I was born in the USSR. When my country died, I didn’t feel anything special, maybe just a little hope: this was a new opportunity to do better, to learn from our mistakes, to become a member of a peaceful global world.
Besides, I’ve clearly separated the country – a bureaucratic, infected with the communist ideology, useless monster that have destroyed lakes and rivers and killed millions of its own citizens in Gulag – from the Russian culture.
With over 1000 years of history, the Russian culture came up with novel philosophical ideas to answer major questions of life, discovered natural laws, invented useful technology and created art on the international level.
The Russian Culture has survived enslavement by the Mongols, Tsarist Regimes, the Communist Revolution, and two World Wars, so I didn’t need to worry back then, when USSR fell apart. I’ve had my Russian Culture. It would live with me and I’d pass it on to the new generations.
Well, not after February 24th, 2022.
All the dear old fairy tales my parents have read to me in my childhood, all the lullaby songs they sang to me, all their explanations of what is good and what is bad, all the Russian ways I know how to live life and how to be successful and how to resolve conflicts and how to solve problems, all the religion and philosophical ideas, all my favorite, deeply meaningful songs, smart movies, tender cartoons, awesome books, and finally, the most important, my understanding of what is Love and how to love that I have learned from my mom – all of it became obsolete.
Yes, it still lives within me. But how am I supposed to pass it over to the new generations? The culture of the very that nation that did Bucha, Mariupol, Charkow, that has raped, beaten, tortured, and murdered children, women, elderly and innocent civilians in the hundreds of towns and villages in Ukraine. The culture of people who lied about their military involvement in Krim and Donbass, who poisoned their opponents worldwide, who threaten the whole world with their nuclear weapons, who let their leaders to brainwash them, who have shelled pregnant women, murdered tiny girls in front of their mothers, destroyed homes of hundreds of thousands of people and inflicted hunger and energy emergency around the world?
How can I ask my nephew if he wants me to read a Russian fairy tale, if I am deeply ashamed of being Russian and I am calling myself “German” in public now?
Millions of brilliant Russians had ideas, discoveries, lessons learned, and art the whole world needed to hear and to benefit from. Now, all of it is gone. Now, a big part of me is dead.