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Baltic States independence,10th anniversary, Aug 23, 2001

(Sorry to say that all the links are broken, but the information is excellent!)

Posted by sveiki! (36) star about me on Aug-23-01 at 17:52:43 PDT Auctions

As promised yesterday I would like to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the de jure independence of the Baltic countries (August 23, 1991) by showing some covers from the early stage of de facto independence. The covers chosen for this post are all from Latvia.

Due to glasnost and perestroyka (equality and reconstruction), the three Baltic Soviet republics 1990 held referendums whether to become independent from the Soviet Union or not. The referendums were promised the Baltic nations after two years with the Singing Revolution, where people peacefully joined hands making long chains of people and sung previously forbidden national songs. The Gorbachov administration had untied the knot of 50 years with communism in the Baltic's.

The de facto declaration of independence for Latvia was made May 4, 1990. This stationery commemorates the referendum day and the de facto day of independence - from this day the people of Latvia considered themselves as independent from the Soviet Union, contrary to the opinion of the Supreme Council at the Kremlin in Moscow.
The stationery linked to was the very first postal sign of the new Latvian independence. It is not written anywhere on the cover, but face value was 5 kopecks and the cover was properly sent without additional postage to Estonia December 21, 1990 - when the political situation was still in limbo. Another stationery was supposedly also issued 1990. This provoked cover is the only one of this stationery I've ever seen used - the 5 kopecks face value of the stationery is simply ignored.
Another typical sign of aspiring postal independence is the changing of postmarks. This cover has the new Latvian type postmark with all text in Latin letters. It is the earliest usage I know of November 30, 1990.

January 1991 the situation in the Baltic's got tense when Gorbachov supposedly didn't *he he* order the special forces of the ministry of the interior to attack the crowds barricading vital communication centres such as radio and TV stations. A few people were killed by bullets or squashed under tanks, when the OMON forces under cover of the Gulfwar wanted to take some action against the unruly Baltic republics. The international interest for the Baltic's was still intense though, and the media's were present in the Baltic's to give the rest of the World fast updates on the situation - the OMON forces had to retire and the spirit of the Baltic peoples won. This cover shows the participation of the Latvians living abroad. A cover sent March 25, 1991 within France from one Latvian to another with a cinderella attached.

May 1991 the aspiring Latvian postal service officially issued four new covers with imprinted stamps. August 1991 the coup d'état against Gorbachov was orchestrated and failed miserably and August 23, 1991 the Baltic countries de jure was recognised by the Soviet Union as independent states. The Soviet Union seized to exist December 31, 1991.

This is a registered cover sent November 27, 1991 within Latvia. There are three ways of postage present: 5 kopecks as printed on the Soviet stationery, a 5 kopecks Soviet postage stamp and the 10 kopecks Latvian postage stamp from the first stamp issue since independence. This cover was sent few days before the Latvian postal service had to raise their postage rates to oppose a very new phenomenon in post Soviet life - inflation. This AR (Return receipt) registered cover to the US has a very interesting combination of postage: 50 kopecks stamp imprinted to the stationery, 100 kopecks of provisional rubber stamp upfranking the cover to international airmail delivery, two 50 kopecks postage stamps of the third stamp issue to cover registration fee, finally a 300 kopecks surcharge on Soviet stamp to cover the return receipt. The cover was returned and there is a red US postmark on the back and the original red international return receipt.


Posted by jaywild (252) star on Aug-23-01 at 18:12:59 PDT Auctions

sveiki!... Congrats on the anniversary of such a memorable occasion!


Posted by samples (544) star about me on Aug-23-01 at 18:16:57 PDT Auctions

Would you have any interest in a very recent Lithuania (registered) cover? At the basic Stamp Chat rate of Free to a Good Home?

Posted by sveiki! (36) star about me on Aug-23-01 at 18:22:50 PDT Auctions

jaywild Thanks! {:o) samples Oops, well yes, I'm a sucker for covers from the Baltics, nomatter how young... *he he* {:o)

Off to bed now, it's veeeeery late (or early) over here. {:O)

Posted by sveiki! (36) star about me on Aug-23-01 at 18:23:29 PDT Auctions

Geez, what happened to my nose? {;o)

Posted by ddetr (308) star about me on Aug-23-01 at 18:31:27 PDT Auctions

Paul That showing of Latvian covers was magnificent. It clearly shows the political and economic circumstances through philately. For those looking for mixed franking there are some very nice items as well. To top it all off we know the great personal meaning this all has to you.

David Detrich

Posted by ddetr (308) star on Aug-23-01 at 18:39:16 PDT Auctions

I last looked at the board around noon and signed back on not expecting to have to read almost the entire board. But after reading the trashing of a certain seller (with probably good reason) and then a discussion of computer games (how does one ever find the time to play them?), I found the time spent in reading the board amply rewarded with "Sveki!"'s Latvian post.

David Detrich

2001  Off topic: computer games        1.4.  The good, the bad and the ugly on the chat board        2001  When ...... broke the board