I was born on 27 March 1983 in a Russian middle-class family in Tashkent city, Uzbekistan. That time Uzbekistan was a part of USSR. During and after World War II, a lot of production moved from Russia’s territory to neighboring countries like Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and other. With factories and technologies, Russians emigrated along with Germans, Jews. My grandmother was born and used to live in a village near Voronezh city in Russia, and when her relatives wrote to her from Tashkent that there was a safe city with a pleasant climate, plenty of fresh vegetables, bread and fruits, she emigrated. An interesting fact was that after a few decades later, her younger daughter emigrated from Uzbekistan to the US probably for the same reasons- in search of a greener pasture.
My mom was born in Uzbekistan in 1958, and despite her sixty years of living here, she never learned the Uzbek language. After the war, the Soviet Union heavily invested in infrastructural projects in Uzbekistan: construction of factories, roads, subways, railroads, agriculture and almost in every other sector of the economy including the educational system. The Russian language became a second official language, and during my adolescence in 1990–2000, only Uzbeks from rural areas didn’t speak Russian.
Another interesting fact was the word “Soviet,” literally means “advice.” In context, it means the Advisory Board, but practically there wasn’t any board. The system was autocratic and
monocracy unlike in the United States, where the Congress has real power over the president. In my opinion, this was a significant reason for the collapse of a third largest empire after British and Mongol in human history. A highly centralized and autocratic system can be compromised easily compare to a decentralized system.
In 1991, after the USSR collapsed and Uzbekistan became an independent republic, attitudes toward Russians have deteriorated dramatically. I often heard shouts at our address “Fuck off from our land, go to your Russia.” Schools started to segregate children by languages: Russians and Uzbeks were learning separately.