First of all, let me introduce myself.
My name — and, as a Russian, I have not only a name, but a patronymic as well — Vladimir Vladimirovich (meaning that my father's name was Vladimir as well). But I am not only a namesake of our President; the same name+patronymic had our famous poet Mayakovsky, writer Nabokov, and many other less known, but respectable persons.
In Russian, familiarly-diminutively they call me Volodya or even Vova, Vovan, Vovik, Vovchik; you, being representatives of a slightly different civilization, can call me Vlad or Mir or even Sam (derived from my family name; BTW, it was my nickname among my university-mates) or how ever else — I don't mind until your giving me names becomes offensive.
I was born in 1970 — while the USSR was strong and atop of one of the two poles of the world. I came home from my military service in 1990 — when USSR was going (or, to be more precise, was lead by some powers) to collapse. I graduated from the Moscow State University; my faculty had its own name — the College (or Institute) of Afro-Asian Studies, and my main subjects were Economics and Afrikaans — so ek kan ook 'n bietjie praat, menere an mevrouens, — in 1995, while the process of destroying the Soviet heritage and building up something new on its remains was on the very go.
I have two children, two wonderful sons of 21 and 16 (at the moment), that is I am also a husband and a father. My younger son Alexander does pretty well in figure skating, so no surprise this sport became one of my biggest interests in life.
As for my job, I started (not alone; with a couple of enthusiastic colleagues) Photomagazin magazine in 1993. It was at the time the only non-governmental magazine on photography and photo equipment, and in 1996 it was the only one, when former "Soviet Photo" died. Since then my job is connected with cameras, lenses, tripods, photographers and related goods and people.
Yet and however, I remain a Russian. And the world has too little knowledge of this particular part of my life.
Having not that bad skills in spoken English, I was invited some times by the BBC to share my views on, let's say, incorporation of Crimea or Victory Parade in Moscow with their radio and TV audience, but one or two minutes af air time is definitely not enought to share all aspects of my thinking, my views, my feelings about the situations.
Recently they wanted me to comment on economic 'crysis' in Russia — and it was kind of a milestone. I have decoded to start my own English language blog, to have a good possibility to share my opinions with everybody who'd like to know.
Since 1991, I do not belong to any political party or movement, I am a trade journalist in the field of photography, but my job never urged me to express my political views or comments. This blog is my entirely and absolutely private project. I am not supported, or funded, or somehow sponsored by any political body, party, institution or government.
Whether you enjoy it or not — just be polite; I always have reasons to say what I say. I will definitely ban for offenses.
I do not promise to tolerate everything; yet I will try to do my best in responding to your questions. Ask me whatever you'd like to know abour Moscow (my home city), Russia, our Russian ideas, feelings, words, etc.
Let's do the world a better known and mutually understandable place together. It's the place our children and grandchildren have to live in. So let us help them.
I do hope my voice won't remain the one crying in the wilderness, supposedly the world is to a certain extent civilized indeed, and able (though seemingly seldom) to solve matters using the power of words instead of weapons.
PS: Just for your information: I include a small set of my personal images, so that you have a better understanding that I am a real world person, not just a set of letters on the screen of your gadget.
|I and my younger sister in the countryside ('dacha') near Moscow; judging by her size & pram, it is the sunny summer of 1978.|
|I was a good soldier in 1990; a picture with the regiment's banner as a background was an official encouragement.|
Yes, I'm proud, by the way.
PPS: I have a blog in Russian; I write there what I feel is important to me, to Muscovites (as Moscow is my native and home city) and to my compatriots, Don't be jealous; if you want to read what I write there — please be so kind to learn Russian; it's definitely difficult but not more than English was for me (and it was not the only one I learned, you know).
PPPS: I know my English is not perfect, it is not my native tongue. Yet I hope it is quite understandable. However if I have failed to express a thought in a proper way, let me know about it and I try gratefully to correct or improve my texts.