When the conflict in Ukraine started, the rock band, Imperial Age, were stuck in their native Russia. Aware that they had to get out of the country, two left, then another two. Most of the band is now based in Turkey.
We print the words of band leader, Alexander "Aor" Osipov, not to take any side, but to offer another perspective on the situation.
"In Russia, only 9% have foreign passports, and only 5% have ever been abroad. 95% have no experience at all, that things could be otherwise.
I am very grateful to fate that I have visited almost all the countries of Europe, as well as China, Nepal, Egypt, Turkey, and as a child I lived in several of them - mainly in Britain and Germany. Back then I did not appreciate it and wanted to go home. But now I understand how priceless this gift is, and how much it has shaped my consciousness.
When you see all these people, you understand that in the vast majority they are simple, kind and sincere. That almost everywhere its plus or minus the same thing, if we take the life of ordinary people. That all these differences: language, nation, religion - are complete bullshit and evil, just a reason to kill each other out of the blue. That there is no "mentality" - just people who want to live normally.
No way can they bullshit me with the crap about "decaying West", "ring of enemies", "Russophobia" and all these lies, the purpose of which is to divide people and maintain the power of corrupt elites in a separate territory where they can pour any nonsense into people's ears. Only they win from people hating each other and do not communicating with each other.
I advise everyone - no matter how hard it is now - to travel, learn foreign languages and culture. Chat with people all over the world. Maintain a connection that they are trying to hack with all their might. Closing yourself in one territory when there is a whole world out there is infinitely stupid.
If everyone had the opportunity to travel the world and communicate with each other, there would be so much less unjustified anger, but there would be much more peace, friendship and mutual understanding. The planet is our common home, and we all just want to live normally in it.
And who cares what leader outlined the border of a tribe with his urine, what flag he hung up there and what stupid arguments he is trying to rub into everyone just to cling on to power. We are not apes - we are Humans. Or at least most of us are..."