Postage stamps and postal history of Ukraine

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1918 mint stamps of the Ukrainian People's Republic from the first printing
A 1918 cover bearing Russian stamps overprinted with a Ukrainian trident
A modern stamp of Ukraine, showing the Ukrainian trident and flag

This is a survey of the postage stamps and postal history of Ukraine.

Ukraine is a republic in Eastern Europe. It is bordered by the Russian Federation to the east; Belarus to the north; Poland, Slovakia, and Hungary to the west; Romania and Moldova to the southwest; and the Black Sea and Sea of Azov to the south. After decades of Soviet occupation, Ukraine re-established its independence in 1991. The city of Kiev is both the capital and the largest city of Ukraine.

Zemstvo stamps[edit]

Around 800 Russian Zemstvo stamps were issued in Ukraine between 1866 and 1917 at 39 locations. The first stamps were issued at Verkhnodniprovsk, Katerynoslav Guberniya, and in Dniprovsk, Tauridia Gubernia - both of which are now located in Dnipropetrovsk Oblast.[1]

Ukrainian People's Republic[edit]

In 1918 an independent Ukrainian People's Republic was established and a series of five definitive stamps were issued. They were printed imperforate on thin paper and then on thicker paper with perforations.[2] The 10 and 20-shah stamps were designed by the artist Anton Sereda and the 30, 40, and 50-shah stamps by Heorhiy Narbut, a master graphic artist and president of the Ukrainian Academy of Arts in Kiev.

This 1918 issue of shahs was designed by graphic artists Anton Sereda and Heorhiy Narbut.

Trident series[edit]

In 1918 Russian stamps were overprinted with a trident for use in Kiev, Odessa, Yekaterinoslav, Kharkiv, Poltava, Podolia, and Kherson. There are hundreds of different stamps with many varieties of overprint. The stamps have been widely forged.[2]

West Ukrainian National Republic[edit]

In 1918 and 1919 Eastern Galicia had internal autonomy as the West Ukrainian National Republic. Stamps of Austria were overprinted for use in the region.[3]

An Austrian stamp overprinted in 1919 for use in the West Ukrainian National Republic.

Soviet republic[edit]

A Ukrainian Soviet republic was declared on 14 March 1919 and a set of stamps were issued for famine relief in 1923. Ukraine used the stamps of the Soviet Union thereafter until the end of 1991, apart from during World War II.[2]


Carpatho-Ukraine was an autonomous region within Czecho-Slovakia from late 1938 to March 15, 1939.

A stamp of Czecho-Slovak Post for Carpathian Ukraine - wooden church in Yasinia (1939).[4]

World War II[edit]

During the Second World War Ukraine was occupied by Germany. German stamps were used between 14 November 1941 and 1943 overprinted UKRAINE in small letters.[5] After liberation, Soviet stamps were used once again.

Independent Ukraine[edit]

July 16, 1990 the Supreme Soviet of the Ukrainian SSR adopted the Declaration of State Sovereignty of Ukraine. Kiev artist Alexander Ivachnenko received from the Ministry of Communications of the USSR order for a stamp dedicated to the event. He offered some sketches that were discussed in the Ministry of Communications of the USSR and the Supreme Council of the Republic. On one of the first choices girl symbolizing Ukraine, was dressed in a shirt, tunic and barefoot. She suggested, "shod" in boots and red skirt instead of "put" Plahty. In wreath blue ribbon was added, causing the blue background of the brand changed to gold. The inscription on the stamp was "Mail of the USSR", but in the preparation of drawings for the press, it was changed to the traditional - "Mail of the USSR". The Postal stamp went into circulation 10 July 1991.

After the collapse of the Soviet Union, Ukraine declared its independence and the first stamps of the new republic were issued on 1 March 1992.[2]

In 1992 the Ukrainian Post Office overprinted stamps of the Soviet Union with stylised tridents for use in Kiev, Lviv and Chernihiv.[2] Other Soviet stamps overprinted with similar designs are not believed to have been postally valid.

Since 1992, a variety of commemorative and definitive stamps have been issued.

Ukrainian crisis[edit]

In 2014, the Republic of Crimea was declared and subsequently annexed by Russia. Crimea now uses Russian stamps.

The self-declared unrecognized Donetsk People's Republic issued its first stamp in 2015.[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Kuzych, Ingert (2000). "Intro to Ukrainian Philately". Ukrainian Philatelic and Numismatic Society. Archived from the original on 19 April 2010. 
  2. ^ a b c d e Stanley Gibbons Stamp Catalogue Part 10 Russia. 6th edition. London: Stanley Gibbons, 2008, pp.575-617. ISBN 0-85259-652-9
  3. ^ Stanley Gibbons Russian catalogue, pp.630-631.
  4. ^ 1. sněm Karpatské Ukrajiny
  5. ^ Stanley Gibbons Russian catalogue, p.319.
  6. ^ "The first stamp was issued in the DPR featuring military commanders Givi and Motorola". Novorossia Today. 10 May 2015. Retrieved 11 May 2015. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Roberts, C.W. & R. Seichter. The Trident issues of the Ukraine. Shepton Beauchamp, Ilminster: C.W. Roberts, 1965.

External links[edit]