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Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 13.1 million. A state in northern India created by the merger of 18 Rajput states, several of which had hitherto issued their own stamps.
Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 206,086. A former feudatory state in western India.
Ras al Khaima (1964-72)
Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A sheikhdom in the Trucial States, in eastern Arabia, bordering on the Persian Gulf. Under British protection from 1892-1971, Ras al Khaima joined the United Arab Emirates in 1972. Ras al Khaima was one of the Trucial States, which during 1964-71 issued a large number of stamps, designed for and marketed to stamp collectors.
Raseiniai (Rossingen) (1919, 1941)
Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A city in central Lithuania. A local stamp was issued by the municipal authorities in January 1919. For a period after the city's occupation by Germany in June 1941, 11 overprinted Russian stamps were used.
Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 0. A steep, guano-covered rock one-half mile square in the eastern Caribbean between Montserrat and Nevis, owned by Antigua. Antiguan stamps overprinted "REDONDA" were introduced in 1979, with purpose-designed issues on a variety of popular topics following later that year. These were postally valid on Antigua, since Redonda has neither postal service nor inhabitants.
Stamp-issuing status: inactive. Two cities in the Sudetenland (Czechoslovakia). In 1938 they overprinted 147 Czechoslovakian stamps to commemorate union with Germany.
Reunion (1852, 1885-1974)
Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 490,000 (1974 estimate). An island in the Indian Ocean. Reunion was a French colony from the 17th century until 1947, when it became an integral part of France. On Jan. 1, 1975, Reunion's stamps were replaced by those of France.
Rhine Palatinate (1947-49)
Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A district of western Germany occupied by France after World War II.
Stamp-issuing status: inactive. The area of Germany lying west of the Rhine River. After World War I, France attempted to establish a satellite state in the region, which contained rich mineral deposits and much of Germany's heavy industry. An abortive Rhineland Republic (October 1923-January 1924) produced a number of overprints on contemporary German issues.
Stamp-issuing status: inactive. The largest of the Dodecanese Islands in the eastern Aegean Sea. The center of a prehistoric civilization from c. 3500 B.C., Rhodes' strategic position in the eastern Mediterranean area brought many foreign masters, including the Greeks, Romans, Arabs, Crusaders and, after 1522, the Turks. In 1912, Rhodes was obtained from Turkey by Italy, and Italian stamps overprinted "Rodi" were issued. Rhodes continued to issue its own stamps, which were used throughout the Dodecanese Islands concurrently with the general issues of the Aegean Islands. During 1943-45, Rhodes was occupied by the Germans. Occupied by British forces in 1945, Rhodes, along with the rest of the island group, was annexed to Greece in 1947.
Rhodesia (1890-1924, 1965-78)
Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 10 million (1978 estimate). Rhodesia was a former British administrative unit in southeastern Africa. The area was under the British South Africa Co. until 1924, when Rhodesia was divided into Northern Rhodesia and Southern Rhodesia, under direct British rule. During 1953-63, these two colonies were united with the Nyasaland Protectorate to form the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland. With the dissolution of the federation, the three colonies were again separated. Northern Rhodesia became independent as Zambia in 1964, and in 1965, Southern Rhodesia assumed the name Rhodesia and declared its independence from Great Britain. Rhodesia became Zimbabwe on Dec. 31, 1978.
Rhodesia and Nyasaland (1954-63)
Stamp-issuing status: inactive; 8.51 million (1961 estimate). A former federation comprising the British territories of Northern Rhodesia, Southern Rhodesia and Nyasaland in southeast Africa.
Rio de Oro (1905-24)
Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 24,000 (1922 estimate). A former Spanish colony on the northwest coast of Africa. Rio de Oro was incorporated into the Spanish Sahara in 1924.
Rio Muni (1960-68)
Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 185,000 (1968 estimate). Former Spanish colony on the Gulf of Guinea, bordering on Cameroon and Gabon. Rio Muni was claimed by Spain in 1885 and formed part of Spanish Guinea from 1909 to 1959. In 1959 it became an overseas province of Spain. In 1968 it merged with Fernando Po to form the independent Republic of Equatorial Guinea.
Riouw Archipelago (1954-60)
Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A group of islands in Indonesia, south of Singapore. Because of differing rates of exchange between the currency used in the islands with that used in the rest of Indonesia, 41 Dutch Indies and Indonesian stamps were overprinted for use in the area.
Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A Turkish port on the Black Sea. After 1909, nine stamps of the Russian Levant overprinted "Rizeh" were used by the Russian postal service in the city.
Rokiskis (Rakischki) (1941)
Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A city in Lithuania. Seven overprinted Russian stamps were issued by the German military authorities after Rokiskis' occupation in June 1941.
Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 1,341,091 (1853 estimate). A territory in north-central Italy, under papal rule after 1503. In 1859 a provisional government replaced the papal authorities, and in 1860 Romagna was annexed to the Kingdom of Sardinia.
Roman States (1852-70)
Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 3.12 million (1853 estimate). The greater part of central Italy, over which the pope acted as temporal and religious ruler. During 1859-61, most of the area joined Sardinia. The districts around Rome remained under papal control, which was maintained by French troops. In 1870, the French withdrew, and Italy absorbed the remaining papal territory, except for the enclave of Vatican City.
Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 21,399,114 (1997 est.). A republic in southeastern Europe, bordering on the Danube River and the Black Sea. Under Turkish rule since the 15th century, Romania was formed from the union of the principalities of Wallachia and Moldavia in 1861, under Ottoman suzerainty. In 1878, as a result of the Russo-Turkish war, Romania became independent. Although ruled by a Hohenzollern dynasty, related to the ruling family of Germany, Romania did not enter World War I until August 1916, and then joined the Allies. After initial successes, Romanian forces were routed, and by January 1917 almost all of the country had been overrun by Germany, Austria and Bulgaria. Romania enjoyed considerably greater military success after the armistice, overrunning a large part of Hungary and occupying territories from Austria, Russia and Bulgaria. By the final peace (1920), Romania doubled in size. During the 1930s, the Iron Guard, a Romanian fascist movement, gained control of the government, and in 1941, Romania entered World War II as an ally of Germany. In 1944, the regime was overthrown by King Michael, with Soviet support, and Romania joined the Allies. Soviet troops occupied the country after World War II, forcing Michael to abdicate and establishing the people's republic on Dec. 30, 1947. From the 1950s, Romania pursued an increasingly independent foreign policy. In 1959, Soviet troops were refused entry into the country, and during the 1960s, political ties were strengthened with China, Israel and the West. From 1965 to 1989, Romania was ruled by Nikolae Ceausescu, whose repressive and sometimes bizarre regime finally provoked a popular uprising in December 1989. Ceasescu and his wife were tried and executed. In May 1990, the provisional government was replaced by elected representatives. Romania has made the transition to democratic government but is proceeding slowly in transforming its economy to a free market model, as it attempts to balance reform with social stability.
Romanian Offices in Turkey (1896-1914, 1919)
Stamp-issuing status: inactive. During 1896-1919, Romania maintained a post office in Constantinople, surcharging or overprinting 11 regular issues for use there.
Ross Dependency (1957-87)
Stamp-issuing status: inactive. The sector of Antarctica under New Zealand administration. New Zealand closed its post office there and withdrew Ross Dependency stamps from sale at the end of 1987.
Rouad, Ile (1916-20)
Stamp-issuing status: inactive. An island in the Mediterranean, off the coast of Latakia. Ile Rouad was occupied by the French from Turkey in 1916, after which stamps of the French offices in Levant were overprinted "Ile Rouad." The area was attached to Syria in 1920.
Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 4.7 million (1958 estimate). Two areas of central Africa, between Zaire and Tanzania. Formerly part of German East Africa, they were occupied by Belgian Congo forces during World War I and subsequently were administered by Belgium under a League of Nations (later U.N.) mandate. They became independent in 1962 as the Republic of Rwanda and the Kingdom of Burundi.
Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A city in the Sudetenland (Czechoslovakia). Municipal authorities overprinted Czechoslovakian stamps to commemorate the union with Germany.
Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 147,987,101 (1997 estimate). A country comprising the greater portion of eastern Europe and northern Asia. The northern and central portions of European Russia was ruled by Norse dynasties until the Mongol conquest in the 13th century. The southern areas were ruled by a succession of Central Asian peoples. After the 16th century, Muscovy (Moscow) became the center of a resurgent Russian state, which for several hundred years steadily expanded its borders. A major European power after 1700, Russian strength deteriorated in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Mounting frustrations with the autocratic rule of the tsars and military defeats in World War I brought the fall of the monarchy in March 1917. In November, the liberal Kerensky regime was overthrown by the Bolsheviks (communists) who made peace with Germany and began expanding their power. Anti-Bolshevik forces (the "White Russians") quickly formed throughout the country. White Russian regimes were established in western and southern Russia and throughout Siberia. Bolshevik control was limited to northern and central Europe and Russia. Britain, France, Japan and the United States became involved in the civil war, but the inability of the various White Russian governments to cooperate with each other, or to meet the legitimate needs of the people, made it possible for the Bolshevik Red Army to have generally established Soviet authority by the end of 1920. During the Civil War, these warring governments, along with many municipalities, issued distinctive stamps. During 1920-23, the government consolidated its position. Although a number of border provinces (Poland, Finland, the Baltic States and Bessarabia) were lost, the newly formed Union of Soviet Socialist Republics included almost all of the territory of the old empire. Lenin's death in 1924 precipitated a power struggle within the communist leadership, with Josef Stalin ultimately emerging as the absolute ruler of the country. During the 1920s and early 1930s, Stalin exiled his opponents within the party. From the mid-1930s through 1953, he purged any suspected opposition through show trials and executions. Millions of Russians died. Following World War I, when both Germany and Russia were ostracized by the powers, the two countries worked closely and secretly, the Russians supplying Germany with armaments forbidden by the Treaty of Versailles, while German officers trained the Red Army. Alarmed by the German threat after Hitler's rise to power, the Soviet Union at first attempted to take a strong stand against German expansionism in the 1930s. By 1938, however, Russia was convinced that the Allies would not fight, and in 1939 the Soviet-German Non-Aggression Pact was signed. A few months later, Germany invaded Poland, while the Soviets occupied southern Poland, the Baltic States and Bessarabia. In 1941, Germany attacked Russia, and the Soviet Union joined the Allies. At first successful, the Germans were pushed back after the end of 1942, and during 1944-45, Soviet forces occupied most of Eastern Europe. With the peace, the Soviets retained their 1939-40 acquisitions, and Soviet troops forced the establishment of satellite regimes in the rest of the region during 1945-48. After World War II, the Soviet Union concentrated on economic and military development. It exercised an aggressive foreign policy and focused its energies on developing a modern industrial base. After 1956, the brutal policies of Stalin were officially denounced, and under his successor, Nikita Khrushchev, the government was less harsh. Khrushchev was himself deposed in 1964, and his successors were more rigid and totalitarian. Increasingly, though, the Soviet system began to show strain. During the 1980s, an unsuccessful and unpopular intervention in Afghanistan, the inability of a Second World economy to support a First World military machine, and the great and growing gap in standards of living between Western and communist societies undermined the Soviet regime. In 1985 Mikhail Gorbachev, a younger and more liberal communist, became premier. He quickly set about liberalizing the party and the government, hoping to transform the rigid Soviet state along more liberal and flexible lines. Ironically, his goal was to create the sort of humanistic communism that had been attempted by Czechoslovakia in 1968, an experiment that had been cut short by Soviet tanks. In any case, the party soon split between reactionary elements, alarmed by the prospect of loosening government control, and a radical wing, led by Boris Yeltsin, which urged faster reform. Yeltsin's group resigned from the party in 1991 and in July of that year, Yeltsin was elected Russian president. An attempted coup by communist hard-liners in the following month was unsuccessful and discredited the party. Gorbachev resigned as general-secretary of the Communist Party and recommended that its Central Committee be disbanded. Yeltsin had led resistance to the plotters and emerged a national hero. He initiated the creation of the Commonwealth of Independent States, which effectively dissolved the Soviet Union. In 1992 he launched a program to rapidly privatize the Russian economy and pushed through a new constitution to remove the last traces of the Soviet system. With the support of the military, he overcame armed resistance by supporters of the old legislature. Russia is struggling to emerge from the effects of decades of Soviet rule. It has enormous natural resources and a highly educated populace but lacks the basic economic infrastructure and experience to move easily into a free market system. This has resulted in wrenching economic adjustments for the average Russian, while a small number of entrepreneurs, mafiosi and former Soviet officials have become quite wealthy from the dispersal of state assets. Opponents of reform range from unredeemed communists, eager to restore the old system, to reactionary right-wing parties, whose politics would be at home in pre-revolutionary tsarist Russia. While the government, directed by a sometimes ineffective and unpopular Yeltsin, remains committed to maintaining democracy and creating a free-market economy, the political situation in Russia remains unstable.
Russia — Army of the Northwest (1919)
Stamp-issuing status: inactive. Overprinted Russian stamps were used briefly in 1919 by Gen. Nicolai N. Yudenich's White Russian Army operating in the Baltic area, southwest of Leningrad.
Russian Company for Steam Shipping and Trade (Ropit) (1865-68)
Stamp-issuing status: inactive. The offices of this private company were used as postal branches under agreement with the Russian government. The company issued several stamps for this service, which were supplanted by official issues for the Russian Levant in May 1868. In 1918, a number of the company's agencies in the Turkish Empire were reopened. Anticipating the revival of business following World War I, ROPIT overprinted its stocks of Russian Levant stamps with its initials and new values. The collapse of Gen. Denikin's South Russian government, however, brought the closing of the agencies, and the overprinted stamps were never placed in use.
Russian Offices in China (1899-1920)
Stamp-issuing status: inactive. During 1899-1920, Russia maintained post offices in a number of Chinese cities. Russian stamps overprinted "China" in Russian or surcharged in cents and dollars were used for these post offices.
Russian Offices in the Turkish Empire (1863-1923)
Stamp-issuing status: inactive. Russia, along with many other European nations, maintained post offices in the Ottoman Empire until the Treaty of Lausanne (1923) abolished their extraterritorial postal privileges.
Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 7,737,537 (1997 estimate). A republic in East Africa. Until 1916, part of German East Africa, Rwanda, along with Burundi, was administered by Belgium under a League of Nations (later U.N.) mandate as the Trust Territory of Ruanda-Urundi. For centuries, Rwanda was a monarchy, in which the majority Hutu tribe, comprising 80% of the population was ruled by the minority Tutsi tribe. In 1959 the Tutsi king was overthrown in a Hutu uprising, and 1961 referendum under United Nations' auspices established a republic, controlled by the Hutu party. On July 1, 1962, Rwanda became independent. In 1990 rebel Tutsi forces invaded from Uganda, igniting a civil war that lasted until 1992. In 1994 the death of the Hutu president in a plane crash, widely believed to have been engineered by Tutsis in the military, provoked a bloody anti-Tutsi pogrom by the Hutu regime, in which hundreds of thousands of Tutsis and moderate Hutus were killed. Rebel Tutsi forces retaliated, driving the Hutu government, and some 1.7 million refugees, across the border into Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of Congo). The civil war lasted through 1995, but in 1996 efforts began to repatriate refugees. The effort continues, as Rwanda attempts to repair the devastation of the conflict.
Ryukyu Islands (1947-72)
Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 950,000 (1972 estimate). A chain of islands located between Japan and Taiwan, the Ryukyus were under Japanese rule until 1945, when they were occupied by the United States after one of the bloodiest campaigns in the Pacific Theater of World War II. They remained under U.S. administration until May 15, 1972, when they reverted to Japan. Japanese stamps, overprinted by local postmasters, and one crudely printed provisional were used until 1948, when the occupation authorities began issuing stamps for general use. Since the return of the islands to Japan, regular Japanese stamps have been in use.
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