New Ideas For Sending To Russia

Friday, May 24, 2024 - 18:29 (UTC -5)

Hello, All!

I receive cards from Russia all the time.

I’d like to be able to send to Russia, “officially” and “unofficially” again.

I’ve been thinking about this but haven’t completely figured it out. But I have some ideas that I’d like to run by everyone and maybe we can figure this out together. And get an “official” Postcrossing solution that Paulo can approve of and get us all moving again.

Leave aside anything related to the war. Here in Postcrossing, at the individual human person level, NOT all our governments, I say we’re about Peace, Love, and the Brotherhood of Man (love those 1960s?). Sending a postcard to Russia doesn’t mean you approve of anything their government is doing or not doing. Sending a postcard to the USA doesn’t mean you approve of anything our government is doing or not doing. Likewise for any other country you can name. At the human being level, sending a postcard is not a political act in support of or disapproval of any government’s policies.

I’m here in the USA, one of many countries that the Postal Monitor shows as not sending to Russia now.

To all our Russian Postcrossers: Vnimaniye, Baby! (That’s Achtung, Baby! for the rest of us - ha!) We may need your help most of all for your language and local knowledge skills. Thanks in advance.

First, somebody needs to find out if mailing a letter to a Russian Embassy is verboten from all the countries on the Postal Monitor Russia Reject List.

Why think about this? Well, generally, embassies are considered the sovereign territory of the “mission” country, NOT the host country. Effectively, it’s part of Russia. So maybe the postal services of the no-send list will also not send to their embassies. Or maybe they will. The addresses of the embassies are in the local countries.

Check this out => https://turkey.mid.ru/en/

I’m hoping that the only thing the postal services (both people and machines) are going to notice is the destination COUNTRY. If that’s the case, then we’re starting to cook with gas (sorry for the idiomatic expressions, but that’s what you get with a native American English speaker!).

I did some checking today about non-stop flights to and from Moscow. Yeah, I know. Russia is a large country. But once we could get a postcard or letter to Moscow, they’ll get it everywhere else.

There are regular non-stop flights to Moscow from Istanbul, Doha, Dubai, and Beijing. I’m thinking we should consider the cities closer to Moscow.

Now, Russia has money. Think oil and natural gas. Russia also has lots of oligarchs.

We need to get a congenial Russian Embassy (preferably) or Russian Consulate General in Ankara/Istanbul, Doha, or Dubai to appoint/assign someone there to be their Postcrossing Liaison Officer or some other nice-sounding diplomatic title.

Postcrossing would then allow Russian addresses to be drawn in those countries not now allowed. We (Senders) would fill out the postcards as always BUT NOT PUT ANY POSTAGE STAMPS ON THE POSTCARDS AT ALL.

Instead, we would mail the postcard IN AN ENVELOPE to the Postcrossing Liaison Officer, Russian Embassy, Ankara, Türkiye. When it arrives there, the Postcrossing Liaison Officer will affix international Turkish postcard postage to the postcard and mail it in the regular outgoing mail of the embassy.

Who will pay for the postage? The Russian Government will be happy to do it. Somebody want to send an email to Foreign Minister Lavrov for us? If not, maybe Aleksandr Oligarko. (!) Or whoever. It’s a public relations coup to facilitate this. If the Russian Government won’t do it, maybe some oligarch or Russian charitable foundation or media network will pay for it (a storefront office/mail drop, a part-time staffer, postage). Small change to these guys.

By asking for help from an embassy in a capital city with frequent non-stop flights to Moscow, our mail will get into the capital and then routed throughout the country directly.

Why should Russian Postcrossers have all the fun? If I get another postcard “From Russia With Love” that I can’t reply “To Russia With Love”, I’m going to smash my balalaika over my samovar while singing songs from “West Side Story” in a high falsetto with tears streaming down my cheeks (“Somewhere, there’s a plaaace for us!)”. How do you spell “International Diplomatic Incident”?

А пока до свидания, товарищ Посткроссер.

A poka do svidaniya, tovarishch Postkrosser.

Goodbye for now, Comrade Postcrosser.

Michael

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An interesting idea @AMDGIHS2019.
You are asking a lot of others, none of whom are Postcrossers.
You are also asking a lot of Admin to rejig the random address systems for an accommodation. I wonder if they would want to make such unique accommodations for every unique challenge that pops up with interrupted mail service?
There are many countries for which there is postal disruption. Canada does not send mail to 12 countries. The US doesn’t send mail to 10 countries. Are you also advocating for accommodations for all of these situations? And what of the logistics?
Sorry … so many questions to raise valid points about the expectations that come with the idea; particularly, asking many others to follow through with it.
A reminder of the ‘mission’ of Postcrossing, from Postcrossing’s Community Guidelines: “The goal of Postcrossing is to connect the world via real mail, by allowing you to exchange postcards with other random members around the world.”
A final inquiry: have you considered reaching out to Postcrossers to help you facilitate card exchanges where regular mail does not travel? You might also find some luck by reaching out directly via the Russian “language” page.

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Friday, May 24, 2024 - 19:42 (UTC -5)

Hi, Helen:

Good to hear from you.

No, I’m only looking to get Russia back into the regular “official” Postcrossing “Send To” stream. I’m thinking they’re too large a part of Postcrossing to be left out. While our governments may have their reasons for excluding other countries on those lists, Russia is the big missing piece. Finding a solution to the Russia Problem may help here => Postcards statistics.

There are all kinds of reasons that the total number of postcards sent “officially” through Postcrossing is in long-term secular decline. The simple chart of the stat page shows ongoing lower highs and lower lows. I’m not privy to PC Admin’s data, but I have to think that the loss of “Send To” Russia contributes somehow to that.

I don’t know what kind of work it will take from PC Admin to “turn on” Sending to Russia. I wouldn’t think it would be a lot. But who knows? Maybe that work is worth the gain.

Let’s see.

Michael

They’re not left out though, most countries who have active members can still send to Russia, including Germany. The only big Postcrossing countries that don’t send to Russia seem to be Finland and the US.

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I’m a bit confused, then, Michael, as the idea includes involving embassies and oligarchs and Russian charities or storefronts, and, of course, the generosity of the Russian government. Maybe you are tongue-in-cheek, and I don’t get this? If so, I suspect those for whom English is not their first language might also not get it.
If you are serious, then again I suggest that you are asking a lot of people to step in to facilitate mail service, at their own cost, using their own resources, and without profit or benefit … all for us postcard-loving hobbyists.

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Please consider that the Postal Monitor shows 61 countries not sending to Russia.

Included are 6 countries in the top 20 as follows:

2 - USA
5 - Finland
10 - Japan
11 - Poland
15 - Canada
16 - Australia

Two other European countries of note are 37 - Ireland and 42 - Romania.

My impression is a lot of “Sending” power is being re-directed.

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Japan can’t send to Russia either. Japan Post has strict regulations, and currently, we’re unable to send mail to 42 countries in total :tired_face:

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Yes, that’s exactly what I’m suggesting and not tongue in cheek.

This kind of thing happens all the time (mail collection and forwarding) for nominal cost all over the world. For example, there’s an outfit in Florida called “American Home Base”, Check them out at => https://www.amhomebase.com/ If you’re a nomad (RV, sailboat, etc.), they’re your guys. (I was a happy customer years ago and I don’t get a commission for telling you about them.)

I appreciate that there are costs and some effort for this, but I’m not asking you, me, or others in Postcrossing to help us with this. I’m asking Russian institutional actors to consider facilitating the mailing of postcards into Russia. If nobody wants to do it, well, so be it. But at least I’ll have tried. I want Postcrossing to prosper and endure and I’m hoping that a little idea like this will contribute to that.

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Just send directly from USA. Check out my experiments here: Experiment: Delivery Times from USA to Russia via intermediary methods

I believe the stance postcrossing has taken is the standard relative to what official postal services communicate. It’s probably best to universally follow this standard rather than speculate, despite overwhelming anecdotal evidence that USPS isn’t enforcing the suspension.

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Good luck with your enterprise Michael. I’ll remain curious to see the outcome.

Thanks, Ryan, for your Topic. I searched the Forum before posting my Topic, but I didn’t see yours in the search results.

In any event, I’d like to see Postcrossing “officially” put Russia back into the Send stream. That’s what I’m really trying to see happen again.

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Sure Michael. I edited my response after I read more into the entire thread. I jumped the gun!

Minor correction. Although there are regular non-stop flights from Doha to Moscow, our Postal Monitor list contains Qatar as a country not sending mail to Russia now.

Personally I believe in obeying post office rules. (I use real, not counterfeit stamps. I use the correct amount. I fill out a customs form honestly.)
I’m not sending cards to any place not permitted. When the war ends and the ban is lifted I will happily send as many as I can to the impacted places

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Well, they’re still not left out.

Since 21st February 2022, 940 267 cards have been sent by Russian Postcrossers and 944 873 have been received.

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Oh, now I understand what you’re saying. Russians are certainly still participating in Postcrossing.

Can you tell if their total cards are trending lower since February, 2022?

What I’m saying is that I can’t Send to them “officially” (and neither can 61 other countries). I’d like to see that changed, if possible.

I’m sure you can, but I don’t know how. I used the Wayback Machine to find the numbers. But if you devided the numbers from late February 2022 by the 17 years Postcrossing had existed at that point, you get about 450000 a year, so the volume is probably a little lower now than it was then, since the early years of Postcrossing can’t be compared with the later years. But I should think the dip is very big, since Russia has never been suspended entirely, like China was, and addresses will be given to those of us who can send to them.

My viewpoint mirrors that of @Izzy2018. When the warring parties and their allies finally settle matters and suspensions are lifted, that will be the time to send postcard swaps to my valued traders in the Russian Federation and Belarus.

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TBH I don’t think there is any way to bring Russia back into the regular “official” Postcrossing.

We can use this “sending via 3rd country” trick for direct swaps but globally speaking this matter is too complicated, there is no easy solution

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This is my opinion, too.

And German postcrossers (and of course serveral other countries, too) are sending lots of postcards to Russia, so they get their postcards - just not from every country at the moment.
And in several RRs there are people who accept postcards to Russian postcrossers in an envelope to send them with the correct national postage to Russia. (Same for other countries who can’t send directly to each other.)

I’m not sure if this thread is suitable to this community when it comes to Write another country under the address of the receiver and let the postal service of this country deal with it. This is fraud because you don’t pay for this service and no postal service has to forward these.

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