Look Into The Future : A Philatelic Tribute to the People of Ukraine

Please join us at HSE in our hope for peace and freedom for the people of Ukraine as we offer this philatelic tribute to the 44 million people of the largest country in Eastern Europe.

The people of Ukraine have endured over many centuries to recapture and maintain their freedom. Many of their stamp issuances celebrate Ukrainian independence.

Prior to the 17th Century, Ukrainian territories have been caught between competing empires and would overlap with Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth (Rzeczpospolita), Crimean Khanate, Hapsburg lands and Czarist Russia.

Kyivan Prince Saint Vladimir

The two countries of Ukraine and Russia shared heritage goes back more than a thousand years to a time when Kyiv, now Ukraine’s capital, was at the center of the first Slavic state, Kyivan Rus. In A.D. 988 Vladimir I, the pagan prince of Novgorod and grand prince of Kyiv, accepted the Orthodox Christian faith and was baptized in the Crimean city of Chersonesus. 

Founders of Kyiv

Several times over the past 10 centuries, Ukraine has been carved up by competing powers. Mongol warriors from the east conquered Kyivan Rus in the 13th century. In the 16th century Polish and Lithuanian armies invaded from the west. In the 17th century, war between the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth and the Czardom of Russia brought lands to the east of the Dnieper River under Russian Imperial control. The east became known as “Left Bank” Ukraine; lands to the west of the Dnieper, or “Right Bank,” were ruled by Poland. More than a century later, in 1793, right bank (western) Ukraine was annexed by the Russian Empire.

Over the years that followed, a policy known as Russification banned the use of the Ukrainian language, and people were pressured to convert to the Russian Orthodox faith.  Catherine the Great, Empress of Russia for over 34 years ordered the invasion of Crimean in 1776 and ultimately led to the loss of Ukraine autonomy. 

Ukraine suffered some of its greatest traumas during the 20th century. After the communist revolution of 1917, Ukraine was one of the many countries to fight a brutal civil war before being fully absorbed into the Soviet Union in 1922.

In the early 1930s Soviet leader Joseph Stalin orchestrated a famine that resulted in the death of millions of Ukrainians  to force peasants to join collective farms . Afterward, Stalin imported large numbers of Russians and other Soviet citizens—many with no ability to speak Ukrainian and with few ties to the region—to help repopulate the east.

Philatelic issuances reflect these turbulent times with the issues of overprints with forgeries being common with these issues.

Eastern Ukraine came under Russian rule much earlier than western Ukraine, people in the east having stronger ties to Russia. Western Ukraine, by contrast, spent centuries under the shifting control of European powers such as Poland and the Austro-Hungarian Empire,  the west tending  to support more Western-leaning politicians. The eastern population tends to be more Russian-speaking and Orthodox, while parts of the west are more Ukrainian-speaking and Catholic.

With the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, Ukraine became an independent nation.

Independence Day

There is an ecological divide between the southern and eastern parts of Ukraine known as the steppes, with their fertile farming soil and the northern and western regions, which are more forested [Forest stamp] [401]

Transcarpathia

Crimea was occupied and annexed by Russia in 2014, followed shortly after by a separatist uprising in the eastern Ukrainian region of Donbas that resulted in the declaration of the Russian-backed People’s Republics of Luhansk and Donetsk. Today, Russian troops are again invading Ukraine.

Military Equipment

Legacy of the Cossacks

Ukrainian Zaporozhian Cossacks have come to symbolize Ukraine’s ethnic image, much like the medieval knights of Western Europe. Don Cossacks are Russian.

Ukrainian Cossacks descended from a variety of nationalities and social groups. Their ancestors came from Ukrainian, Russian, Polish, and Tatar territories, and migrated to the southern steppes to hunt, fish, gather honey, and make hand crafted goods. References to Cossacks first appear at the end of the 15th century, with their fame spreading throughout Europe over the next hundred years. Their raids and robberies intimidated Turkey, and their support of Poland in campaigns against the Muscovites shook the throne of Moscow.

At the beginning of the 16th century, Christian European governors considered the Cossacks to be crucial allies in their war against the Ottoman Empire. In 1621, Lithuanian-Polish troops battled the Ottoman Empire at Khotyn. There, Cossack troops, headed by Hetman Petro Sahaidachny, joined Polish-Lithuanian forces and they stopped the Turkish army at its borders.

Cossack Leaders

After that, the Zaporozhian Cossacks imposed increasingly large requirements on the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. The reaction of the Poles did not satisfy the Cossacks, so they raised a rebellion under the leadership of Hetman Bohdan Khmelnytsky. It ended with the creation of Cossack autonomy.

Ukrainian Cossacks gained their independence in 1649. That year, as a result of the Zboriv agreements between the leaders of the Rzeczpospolita and Cossack Hetman Bohdan Khmelnytsky, it was formed as part of the Kyiv, Chernihiv, and Bratslav regions. 

It was the Cossacks who spread and popularized the term Ukraine as the name of their territories.

Cathedrals, Churches & Monasteries

Stamp issuances include symbols of Ukrainian religion, some of which are World Heritage sites.

Landmarks, Castles, & Universities

Offerings are a tribute to Ukraine heritage and are well depicted on stamps issuances, the highlight of which are the Seven Wonders of Ukraine. [904]

Seven Wonders Of Ukraine
Castles

Europa

Europa are special stamps issued by European postal administrations which focus on Europe as the central theme.

Ukraine as an integral part of Europe contributes beautiful Europa stamp issuances, including Europa Water, Circus, Integration, Children’s Books, Musical Instruments, Old Toys and Bridges.

Europa: Integration

Eastern Europe  stamp issuances of 1995 Europa: Peace & Freedom are the hope for the future.

Culture, Religion and Music

Are reflected in many stamp issuances of Ukraine. These range from the World Heritage Site of Babyn Yar, to Princes and Monks to Traditional Ukraininan Easter Eggs and musical artists. 

Babyn Yar

Taras Shevchenko, poet and painter, was the most important writer and significant figure in the development of a modern Ukrainian national consciousness. Born a serf, Shevchenko was bought out of servitude by a group of artists who recognized his talent for painting. Though considered by many to be the father of modern Ukrainian painting, Shevchenko made his unique mark as a poet.

Taras Shevchenko

Folktales and Children’s Books

Are favorite stamp offerings in Ukraine just as they are in the rest of Eastern Europe.

Children’s Art

Endangered Species, Animals and Marine Life

These stamp issuances always hold a special meaning for philatelists.

Look Into The Future: Chernobyl

As we come to the end of our newsletter philatelic tribute to the people of Ukraine, our wishes for the courageous people of Ukraine are for brighter skies and more peaceful times.

The Bauer Family

Hungaria Stamp Exchange

Please consider donating to World Central Kitchen’s relief efforts to provide fresh meals to Ukrainian families.

Eastern European Philatelic Potpourri of New Issues

It’s finally 2021 and  time for Hungaria Stamp Exchange to share our philatelic celebration of the potpourri of new issues from Eastern Europe. We at HSE hope our philatelic friends both Country and Topical collectors alike will delight in some of the exciting new issues of 2020. 

Our Country collectors will find full 2020 Year Sets available for Hungary, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Croatia, Bulgaria, Moldova, Belarus with a special HSE welcome this year to Armenia.

Topical collectors can find Cats (including “The Terror”), music (from Beethoven to Rock), Covid-19 and first responder philatelic issuances. Not to mention that many of us are delighted to find the continuation of some of our favorite series such as Europa with Ancient Postal Routes, Gastronomy and Viticulture, Saints and Blesseds and Social Action: Climate Change and Children’s World Stop Bullying.

An extremely important offering we can all enjoy this year is the 75th Anniversary of the United Nations from Slovakia. While the adventurer inside all of us can enjoy newly issued Crypto stamps from Croatia, the humorist will enjoy the cartoon stamp from Armenia.

Continue reading “Eastern European Philatelic Potpourri of New Issues”

Eastern European Stamps of Women

Dear Friends and Philatelists,
Summertime is a traditional time for taking a family holiday or perhaps visiting another country or city. The summer of 2020 finds many of us not currently able to do this given these challenging times.  It is, however, an opportune time to reconnect with our stamp collections and continue our philatelic travels, perhaps to new countries or with new topics or themes. And of course, we can continue to connect with family and friends, if even at a distance. Now is certainly time to pay tribute to our many brave front-line workers.

Monarchs, Saints, Performers, & Scientists and Social Activists

Eastern European Stamps of Women span a wide range of topics, from monarchs to saints and scientists, artists and performers, to social activists and heroines. The Hungaria Stamp Exchange hopes you enjoy reading our blog post and viewing some of the stamps in our on-line store.

Monarchs

Two of the most influential female Eastern European monarchs whose combined reigns lasted almost 75 years were Catherine the Great of Russia and Maria Teresa, ruling the Hapsburg Empire. Both of these extraordinary rulers are depicted on Eastern European stamps.   

Catherine the Great   (born Sophie of Anhalt-Zerbst;  May 1729 –November 1796) was Empress of Russia from 1762 until 1796 and the country’s longest-ruling female leader. She came to power following a coup d’état that she organized, resulting in her husband, Peter III, being overthrown. During her reign Russia was revitalized; it grew larger and stronger and was recognized as one of the great powers of Europe and Asia.

In her accession to power and her rule of the empire, Catherine often relied on her noble favorites, most notably count Grigory Orlov and Grigory Potemkin. Assisted by highly successful generals such as Alexander Suvorov  and admirals such as Fyodor Ushakov, she governed at a time when the Russian Empire was expanding rapidly by conquest and diplomacy. In the south, the Crimean Khanate was crushed following victories over the Ottoman Empire in the Russo-Turkish wars. Russia colonized the territories of Novorossiya along the coasts of the Black and Azov Seas. In the west, the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, ruled by Catherine’s former lover, King Stanisław August Poniatowski, was eventually partitioned with the Russian Empire gaining the largest share. In the east, Russia started to colonize Alaska, establishing Russian America.

An admirer of Peter the Great, Catherine continued to modernize Russia along Western European lines. The economy and military conscription continued to depend on serfdom; increasing demands of the state and of private landowners intensified the exploitation of serf labor. This was one of the chief reasons inciting several rebellions including the large scale Pugachev Rebellion of Cossacks and peasants. Cossacks were a group of Russian military warriors who established free self-governing communities in exchange for their military service. When their privileges were threatened they revolted, with the most famous being Pugachev.

Continue reading “Eastern European Stamps of Women”

Postal Heroes – HSE Spring 2020 Newsletter

Dear Philatelic Friends and Collectors,

Here at the Hungaria Stamp Exchange we hope you are staying safely at home able to enjoy family and friends (even if only remotely) and spend time enjoying your stamp collection which may offer interesting views of far off cultures and geographies.

During these extremely challenging times when many of us may be homebound or not engaging in many journeys, we hope you will enjoy reading about the many connections near and far made by the post in various locations, countries, and geographies around the world. Also please join us in honoring and celebrating the many front line heroes helping us everyday: the medical providers and first responders, food producers and the postal workers.

Continue reading “Postal Heroes – HSE Spring 2020 Newsletter”
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