The Russian-speaking Fellowship is Over 20 Years Old

The current membership of the Russian-speaking Intergroup comprises groups from Russia, Belarus, and Kazakhstan. Until recently, SA members from Ukraine have been an active part of the RIG, but now they decided to become an independent Intergroup. There is an active community in Kazakhstan, with a face-to-face group in Almaty and several members in Astana. Also, there are “loners” in Tajikistan, Estonia, Moldova, Kyrgyzstan, and other regions.

In Russia there are about fifteen face-to-face meetings per week. Most of them are in Moscow, St. Petersburg, and Kazan. In some cities face-to-face meetings appear from time to time, but due to the small number of participants they close after a while. Most newcomers come from other 12 Step fellowships (AA, NA, ACA).

Our estimated membership is about 130-150 active members at the moment, of whom 30% female.

Online groups are very actively developing—today there are more than 30 meetings per week, at different times: morning, afternoon, evening and even night meetings! This is very convenient for those who live in time zones other than Moscow, as we have 11 times zones, which currently observe times ranging from UTC+02:00 to UTC+12:00.

There are regular online meetings for newcomers, in which sober members share their experience and answer questions. There are also speaker meetings, seminars, and H&I work (carrying the message to psychologists). Quite a large percentage of people have been sober for a year or more, and the number of sponsors is also growing.

But there are also painful issues, such as frequent relapses among newcomers, the rather slow development of groups in small towns, and the small number of people willing to serve the fellowship at the intergroup level. Therefore, the Russian-speaking community always needs experience and support from their worldwide fellowship.

Our fellowship is over 20 years old. Every year there we hold a convention. The 11th SA Convention will be held in St. Petersburg this autumn. Our beautiful website sa12.org provides information for potential newcomers as well as regular members. We also record talks and post them on YouTube. We collaborate with a popular online channel, which contains anonymous recorded interviews with SA members, which has already had over 1,000,000 views! Many newcomers have come in through this way.

Dima K., Kazan, Russia

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