Ukrainian Philatelic and Numismatic Society

Promoting Ukrainian stamps, coins and other collectibles

UPNS Brochure

For the World Stamp Show - NYC 2016, UPNS members Roman Procyk, Martin Tatuch and John Roberts funded a new UPNS pamphlet.  The visually stunning brochure was designed by John Nagridge of Royal Oak, Michigan.  One thing about the layout -- it is in an unconventional format.  It's a four-panel brochure.  The first page opens to a two-page imagine, and then opens again to a four-page spread that is the actual text.

Feel free to download a digital copy of the pamphlet (300 dpi, legal size) and print off copies for distribution at your own philatelic and numismatic events.  Promote Ukrainian philately and numismatics.  Promote UPNS!


UPNS Bylaws




The name of the Society shall be 'Ukrainian Philatelic and Numismatic Society'.  


Section 1.  UPNS is organized for educational and cultural purposes.  Its objectives are to promote, stimulate and advance the study and knowledge of Ukrainian stamps, banknotes and all matters relating thereto along educational, scientific, and historical lines.
Section 2.  To carry out these purposes UPNS shall acquire real and personal property by gift, devise, bequest or otherwise. 
Section 3.  The Corporation shall engage in the foregoing purposes all without profit to the Corporation, its members or its officers and none of its net income may inure in whole or in part to the benefit of any member or private individual.


Section 1.  Membership in UPNS is open to anyone in any country of the world.  It shall consist of regular members, student members, life members, honorary members, and group members.  A member is in good standing if their dues are not arrears, has not been suspended, nor has charges pending against them in accordance with this article.
Section 2.  Any individual eighteen years of age or older, who in interested in Ukrainian stamps, banknotes, medals, etc., is of good character and shares the goals of UPNS may apply for regular membership.
Section 3.  Any person less than eighteen years of age who meets the requirements of section 2 of this article and whose application for membership has been endorsed by a parent or legal guardian is eligible for a student membership.
Section 4.  Any full-time student, irrespective of age, who is enrolled in an accredited college, university, or secondary school and who otherwise meets the requirements for membership is eligible for a student membership.
Section 5.  Honorary membership, not more than one of which may be awarded in any calendar year, may be conferred by the Executive Board upon written nomination by at least two members of UPNS and by an affirmative vote of at least seventy-five (75%) percent of the board members upon any person who has truly rendered UPNS, and/or the field of Ukrainian philately or numismatics noteworthy service.
Section 6.  Any member in good standing, upon payment of the prescribed fee shall become a life member. A life member has all the privileges of a regular member, but is exempted from payment of annual dues.
Section 7.  Philatelic and numismatic clubs or societies, libraries, museums, archives, schools, or similar organizations, if bona fide, are eligible for group membership in UPNS.  However, each such membership confers on the group a right to receive only one Journal and one vote. Such memberships will be treated as regular members.
Section 8.  A local group or chapter of UPNS may use the initials ’UPNS' and the word "Group”, "Chapter" or any such term denoting a connection with UPNS in its name provided that 5 members or more of the group are members of UPNS. A chapter or group must be autonomous, and if it has a constitution, a copy must be filed with the Secretary of UPNS.  A chapter or group cannot commit UPNS financially and UPNS is in no way liable in connection with the activities of any group or chapter. A group or chapter representative shall be designated as a point of contact with the secretary of UPNS.
Section 9.  Application for membership shall be made in the form prescribed by the Executive Board of UPNS and shall be forwarded to the secretary or the business address of UPNS .
Section 10.  The admission fee (called address fee) and the amount of the annual dues shall accompany the application for membership.  The Executive Board shall determine the amount of the fees.  Annual dues are for one year payable in advance and shall be stated and paid in U.S. dollars.
Section 11.  Non-payment of dues for a period of more than 6 months shall result in suspension of all rights of membership.  Members who have resigned or were suspended for nonpayment of dues and who wish to re-activate their membership may do so by following the procedure for application for membership.
Section 12.  Any member who has willfully violated these bylaws, committed an unfair, unethical act involving another member, who has slandered or libeled the character of a member, or improperly interfered with the activities of UPNS, or otherwise engaged in conduct unbecoming a member, shall upon recommendation of the Adjudicating Committee by a majority vote of the Executive Board be suspended and/or expelled from UPNS membership.  The expelled members shall forfeit their paid membership dues.  A member accused under this section shall be notified by the secretary of the complaint against him in writing as to the charges made.  Such complaint and reply shall be furnished by the Secretary to the Chairman of the Adjudicating Committee.  lf a member has been charged or convicted of a crime relating to property and/or a felony, the Executive Board, without prior notification to the member, may suspend him/her pending further action under this section.


Section 1.  The elected officers of UPNS shall be the President, the Executive Vice-President, and Vice-Presidents for USA, Canada, Europe, and Australasia, and other areas if such offices are necessary.  Also elected will be the Secretary, Treasurer, three members of the Auditing Committee and three members of the Adjudicating Committee.  All officers of the UPN5 shall serve without any remuneration whatsoever.
Section 2.  The President, the Executive Vice-President, the Vice-Presidents, the Secretary, the Treasurer, and the immediate past President shall constitute the Executive Board.
Section 3.  The appointed officers of UPNS shall consist of the Auctioneer, the Editor of the UKRAINIAN PHILATELIST Journal, the Editor of the Trident-Visnyk newsletter and other such appointed officers who, in the opinion of the Executive Board, are required from time to time to manage the affairs of the UPNS.  The President shall appoint all such officers who shall be members of the Executive Board ex officio.
Section 4.  An elected officer shall cease to hold office and be a member of the Executive Board if he resigns his office by delivering a written resignation to the Secretary or the President, if he is of unsound mind, if he is bankrupt, or if a resolution Is passed by two-thirds of the members of Auditing and Adjudicating Committees that he be removed from office.  An appointed officer shall cease to hold office at the discretion of the President, or in accordance with section 9, article VII of these bylaws.
Section 5.  The Executive Board shall fill any vacancy occurring in any elected or appointed office until the next election with exception of the Presidency.  lf the office of the President becomes vacant, the Executive Vice-President shall automatically succeed to the Presidency.  If there is no Executive Vice-President, the President is succeeded by Vice-President (USA), Vice-President (Canada), Vice-President (Europe), and Vice-President (Australasia). 
Section 6.  Upon the recommendation of the President, the Executive Board shall appoint committees or subcommittees.  The President shall be an ex-officio member of all such committees.
Section 7.  No part of the net earnings of this organization shall inure to the benefit of, or be distributed to its members, trustees, officers, or other private persons, except that the UPNS shall be authorized and empowered to pay reasonable compensation for service rendered and to make payments and distributions in furtherance of the purposes set forth in Article II hereof. No substantial part of the activities of this organization shall be the carrying on of lobbying, or otherwise attempting to influence legislation, and this organization shall not participate in, or intervene in (including the publishing or distribution of statements) any political campaign on behalf of any candidate for public office.  Notwithstanding any other provision of these articles, this organization shall not carry on any other activities not permitted to be carried on:  (a) by a corporation/organization exempt from Federal income tax under Section 501 (c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954 (or the corresponding provision of any future U.S. Internal Revenue Law) or (b) by a corporation/organization, contributions to which are deductible under Section 170 (c) (2) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954 (or the corresponding provision of any future U.S. Internal Revenue Law).


Section 1.  The President shall have general supervision over the affairs of the UPNS.  He shall preside as Chairman at meetings of the Executive Board and at general meetings of the members. 
Section 2.  The duties of the Executive Vice-President shall be to assist the President and in his absence to act for him.  In the event of a vacancy in the office of the President the Executive Vice-President shall succeed to the Presidency for the remainder of the term.
Section 3.  The duties of Vice-Presidents shall be to assist the President and the Executive Vice-President as required in the discharge their duties.
Section 4.  The duties of the Secretary shall be to keep a true and accurate record of all transactions of the Society, to receive applications for membership and to process them in accordance with the bylaws, to undertake such correspondence as is required in the pursuit of the Secretary’s duties.  The Secretary shall prepare a report annually, or more often if required, for submission to the Executive Board.
Section 5.  The duties of the Treasurer shall include responsibilities for the custody of all monies and securities of the Society subject to the supervision of the executive Board.  The Treasurer shall advise the Executive Board in all matters concerning financial duties discharged and may authorize disbursing of funds if presented with vouchers signed by the President.
Section 6.  It shall be the duty of all officers, both elected and appointed, to furnish reports to the Executive Board when requested.  All officers will also furnish reports, books, documents, papers, receipts, letters and other requested materials to the Auditing Committee.  Refusal to honor such requests shall be sufficient grounds for suspension and/or removal from office by the Executive Board or the Auditing Committee without going through the procedures set out in Article IV of these bylaws.
Section 7.  All expenses incurred by the members of the Executive Board shall be reimbursed by the Treasurer if these are approved by the President.  All expenses over $100.00 must receive prior approval of the President.  lf disagreement arises on the reasonableness of expenses, the matter will be decided by the entire membership.


Section 1.  The Auditing Committee shall consist of the Chairman and two members elected by the membership.
Section 2.  A vacancy occurring on the Auditing Committee shall be filled by the Chairman of the Auditing Committee.  Should the office of the Chairman be vacant the remaining two members will fill the vacancy and elect a new Chairman.  Should they not agree on a candidate, then the Chairman of the Adjudicating Committee shall cast his vote.
Section 3.  The principal duties of the Auditing Committee shall be to see that the elections of officers are held properly and to insure that the Executive Board conducts the business in accordance with these bylaws.  The Auditing Committee may request the members of the Executive Board to furnish them records and documents as outlined in Article V above.
Section 4.  It shall further be the duty of the Auditing Committee to act as trustees of the UPNS Trust Fund which consists of life membership dues and other funds so designated.  All earnings of the UPNS Trust Fund will, however, be transferred to the Treasurer for conduct of the Society’s business.
Section 5.  The Auditing Committee will check all financial records of the UPNS at least annually, or more often, and report their findings to the membership through publication in the newsletter.
Section 6.  It shall be the duty of the Chairman of the Auditing Committee to keep a duplicate roster of the membership and a duplicate set of membership applications.
Section 7.  lf it should be the finding of the Auditing Committee by two-thirds vote, that an elected or appointed member of the Executive Board has not honestly or not in accordance with these bylaws conducted the affairs of the UPNS, then the Chairman, or a member of the majority shall present the facts to the Adjudicating Committee for action in accordance with Article IV of these bylaws.
Section 8.  lf it should be the finding of the Auditing Committee by two-thirds vote, that the Treasurer of the UPNS is not conducting the affairs of the Society honestly or not in accordance with these bylaws, he shall be immediately suspended and removed from handling UPNS funds.  Until the Executive Board appoints a new Treasurer, the duties of the Treasurer shall be executed by the Chairman of the Adjudicating Committee or, if necessary, by the Chairman of the Auditing Committee.
Section 9.  All expenses for postage incurred by the Auditing Committee during their duties will be reimbursed by the Treasurer upon presentation of an itemized account.  If, however, the proceedings are against the President or the Treasurer, then reasonable telephone and other expenses are also authorized.  They shall be reimbursed upon proper accounting.  lf there is disagreement as to whether the expenses are reasonable, the matter shall be decided by the majority vote of membership.  Such reimbursements take precedence over all other expenditures of the Society.


Section 1.  The Adjudicating Committee shall consist of the Chairman and two members elected by the membership.
Section 2.  A vacancy occurring on the Adjudicating Committee shall be filled by the Chairman of the Adjudicating Committee.  Should the office of the Chairman of the Adjudicating Committee become vacant, the remaining two members of the Committee shall fill the vacancy and elect a new Chairman.  Should the two members not be able to agree on a candidate, then the Chairman of the Auditing Committee shall cast his vote.
Section 3.  The principal duties of the Adjudicating Committee shall be to investigate, and resolve complaints among and against members of the UPNS and to adjudicate whether a member accused in accordance with Article III of these bylaws should he suspended and/or expelled from membership.
Section 4.  The decisions of the Adjudicating Committee shall be made after investigation by two-thirds vote. It shall be binding on all members and shall take effect immediately upon notification of the members.
Section 5.  A member may, within thirty days of notification, petition the Adjudicating Committee to reconsider its decision and may present new evidence.
Section 6.  The final decision of the Adjudicating Committee may be appealed to the entire membership.  A notification of intent to appeal must be made to the President and the Chairman of the Adjudicating Committee within thirty days from notification of the final decision.
Section 7.  The appeal to the whole membership shall be made during the next scheduled election, provided the notice of intent to appeal reaches the President at least ninety days prior to said election.  A half page of the newsletter shall be placed at the disposal of the member to present his case to the membership prior to the election.  The vote of the membership shall be final and there shall be no further appeal.
Section 8.  All expenses tor postage incurred by the members at the Adjudicating Committee during the exercise of their duties shall be reimbursed by the Treasurer upon presentation of an itemized accounting.  If, however, the proceedings are against the President or the Treasurer of the UPNS, then reasonable telephone and other expenses are also authorized.  They shall be reimbursed upon proper accounting.  If there is disagreement whether the expenses are reasonable, the matter shall be decided by majority vote of the whole membership during the next scheduled election.


Section 1.  The elected officers of the UPNS shall be elected for a term of four years.  All elections and voting by the membership will be by mail ballot.  All elected and appointed officers of the Executive Board shall hold office until the election results are certified by the Chairman of the Auditing Committee and both past and newly-elected members are so notified.  After such time the newly-elected officers shall assume responsibility.
Section 2.  The Auditing Committee will perform nominating duties.  It shall seek nominations and ensure at least one nomination for each office.  It will also ensure that the nominees are qualified and dedicated to the goals and purposes of UPNS.
Section 3.  A call for nominations must be made in the newsletter at least three months before the ballots are mailed out.  In the issue of the newsletter that includes the ballot, the full list of names placed in nomination must be published.  A blank space for each office must be provided so that the membership may choose to enter an alternative candidate.
Section 4.  The Auditing Committee shall be responsible for managing the elections.  Ballots in a form approved by the Auditing Committee with a blank space for a write-in must be provided. The names of all nominees will be arranged in alphabetical order and furnished each member of UPNS at least sixty days prior to the date of the election.  Each ballot shall show the “voting date” beyond which, if not received by the Chairman of the Auditing Committee, they shall not be valid.  The ballots shall be returned to the Chairman of the Auditing Committee.  They shall be opened by the Auditing Committee which will verify the eligibility of the voting member and compile the number of votes for each candidate.  An election report shall be prepared and printed in the newsletter.


Section 1.  The enlarged Executive Body (the Executive Board, the Auditing Committee, and the Adjudicating Committee} shall meet at least once a year.  The quorum at Executive Board meetings shall be three members of the Board.  Notice of time and place of the meeting shall be furnished to the Executive Board at least thirty days prior to the meeting.  It may meet at the UPNS conventions.
Section 2.  The General Meeting of the members shall be held at the time and place selected by the Executive Board.  The quorum at true General Meeting shall be ten members of whom three must be members of the Executive Board.  A notice of the time and place of the General Meeting must be furnished the members either by Publication in the newsletter or by mail at least ninety days prior to the date of the meeting.  Any business transacted at such General Meeting which is consistent with these bylaws shall be binding upon the Executive Board, the Auditing Committee, the Adjudicating Committee, and the membership.
Section 3.  Reports of the President, the officers, and the Chairmen of the Auditing and Adjudicating Committees if presented at the General Meeting shall be published, possibly in an abbreviated form, in the newsletter.  Any officer or chairman not present shall submit his report in writing to the President, at least seven days prior to the meeting.
Section 4.  The Executive Board may meet periodically during each year upon notification by the President.  Such meetings may be requested also by members of the Executive Board.  All meetings of the Executive Board shall be presided over by the President or his successor as outlined In Article IV above.  The meetings will be conducted in accordance with these bylaws and Robert‘s rules of order.


Section 1.  All officers of the UPNS will serve without any remuneration.
Section 2.  All sums received from admission fees, dues, auction and direct sales, interest from the UPNS Trust Fund, and at least $10 per each living life member shall constitute the operating fund of the Society.
Section 3.  The Executive Board shall annually prepare a budget for the coming fiscal year showing the estimated receipts and estimated expenditures.  The budget shall be balanced.  This budget will be published in the newsletter.  Except where expressly authorized by the Executive Board, all expenditures of the Society shall be limited to the amounts outlined by the budget.  After an election, the newly-elected Board shall reexamine, modify and/or approve the proposed budget not later than sixty days after their installation.
Section 4.  The Treasurer, as directed by these bylaws, may pay such amounts as required in the ordinary operation of the Society except those provided for in Articles VI and VII, which take precedence over any other reimbursements of the Society. 
Section 5.  The Fiscal Year for the UPNS shall commence on October 1 of each calendar year.


Section 1.  The Society shall establish and maintain a Trust Fund based on the life membership dues, specific gifts and bequests to the fund, and other specifically designated income.
Section 2.  The purpose of the Trust Fund shall be to provide income to maintain UPNS and to contribute at least $10 per each living life member to the General Operating Fund annually. 
Section 3.  The trustees of the Fund shall be the President, the Treasurer, all past Presidents, and the Auditing Committee.  For the additional assistance these members may elect up to three more trustees to administer the Fund.
Section 4.  The assets of the Trust Fund shall be invested by the Treasurer, or a person designated by him, in instruments insured by the Government of the United States of America, at the highest obtainable rate consistent with prudent financial practices.  The principal shall be inviolate and only the interest income and $10 per each living life member will be available to the Society.
Section 5.  Should the UPNS be dissolved, the Treasurer shall combine the Trust Fund with other Society’s assets and handle in accordance with Article XII.


Section 1.  The official publication of the Society is the Journal – UKRAINIAN PHILATELIST.
Section 2.  Notices as required by these bylaws if published in the Journal or the newsletter TRIDENT-VISNYK will be deemed to have been received by the members.
Section 3.  The name the UKRAINIAN PHILATELIC AND NUMISMATIC SOCIETY and the initials UPNS, and any seals, logos, or trademarks adopted by the Society cannot be used for commercial purposes without the specific approval of the Executive Board.
Section 4.  Contracts and documents shall be signed by any two of the following:  the President, the Executive Vice-President, Vice-Presidents, the Treasurer, the Secretary, and other elected or appointed officers of the Society as they are approved by the Executive Board.  The Executive Board may also authorize one officer to sign.
Section 5.  Should the UPNS be dissolved or liquidated pursuant to the Non-Profit Corporation Laws of the State of New York of the United States of America, all assets shall be distributed as determined by the Executive Board to a Ukrainian non-profit institution(s) closely identifying with the goals of the UPNS, preferably located in the United States of America.  One institution that should be considered is the Harvard Ukrainian Research Institute of Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Section 6.  The dissolution or liquidation of the UPNS shall occur upon a proposal by the Executive Board to dissolve the Society and a two-thirds affirmative vote of the general membership, or if the nominating committee is unable to find at least three members willing to serve on the Executive Board the dissolution shall be supervised by the Auditing Committee.
Section 7.  Limitation of liability: no officer of UPNS shall be liable for the acts, receipts, neglect or defaults of any other officer, or for any loss, damage, or expense, unless the same are occasioned by his own willful neglect or default; provided that nothing herein shall relieve any officer of any liability imposed upon him by the laws of the State of New York of the United States of America.


These bylaws may be amended by two-thirds affirmative vote of the general membership, by written ballot. The balloting procedure shall be in accordance with Article VIII of these bylaws, the amendments to be listed in place of the nominees, and justification given for said amendments.

Ukrainian Transliteration

By decree No. 55 on January 27, 2010, the Ukrainian Cabinet of Ministers approved the Ukrainian-English transliteration system.  Set character encoding to Cyrillic (Windows-1251) to properly view the transliteration table.

For brevity's sake, names such as the city of 'Zaporizhzhia' are to be given as 'Zaporizhia,' 'L'viv' as 'Lviv,' etc.  Official spellings for 'Ukraine' do not use the article 'the', 'Crimea' as opposed to 'Krym'.  In certain cases, 'traditional' Russian spellings may be shown in parentheses after the official form: 'Dnipro (Dnieper).'

In addition, apostrophe marks and softening marks may be omitted upon transliteration into English.

Ukrainian letter

English letter



А А -

Алушта - Alushta

Андрій - Andrii

Б B -

Борщагівка - Borschahivka

Борисенко - Borysenko

В V -

Вінниця - Vinnytsia

Володимир - Volodymyr

Г H, gh Н-in most cases, gh - when recreating the combination “зг”

Гадяч - Hadiach

Згорани - Zghorany

Богдан - Bohdan

Ґ G -

Ґалаґан - Galagan

Ґорґани - Gorgany

Д D -

Донецьк - Donetsk

Дмитро - Dmytro

Е E -

Рівне - Rivne

Олег - Oleh

Есмань - Esman

Є Ye, ie Ye - at the beginning of words, іе - in other positions

Єнакієве - Yenakiieve

Гаєвич - Haievych

Короп'є - Koropie

Ж Zh -

Житомир - Zhytomyr

Жанна - Zhanna

Жежелів - Zhezheliv

З Z -

Закарпаття - Zakarpattia

Казимирчук - Kazymyrchuk

И Y -

Медвин - Medvyn

Михайленко - Mykhailenko

I I -

Іванків - Ivankiv

Іващенко - Ivashchenko

Ї I Yi - at the beginning of words, і - in other positions

Їжакевич - Yizhakevych

Кадіївка - Kadiivka

Мар'їне - Marine

Й Y, i Y - at the beginning of words, і - in other positions

Йосипівка - Yosypivka

Стрий - Stryi

Олексій - Oleksii

К K -

Київ - Kyiv

Коваленко - Kovalenko

Л L -

Лебедин - Lebedyn

Леонід - Leonid

М M -

Миколаїв - Mykolaiv

Маринич - Marynych

Н N -

Ніжин - Nizhin

Наталія - Nataliіa

О O -

Одеса - Odesa

Онищенко - Onyshchenko

П P -

Полтава - Poltava

Петро - Petro

Р R -

Решетилівка - Reshetylivka

Рибчинськй - Rybchynskyi

С S -

Суми - Sumy

Соломія - Solomiia

Т T -

Тернопіль - Ternopil

Троць - Torts

У U -

Ужгород - Uzhhorod

Уляна - Uliana

Ф F -

Фастів - Fastiv

Філіпчук - Filipchuk

Х Kh -

Харків - Kharkiv

Христина - Khrystyna

Ц Ts -

Біла Церква - Bila Tserkva

Стеценко - Stetsko

Ч Ch -

Чернівці - Chernivtsi

Шевченко - Shevchenko

Ш Sh -

Шостка - Shostka

Кишеньки - Kyshenky

Щ Shch -

Щербухи - Shcherbukhy

Гоща -Hoshcha

Гаращенко - Harashchenko

Ю Yu, iu Yu - at the beginning of words, iu - in other positions

Юрій - Yurii

Крюківка - Krukivka

Я Ya, ia Ya - at the beginning of words, іа - in other positions

Яготин - Yahotyn

Ярошенко - Yaroshenko

Костянтин - Kostiantyn

Знам'янка - Znamianka

Феодосія - Feodosia

Ь ' (see commentary)

Русь - Rus’

Львів - L’viv

‘ (apostrophe) (see commentary) Знам’янка - Znamianka

Intro to Ukrainian Philately


Although Ukraine has issued a few dozen new stamps every year since independence in 1991, there is actually a great deal more to collecting this fascinating eastern European country. During its previous brief experience as a sovereign state (from 1918 to 1920), Ukraine released a large number of philatelic items. In addition, during World War I and just prior to World War II, some portions of occupied Ukraine declared their independence, formed new governments, and issued stamps until they were absorbed into other political entities. Thus, there are also stamps of Western Ukraine, Soviet Ukraine, and Carpatho-Ukraine.Since the 19th century, stamp issues released by the various Ukrainian governments, both local and national, number over 3,000! The US Scott Catalogue only lists a tiny fraction of these: European catalogs tend to be more complete.

Zemstvo Stamps

kharkivkonstantynohrad_greenkonstantynohrad_redzolotonoshastarobilskeBy the mid-19th century, Ukrainian ethnographic territories had been divided between the Russian Empire to the east and the Austrian Empire to the west. Postage stamps appeared in the latter empire in 1850 and in the former in 1857. In 1864, laws were promulgated in the Russian Empire allowing for zemstvo or rural local issues. From their appearance in 1865 to their discontinuance in 1917, about 2,500 zemstvo stamps were released. Of these, some 800 were issued in Ukraine at 39 locations. The first Ukrainian zemstvo stamps were circulated in 1866 at Verkhnodniprovsk, Katerynoslav Guberniya, and in Dniprovsk, Tauridia Gubernia - both now located in Dnipropetrovsk Oblast. Which locale preceded the other has not been determined.

Independent Ukraine

Eastern Ukrainian territory proclaimed its independence from Russia on 22 January 1918. By 18 April, a five-value set of currency stamps had been printed and released. Perforated 11 1/2 and printed on card stock, these stamps were used in place of coins because of a shortage of metals. Each currency stamp was inscribed on the back with a trident and the words (in Ukrainian) "circulates in lieu of coins." Such stamps were never authorized for postal purposes, but they do appear on some philatelic covers. Three months later, on 18 July 1918, the independent Ukrainian government authorized its first set of definitives, the Shahiv Issues (Scott 62-66), using the same designs as were used for the currency stamps.

The 10- and 20-shahiv stamps were designed by Antin Sereda (1890-1961) and the 30-, 40-, and 50-shahiv stmps by Yuriy Narbut (1886-1920), a master graphic artist and president of the Ukrainian Academy of Arts in Kyiv. Most were issued imperforate and remained in wide use until the end of 1920. (A very limited quantity were privately perforated and used postally.)

For the first seven months of its independence, Ukraine allowed postage stamps of czarist Russia to remain valid for postal use. By 20 August, however, the Ukrainian Ministry of Posts had ordered all postage stamps in use on Ukrainian territory to be overprinted with a trident, the national emblem of the Ukrainian state.

katerynoslav_1katerynoslav_2Kharkiv 1Kharkiv 2kharkiv_3odesa_3odesa_5odesa_7poltavaThis action minimized Russian influence, provided stamps of higher denomination, and saved treasury funds. After 1 October 1918, all Russian stamps became invalid without the overprint.

At this time, Ukrainian territory was divided into six postal districts: Kyiv, Poltva, Katerynoslav (present-day Dnipropetrovsk), Kharkiv, Odesa, and Podillia.1 Each district utilized a number of distinct overprinting devices and so trident-overprinted provisionals came to vary in size, color, and form. To date, researchers have identified about seventy-five basic overprints with at least fifty variants, including some produced by local authorities. Since each overprint was applied to an average of 20 stamp values, the total number of different types of trident stamps is more than 1,500. Provisional trident-overprinted stamps remained in use for some time after the fall of the Ukrainian government. The latest authenticated date of usage is on an Odesa postal card from Pryvilne to Kharkiv dated 8 February 1926.

The study of trident overprints is the largest and most active field of Ukrainian philately. The specialty is hindered, however, by the number of forged overprints.2

By autumn of 1918, the Ukrainian Ministry of Posts had recognized the need for a wider range of postal values and according to some authorities, set about preparing a second definitive issue of five stamps. This set, made up of values greater than 50 shahiv, was to replace the trident overprint provisionals and supplement the first five shahiv vlues. When the supply of high-value trident overprint provisionals was exhausted in Volyn and Podillia, the Ministry released only the 20 hryven value (Scott 74)figure-4-1 to ease the shortage. No other values of the second definitive set (reputed to consist of 1, 3, 5, and 10 hryven) were ever placed into postal use. According to some unconfirmed reports, the entire new supply was completely destroyed by fire when a plane carrying it out of Kyiv was shot down and burned.

Other researchers believe the Hryven Issue was originally intended as a fiscal stamp, but, due to the shortage of 10 ruble stamps in the Podillia area, it was released as a postal stamp. At that time, 100 shahiv equaled one hryvnia; two hryvni equaled one karbovanets, the equivalent of a ruble. (The values are one hryvnia, two to four hryvni, and five or more hryven.) Because of the 20-hryven stamp's high value, its use was limited primarily to prepayment of money transfer forms (postal money orders), particularly those for very high sums, and for parcel receipts.

On 26 August 1919, the Ukrainian Government-in-Exile, headquartered in Tarnow, Poland, authorized the preparation of a Courier Field Post Issue to serve the tens of thousands of Ukrainian military personnel quartered in several camps near the city. The new issue consisted of a 10, 20, or 40 hryven value and the inscription Kuriersko-Polova Poshta on each of the five Shahiv Issue stamps of 1918. In addition, a trial release of only 15 overprinted Hryven Issue stamps was prepared. This 40 hryven over 20 hryven value has emerged as one of Ukrainian philately's rarest stamps. Only two are still known, one on cover.

figure-5-1 figure-5-2 figure-5-3 figure-5-4 figure-5-5 figure-5-6 figure-5-7 figure-5-8 figure-5-9 figure-5-10 figure-5-11 figure-5-12 figure-5-13 figure-5-14 figure-5-15 figure-5-16

On the following day, 27 August, the Government-in-Exile resolved to replace all existing postage stamps then in use on Ukrainian territories with a new definitive issue. This 14-stamp set became known as the Vienna Issue and contained values from one to 200 hryven. Designs for the 1-, 2-, 3-, 5-, 30-, 50-, 80-, and 200-hryven vlues were executed by the prominent Ukrainian artist Mykola Ivasiuk. The remaining value designs were based on photographs of historic places and portraits of prominent historical figures. These stamps, printed by the Austrian Military Geographic Institute of Vienna, Austria, were completed towards the close of 1920. None of the stamps from this set were ever circulated postally despite published reports claiming otherwise.

1. Recent research has revealed that the Poltava Postal District was actually part of the Katerynoslav Postal District; it continues to be recognized as a distinct region, however, in order to retain the classification that has evolved over the years and to prevent confusion.

2. The Ukrainian Philatelic Society in Germany (UPV) diligently pursued and recorded these imitations between the World Wars. The Ukrainian Philatelic and Numismatic Society has carried on these efforts since its founding in 1951.

Western Ukraine

Recognizing the imminent defeat of Austria-Hungary and its ally Germany during the fall of 1918, the Ukrainians of Galicia (Western Ukraine) under Austrian rule declared and won their independence on 1 November 1918. To facilitate postal deliveries, Western Ukraine issued stamps as overprints of Austrian issues. In locations where stamps were released, the quantities were often fairly low, making many of these stamps quite rare (and expensive) today.

figure-7The first stamps appeared in Lviv on 20 November 1918. The Austrian 3-, 5-, 10-, and 20-heller stamps of 1916-17 were overprinted with an octagonal design which depicted a heraldic lion in the center surrounded by the inscription Zakhidno-Ukrainska Narodna Republika (Western Ukrainian National Republic).

In Kolomyia, 3-, 6-, and 12-heller Austrian stamps were overprinted with a 10-sotyk value, and the 15-heller stamp was overprinted five sotyks (Scott 1-4). In addition, a 30-sotyk registered mail stamp was produced (Scott F1).These issues were released 12 December 1918. On 14 January 1919, 50-sotyk registration stamps were issued (Scott F2) figure-8-1to accomodate a hike in rates. Both the four overprinted values and the two separately issued registration stamps were used extensively on mail.

Even after January 1919, when Western Ukraine merged with Ukraine proper, stamps continued to be overprinted in the western portion because of unsettled conditions. A series of Ukrainian overprints and surcharges on Austrian stamps also was prepared in Stanyslaviv (present day Ivano- Frankivsk). The First Stanyslaviv Issue appeared on 18 March 1919, and consisted of a set of 17 different Austrian stamps of 1916-18 overprinted with Poshta Ukr. N. Rep. (Post of the Ukrainian National Republic) and contained the name of the value in Ukrainian, either "shahy" or "hryvni" (Scott 11-28, 25a, and 26a).

The Second Stanyslaviv Issue, prepared 5 May 1919, consisted of 48 different stamps in four series with overprint text similar to the first issue (Scott only lists 37 stamps: 31-53, 57-58, and 61-72). Interestingly, the stamps in the first series of this Second Stanyslaviv Issue were printed on special Austrian stamps for Bosnia and Herzegovina from 1904.

The Third Stanyslaviv Issue, actually printed at the State Printing Office of Vienna, was released on 8 May 1919. This set of 19 values (Scott 85-103) was overprinted with a white trident in a black shield and the letters Z.U.N.R., an abbreviation for the Western Ukrainian National Republic. Only a small number of these issues ever entered postal circulation.

The last Stanislaviv issue, consisting of nine values in two stamp series (Scott 54-55 and 75-81), was printed between 9 May and 12 May 1919, and carried the surcharge Poshta Ukr. N. Rep. and the Ukrainian monetary name, "hryvni" and "hryven."

Two additional stamp sets were printed for Western Ukraine at the Vienna State Printing Office but but became available after the Polish occupation of Galicia (July 1919) and, therefore, never were circulated. The first set, printed in two colors, consisted of five values and depicted the coats of arms of: United Ukraine, the trident; Kiev, the Archangel Michael; and Lviv (and Galicia), the lion. The second set of twelve values and the same coats of arms but with changes in the stylization and not all the symbols appeared on one stamp. Each emblem was printed separately on four stamps of the set. Imperforate varieties of this set also are known.

The first regular air mail service in the world was the Budapest-Vienna- Krakow-Lviv line which functioned from 31 March to 15 October 1918. A later extension of this line to Kyiv via Proskuriv (late June to mid-October 1918) made the route the world's first regular international air mail line. Another service, the Budapest-Vienna-Krakow-Lviv line, functioned briefly from 4 July to 23 July 1918. A few letters from Budapest also were carried as far as Kyiv. For both of there services, special air mail stamps were issued by overprinting existing Austrian postal designs with "Flugpost" and Hungarian stamps with "Repulo Posta."

Soviet Ukraine

A rival communist government, the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic, was proclaimed in December of 1917 but was not able to make consistent headway in Ukraine until 1919. Postwar anarchy caused by civil war and inflation necessitated the provisional revaluation of low-value Russian kopek stamps to 100 times their original face value during March of 1920. The Kharkiv post office revalued various trident-overprinted provisionals with "RUB" (for ruble) at this time. Two years later (February 1922), the Kyiv post office surcharged values in the thousands of rubles onto remainders of Russian Postal Savings Bank stamps.

In 1923, the government of the Ukrainian SSR issued a set of four semi-postal stamps entitled "Famine Relief," since the surcharge on the stamps was earmarked to aid famine victims. This set circulated briefly in several cities from 25 June to 15 July and was the only regular postal issue ever released by the government of the Ukrainian SSR (Scott B1-B4 are unwatermarked, B5-B8 are watermarked.

B1 B3B3

German Occuption

In 1941, Germany overprinted its eighteen-stamp definitive set with a single- line black overprint "UKRAINE" for use in the occupied territory of Ukraine. These overprints were in postal circulation until late 1944 when most Ukrainian territory was recaptured by Soviet troops. Some attempts were made by local Ukrainian authorities under German occupation to issue postage stamps. Local emissions appeared in Sarny, Horokhiv, and Kamianets-Podilskyi, among others. German authorities soon turned against any such developments, and the local issues were banned.


figure-12-1Part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire until the end of World War I, Carpatho- Ukraine was administered by Czechoslovakia until 1939. In March of that year, a national assembly meeting in Khust proclaimed Carpatho-Ukraine an independent state. On the date of proclamation, 15 March 1939, a single stamp was released. It consisted of the inscription "Carpatho-Ukraine" on the 3-koron Czechoslovakia stamp depicting the wooden church at Yasinia. Carpatho-Ukraine's independence was short-lived and the territory was administered by Hungary until late 1944 during which time Hungarian stamps and postmarks were used.

In October 1944, Carpatho-Ukraine was occupied by Soviet troops. Early the following month, the Czechoslovakian administration returned ot Khust and to the eastern provinces of Carpatho-Ukraine. There on 4 December 1944, it overprinted Hungarian stamps and postal stationery "CSP/1944". The initials stand for Czech-Slovak Post. Not long after (1 February 1945), a socialist Ukrainian National Council was established in the western provinces that overprinted Hungarian stamps "Transcarpathian Ukraine Post". Four different types of overprints were used.

Seeking to further enhance its claim to Carpatho-Ukraine, the Ukrainian National Council issued a series of definitive issues. The first set of three stamps was released in May 1945. The second definitive set, consisting of six stamps, was issued in June 1945. Two additional stamps of the same design were released the following September, but had the year 1945 incorporated into their design. In June on 1945, in an agreement between the Soviet Union and Czechoslovakia, the latter agreed to give up the eastern provinces of Carpatho-Ukraine. The entire territory was incorporated into the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic on 15 November 1945.

Recent Stamp Issues

Ukraine resumed issuing stamps on 1 March 1992 and has followed a fairly conservative stamp release policy since. Until the middle of 1994, all of Ukraine's stamps were prepared abroad, either in Canada, Russia, Austria, or Hungary. Since 1995, virtually all stamps have been printed at the Kyiv Polygraphic Concern, also known as "Derzhznak."

A high inflation rate during Ukraine's early years of independence caused stamp values to soar. Whereas the first stamps of of 1992 were inscribed 15 kopiok, by 1996 the values on some issues had reached 100,000 karbovantsiv. In 1994, non-denominated stamps (showing ethnographic scenes, were released with assigned rates, e.g. for domestic correspondence or for overseas air mail letters. Pegged to the US dollar, the values of these stamps were adjusted weekly to reflect exchange rate variations.

Inflation also played havoc with official postal tariffs. Through the first four and one half years of independence, i.e. through 1995, postal rates underwent 10 major upward adjustments.

On 2 September 1996, Ukraine switched to a new currency, the hryvnia; it was decreed to be 100,000 times the value of the severely deflated karbovanets. By November, stamps appeared denominated in the new currency.

During 1992 and 1993 (and in some instances 1994 and 1995) various locales in Ukraine found themselves short of postage stamps or stuck with unusable old Soviet stamps or stationery. These local post offices were forced to prepare provisional stamp issues as well as provisional surcharges on postal stationery. Research on these many provisional releases as well as on overprints of former Soviet stamps and on the plethora of other postal markings from this time period is ongoing. To date, many hundreds of local provisional stamps have been identified from dozens of locales.

In recent years, Ukraine has released several dozen stamps annually. In general, these issues have been of increasing beauty and sophistication. Almost all new issues contain fluorescent tags, most applied in unique shapes or patterns. The scope and diversity of this tagging is unprecedented and reveals an entirely new stamp characteristic for Ukraine collectors.

All of modern Ukraine's stamp issues (from 1992 onward) may be viewed on Bohdan Hrynyshyn's Ukrainian Electronic Stamp Album, which also does a good job of keeping up with all of Ukraine Post's latest releases.


Baillie, Ian L.G. Ukraine: The Shagiv Issues. Bristol, England, 1963.

Bulat, John. Illustrated Postage Stamp History of Western Ukrainian Republic 1918-1919. Yonkers, NY: Philatelic Publications, 1973.

Bylen, Peter. "The Interim Issues of Soviet Ukraine, 1919-1923." Ukrainian Philatelist Vol. 39 No. 1 (61) 1992: 3-16.

Bylen, Peter. Western Ukraine. Ukrainian Philatelic Resources (UPR), 1. Westchester, Il: Ukrainian Philatelic Resources, 1995. 26 pp.

Bylen, Peter. Soviet Ukraine. UPR, 2. Westchester, Il: UPR, 1995. 34 pp.

Bylen, Peter. Carpatho-Ukraine. UPR, 3. Westchester, Il: UPR, 1995. 26 pp.

Bylen, Peter. Independent Ukraine 1918-1920. UPR 5, Westchester, Il: UPR, 1996. 118 pp.

Bylen, Peter and Kuzych, Ingert. "The Kyiv, Lviv, and Chernihiv Trident Overprints of 1992." Ukrainian Philatelist Vol. 42 No. 3/4 (69/70) 1994: 137-171.

Ceresa, R.J. Ukraine (Vol. II, Parts 1-26). Cambridge: privately published, 1979-1988. (A series of 13 books reviewing Ukrainian philatelic issues from the 1918-1923 period.)

Hugel, Lubomyr M. "Stamps of Carpatho-Ukraine of 1945." Ukrainian Philatelist Vol. 21 No. 36 (1974): 3-8.

Kotyk, Eugene. "On the History of the Stamps of the Western Ukraine." Ukrainian Philatelist Vol. 3 No. 4 (13) 1953: 55-59.

Kuzych, Ingert. "Ukraine's Pictorial Set of 1920: The Vienna Issue." Ukrainian Philatelist Vol. 37 No. 2 (58) 1990: 54-69.

Kuzych, Ingert. "Postage Stamps." Encyclopedia of Ukraine Vol. 4 (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1993): 161-164.

Kuzych, Ingert, ed. Introductory Handbook of Ukrainian Philately, a special edition of the Ukrainian Philatelist Vol. 40 No. 1/2 (63/64) 1993, viii + 116 pages.

Kuzych, Ingert. Ukrainian Postage Stamps: A Catalog of Issues From 1991-1995. UPR 6, Westchester, Il: UPR, 1996. 56 pp.

Kuzych, Ingert and Lemiski, Karen. Ukrainian Philatelist Index, 1951-1996, a special edition of the Ukrainian Philatelist Vol. 44 No. 3/4 (77/78) 1996.

Lobko, Hryhoriy. The Provisional Postage Stamps of Ukraine, 1992-1995 (Springfield, VA: Ukrainian Philatelic Resources, 2000), translation by Andrew O. Martyniuk.

Roberts, C.W. The Trident Issues of the Ukraine (Parts 1-5). Ilminster, England, 1953-66.

Seichter, Rudolf. Sonder-Katalog Ukraine(1918-20). Soltau, West Germany, 1966.

Spiwak, Paul B. "Ukrainian Currency Stamps of 1918." Ukrainian Philatelist Vol. 27 No. 43 (1980): 7-16.

Tkachuk, Jerry G. "First International Airmail Service in the World." Ukrainian Philatelist Vol. 33 No. 49 (1986): 3-9.

Zabijaka,Val. "The Ukrainian Field Post Issue of 1920." Ukrainian Philatelist Vol. 42 No. 1 (67) 1994: 4-26.

Copyright 2000 by Ingert Kuzych. All rights reserved.

Why Donate?

The Millennial Fund was established to help meet the financial burdens associated with the publication of our two excellect publications: the Ukrainian Philatelist and Trident-Visnyk, the organizing of collector's meetings, and many other services for Ukrainian Philately, Numismatics and other types of collecting! To our members, and non-members who support our Society, we ask you to consider making a free will contribution to the Fund so that we may continue providing the quality benefits that membership in our Society has to offer.

We are most grateful to our contributors:


Lubomyr Jachnyckyi


Mr. Roman Bohayets (936)


Bohdan Pauk


Mr. Zenko Halkovycz (880)


Donald C. Pickering

David Crocker


Raymond Pietruszka


Welcome to the redesigned UPNS.ORG.   Our website has undergone a bit of a facelift and there is more to come.

During the last number of months the site has been relatively quiet due to the background work.  New features have been added that we hope will make the site more interesting to all our visitors.  We will be resuming the posting of articles for your reading enjoyment.  All UPNS chapters are also encouraged to send us their club news.

A new Classified section has been added for our members.  They will be able to post sale ads for Ukrainian philatelic and other collectibles that anyone can purchase.  Our library of Ukrainian Philatelist Journal is being digitized and as issues become available, anyone will be able to purchase a downloadable copy.  We hope to do the same for the Trident Visnyk.

The membership list is currently being reloaded and UPNS members will be notified when they can resume logging into the site.

Should you find any broken links, help us out by sending an email to with the pertinent details.

Other Sites


Ukrainian Philatelic Sites

Recent Ukrainian stamp issues are described and illustrated at the web site of the Ukrainian State Enterprise of Posts "UkrPoshta".  Odesa resident Simon Milkus maintains a Ukrainian stamp catalog on his personal website.

A number of European dealers carry Ukrainian stamps, including Neofila in Lithuania.

Links to a huge variety of philatelic websites, including Ukrainian, may be found on Joe Luft's philatelic resource page, as well as on PhilaGuide: The Golden Guide for Philatelists.

A valuable informational site is that of Burkhardt Schneider who runs a philatelic book service. Click on the link for direct access to the Philabooks list of worldwide philatelic literature. Currently there are about 9,000 titles available.

Numismatic Sites

Information on Ukrainian coins and banknotes is available from the National Bank of Ukraine . Another site that covers Ukrainian currency is Hryvnia. The site of Roman Olynyk also deals with Ukrainian numismatics as well as philately.

A wonderful site for viewing all sorts of historic Ukrainian coins, from ancient times to the 20th century, is the Odessa Virtual Museum of Numismatics. Although the site comes up in Russian, you can select to view in English or Ukrainian. A very fine selection of books dealing with Ukrainian numismatics and history may be found at Fridman Books. These specialty volumes are published in English, Russian, and Ukrainian.

Related Societies

Many Ukrainian, Czech and Slovak philatelists enjoy collecting Carpatho-Ukraine, an entity that has had ties with all three countries. Austria long ruled the Western Ukrainian provinces of Galicia (Halychyna) and Bukovina, so materials from those areas are also part of Ukrainian postal history. A second Austrian philatelic organization hails from the UK. They produce an excellent journal, with occasional articles related to Western Ukrainian areas.

To learn more about Russian philately check out the Rossica site. A fine source for information on zemstvo stamps is the one assembled by Rainer Fuchs. The Worldwide Society of Russian Philately keeps abreast of new issues from all the republics of the former Soviet Union.

The American Philatelic Society is the oldest and largest in the US with some 200 specialized chapters. Similary, the Royal Philatelic Society of Canada is Canada's national society for philatelists (stamp collectors, enthusiats and aficionados).

Heraldry and Vexillology

A terrific United States Senate site, World Statesmen, is a database of the rulers of nations, colonies, international and religious organizations, and other polities from about 1700 onward. Includes past and present flags, maps, constitutions, and national anthems. The largest website devoted to national, provincial, and regional coats of arms is at International Civic Arms. This excellent site displays thousands of coats of arms from around the world, including dozens from Ukraine. Many historic coats of arms from territories and entities that no longer exist are also presented. Well worth visiting, but download may be a bit slow due to the vast amount of material being transferred to your computer.

A fine site for Ukrainian heraldry also includes information on local and regional coats of arms and displays all Ukrainian stamps on the topic. Decorations of Ukraine's military may be viewed at the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine.

Other Sites

The Chemist, 1992-1999, Ukraine (translated from Russian)
Grivna (translated from Russian)

Societe Franco Ukrainienne de Philatelie(translated from French)