There is such a Russian folk fun: to expel “traitors” from the country once in 100 years

Dmitry Trusov
2 min readApr 30, 2022


This year marks the 100th anniversary of the day when the steamer delivered 81 opposition intellectuals from Petrograd to Stettin. Today, the “philosophical steamer” is remembered more and more often. And the reason is not the round date. It would hardly have been remembered without a new wave of emigration, which “threw out” tens of thousands of our citizens.

“Philosophical steamer” by artist Dmitry Pantyukhin.
“Philosophical steamer” by artist Dmitry Pantyukhin.

“History is developing in a spiral,” Xenophon said 2,500 years ago.

And Russian history confirms this thesis better than other countries.

  1. A century ago, thousands left the country, and today we are witnessing a mass exodus. Experts call the figure 200 thousand emigrants.
  2. At that time, the emigrants were declared “enemies of the people”, and today the press secretary of the president Peskov calls them “traitors”.
  3. In 1922, the authorities did not want to understand the causes and assess the consequences, and in 2022 they only talk about “cleansing society”.

And there will be consequences. After all, among those who left are not only rich people, media personalities, opponents of the government and all sorts of henchmen. There are many talented specialists among the emigrants: IT specialists, doctors, engineers, scientists. And they left for various reasons, not always political.

It is today that brave sofa commentators on social networks write about the air that has become cleaner. Today they tell stories about the uncle of the matchmaker of my mother’s friend, who emigrated and now regrets. It is today that they proudly declare that they do not need foreign trinkets.

Time will pass, and we will again talk about Americans, French, Germans of Russian origin. One of them will receive the Nobel Prize for the discovery of the century. The other will create a “new Google”. The third will write a new bestseller “Atlas Shrugged”.

And then the same sofa commentators will be outraged why imported iPhones, cars and MRI machines are around. In queues for sugar, they will also be surprised that out of 140 million there was no talented engineer. They will also take a loan at 30% on Renault, because Lada is a “bucket with bolts”, and blame backward Russian education and worthless bureaucrats.

“Without knowing the past, it is impossible to understand the true meaning of the present and the goals of the future” (M. Gorky)

In Russia, for some reason, they forgot about this principle, they do not learn from their mistakes. And at every turn of history, the life lesson becomes tougher. How many turns does it take to assimilate it?