Messages from Moscow: Changes in Life


Photos provided by writer.


Note from the editors: In this series, an anonymous Moscow resident writes about their daily life and changes following the invasion of Ukraine.

It’s been about three weeks since Russia invaded Ukraine, and as someone who lives in Moscow, it’s odd to see how much things have changed, and also how much they surprisingly have not.

Things have certainly changed, that much is true. If I from February were to wake up today and walk around, I would definitely notice that something was wrong. My bank cards don’t work. There are signs at every checkout that Apple and Google Pay don’t work. Starbucks is gone. I would never guess though that there was a war on. In contrast to the pictures of Kiev, of utter destruction and tragedy, Moscow is fineit’s not flourishing, but it’s fine. The other day I went to the mall. You see pictures on the internet of shops being shuttered—and that is the case with about 1/5th of them—but the rest are running business as usual.

There’s a noticeably increased police presence in the center of the city. Some city squares and large open spaces have been blocked off by police. I don’t know for certain if it was to deter protests, but it’s an assumption that I’m not entirely uncomfortable making. While in a taxi the other day, I saw a line of around ten armored police vans passing in the other lane. I was too slow to take a picture, but I have included a picture I took in Saint Petersburg for reference.