Condemning the former imperial Russia as “the prison house of nations,” the Soviet government set out to unite a hundred nationalities living within its 37,000 mile-long border into a happy family of brotherly republics. The central government promoted the distinctive national identity and encouraged national cultures to flourish through folklore, costumes, food, works of classical literature, museums, etc.  Soviet citizens lived in fifteen Union republics, each of them home to a major nationality, only one of them being Russian. Postal miniatures devoted to Soviet nationalities present a spectacle of burgeoning ethnic groups under socialism, a true ‘brotherhood of nations’. On postal miniatures, the Soviet people are engaged in peaceful labor such as tending cattle, mining ore, and picking cotton. Socialism, not nationalism, collective labor and community, not violence and national strife, were the Soviet goals. The hope was for national difference to dissolve and a new type of nationality to be formed—the Soviet people.

The set below, issued in 1933, reflects the ethnic composition of the Soviet Union featuring stamps for individual ethnicities, however the set is far from being comprehensive.