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The postage stamp idea had already swept much of the world when, in September 1856, the Russian authorities decided to follow suit.
The first Russian postal stamp was issued on December 10, 1857 by the circular of the Postal Department "On the bringing of postal stamps for the common use" with the following content: "Starting from the 1st January of the next year 1858 ordinary private letters to all the places of the Empire, the Kingdom of Poland, the Grand Duchy of Finland brought to the post in ordinary envelopes or without envelope at all just with addresses written on the letter itself should be sent only with the stamp corresponding to the letter weight". The first stamps went on sale on 10 December 1857, but officially people started to use stamps to pay internal correspondence in Russia from January 1, 1858 (from March 1, 1858 in the Caucasus, Transcaucasia, and Siberia). Since this time all private letters have been sent only with postage stamps that were cancelled with two crossed lines.
Since the supply of postmarks to the numerous post offices took a while, the Postal Department ordered that stamps be cancelled with pen and ink, following the example of cancelling postal stationery envelopes.