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Victory Day – 2022

Victory Day Parade and the Immortal Regiment have returned to Red Square on May 9, 2022. We celebrate this day with our veterans and children.

Today we celebrate the 77th anniversary of Victory against Nazi regimes in Europe. We should not forget that Nazist and Fascist ideologies swept across the whole of Europe. Soviet troops coming from the East and inner Resistance movements worked to extort inhuman regimes not only from Germany, but from France, Italy, and other European countries. Sadly, they were not always successful, and in Spain General Franco’s regime survived until 1970s.

But we celebrate our Victory, and we shall not let anyone to dispute, distort, diminish, or altogether deny it.

Victory Day

The Immortal Regiment has returned to the streets of Russian towns and cities, as well as to those countries whose leaders were not afraid to pay homage to the courage and selfless service of the Soviet soldiers. And we shall not forget this.

The Immortal Regiment marching in Tverskaya St, Moscow, 9 May, 2022

And if you want to watch Moscow’s Victory Day Parade, below is a video by one of Russian media channels, TASS. The organisers had to cancel the aerial parade due to overcast. The Immortal Regiment soaked wet in a short spell of heavy rain, but then the sun came out, and it has not rained since 3pm this afternoon.

Victory Day Parade in Red Square, May 9, 2022

As per tradition, special civil memorial services were held in all districts near the cenotaphs and monuments. These commemorate soldiers and civilians who gave up their lives to save the world.

More on Russia.

The Allies’ Approved Of the Death of Children – Remember this, Mr Blinken

In memory of thousands of children who were killed by the Nazi army – and by the allies’ appeasement – we will always remember and remind others of the real price of British and American Imperialist interests.

In his address on the occasion of the 77th anniversary of the Victory in the Second World War, the U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken notably accused the Russian Federation of thwarting the events of the bygone days to “justify” a special operation against the neo-Nazi government of Ukraine.

Yes, I know that in the West the war is thought to have been fought and won by Britain and the U.S. It is also a well-known secret that Britain and the U.S., the so-called allies, were waiting to see whom to support, Hitler or Stalin. By doing so, they donned their taciturn support to Hitler. This was these nations’ own “war effort” until it became clear that the Red Army was about to sweep across Europe in its victorious march. The allies jumped on the bandwagon to keep the Western part of Europe in their sphere of interests.

The Victory in the Second World War is unthinkable without the USSR for the simplest reason: the allies were clearly going to collaborate with Hitler, had he suppressed the USSR. And it was only because the USSR courageously fought for its independence and sovereignty that we have been celebrating the Victory over Nazism for the last 77 years. Unfortunately, we are fighting against the same plague now – and we are going to win again, this time decisively.

So, lest the Secretary of State Mr Blinken forgets what the allies’, and particularly the American, war effort was really like, here are pictures of Soviet Russian children near their ruined and burnt houses in 1941-1943. Such was the beginning of life for these children – death, hunger, and ruins. And it was because the allies were calmly waiting to see whose side to join.

A woman with her children on the site of their destroyed house in Orlov Region, Russia
Russian children of the Great Patriotic War

The Russian soldiers fought not only for their Motherland, as we call our native country. They fought for these children, they took revenge for their ravaged childhood, and it was the Russian soldiers who raised the red Victory banner over the Reichstag as the symbol of Victory against Evil. Sadly, the evil has since resurrected, so the Russian soldiers will have to raise the banner again.

The Soviet soldier raising the Red Banner over the Reichstag in Berlin, May 2, 1945

We have never taken revenge on the dead enemy, and we have always striven to keep peace with the living adversaries. But in memory of thousands of children who were killed by the Nazi army – and by the allies’ appeasement – we will always remember and remind others of the real price of British and American Imperialist interests.

The price has been the death and poverty of children – everywhere, from Europe in two World Wars to Vietnam, Middle East, Serbia, and Donbass, throughout the entire 20th and 21st century. This must end soon.

The Alley of Angels in Donetsk, the People’s Republic of Donetsk (former Ukraine), commemorates children killed in the shellings and bombings by the Ukrainian Armed Forces. The average age is 5 years.

More on Ukraine.

More on Russia.

Ukraine: My Views + My Contacts

I support Russia’s special operation against the neo-Fascist regime in Ukraine and its war crimes against the Ukrainian population.

I moved to my vKontakte account in April. I have been busy with work and, on the other hand, I wanted to gather the sentiment about the unfolding events in Ukraine.

This is Kiev’s Maidan place back in 2014.

In brief, this is what I have to say:

  1. I support Russia’s special operation against the neo-Fascist regime in Ukraine. In the years since the first negotiations in Minsk all the opportunities to peacefully resolve the conflict in Donbass have been exhausted. Meanwhile, not only did Ukraine legally proclaim the criminals of WW2 as the country’s national heroes, it has also opened the doors to experiments with biological weapons in its territory. As you might remember, my maternal grandfather was born in Ukraine, and his parents were the prisoners of war in Germany. I sympathise with the people of Ukraine insofar as they have not managed to organize anything similar to the Resistance movement of the past war, so they now have to hide in cellars instead of helping the Russian army. But I do not sympathise with anyone who wants to somehow draw a line between the country and its legislation. In case with Ukraine, the legislation has commemorated those who orchestrated the carnage in Poland, Belarus, and Ukraine itself. And I personally do not want to tolerate this for whatever reason.
  2. Secondly, I realise that I have not written much about it here, for this blog has always been about Arts&Culture, not a place to discuss dubious Wikipedia articles on politics. But things are different now. The first thing I want you to know – especially those of you who have known me for a while – is that, since I returned to Moscow in 2010, I have always voted for Vladimir Putin. I voted for the new Constitution of Russia in 2020. I support the idea of a strong national state. And I certainly stand for the idea of internationalism and the national equality. I have always supported these ideas, and I have always cited the Equal Opportunities Act in Europe as an example of a guarantee of equality to various minorities. But I cannot support the present-day “cancel culture” whereby The Russian Dancers by Edgar Degas are renamed into The Ukrainian Dancers by the National Gallery, and the works of Tchaikovsky are withdrawn from concerts. I cannot and will not support this morone attack on my country and my values.
  3. Finally, for now, I’d like to leave all you intellectual and open-minded people with one question to answer. I first came across the British mentality and culture in 2000. For the past 22 years I have often heard you slagging off the British and American media for bias and lies. You are aware that your media and your governments can lie just about anything – from little-known celebrities to biological weapons in Iraq. Why now, then, do you believe everything you see and read about what is happening in Ukraine? You are now listening to the talk about “the Ukrainian Srebrenica” – and you don’t even pay attention to the fact that the NATO country, in cold blood, uses the NATO’s war crime incident to draw parallels with today’s carnage! It was so hard to effectively divert the world’s attention from biolaboratories in Ukraine that the NATO media were not too proud to use their own war crime to put it on Russia.

Of course, in this day and age I will have to take precautions, so I will double my posts here on my LCJ page in vKontakte. I don’t use VPN, so I will not be able to answer any comments on Facebook or Twitter. But you can contact me by email, and I will take the opportunity to be your first-hand source of news and commentary.

As you may notice, I do not blame anyone for their views. Indeed, there is often a huge chasm between the Anglo-Saxon view of things – and that of the rest of the world. I do not expect anyone to turn against their media or government just because I say something. But I keep being told that we, Russians, are brainwashed by the Kremlin propaganda. Well, perhaps, it’s not just the Kremlin that engages in propaganda – and we, Russians, are not the only victims thereof.

First Space Flight: 60TH Anniversary

First space flight meant more than just overcoming the gravity. Gagarin showed the working class that everyone had a chance in life.

Ten years later I’m writing a post on the 60th anniversary of the first space flight.This year a Russian self-publishing platform, Litres.Samizdat, and Roskosmos, the Russian Space Agency, organised a contest of short stories. They had to be about space exploration, or dreaming about space, and to generally fall into the category of sci-fi stories. My story was short-listed for a book, but it was not about space exploration as such. It was about David Bowie’s composing Space Oddity, although it mentions the first space flight.

first-space-flight
The International Space Day

It is a well-known fact that Bowie struggled to break through onto the music scene. I was inspired to use it as a backdrop for my story, which came out to be a reflection on what Yuri Gagarin’s first space flight really meant for mankind. It wasn’t just a flight into space, overcoming the gravity; it was, quite literally, a flight in the face of all conventions and restrictions, especially social and economic. Gagarin, a son of a carpenter and a milkmaid, showed the working class that everyone had a chance for a break-through, no matter the background.

A synopsys:

London, 1969. Psychedelics, hippies and space flights inspire a young musician who can’t compose his first hit song and is suffering from misunderstanding and loneliness. One day, in a pub, he meets a red-haired dockworker who, like him, is living a dream of space. From a single conversation Space Oddity, one of the main “cosmic” songs, is born.

It’s only available in Russian at the moment, so if you know the language, please read it here. If you wish to help me out with the English translation (and be credited for it), please, drop me a line.

julia-shuvalova-space-o
The book cover

My previous posts about Space

Jodrell Bank touched the stars and starts into Euro Space Mission

Life in Space: the anniversaries of satellites and search engines

Poekhali by Yuri Gagarin to become a trademark

Georgy Beregovoy – Space Begins on Earth

Yuri Gagarin’s First Orbit – A Film

The 50th anniversary of the first manned orbit

The Unexpected Comeback of the Soviet Spirit due to Pandemics

I was going to tell about this, but tonight’s snowfall makes an ideal backdrop for my story.

I witnessed the final 11 years of the USSR. I was a child, so my memories don’t contain any grim episodes. Instead, I remember the Soviet period as a very quiet time, synonymous with such words as security, safety and peace.

And it was also the time when families were very close-knit and generally kind-hearted. Money was rarely an issue, for everyone was generally pleased with what they had.

Following the demise of the USSR, families began to fall apart. For the second time in the 20th century, after the Civil War of 1918-1922, fathers and sons opposed each other. The civil war didn’t break out this time, but money and the opportunities it provided became the bone of contention. I can’t help pointing out that this expression is a perfect, if sad, metaphor for the conflict that engulfed generations of Russian people.

There was one more important change, apart from money. Younger people began to drift away from their families and homes. Some headed abroad, others to nightclubs. Shops began to work till late, and very soon there appeared those that never closed their doors.

And this was one of the biggest departures from the Soviet times. In Soviet Russia shops used to close any time between 6 and 9pm. I cannot remember a shop that would remain open till 10pm or later. Obviously, there were a few “duty shops”, like the chemists, that would stay open but there’d be only a handful of them for the whole of Moscow.

We often consider any restriction as an encroachment on our freedom. On second thoughts, restrictions help to structure one’s life; without limitations and boundaries people are quite incapable of implementing even the simplest regime.

In Soviet times, when most people finished work at 6pm sharp, they had some three hours to do their shopping. It is true that there were queues at the cashiers, but it’s now clear, why: lots of people had to do their shopping before 9pm. They also had time to meet their friends, visit the theatres and cinemas, walk or attend evening classes and clubs before coming home and spending the evening with their family.

Then, when many shops began to work 24/7, it suddenly became possible to do any shopping at any time. Time with the family became not so important, or it was difficult to make time for them. When you work for yourself, as capitalism often demands, you make your own success and fortune. But, as we have plainly seen, very few people are capable of managing their time well. And, as much as those 24/7 shops were convenient, they also helped to devalue the time. Indeed, if you can do your shopping any time, it doesn’t matter when you actually get to do it.

“Thanks to” the pandemics, shops in Moscow currently work from 8 till 11pm. In the spring 2020, some of them even closed at 9pm or 10pm. Naturally, we had to plan a shopping trip, or we and our pets would be left without food. This added some pressure, but I suddenly realized that I enjoy the quietude of the streets after 11pm.

Before, the traffic never stopped whatever the weather. Tonight there are only few cars, mostly taxis, that snail through the snowfall. People are at home. I don’t think they all sleep, but most of them do.

We hear about different conspiracy theories, but, if my observations are anything to go by, the traitors of mankind may not quiet achieve their goals. By getting back to the normal regime, sleeping when one is expected to sleep, and shopping in the day people are likely to improve their life and perhaps even make it more harmonious.

In historical terms and in the Russian context, this may indeed be a U-turn to the Soviet past and the best it had to offer.

The End of Democracy in the USA

You want to know what we think in Russia about the situation with the American elections? We think this is the end of democracy in the USA. Just as there is a shadow state, there is a shadow national spirit that exists besides the social networks and television. It is supported by the values that we call traditional and that have been mocked or distorted in the recent years. But they still exist: family, children, faith, national independence, national culture, a healthy business competition.

Elephant and Donkey: the mascots of American two political parties (from ruswi.com)

You’d likely want to know what we think here, in Russia, about the situation with the elections and Trump-Biden confrontation. Well, quite simply, we think this is the end of democracy in the USA.

Politics, Weapons and Enemies

The state of affairs between our countries is such that most Russians like the American people, nature, the best of American culture and values – but we are deeply aware that political elites hold Russia as one of America’s biggest enemies. The model of Realpolitik these elites have adhered to for decades dictates to always remember there is an enemy whose attack is imminent. You might say that Russia exists in the same paradigm. Not quite: in our case, this is the sad historical reality. Following the creation of the ancient Russian state in the 10th century and its “free” existence until the Mongol invasion in the 13th century, the only time Russia was not invaded by the belligerent enemy forces was in the 18th cc. I don’t need to tell you that things are different with the USA that has been waging wars here and there in various corners of the East since 1960s. And while Russia has to produce the arms to defend itself, the U.S. produce arms to “bring the democratic values” to uncivilised barbarians elsewhere in the world.

This introduction serves to explain that most people here in Russia are not “for” or “against” Trump, Clinton, Obama, Biden, or any other Democrat or Republican. We are for the politician that is least belligerent and more grounded. Such was Trump. His was the mindset of a good businessman: if it’s good for business, let’s do it. If not, forget it.

Democracy, Hypocrisy and Human Rights

I’ll explain now what problems I personally have with the liberal democratic agenda. Under the aegis of “human rights” liberals bring havoc and plague on all the houses in the neighbourhood. Before we knew it, every deviation under the sun has been considered normal, so that if you don’t discover any legally acknowledged deviation in yourself, you’re a freak. Any discussion becomes a minefield where you are bound to breach these or those rights. This makes any forward movement completely impossible. Instead of getting to the core of the problem and finding a solution, we’re beating around the bush fearing to offend somebody.

And secondly, I really despise these boss-servant relations when a boss comes across as your best friend. This is never the case. Liberalism is all about supporting the weak, it seems. In truth, it’s about weakening the weak, to make them powerless, dependant and therefore more docile and compliant. More often than not the boss takes the servant for a drink not to talk about life, but to learn the weaknesses of the employee. And then he disposes of the servant if necessary, and the latter cannot even understand why the boss had to be so ruthless. They always had a good chat and a pint on Friday afternoon…

The End of Democracy in the USA

First, there has indeed been proof of Democrats’ forging the elections. Interestingly, they used the same method of which they’ve been accusing Russia since 2011: they threw in fake bulletins. And now we see Twitter “forever banning” Trump. The meaning thereof is VERY simple. The Fourth and Fifth Estate in America is the real power; their owners and investors own the country. What the recent American election has shown, is that people no longer have any power or right. You may vote because the Constitution says you can, but you don’t decide who becomes the president. The owners of the media and social networks do. Officially, the last popular president, i.e. elected by the people, was Donald Trump.

This is certainly the end of democracy in the USA. This is also a revival of oligarchy in its worst form yet. Its power is entirely virtual, including the money, but extremely strong and omnipresent.

What’s Next for America?

I don’t for a second support those (rare) voices who claim they will enjoy watching the USA plunging into the civil war. For all the bad things the American politicians have done since the 20th c., the American people don’t deserve to experience the horror of an inner military conflict. Yet I can well imagine it happening. Just as there is a shadow state, there is a shadow national spirit that exists besides the social networks and television. It is supported by the values that we call traditional and that have been mocked or distorted in the recent years. But they still exist: family, children, faith, national independence, national culture, a healthy business competition. Republicans and those who share their values have a lot to fight for.

Links to other articles on Politics and History on LCJ

Ten Years Ago, on September 11, 2001

Historical Comebacks (about the West-East rivalry)

Jacques Le Goff on History (one of the leading medievalists on the Evil, the West and the East)

Thoughts on Russian presidential elections (+mentality+curious media parallels with the recent US elections)

Wrong on Russia (about history, democracy, Russia and the West)

The 75th Anniversary of the Leningrad Blockade, 1944-2019

The Professional Fallacy of Historians (a brief piece on mid-Tudor studies)

Poekhali by Yuri Gagarin To Become a Trademark

Poekhali (Let’s Go) by Yuri Gagarin to become a trademark, the press office of Roskosmos reports. Other historic signs have also been claimed.

Roscosmos has initiated the registration of several historic and seminal signs as trademarks “to protect the state corporation from unfair competition”. Poekhali by Yuri Gagarin is to become a trademark – the world-famous word he said on his first flight to space, which means “let’s go”.

poekhali-by-yuri-gagarin-to-become-a-trademark
Poekhali by Yuri Gagarin is known all over the world as the first words of a man in space. It is set to become a trademark if registered by Pospatent. Image credit: fortuna-2014.livejournal.com

As we’re waiting to hear about further details, here’s a song about Yuri Gagarin, Do You Know What Man He Was, sung by Yuri Gulyaev. The video is a collage of Gagarin’s photos.

Nine years ago, when the world celebrated the 50th anniversary of the first manned Earth orbit, Anton Agarkov paid a visit to the Star City and shared lots of photos that I also featured on my blog. Read the article. To commemorate the same event, Attic Room Productions have made The First Orbit movie that you can watch below. It reconstructs Gagarin’s historic flight and helps to relive his experience – now almost 60 years on.

More posts on Space.

The Day of National Unity in Russia: Faith and Mockery

The Day of National Unity in Russia stands as an attempt both to relinquish the revolutionary past and to re-appropriate the spirit of oneness

We celebrate the Day of National Unity in Russia today. It falls on the same day as the celebration of the Kazan Icon of Our Lady by the Russian Orthodox Church. In fact, November 4th has been celebrated since the 17th c., after the Polish-Lithuanian intervention had been driven out of Russia by the Second Volunteer Army of Minin and Pozharsky. The occasion was first commemorated by Mikhail Romanov, the first ruler of the new dynasty on the Russian throne.

“The Russian Orthodox people have for centuries prayed to Our Lady who always defends and helps when the human powers are running low”.

In recent years the civil holiday was widely celebrated by the parades and street performances, but naturally, this year such events were out of the question. On the contrary, the faithful flocked to churches this morning. Many Russian Orthodox churches traditionally serve two liturgies on big holidays like this one, to accommodate as many believers as possible. I, too, went to the church today, although I couldn’t stay for the service.

I’m drafting a big article on satyre, the mockery of religious beliefs and the impact it has on the world today. One thing I certainly find disturbing is that we are not serious enough about the really important things. We take politics very seriously; we take economy and money-making even more seriously; and expendables, like buckwheat and toilet paper, seem the end of it all. But our world is growing exponentially void of sympathy and respect. For is there really an explanation to the fact that, while the Act of Equal Opportunities demands employment to all despite their (dis)abilities, religious beliefs, sexuality and gender, the artists and journalists demand the right to mock faith and its most important aspects? Logically, this means 1) that a person outside the titular spectrum is given a competitive advantage based on their “difference” but at the time 2) in return for the titular population tolerating their “difference” they are made to tolerate the mockery of some very important aspects of their culture, namely, faith.

Christianity has undergone this hysteria during the Reformation, when zealous Protestants whitewashed the opulent Catholic frescoes and broke the statues of saints and prophets. There has long been a taciturn consensus between the different denominations within the Christian Church, whereby the Russian Orthodox Church remains faithful to the old Byzantine order, preserving the spirit of Christianity, while Catholic and Protestant Churches have moved on pastures new, admitting in women and gay priests. The thing is very different with Islam, as according to traditional Christian thought, Muhammad is a fake prophet, hence Islam is a sect, not a religion in its proper sense of the word. It has been accepted by the civil society, by the lay order, but in terms of religious culture, there has been no acceptance. The Western culture remains largely Christian, and if if chooses to drift anywhere, it is to yoga and Buddhism, not Islam. The Muslim culture doesn’t fit anywhere, so it literally has to fight for itself. Despite this, for nearly a decade European journalists have seen to aggravating the Muslim population by producing caricatures on Muhammad and, most recently, on President Erdogan, who seemingly aspires to resurrect the Ottoman Empire. Add to this the problem of the West “making up” the palatable East and not even attempting to understand the East on the latter’s own terms, and it becomes obvious just how really tragic these caricatures are, and how oblivious is President Macron or other leaders to the real state of things.

Admittedly, Russia today is also performing a balancing act today, following the demise of the USSR and the influx of the cheap labour force from the former Soviet republics. I wrote previously about the Day of National Unity in Russia and the attempt to relegate the revolutionary past into the void of History. However, it is legally prohibited to mock or satirize anyone’s religious beliefs, and I fully support this limitations. I know some call these satirical acts the manifestation of freedom. I strongly believe that freedom is not about how far we can go, but when we choose to stop.

The Mystery of William Turner’s Dinefwr Castle

As I’m reading through Art History books of my English-language library, I’ve immersed myself into a book on Turner’s trails in North and South Wales. I bought it on my visit to Valle Crucis Abbey in Denbighshire in 2009.

My visit to Dinefwr

I visited Dinefwr Castle two years earlier, in the summer of 2007. I was accompanying my husband to Carmarthen, and on a free day we decided to travel to see one of the castles. Dinefwr in Llandeilo turned out to be the closest, we didn’t have to change buses, and we thoroughly enjoyed it. I wrote about the trip in my Carmarthen Cameos and even received a long comment from a once citizen of Llandeilo, in whom my post awakened lovely childhood memories.

William Turner, Llandeilo Bridge and Dinevor Castle (1796, National Museum of Wales)

Turner’s Dinefwr Castle

Dinefwr Castle, in its turn, inspired Turner: he visited it in 1795, and in 1796 he exhibited the watercolour painting, Llandeilo Bridge and Dinevor Castle. It can now be seen at the National Museum of Wales. Just like in his other paintings, he juxtaposes different viewpoints, making both castle and hill more magnificent and closer to the viewer than they really are. The bridge, as we can see, used to be insecure: in the watercolour Turner depicts it being supported by an uprooted tree. Following his intention to combine the past with the present, Turner concentrates entirely on the foreground, which is ridden in misery, whilst the silhouette of the glorious past glows in the light of the setting sun. The eye of the viewer may travel from top to bottom or the other way round, but in any case, one is moved to consider the fate of Wales and its people.

And this is the extract from the aforementioned Cadw book that sheds light on the variety of techniques an artist could use to enhance the desired effect:

Whilst this picture was undergoing conservation in 1993 an unexpected discovery was made that shed new light on Turner’s experimentation with watercolour technique at this time. Bonded onto the back of the paper was another sheet painted with the same scene, though in a different technique and seemingly unfinished. At first this was thought to be a preparatory sketch that Turner had abandoned, but further investigation revealed that it was almost certainly a deliberate attempt to imitate in watercolour an effect that he had found possible with oil by superimposing layers of pigment. Here he seems to have tried to exploit the translucency of the watercolour paper and enrich the level of reflected light from the surface of the finished picture by placing additional painted work underneath the paper (from: On the Trail of Turner in North and South Wales, p. 30. Cardiff, 2008 (3rd ed.)

More secrets?

To summarise, Turner made another painting of the similar scene on the back on the final picture in order to enhance the light and expressivity of the watercolour. Given his secrecy about his working methods, I’m very intrigued to find out what other methods and techniques he deployed to obtain a previously unknown artistic effect.

How We’re Going Through the Pandemics

Getting through the crisis takes personal courage, groundness, and the sense of purpose. Know your values and your mission and stay calm amidst the storm

I’ve been working from home this week. It’s slightly challenging for going through, delightfully novel and surprisingly wholesome. I start work in the morning and finish any time between 4.30pm and 8pm. And I still have time for other things.

I’m a bit concerned about the attitude of some new “divines” to coronavirus. They preach this is a great, albeit scary, way to “clear the planet”. Look, they say, dolphins are coming back to Venice, isn’t this amazing?! Sure, some people die, and still more will if they are too resistant to change. Be flexible, be liquid, learn to work online, and chances are, you’ll get through alright.

The reason these preachings perplex me slightly is because there is strong evidence of a new kind of biological weapon being tested. And as much as I’m glad for both Venice and dolphins, I feel anxious as to what the future holds.

However, I agree with the sages: we need to be flexible. In the time of great changes it’s futile to try and maintain status quo, ancien régime, the way we were, you name it. I’ve just had a thought that this pandemic may hammer the nail in the EU’s coffin, perhaps penultimate yet. One of my students is going through his personal upheaval, and he’s managing it poorly, so I reason with him thus: everything that is yours will remain yours. Sadly, at time like this it is only us that remain ours; the rest may go.

I’ve been through these crises a few times already, and I’m grateful for the skills that will undoubtedly see me through. I’m grateful for my faith, my work, my talent. These are the things that will always remain mine.

I’ve just been through the posts I wrote in 2008 and 2009, and it’s wonderful to see how the above mentioned skills helped me then. Feel free to read my blog and find all the inspiration and support you need. And I’ll keep you updated on what’s happening in Russia (particularly Moscow) and how things are going for me this time.

Take care and #staysafeathomeinrussia

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