Rise and Fall of the USSR 15 Banknote Folio


This collection includes the first full-size issues of all 15 former members of the Soviet Union.

No country suffered more losses in the Second World War than the Soviet Union. The number of war dead
is estimated at a staggering 24 million—some 14 percent of the pre-war population. The material losses were
just as horrific. But for all this devastation, the Soviet Union somehow emerged from World War II as the
most dominant force in continental Europe—one of two superpowers that dominated the world stage in the
second half of the 20th Century.
The 1939 Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact with Nazi Germany had allowed Soviet spheres of influence in Romania,
Poland, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, and Finland. Soon after, the Soviets had occupied Eastern Poland and
the Baltic states. Despite the mass destruction during and immediately after the war, Stalin managed to
consolidate power, as the U.S., Great Britain, and the other Allied powers had no desire to make war on the
USSR. From 1945 and 1949, East Germany, Bulgaria, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Poland, Romania, and
Albania all became Soviet satellite states. It was, in Winston Churchill’s famous phrase, as if an “iron
curtain” had been drawn across that part of the continent.
Thus began the Cold War, when the USSR and its Warsaw Pact affiliates vied for global supremacy against
the United States and its NATO allies. With both sides capable of wiping each other out—and destroying the
world in the process—neither were inclined to push the button. This concept of mutually assured
destruction, or MAD, prompted both governments to adopt different, more subtle means of warfare. The
U.S.A. and the U.S.S.R. never joined in battle like, say, Rome and Persia did. Instead, they fought each other
through contained proxy wars and covert operations. In places like Korea, Vietnam, and Afghanistan,
Marxist/ Communist governments aligned with Russia fought bloody civil wars against Western-backed procapitalist
(and often Fascist) regimes. The two sides competed for technological superiority. The Soviets
launched Sputnik 1, the first satellite, in 1957, an event met with near-hysteria in the United States. The
Americans ramped up their own space program, creating NASA and investing heavily in research and
development. J ust 12 years after Sputnik, the US landed a man on the moon.
Meanwhile, all around the world, the CIA, the KGB, and their affiliated agencies worked through sabotage,
propaganda, and, sometimes, assassination. One of the most famous of these operations, the botched Bay of
Pigs invasion, was launched in 1961. In that same year, the Berlin Wall was built, and J ohn F. Kennedy
became president.

In the four-and-a-half decades between the end of the Second World War and the collapse of the Soviet
Union, there were a number of revolts against authoritarian rule: the Tito-Stalin split in Yugoslavia in ’48,
East Germany in ‘53, the Hungarian Revolution of ’56, Prague Spring in ’68. The Solidarity movement in
This collection
includes the
first full-size
issues of all 15
members of
the Soviet
Poland in 1989 comprised the first real crack in the Iron Curtain. The Berlin Wall fell later that year, and
then, one by one, the nations of Eastern Europe began to break free.
On Christmas Day, 1991, the Soviet Union itself officially collapsed, ending the Cold War. One “Union” of
Soviet Socialist Republics was now 15 independent nations: the Baltic states of Latvia, Lithuania, and
Estonia; the Eastern European countries of Belarus, Moldova, and Ukraine; Armenia, Azerbaijan, and
Georgia, in the Caucasus; the sprawling Central Asian nations of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan,
Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan; and Russia itself.

The notes :
1. Armenia │25 Dram
Obv: Frieze with lion from Erebuni castle │Rev: Arched ornament
Dimensions: 126 x 62 mm

2. Azerbaijan │250 Manat
Obv: Building and value │Rev: Alerbay Can Millibanki
Dimensions: 125 x 63 mm

3. Belarus │ 25 Rublei
Obv: Warrior wielding sword on horseback │Rev: Moose
Dimensions: 116 x 54 mm

4 . Estonia │ 10 Krooni
Obv: J . Hurt at center, arms at upper right, ascending serial number
at right│Rev: Tree
Dimensions: 140 x 69 mm

5. Georgia │ 500 Laris
Obv: View of Tbilisi with statue at center right │Rev: Cave dwellings
Dimensions: 105 x 54 mm

6 . Kazakhstan │ 1 Tyin
Obv: Ornate denomination in circle │Rev: Circular arms
Dimensions: 102 x 66 mm

7. Kyrgyzstan │ 1 Tyiyn
Obv: Bald eagle │Rev: Ornate design
Dimensions: 90 x 71 mm

8 . Latvia │ 10 Rubli  Obv: Value │Rev: Denomination within symmetrical design
Dimensions: 120 x 60 mm

9 . Lithuania │ 3 Talonu
Obv: Numeral with juniper branch │Rev: Two grey herons
Dimensions: 121 x 77 mm

10 . Moldova │ 1 Leu
Obv: King Stefan │Rev: Monastery at Capriana
Dimensions: 114 x 58.5 mm

11. Russia │ 5 Rubles
Obv: Kremlin Spasski Tower │Rev: Value
Dimensions: 114 x 58 mm

12. Tadjikistan │ 1 Ruble
Obv: Arms │Rev: Majlisi – Parliament
Dimensions: 102 x 55 mm

13. Tu rkm en is tan │5 Manat
Obv: Building, Value │Rev: Building
Dimensions: 126.5 x 63 mm

14 . Ukraine │ 1 Karbovanet
Obv: Viking sister, value │Rev: Cathedral of St. Sophia In Kiev
Dimensions: 105.5 x 54 mm

15. Uzbekistan │ 1 Sum │ P61
Obv: Arms │Rev: Mosque
Dimensions: 121 x 61.5 mm



Rise and Fall of the USSR 15 Banknote Folio
  • Weight/Dimensions: 494.4 g (1.09 lb) | 9 x 6.25 x 1

Additional information

Weight 17.5 oz
Dimensions 9 x 6.25 x 1 in


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