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I saw a reference to an old Russian measurement called Saja, if that is the correct pronunciation. What is the modern day equivalent of that?

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Looks like you are asking about сажень:

1 сажень = 7 English feet = 84 inches = 2,1336 meters

It is not used since 1924 when metric system became mandatory.

Currently it is mentioned in proverbs and other sayings only, like "Косая сажень в плечах", etc. (Technically "косая сажень" is bigger measure than "сажень").

Good article is on Russian Wikipedia.

6

Here's a picture of what сажень is.enter image description here

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