Elena in North Pacific

Unmarried and childless at 26, I was an abomination to my mother. My destiny had been sealed. I was mere weeks from a forced marriage and a life designed for me by others. I knew it would kill me, but didn't resist. Russian society demanded that I sacrifice my life: it wasn't mine to begin with. I was programmed to never question the rule of others over me, to submit, and to give in.

Then, all that indoctrination flew out the window, when I met Meg. Learning that she lived her life as she wanted, and being supported by her emotionally, I saw that I too could be free! I learned to embrace my dreams and love myself. Suddenly, I had a right and obligation to stand up for myself; I could say, "no" to the bastards. My life was, in fact, mine and nobody else's!

I would never give-in again, and I was heading for war. I didn't know if I would survive, but it didn't matter. A life without me, wasn't worth living.

Elena and Meg, on the run


Elena fled her homeland, career, family and friends to live as she wants. She lived like a deep-cover spy to effect an elaborate escape to Kiev, Ukraine, where she met a westerner and triggered a chain of events that led to the two women crossing the planet in a run for their lives. At the time the story of "Elena and Meg" went viral in 2017, Elena had written a memoir of her escape in Russian. Finally, she has retold the story, in English. Talking to the Moon is Elena's account of events over half a year, from meeting Meg online, to finally engineering a hair raising escape to Ukraine.

  • Elena was in awe. Meg was the very first example in her life of someone bowing down to nobody. She was a vestige of no one. Not only that, it was by Meg's own choice! Elena was amazed, she discovered that a woman could choose a life without a husband and children. It was a dangerous notion in Russia. A radical idea. Elena did not have to be with some one she didn't want to be with. It was up to her!

  • Dmitry had Elena's attention, her hours, her body, but he didn't have her, and he wasn't winning. Every correspondence with Meg transformed Elena. She was becoming more confident by the hour. Meg had communicated to her the most dangerous idea for all the tyrannies in the world: the concept of freedom. That a person just had it. Freedom didn't require any justification or authorization. It just was. For the very first time, by sheer accident, Elena discovered that she had freedom! Her life was hers from the very start, from her very birth. She just had to take it back!