Contemporary Russian banknotes

Following the disappearance of the USSR in December 1991 and the advent of the Russian Federation, new banknotes gradually replaced the old Soviet banknotes. A first ruble currency of post-Soviet Russia circulated from 1991 to 1998. However, the old currency continued to circulate jointly with the new Russian ruble (1) until September 1993 with banknotes issued by the State Bank of the USSR in 1992. The central bank of the Russian Federation launched a first issue in 1992 with two banknotes of 5,000 rubles and 10,000 rubles. Then in 1993, a second issue was put into circulation with 7 banknotes of 100, 200, 500, 1,000, 5,000, 10,000 and 50,000 rubles.

Two years later, in 1995, the Russian institute issued a third series of 6 banknotes with even higher values, including a 100,000 rubles and a 500,000 rubles. However, this new issue cannot prevent the Russian currency from weakening and suffering a strong depreciation, especially at the time of the Russian financial crisis of 1998. The currency is then replaced by a new ruble at the rate of 1000 to 1. The central bank then relaunched a fourth issue by reusing all the banknotes issued in 1995 except the 1000 rubles!


Above: reverse side of the 500 rubles type 1997 issued in 2010 (Pick: # 271d). Dimensions: 150 x 65 mm. This note is known with two differents back (see Pick: # 271).

In the 10 years that followed, the exchange rate of the ruble remained stable against the dollar and the euro, before starting a sharp depreciation at the beginning of 2009 (going from 26 to 32 RUB / USD), a consequence of the economic crisis and the fall in hydrocarbon prices, of which Russia is one of the main exporters. On July 1, 2006, following the removal of the last restrictions linked to exchange and capital movements, the ruble becomes a fully convertible currency (2).


(1) The Russian ruble (in Russian: российский рубль) has been the currency unit of the Russian Federation since January 1, 1993. Its symbol became official on December 11, 2013. It is divided into 100 kopecks (source: Wikipedia).
(2) “The Russian Ruble”, Wikipedia.

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