Worku Bedasso is a Moscow Metro’s train driver

In Soviet times, the young lieutenant of the Ethiopian Navy came here to study on an exchange program: first in Georgia in 1985, and a couple of years later in Azerbaijan. While Worku was learning how to build socialism, a civil war broke out in his native Ethiopia, and “old-school” officers were no longer needed by the new state. His wife and children remained in Ethiopia; they did not want to go to Russia. A few weeks later, the Soviet Union collapsed and foreign students based in Baku were sent to Moscow. In Moscow, he was granted refugee status and issued with a work permit; however, during the 1998 economic crisis it was hard to find work. Then, his new Russian girlfriend, Olga, suggested he try working at a metro depot, since he was good with machinery. After six months of training, the former officer became a metro driver assistant.

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