In Russia, a unit of capacity. After 1 January 1819, the vedro was divided into 100 charkas, making the charka about 0.123 liters (about 0.26 U.S. pint). See the chart: Previously 1 vedro = 88 charka, and 1 charka was about 140 milliliters. Also romanized as tcharka, tscharkey, tscharka, charkey, czarka, charke.
In the former USSR, ?–20ᵗʰ century, a unit of liquid capacity, = 1/10 shtof = 1/100 vedro, approximately 0.12299 liters. (UN 1966.)
Photo courtesy Mr. Helenius.
“Charka” also means “vodka cup.” Soldiers and sailors in the Russian military were entitled to a daily ration of 1 charka of vodka, and from its markings the cup shown at right was probably a measure for that purpose, although we are told the charka varied greatly in actual capacity.
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Last revised: 8 May 2001.