Konstantin Diatlov: From Russia to Towamencin


Aidan Simon

One wouldn’t expect that this standard-looking classroom is a bit larger than Diatlov knew in Russia.

Here at North Penn, one would not expect a tall, blue-hoodied sophomore pensively waiting for an interview to be caught up in one of the biggest political dramas in recent history– a continent away. Several thousand miles his family has come– knowing what dangers lie ahead, for a better life away from the repression of Russia.

Sophomore Konstantin Diatlov knew that one day he would have to leave his home in Samara, Russia. As he explained, he could see his country slowly stagnating– and political repressions began to mount. His family had been political dissenters against Russian President Vladimir Putin, and thus, as the war in Ukraine had started, they packed their bags and left the country, arriving here in March 2022.

Having come from a private school, without the same integration with technology as NPHS, there have been some things to get used to here. Though he is still adjusting to the differences between North Penn and Russia, he has really enjoyed the environment here at North Penn. He mentioned the many different classes and sports students are able to participate in– especially his beloved swimming; he said the school is bigger than any airport in his hometown!

He also recalled another important difference between North Penn and home.

“… There was a lot of propaganda in our school, because of the Putin regime. A bunch of discrimination of free speech,” Diatlov stated.

The atmosphere for him back home was tough, no one risked speaking their minds about the situation of their country, as Diatlov remembered. Because of this environment, he would usually spend his school days with his friends, none of them believing a word of the state-sponsored drivel. With all the problems both the Russians and Ukrainians still face, Diatlov remarked that it is unlikely he will ever live in Russia again until the political situation changes. For now, he has decided to spend the rest of his life here, and work to get the rest of his family away from any potential dangers in Russia.

So far, he commented that his life has been very normal here in America. His father had connections to people living in this area, which is why he decided to set up shop here, so far Diatlov has loved it here, enjoying the many options for other culture’s products and food that one can get.

His last remark during our conversation was “Glory to Ukraine!”