Support First Things by turning your adblocker off or by making a  donation. Thanks!

While George Weigel writes about the advance of the Russians in Ukraine —a story echoed today by John Allen —and we learn about the return, finally, of Moscow-area monasteries confiscated by the Communists , here’s another piece of Russian news:

“Moscow Metro forced to delay opening of ‘depressing’ Dostoevsky station”

The opening of a Moscow Metro station named after Fyodor Dostoevsky has been postponed after complaints that murals decorating the platform walls are too depressing. The images, drawn from the 19th-century novelist’s works, could prompt depressed commuters to kill themselves, critics say.

One scene, right, depicts a man preparing to hit a woman with an axe while another lays dying at his feet—inspired by Rodion Raskolnikov in Crime and Punishment . Another shows a man holding a gun to his head—based on The Devils , in which Kirillov commits suicide as a declaration of freedom. A stern portrait of the author is also among the Florentine mosaics.

One wants to mock the decision to protect Russians from these scenes. And yet, they are Russians, after all, and given to a certain melancholy that the government probably shouldn’t encourage.

There’s also this note in the story: “The controversy has also forced Metro chiefs to postpone the opening of another new station, Marina Roscha, the next stop along from Dostoevsky.”

“The next stop along from Dostoevsky.” The next stop along from Dostoevsky.

I always thought that was Tolstoy.

Dear Reader,

We launched the First Things 2023 Year-End Campaign to keep articles like the one you just read free of charge to everyone.

Measured in dollars and cents, this doesn't make sense. But consider who is able to read First Things: pastors and priests, college students and professors, young professionals and families. Last year, we had more than three million unique readers on

Informing and inspiring these people is why First Things doesn't only think in terms of dollars and cents. And it's why we urgently need your year-end support.

Will you give today?

Make My Gift

Comments are visible to subscribers only. Log in or subscribe to join the conversation.



Filter First Thoughts Posts

Related Articles