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How did the capital issue its paper money before the state itself started issuing paper money

'Baku rubles' - is it a slang of the new Russians from the dashing 1990s or a real historical phenomenon?

When in Alexey Balabanov's film 'blind man's buff' bandit Simon, played by Dmitry Dyuzhev, offers a medical student Baku rubles as payment for the operation to extract the bullet of the bandit Eggplant from the body of the bandit Seryozha, he was referring to American dollars – bucks. But Baku rubles were real money long before the dashing 1990s-but not for long.

After the events of October 25, 1917 in Petrograd, what was later called the 'victorious March of the October revolution' swept through the former Russian Empire.
The March was accompanied by a break in economic ties and, in particular, interruptions in the flow of cash to the periphery of the collapsing state: the Bolsheviks were busy cleaning the state Bank apparatus from foreign elements and were not distracted by such trifles as timely reinforcement of the cash-strapped suburbs.

Azerbaijan as an independent state had not yet been proclaimed, which means that it could not solve problems with a lack of money at the end of 1917. But the Metropolitan municipality, which was established in Baku in 1878 and continued to operate after the February and October revolutions, could and should have responded to the lack of cash.
In January 1918 The Baku city Council issued its own money in kopeck denominations of 5 kopecks, 15 kopecks and 50 kopecks and in ruble denominations of 1 ruble, 3 rubles, 5 rubles, 10 rubles and 25 rubles.

What did the Baku municipality decide to write on their banknotes, what did they call the Baku money-Treasury bills, settlement banknotes, credit cards?

Baku residents did not bother with such theoretical subtleties and called their money very familiar and very simple - 'rubles'. And they wrote to the citizens and guests of the capital on the front side of the bill, how and where it can be used: 'it is used in the Baku city administration on a par with credit cards' - well, who would object to 'rubles'?
The text in rubles was only in Russian – then everyone in Baku understood it. The bill also has its own symbolism – the new coat of arms of the Baku province in the form of 3 flames on a shield surrounded by oak leaves: in 1917 it was slightly 'updated' by removing the Royal crown and St. Andrew's ribbon from the coat of arms of the Russian Empire.

Baku rubles were not anonymous money: the bill was signed by the mayor, mayor Pyotr Ilyushkin.
Judging by the fact that the 25-ruble series reached the letter b, the administration printed a lot of money, but it did not print them for long. On April 25, 1918, power in Baku passed to the Bolshevik-led Baku People's Commissariat, the Baku city Council was liquidated and its functions were transferred to the Council of the Baku national economy. And already on July 28, 1918. Azerbaijan was proclaimed as an independent state with the right to decide what currency will be traded on its territory, including the capital region.

In the catalogues of banknotes, you can find photos of banknotes of the Baku city Council with a face value of 50 kopecks, dated 1919, but they certainly cannot be attributed to the' Baku rubles'.

And 25 Baku rubles BO 3218 safely celebrated the 100th anniversary of its release in my collection.

Бакинские рубли

25 рублей 1918 г.

Country : Азербайджан
Denomination : 25 рубль
Year : 1918
Quantity :
Issuer : Бакинская городская управа
Series :
Valid from :
Valid till :
Cancelled :
Alexander R.

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