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Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Provisional Government: 250 Rubles (1917)

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Denomination: 250 Rubles
Year of First Issue: 1917
Governing Body: Provisional Government
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The 250 Ruble banknote introduced by the Provisional Government in 1917 was the first time that the 250 Ruble denomination was offered in Russia by a governing body as legal tender. The most intriguing features on the banknote are the large Provisional eagle in the center, which differs slightly in very key places from the Imperial eagle of the overthrown Russian Empire. The differences between the two eagles are discussed in the introductory section.
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The second interesting feature of the 250 Ruble banknote is the fact that it features 5 swastikas on the entire banknote. On the front side, a swastika can be seen behind each of the "250" numbers in the center sides of the front. On the back, one swastika can be seen right behind each of the "250" numbers on the back. The fifth swastika is also on the back, and is printed directly behind the Provisional eagle in the center of the banknote's back side. The swastika was put there as a sign of good luck, and carried over to the 1,000 Ruble note and the Soviet 5,000 Ruble and Soviet 10,000 Ruble banknotes, discussed in a different section of the site. The swastika was not a symbol of the Nazis until the 1930s, and no Nazi influence existed outside of Germany before the 1930s, so the placement of swastikas on the Russian Provisional banknotes is not connected to Nazi Germany (which did not exist yet) in any way.
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