Alcoholics Anonymous History In Your Area
Russia was represented at the Asia-Oceania Service meeting of AA in Seoul, October 2001
This is an excerpt from the report of our delegate.
This year the AA Fellowship of Russian Federation participates in the AOSM for the first time. At present more than 270 AA groups meet regularly in more than 100 cities and localities of Russia including the Far East and Siberia. An Internet Russian-speaking AA group has been working for two years. Contacts with Russian-speaking AA groups in Belarus, Baltic Countries, Moldova, Ukraine, Israel (Haifa), USA (LA and SF) are strenghthening and developing.
Last Spring the General Service Foundation of AA in Russia was legally registered to be our official body taking care of legal matters such as taxation, banking, signing contracts, etc. Our regional AA services,committees and central offices continue to form.Today we can tell you about eight general service structures in varrious cities of Russia, including the GSB of AA in Siberia, which was established this year in the city of Tomsk.
In Far East Region we have AA groups in Blagovestchensk, Khabarovsk, Vladivostok, Yuznosakhalinsk and five of them in Magadan and Magadan Province. To help bring AA strength and experience from the cities to regions of early development, several special teams of experienced AAs have been formed.These groups travel there to conduct workshops sharing experience of the Program of 12 Steps-a very effective activity. Also,a Traditional All-Russian Convention is held each December, which moves around the vast country to cities where AA is beginning to grow. This year it will be in Omsk (Siberia).
A new form of Automobile Convention (“Forum on Wheels”) has been started, which travels along the highways carrying dozens of AA s to various cities to hold meetings and share experience there.
Four AA groups now meet regularly in prisons in St Petersburg, Ryazan, Ekatherinburg and Chita (the last 2 in Siberia), while soon it is hoped to have a meeting in a women’s prison near Moscow.
The General Service Conference meets annually in Moscow for three days.One delegate from each group and Intergroup meet with members of the GB and the GSO to discuss service problems and share experience on general service topics. However, at this stage not all delegates can afford the travel expenses to attend.
GSB members, elected by the Conference, meet monthly in Moscow while those unable to attend express their opinions by mail or email. For more than three years Russia has been publishing the Russian language Big Book, 12&12, Living Sober, Came to Believe and several pamphlets.
Daily Reflections is nearly ready for printing. There is also a national magazine and newsletter.
The GSO is located in Moscow and is carrying out all the functions of AA GSO, with the groups gradually providing more financial support. We communicate regularly with international contacts and our members travel widely to international round-ups and conventions. Whenever we are able we attend the WSM and the ESM and we try to support the growing fellowship in neighboring Eastern European and Asian countries such as Mongolia.
As it nears its 15 Anniversary the AA Fellowship in Russia continuously grows in spite of difficulties and, we hope, is coming of age.