charka [Russian. чарка ]

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: link to a table showing relationships between Russian units of capacity 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.)

photograph of cup

Charka dated 1806, from the collection of Kari Helenius.

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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