A is for Aden and Z is for Zanzabar

A is for Aden and Z is for Zanzibar... Now what is between? For the world wide classical era philatelist and stamp collector, a country specific philatelic survey is offered by the blog author, Jim Jackson, with two albums: Big Blue, aka Scott International Part 1 (checklists available), and Deep Blue, aka William Steiner's Stamp Album Web PDF pages. In addition, "Bud" offers commentary and a look at his completely filled Big Blue. Interested? So into the Blues...

Saturday, January 2, 2016

South Russia

1919 Scott 69 5r slate & violet "St. George"
Denikin Issue
Quick History
"South Russia", in southern Russia next to the Caspian and the Black Seas, was an area where the White forces under General Denikin set up a provisional government in opposition to the Bolsheviks and the Red Army during the Russian Civil War of 1918-20.

Anton Denikin
The anti-Bolshevik Volunteer Army was formed by Generals Mikhail Alekseyev,  Lavr Kornilov and Anton Denikin in Novocherkassk in the Northern Caucasus during December, 1917. Kornilov was killed in April, 1918, and the Volunteer Army, specifically the 1st Division, was then lead by Denikin.

"Why aren't you in the army?" 
Volunteer Army recruitment poster during the Russian Civil War.
I don't pretend to know much about the complicated history of the 1918-20 Russian Civil War. Other armies include the Don Cossacks, the Kuban Cossacks, and in 1918, the "Armed Forces of South Russia"- (The later name for the "Volunteer Army")- under the command of General Denikin.

Russian Civil War
In early 1919, Denikin defeated the 11th Soviet Army and occupied the North Caucasus area. In June, 1919, he advanced toward Moscow.

Bolshevist/ anti-Bolshevist positions, March, 1919
After the October 1919 Red Army counteroffensive, the Volunteer Army retreated to the Crimea by March, 1920 - merging with the army of General Pyotr Wrangel.

(For more on these turbulent times, see the fine posts at Dead Countries Stamps website.) 

For philatelists, the "Fog of War" left tangible pieces of evidence: Stamps issued by the White forces, and used for field postal operations.

1918 Scott 4 25k on 4k carmine
Russian Stamps of 1909-17 Surcharged
Don Government (Novocherkassk): Rostov Issue
Into the Deep Blue
The 2014 Scott Classic 1840-1940 catalogue has, for South Russia 1918-20, 55 major descriptive numbers. Of those, 23 are CV <$1-$1+, or 42%. A representative collection should be no problem to accumulate for the WW classical collector.

The most difficult thing for the collector may be just recognizing the stamps, as they give little clue, save for the Denikin issue, of their origin. That is because they mostly consist of surcharges on 1909-17 Russian stamps. !

Even if many of the stamps do not have much catalogue value, most (all?) have been overprint forged. So Caveat Emptor- do not pay much for these stamps, unless one is dealing with a reputable source.

A closer look at the stamps and issues
100 Kopecks = 1 Ruble
1918 Scott 2 25k on 2k dull green
Russian Stamps of 1909-17 Surcharged
Don Government (Novocherkassk): Rostov Issue
The "Rostov issue" is covered first in Scott, and is from the Don Cossack Republic 1918-20. Presumably, it  was issued in Rostov (See maps).

The eight stamps consist of 1909-17 Russian stamps, all surcharged "25" for 25 kopecks save the 7k blue, which is surcharged "50". There is a note about counterfeits in Scott. CV ranges from <$1- $7+.

These stamps and the Kuban Cossack stamps tend to be found wandering aimlessly in the "Russian" section of albums, as many collectors have no idea who issued them.

1918 Scott 6 25k on 1k orange, Imperforate
Russian Stamps of 1909-17 Surcharged
Don Government (Novocherkassk): Rostov Issue
Three of the eight stamp "Rostov" issue are found imperforate.

Novocherkassk Issue
Russian Stamps with these surcharges are "bogus"
Scott has a note about "bogus surcharges". Here are two examples.

1918-20 Scott 20 25k on 1k dull orange yellow
Russian Stamps of 1909-17 Surcharged
Kuban Government: Ekaterinodar Issue
The Kuban Cossacks also released stamps between 1918-20. They were issued from Ekaterinodar.

1918-20 Scott 24 1r on 3k carmine
Kuban Government: Ekaterinodar Issue
Twelve 1909-17 Russian perforated stamps were surcharged. Four are CV <$1-$2+.

1918-20 Scott 36 50k on 2k gray green, Imperforate
Kuban Government: Ekaterinodar Issue
An additional seven imperforate stamps were surcharged. CV is <$1-$6 for the group.

1919 Scott 51 35k on 1k orange
Russian Stamp of 1917 Surcharged
This stamp was issued from the Crimea region in 1919.

1920 Scott 54 5r on 20k dull blue & dark carmine
In 1920, this stamp (and the next one) was issued at Sevastopol while General Wrangel occupied the area.

1920 Scott 55 5r on 5k claret, Imperforate
The 1919-20 White army forces in the Crimea issued this stamp.

1919 Scott 64 35k light blue
Denikin Issue
The "Denikin Issue" of eleven imperforate stamps and three perf 11 1/2 stamps (minor number- private origin) was issued at Ekaterinodar, and used throughout South Russia, wherever the Volunteer Army ("Armed Forces of South Russia") under General Denikin was located.

1919 Scott 68 3r dull rose & green"St. George"
Denikin Issue
The script says "United Russia", and the small center vignette shows "St. George".

These are attractive stamps and the imperforate set ranges from CV <$1-$2+.

Deep Blue
1919 Denikin Issue in Deep Blue
Deep Blue (Steiner) has four pages for the issues of South Russia, and includes a space for all major Scott numbers.

1919 Scott 62 10k green
Denikin Issue
Big Blue
Big Blue '69, on two lines of one page (shared with Western Ukraine), has 10 spaces for the stamps of South Russia, all for the 1919 Denikin issue.  Coverage is 18%. The coverage is all or nothing: The entire Denikin issue, save for the 7r denomination, is given a space, but none of the surcharged issues are given any room. A pity, because these surcharged stamps are often left as unrecognized orphans in BB feeder albums.

There are no expensive ($10+) stamps required.

The other question one might ask is, why is "South Russia" stuck in the '69 Big Blue between a couple of "W" countries, Western Ukraine and Wurttemberg?

The '69 edition editors decommissioned "White Russia"- as their stamps no longer appeared in the Scott catalogue. Hence, "South Russia" was moved from between Saxony and Senegal in the 1940s editions to reside where "White Russia" had been located.  ;-)




A) Expensive stamps ($10 threshold): None

1919 Scott 67 2r gray violet & yellow "St. George"
Denikin Issue
Out of the Blue
For those seriously interested in the Russian Philatelic area, I would be remiss if I did not mention the fine informative blog by Trevor Pateman.

Note: Maps, poster image, and Denikin pic all appear to be in the public domain.

Have a comment?


  1. Not to be picky, but you have written "1818-20" in several places, and I presume it should be 1918...

    1. Pickiness is a virtue as far as I am concerned. Thanks for the "Heads Up" Steamboat Willie. ;-)

  2. So is "South Russia" the same as "White Russia"?

  3. Chris-No, but similar.

    "White Russia" was an area on the boundary of Poland, and stamps were produced for the Ruthenian Army Corps. The stamps were never put to use, and were essentially propaganda labels. Plenty of the stamps for "White Russia", though, as still found in WW albums. Scott decommissioned the stamps and the "country" in the '69 edition, and moved "South Russia" to where "White Russia" was located. I will do more investigation of "White Russia" when I hit the "W" countries. ;-)