Like many young design engineers, at an early age I assembled, disassembled and rewired all the electronic devices that came to my hand. After my first project at the age of 10 – a ventilator constructed from a disassembled radio–controlled helicopter – I was fixated on all sorts of self-funded experiments with the development of hardware and software: from repairing radio-controlled cars to creating an installation for mining Ethereum (by the way, my blog began with a story about mining).
However, just at the moment when my extreme curiosity began to blossom, Russia invaded my native territory in the Crimea, and I suddenly found myself cut off from the information and materials that my impatient mind craved. Suddenly I found myself in an occupied state, where sanctions and harsh government intervention severely restricted my access to Google, YouTube (the most important source for many engineering projects) and the purchase of basic electronics. It seemed that my progress would falter. It is difficult to explain to people who have always enjoyed fundamental freedoms what an obstacle this can become to education and personal development without them. Frozen bank accounts, hyperinflation of consumer goods, limited access to online computers and electronic stores – all this contributed to a deep sense of frustration and hindered economic growth.
However, this barrier only strengthened my desire to learn. I have acquired two most important qualities: patience and resourcefulness. I managed to open a bank account during a short trip to Moscow, and I started buying spare parts from small independent sellers. Focusing on creative solutions, I created my own proxy server to order spare parts anonymously, but safely, and used all sorts of “address tricks” to purchase goods without explicitly specifying Crimea as the destination country.
The transition from the Ukrainian education system to the Russian one meant that for two years I studied at home, which was fraught with its own difficulties. It was then that my parents decided to move to the UK to provide me with the best educational opportunities. Mastering a new language and a completely different education system in some of my formative teenage years was extremely difficult, but it only expanded my openness to various forms of learning and increased my thirst for knowledge.