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Russian system of measures has long history. All measures were based on human sizes. For great distances sazhen and verst were used, which were based on arshin, which, in turn, resembled step of man adult (arshin was also known as step). Small distances were measured with pyads aka quarters (of arshin) and vershoks (quarters of pyad).
There were many different versts, sazhens and pyads in use. For example, at different times one verst could be 1000 (mezhevaya verst) or 500 (pytevaya verst) sazhens. There were different sazhens as well: greeks, churchs, tsars, folks, etc.
Finally, tsar Nikolay the First emitted the edict "About Russian system of measures and weights" at 11th of october 1835, where units of length were standardized.
Namely, 1 geographic mile was the largest unit, and it was equal to 1/15 of equatorial degree. Mile consisted of 7 verst, verst consisted of 500 sazhens, sazhen consisted of 3 arshins, arshin consisted of 4 quarters (pyads), quarter consisted of 4 vershoks. There were also sotka - hundred part of arshin.
This edict also linked Russian system to British imperial system - one sazhen was equal to 7 feet.
Small units were taken from British system: inch, consisted of 10 lines, with one line consisted of 10 points.
At 21st of July Russian system of measure reached its end of life. Soviet Union switched to metric system.
The calculators below convert units of length from old Russian system of measures units to metric units and back.