KROPOTKIN left Russia in 1876 with the fixed intention of returning to resume his work there. That he did not go back within a few months was due partly to a realisation that his escape had assumed a wider importance in the eyes of the Russian authorities than he had thought likely, and partly to the way in which, after the beginning of 1877, he became involved in the active and varied work of the international anarchist movement. Personal differences cut him off from those Russian anarchists like Ralli, who still hoped to transmit propaganda from Western Europe to Russia, and theoretical differences parted him from other revolutionaries, like Stepniak, who had constitutional aims. Indeed, the only Russian with whom he was to collaborate at all closely for some years was Cherkesov.
It also seems that, at least during his first years in Western Europe, Kropotkin had little direct contact with revolutionary elements within Russia. The Chaikovsky circle was completely broken up, and many of its leading members, like Klemens, Stepniak and Chaikovsky himself, had left Russia for America or Western Europe. It was not until the middle of 1877 that he was able to write to Robin: "At last I have been given work from Russia. A booklet about propaganda by deed. So I have got this started and must now finish it." Whether this pamphlet was completed we do not know, but, if it was, it does not seem to have had any effect in encouraging an anarchist tendency among the revolutionaries within Russia, for not very long after, in 1879, he wrote: