Ukrainian Stamps Accomplish More Than Mail Delivery

Stamp collectors around the world know the value of the little paper square affixed to packages and letters. Stamps connect people living a great distance together, honor and remember a country’s leaders and accomplishments and sometimes can unlock secrets to a culture. The simple act of securing a stamp to a piece of mail is a record of history.

Early use of postage stamps in Ukrainian territories dates back to the 19th century when Ukraine was a province of the Austro-Hungarian Empire before its subsequent rule under Tsarist Russia. After Ukraine’s first declaration of independence in 1918, postal authorities banished Russian stamps and replaced it with the national emblem, the trident. Independence, along with the use of the trident stamp, fizzled quickly though and subsequent stamps fueled the ideology of World War II German occupation and the subsequent Soviet regime.

Following Ukraine’s proclamation of independence on August 24, 1991, Ukrainian authorities had to create a postal service from scratch. Circulation of Soviet stamps continued until the end of 1992. Small print runs of new Ukrainian stamps meant that citizens rarely used the commemoratives because of their minor value.

Nearly fifteen years later, Ukrainian stamp production is illustration of workmanship and artistry. Commemorative stamps with photos of Swallow’s Nest Castle in Crimea and the Lavra Monastery in Kyiv boldly promote Ukraine as a country worth visiting by travelers. Anniversaries, portraits of famous Ukrainians, drawings and paintings by Ukrainian artists along with images of women’s head pieces throughout history, Ukrainian space advancements, and World Cup soccer triumphs deliver the mail these days. Collectors and travelers alike can save a tiny piece of Ukrainian history simply by mailing a letter or a postcard.