Am I forever destined to think (and write) about Russia that once was, no longer is?

Alexei Sorokin
2 min readSep 27, 2022

There was so much hope in the nineties. The irony: the darkest decade in modern Russia’s history, full of crime and turbulence, yet there was so much hope. The country was loved by the world: young, broke, and often troubled, yet there was so much hope. It was like an unruly teenager. Often ugly, but you hoped the turbulence would pass.

When I was a kid, I swam a bit. In the nineties, my hero was Alex Popov. Super fast, handsome, gracious. Beating America’s Gary Hall!

I loved Anna Kournikova too!

I am an avid lover of Western pop and rock music. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, I discovered everything — absolutely everything — that shapes my identity to this very date. Movies, music, all things creative, all things authentic, my love for freedom, and being able to express myself in whatever way I want.

I was able to intimately experience the “West”, as a teenage student:

From Kansas and Oklahoma to Cambridge and Harvard, then to the glamorous world of investment banking.

I’m not bragging. Thanks to Russia being an open country (then!), oriented toward the West, as it seemed a couple of decades ago, I was able to embrace the world and everything good about it: having friends from all over the world, experiencing foreign cultures, discovering my identity — that embraces freedom, diversity, authenticity, and vulnerability.

And now all is lost. Now this:

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Alexei Sorokin

A Russian immigrant in America, father of 4, Cambridge and Harvard Business School alum. I run and write every day. https://runningwritingliving.substack.com/