Russian occupation postal administrations

12 Feb., 2024, press release

The collapse of any Empire is a grandiose historical event with far-reaching consequences, accompanied by conflicts, wars, the collapse of the old ideology and new hopes. Grief for many, tragedy. But for philatelists, the inevitable formation of new states and temporary postal administrations issuing their own stamps on the “shards of the monster” is a kind of “holiday”. At least that's enough news! What's the maximum?

The collapse of Europe's last Empire of the 20th century, the Soviet Union, lasted for decades. The current war between Russia and Ukraine is its direct consequence. “Motherland” oh, how she doesn’t like to “let children go free.” Russia in the 21st century has turned into a new totalitarian Empire with a Soviet legacy. Under one pretext or another, the Kremlin is trying to gain control over part of one or another former Soviet republic. These territories, according to a similar pattern, become unrecognized republics, possessing (usually only formally) the rights of autonomy, but proudly calling themselves independent. They have all the external signs of a state: flags and coats of arms, a “president” and an “army”, sometimes their own currency, but always their own postage stamps! And, as a rule, it is the local postal system in such republics controlled by Russia that is truly autonomous and works stably, even complying with the rules of the UPU. For a philatelist interested in history and politics, this is very interesting!

We call each of the postal administrations of the republics that are not recognized by the world community, but issue their own stamps, Russian occupation territories. For short, “Russian occupation” There are a few of them, we list them:

- part of the territory of Moldova on the left bank of the Dniester with its capital in Tiraspol declared its independence back in 1990 (!) and “wanted” to become part of Russia. This is the Pridnestrovian Moldavian Republic (Transnistria PMR), has been issuing stamps since 1992

- Two autonomous territories of Georgia have been under the protectorate (essentially under occupation) of Russia since 1993: Abkhazia and South Ossetia. Since the same Year they have been releasing their own stamps

- In 2014, Russia occupied Crimea and part of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions of Ukraine. The last two territories received the formal status of “People’s Republics” (Donetsk and Lugansk), which in 2015 organized an autonomous system for delivering correspondence and issuing their own postage stamps

So, for many years, 5 Russian occupation postal administrations have been issuing stamps: TransnistriaAbkhaziaSouth OssetiaDonetsk and Lugansk Republics. And these are not “fantasy” releases! Although scammers have many times issued non-existent stamps as if “on behalf of” them. For more than 30 years, specialists from our company Peterstamps have been closely monitoring the issue of stamps from Russian occupation territories, collecting information, publishing catalogues, offering stamps, FDCs, and real mail to collectors. You can always get acquainted with some of our offers in the relevant sections of the store and make purchases. For any questions, please contact our specialists directly by email:

The most important and frequently asked question of a philatelist is what is the purpose and use of stamps of states not recognized by the world community, if they (according to the rules of the UPU) cannot be used to pay for international correspondence? Postage stamps of TransnistriaAbkhaziaSouth OssetiaDonetsk and Lugansk Republics are used in most cases for internal correspondence. For international purposes, Transnistria uses stamps from Moldova, and the rest use national stamps of Russia and, accordingly, Russian postal routes. However, there are many examples of letters to Russian addresses (formally international), sent from these occupation territories and paid for with local stamps

It is impossible to accurately predict what the political map of Russian territories will be like in the future. Complex questions are clearly answered by the laws of history - if the Empire enters an aggressive stage, it will necessarily be followed by decline and collapse. In the present, we can state a fact - postage stamps of Russian occupation territories have already taken their place in private, state and museum collections. This direction of collecting is gaining popularity, and in the world's authoritative catalogs of the future they are guaranteed a place by analogy with the consequences of the collapse of other Empires of the last century and world wars

Peterstamps Team International

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