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My name is Evgeny, I was born in Kaliningrad Oblast, I am currently 21.

A little information about myself. Like everyone, finished school, was practicing music since childhood. Later went to a technical college, and after graduating was thinking about what to do in my file. Was considering many professions, from archaeologist to an army chorus conductor. In the end, decided to choose film-making and went to the St. Petersburg State University of Film and Television.

Just a little more about me, recent information. Since childhood I realized that the world is a lot simpler than it seems and in case of borders between countries, I always saw some kind of frames and traveling difficulties on the planet. And since I believe myself to be a citizen of the world and not just a single country… and visa politics making it more difficult to move about, travel, especially for young people, students, yeah, this situation is real.

What else to tell about myself, I like to meet people, like new contacts, especially from different places different cultures and with different mentalities. I find it interesting to meet people from different countries, different continents and understand, in the process of meeting people, that despite the geographical position, everyone is the same. Everyone has same problems, same pleasures, same desires, and we all have same challenges in life, no difference if you live in Argentina, China or if you are in Japan. Every population group, from young people to elderly, all have a lot of similar traits, in spite of growing up in different political views, like it was in Soviet Union. And seeing this generation difference, my generation, and people who are younger, they are more interested in creating friendly ties with people from other countries. I noticed it very well at an international youth conference in Germany. And even though we all didn’t know each other’s language, we all understood each other, and in two three days we all got very close and still keep in good touch through social media. Ok, what else. Many ties, in general it’s culture, cinematography, music, visual art, they all don’t have language and don’t have nationality. And it doesn’t matter who are you and how old are you, if you watch, listen and can comprehend a given visual art or a musical piece or cinema, we all understand the same way. One very cool thing that unites people, as I have noticed from personal experience, is that when people start to drink together, some kind of magical portal opens up between languages and suddenly everyone starts to understand each other and speak on some form of a single language. Well, I think that’s all.

Ok, yes, about what it means “to be Russian”. It’s not exactly a difficult question, it’s the same kind of question as “what does it mean to be German” or Spanish. Russia as formed its own mentality, one side of it stereotypical, influenced from the outside, as well as the inner stereotype, how people see themselves. We have such a huge (blyat) country, and every region has its own specialties. If you take North-Western region (St. Petersburg) and central Russia (Moscow), it is very different from South regions like Rostov Oblast or Krasnodar Region. And, maybe, the most vivid traits that distinguish a Russian person, as a nationality, from everyone else, it would be some sort of love for some sort of paradox and love for comparing the incomparable, and, perhaps, a lack of frames and borders in the mind. Let me say it a little better, “If a Russian person starts to work hard, he works hard”.

About the USSR, and borders, it’s more of politics and formalities, is there a border or isn’t. Yes, with open borders there are migration problems. When there are no borders, people start to look for a better place and start moving about, which is uncomfortable for who? Politicians. Therefore, since there was a Soviet Union and 15 republics in it, I am not sure that anything has changed In the minds of the people. The things that did change are legal formalities, law details. And what can I say, I did not live during that time, but many elderly people say good things about Soviet Union, say that everything was great and fantastic, but my personal opinion regarding this is that Soviet Union failed ideologically. I mean that when everything belongs to the state it can’t belong to everyone. But that is my personal opinion. Again, in regard to borders, let take Crimea and big media fuss about Russian annexation of Crimea. There are many historical and ethnic (national) specifics, I mean that local population always spoke on Russian, tough in Russian, and their mentality has very little distinction from the mainland. And exit from Ukraine and annexation by Russia is more of a political move rather than some national movement. I don’t think that there were severe changes in mentality, other than formal understanding that yesterday we were part of Ukraine and now we are a part of Russia. Life doesn’t stop there, and everyday life had no dramatic changes either. Everyone still goes to same jobs and speak the same language. Yes, maybe some had big changes in their mind, but it happened to primarily the most impressionable people.

When it comes to comparing Europe, European citizen mentality, to a Russian, the difference is maybe in some sort of infrastructure of media, because while living in Kaliningrad, very close to Europe, I didn’t feel any primary difference between a European and Russian. When talking to guys from the same age group as myself, from Germany, Poland, Lithuania, and comparing their intellect, behavioural traits and their adaptability to life, to people from my neighbourhood for example, I can say that guys from “my hood” are far better adjusted. Meaning that they are more adapted to life, and that they either grow up faster or the environment that they were in had more factors that stimulated this development. But in my opinion, we all are the same. We all are the same but each with its own specialty, and this specialty is expressed, and if it’s not expressed then that’s the problem of that specialty… but this is more of a philosophy now.

And about national identity of Soviet Union compared to Europe, again, ideology. Ideology in Europe like freedom in sense of culture and morality are somewhat different from Russia, and that’s why in Europe gay parades came sooner than in Russia. All thanks to upbringing.

I will sum up everything said before, a lot was said. A lot of formalities, and if you dig a little deeper and talk to representatives of different castes so to speak, everything is a lot simpler. Damn, I had a really good though, sounded very well. Ok, so, Soviet Union is very different from what’s going on right now and from what happened in Europe, and because of the border changes the things that mostly changed were geopolitical relations and formalities. Because they just made everything more complicated, guys made everything more complicated, and maybe they had reasons to do that. And economically… yeah, everything because of the economy. Yes, maybe that’s it.