The kopek or kopeck (Russian: копейка, IPA: [kɐˈpʲejkə], Ukrainian: копійка, Belarusian: капейка) is or was a coin or a currency unit of a number of countries in Eastern Europe closely associated with the economy of Russia. It is usually the smallest denomination within a currency system. Originally, the kopek was the currency unit of Imperial Russia and then the Soviet Union (as the Soviet ruble). As of 2020[update] it is the currency unit of Russia, Belarus and Ukraine. The Russian kopek is also used in two regions of Georgia, the partially recognised states (including by Russia) Abkhazia and South Ossetia. In the past, several other countries influenced by Russia and the Soviet Union had currency units that were also named kopeks. From the word "kopek" comes the name of the coin of Azerbaijan – qapik, (Azerbaijani: qəpik, 1⁄100 manat). 100 kopeks = 1 rouble or 1 hryvnia.
The word kopek, kopeck, copeck, or kopeyka (in Russian: копейка, kopeyka) is a diminutive form of the Russian kop'yo (копьё) — a spear. The first kopek coins, minted at Novgorod and Pskov from about 1534 onwards, show a horseman with a spear. From the 1540s onwards the horseman bears a crown, and doubtless the intention was to represent Ivan the Terrible, who was Grand Prince of all Russia until 1547, and Tsar thereafter. Subsequent mintings of the coin, starting in the 18th century, bear instead Saint George striking down a serpent with spear, hence kopek from kop'yo (копьё).
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