The unknown story of 93 young Chileans who were studying in Russia in 1973 and are stranded there after the coup d’état

Marcos Zegers


Krasnodarskiy, Russia

The young people, most of them from rural areas of Chile, leave with a scholarship from the Soviet Union with the commitment and hope to improve themselves and then return and contribute to the development of the country within the framework of Salvador Allende’s socialist project. After the news of the coup, that reality takes a violent turn, communication with Chile and its relatives is lost, some for more than 20 years … This is how they begin to realize that history had changed and that It was not a possibility. Stranded in the middle of this huge country and without knowing the language, young people must continue their lives. The “93 Ajtirskians” concentrate on their studies and begin to forge a new life in Russia, a history of different migration, which several, without knowing it then, would not make them ever return to their native country.

Over the years, the roads begin to divide, some marry Russian women and begin to work in the field or in different associated jobs; others will study university careers offered by the USSR; some left with the idea of militarizing other regions. This report in particular shows the unknown history of those who still remain in that region that saw them arrive 45 years ago, young people of little more than 15 years old who grew up in the Soviet Union and who remember in the distance a chile from the 70s.

The report focuses on addressing life stories, showing this unknown place on the other side of the world. How was the town that saw them arrive 45 years ago, their professors, translators, friends, wives and children and how 15-year-old youth who could not return at the beginning, set up a life in the steppes where they continue to this day.

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