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Published February 13, 2023 Updated February 13, 2023

Ministry of Emergency Situations

Emergency response playing cards published by the Kombinat Tsvetnoi Pechati (Colour Printing Combine), St Petersburg, 2002.

2002 Russia Kombinat Tsvetnoi Pechati Army Safety Add to Collection

Published by the Kombinat Tsvetnoi Pechati (Colour Printing Combine) in St Petersburg in 2002, this 36-card pack with Russian indices portrays individuals and equipment relating to the services of the Russian Ministry of Emergency Situations. The diamond suit clearly indicates the emergency fire service, while the remaining suits seem to be devoted more generally to disaster management and civil defence. Each suit displays a different badge or insignia representing the specific division/department of the Ministry. See the box

Ministry of Emergency Situations playing cards published by the Kombinat Tsvetnoi Pechati (Colour Printing Combine) in St Petersburg in 2002 Ministry of Emergency Situations playing cards published by the Kombinat Tsvetnoi Pechati (Colour Printing Combine) in St Petersburg in 2002 Ministry of Emergency Situations playing cards published by the Kombinat Tsvetnoi Pechati (Colour Printing Combine) in St Petersburg in 2002

Above: Ministry of Emergency Situations playing cards published by the Kombinat Tsvetnoi Pechati (Colour Printing Combine) in St Petersburg in 2002.

NOTE: The Ministry of Emergency Situations (Министерство по чрезвычайным ситуациям) abbreviated MChS (МЧС России) or internationally as EMERCOM (derived from "Emergency Control Ministry"), is a Russian government agency overseeing the civil emergency services in Russia. Established in 1994, it is responsible for managing the Russian civil defence and search and rescue service; providing and developing the Russian System of Disaster Management (RSDM); directing activities following large-scale disasters, catastrophes and other emergencies; and conducting special submarine activities.

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By Peter Burnett

Member since July 27, 2022

I graduated in Russian and East European Studies from Birmingham University in 1969. It was as an undergraduate in Moscow in 1968 that I stumbled upon my first 3 packs of “unusual” playing cards which fired my curiosity and thence my life-long interest. I began researching and collecting cards in the early 1970s, since when I’ve acquired over 3,330 packs of non-standard cards, mainly from North America, UK and Western Europe, and of course from Russia and the former communist countries.

Russian Playing Cards

Following my retirement from the Bodleian Library in Dec. 2007 I took up a new role as Head of Library Development at the International Network for the Availability of Scientific Publications (INASP) to support library development in low-income countries. This work necessitated regular training visits to many sub-Saharan African countries and also further afield, to Vietnam, Nepal and Bangladesh – all of which provided rich opportunities to further expand my playing card collection.

Since 2019 I’ve been working part-time in the Bodleian Library where I’ve been cataloguing the bequest of the late Donald Welsh, founder of the English Playing Card Society.


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