In Imperial Russia, Podolia was a large guberniya to the south west of Kiev, bordering on Austria - Hungary in the west and Romania in the south. The population was very mixed, the majority ethnically Ukrainian or Jewish but with Russians and Poles too. It was also an economically lively region and when I first studied the Vyrovyj material I was struck by just how many post offices there had been in the Imperial period and still operating after 1917. Many of these offices were in small towns with large Jewish populations. Because of the extensive Internet documentation of the later Nazi destruction of the Jewish shteltls and populations of these towns, they are quite easy to research on the Internet. On modern maps of Ukraine, most of the towns still exist and mostly with the same names as in the Imperial period, though now with Ukrainian spellings - but it is nonetheless easy to locate them.
When I made my collection of Podillia postmarks, I stopped in 1920. Today I was looking at a couple of later covers, both of which illustrate just how interesting this region can be to the postal historian.
The first cover below was registered from CHEMEROVTSI [ Ukrainian, Chemerivtsi - north of Kamyanets ] 23 6 22 and routed via MOSKVA 7 7 22 to BERLIN 17 7 22. It was fairly clearly subject to censorship - the envelope flaps have been opened and re-sealed. At first, I looked at the franking. According to the RSFSR Tariff of 4 June 1922 you would expect to see a franking of 400 000 roubles. This Charity stamp doesn't do the job unless it has been silently revalued in an idiosyncratic manner. It could have been converted to 100 000 on a regular basis (100 x 100 times revaluation) or 200 000 if its Charity status was ignored and it was counted as 100 + 100. It could be an example of a local tariff of the kind studied by Alexander Epstein: he tells me that he has seen other examples like this one but using the 35 kop Chainbreaker and he thinks they are local revaluations
But then I noticed something much more interesting about this cover. On the front the sender has marked it as ZAKAZNOE, but the actual post office Registry number is to be found on the back "N 337" and underneath, as you would expect for a Foreign letter, the place name in Roman script. But look at the spelling - not Russian CHEMEROVTSI (as on the postmark), not Ukrainian either - but instead CZEMEROWICE which must be Polish ... and I think that's the first time I've seen a place name spelt that way by a Soviet post office clerk.
Added 12 September 2014: Vasilis Opsimos sends me scans of this lovely cover from Starokonstantinov. I include his description underneath the pictures. He also tells me he has seen a stampless cover like mine from the same period: