several months. Andros has also become an active advocate for the Ukrainian stamp dealer, even printing business cards for Skrypka and bringing them along to GASS to spread the word (If you see Andros on the show floor or at the Garfield-Perry Stamp Club booth #216, don't forget to ask for one!).
Interested in securing your own commemorative cover or other Ukrainian philatelic materials? You can find Skrypka's ebay storefront here. And for those of you with us in Cleveland, don't forget to take a spin around the show floor, visit with dealers, and create your own FDCs!