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Russia 379

     In 1927 the USSR. issued a set of seven stamps to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the October Revolution. One of them, a 14 kopek value, has a map of Europe and Asia with the Soviet Union colored red and the Cyrillic letters CCCP. In The Carto-Philatelist for January 1956 Walter Klinefelter wrote: ďA flagrant disregard for the autonomy of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania is shown in the design of Russia A82 [Scott 379], issued in 1927. The design shows not only these countries completely absorbed by Russia, but a large part of Finland also) [page 12].
     A close examination of the stamp and maps of the Baltic area do not support Mr. Klinefelterís assertion with respect to the Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania, which (at least on the copy of the stamp which I have) are shown in white rather than red. Until 1921 these states had been an integral part of old Russia. They became independent in 1921 and remained so until 1940 when the Soviet Army occupied them and installed pro-Soviet governments. From 1941 to 1944 they were occupied by Germany, and then again by the USSR. In 1991 their independence was recognized by the Soviet Union.
     The case with Finland is somewhat different. Here the red area intrudes on a sizeable part of Finnish territory, though whether this is a territorial claim, or an error caused by the simplified western border of the U.S.S.R. is not clear. What is clear is that the area marked in red in Finland is much greater than that agreed to in the Treaty of Turku in 1921.

SCN 379

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