Sunday, September 17, 2023

‘Moscow isn’t Russia’ – One City Resident Chose to Move into Russia rather than Go into Exile Abroad

Paul Goble

            Staunton, Sept. 6 – When Putin launched his expanded invasion of Ukraine, many in the Russian capital decided to go into exile abroad; but others like Nastya Subbotina, recognizing that “Moscow isn’t Russia,” made a different choice: they left the capital and moved into Russia, in her case, Yevsino Station in Novosibirsk Oblast.

            There she has joined the New Teacher Foundation which provides instructors for rural schools which lack them. Subbotina tells her story on the Takiye Dela portal ( reposted at

            The 6,000 residents of Yevsino live on top of an anthracite coal deposit which along with a chicken processing plant forms the basic industry of the town. Subbotina, 24, says she worked at a music teacher and learned more from her students than they could possibly have learned from her.

            The school needs modernization, and she is currently involved in a campaign to raise 520,000 rubles (5200 US dollars) to create a new music room there. So far she has collected a little over a quarter of that (, adding to her personal contribution to the real Russia beyond the ring road.

            Undoubtedly many other residents of major cities like Moscow have made a similar choice largely to protest Putin’s war and to protect themselves from mobilization. Equally obviously, there are no exact statistics; but this latest example of a “going to the people” campaign may prove more successful than its 19th century predecessors. 

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