Artem Berman: So, look there are three questionnaires: ‘I have never worked,’ ‘I used to work, but I don’t work now’ and ‘I am currently employed.’ What is your choice?
Oleg Ivanenko: I choose the last option.
Artem Berman: You mean, ‘I am currently employed.’ Perfect. So, we have standard questions. Let’s go through them fast. Do you allow this interview…
Oleg Ivanenko: Yes.
Artem Berman: To be used for research purposes? Do you allow this interview…
Oleg Ivanenko: Yes.
Artem Berman: To be published on the site iemployed.org. Do you want to use your real name or any pseudonym?
Oleg Ivanenko: Do as you please.
Artem Berman: What is your name?
Oleg Ivanenko: I am Ivanenko Oleg Valerievich.
Artem Berman: How old are you?
Oleg Ivanenko: I am 40 years old.
Artem Berman: What is your gender?
Oleg Ivanenko: I am not planning to surprise you (laughs) I am probably in the critical minority in Ukraine, because from my understanding of things that are going around, the other type of people are in the majority.
Artem Berman: That’s the way the cookie crumbles. Do you live alone or with your wife, with your children?
Oleg Ivanenko: I live alone.
Artem Berman: Okay. What kind of disability do you have?
Oleg Ivanenko: Neck, free diving. It’s a common story.
Artem Berman: It’s a standard story. It is a trauma of a diver.
Oleg Ivanenko: Let’s go on.
Artem Berman: The next question is a detailed one. How and when has your social rehabilitation started? At what age did you get a trauma? It’s important to understand.
Oleg Ivanenko: It was in 1995.
Artem Berman: How old were you?
Oleg Ivanenko: I was 15.
Artem Berman: You were 15. Therefore, it seems to me; your social rehabilitation was at the same time with your moving into adulthood…
Oleg Ivanenko: Well, you know, probably it was not like this. My growing-up started much earlier. I had already been a mature person at that time. I knew what I wanted, what I wanted out of life. Therefore, there were not any complex transformations.
Artem Berman: So, you didn’t lay and felt sorry for yourself. You knew what you wanted at once. You started to move on.
Oleg Ivanenko: I came around, and I immediately had an elastic band for exercises. So, there were neither prostration nor misreading of the situation. After the jump, I was in the water for long – all night. Well, I had already understood everything by that time. It was clear that I had neck trauma. Since I was a professional sportsman, we were taught what could happen, what consequences could be, and if it happened, it would be a life sentence. So after about 2 hours I realized that it would be the other reality, and I needed to succeed or whatever. Yes, it probably is. Well, if you understand where you are, your bifurcation point, then you understand how you should move. It was not at once, but during several years, I fully understood how everything had to be done.
Artem Berman: Okay.
Oleg Ivanenko: Well, I completely rehabilitated myself. I had my own recovery system.
Artem Berman: Well, you are referring to physical rehabilitation, don’t you? I am however exactly interested in social rehabilitation.
Oleg Ivanenko: Social… It (trauma) did not change my decisions, which were made when I was about 12 years old. I mean a university, a school ... Graduation, university. Then there were house exercises. Well, my home was fully equipped.
Artem Berman: Did you go outside, talk to people, go to the cinema, go to the restaurants or you had a pause?
Oleg Ivanenko: Well, when I could do it by myself…Well, you still remember that 1992 year. It’s not a good story. Well… I had an aim to move around the city independently. It became a reality to move independently after 8 years of daily exercises. Now I am planning a big, well I’ll sign and give you the book, ‘C5: Impossible is possible’. The moments when it was difficult are written there. It was difficult for the first moment, I remember it clearly, I remember when I had spent in the rehabilitation center for 3 weeks, and then we were driven outside. There were two people with neck trauma. It was a matter of a set of eyes. Well, you know, then I stood aside, looked at myself and said, ‘Well, it has already happened, don’t think about it anymore.’ Well, since that time I do not define myself as a person that moves differently. Well, I don’t think about it at all. Probably, it was from the beginning. No matter how you move. What does matter is your way of thinking?
Artem Berman: It makes sense. I have the next question. Again, the question is just a framework. You can go into details and the more information you provide, the better it will be. Your education before and after your trauma. Where did you study? Why? What was the faculty?
Oleg Ivanenko: I left school, I completed eleven grade, and I completed my studies at university, the Faculty of Economics. However, there was a transformation, because, after one year on the Faculty of Economics, I understood that I wanted more, and since the basic knowledge in Economics was enough, I graduated from the Faculty of International Economy and Law.
Artem Berman: Do you work for a company or yourself?
Oleg Ivanenko: I have never worked for anyone. I am deeply sure that every person, if he/she analyzes himself/herself and wants to become a whole and balanced human being, at a certain moment he/she should realize that it’s, to have not a salary, but an income. Then the paradigm of attitude to different things is changed. As soon as the person realizes that income is the priority, besides you start to understand that income can be regardless of whether you working on it or not, and you free up a lot of time to meet other challenges, well, actually, because what is money? Money is time we buy and independence.
Artem Berman: Did you have a feeling that you were working in limited resources?
Oleg Ivanenko: I still feel like this. I would like to have a bit more resources. This is the situation when the scale of the tasks to be solved depends on the volume of existing resources. In each situation, you proceed from the volume of your resources, including intellectual, temporary, well, and financial resources.
Artem Berman: Then, let it be the next question at once. Can I get a word about your work and difficulties connected with your disability you meet at work if you have them?
Oleg Ivanenko: Well, I’ve told you at once that I don’t have any limitations. Well, it’s jurisprudence, economics, business, politics. It’s politics; it’s professional political activity. I am the first in Ukraine, who was elected to the large representative agency of State power under the majority system. This is also a transformation of the consciousness of people. I was a deputy of the city council. I am a deputy of Regional Council now. I was elected under the majority system again. This is when people choose, and there has been a change in collection perception. It was started from the perception you like the person, who needs help, to the person, who can help. Things change. In my city, no one has even a thought to look back to see the interesting situation that happened, who is in a wheelchair. It’s because it’s boring to do. It seems to me; everyone understands Ivanenko is going. Who is he? I’m going to tell you now. See?
Artem Berman: Okay. What were the main reasons why you started to work, and why do you go on now? What sets you in this life? Sex, boxing, rock-and-roll?
Oleg Ivanenko: This is an aim. This is the biggest task, structured and divided into the phases. However, I also explain students of the 7-11 forms that, first, they need to understand their system of values. When they get a scale of values, at least from the first point to the fifth one, and it’s better to have it up to the tenth point, and this scale of values, your scale of values, which defines you, is the first step to the accurate understanding what you want in this life. The second one is your aim that may seem fantastic for some period, but it doesn’t matter. The more fantastic it seems, the more it is a challenge. First, it’s because of the interest of its realization and a great way of life. Well, you should also have an accurate understanding that everything you will do in life should be rational. Everything you do in this life should have a causal link. Well, that’s the story.
Artem Berman: The next question is also about your work. Can you imagine yourself unemployed?
Oleg Ivanenko: With pleasure.
Artem Berman: What were the consequences of such a step?
Oleg Ivanenko: Well, we should understand what… Well, we need the definition. Is the work considered as a process of earning money or it is just a process?
Artem Berman: Okay. Give me a word about both the first and the second definition. The first question is whether you worked enough to go to the islands. The second question is if you could imagine yourself lying and doing nothing. Wouldn’t you go mad?
Oleg Ivanenko: Well, again. I don’t have an option to do nothing in my paradigm of tasks. Well, if I had, well, some people, probably, have such scale of values and tasks. I mean to earn enough money to go to the islands. Well, then, it’s okay. However, this is completely different in my coordinate structure. Firstly, I can afford myself to do this. Secondly, if I did this, if I went to islands, I would find what to do there. It would be like this if It happened, and if I didn’t have a choice. Since I have other aims and tasks, my answer is ‘I can do it, but I won’t do it.’ I do this. I go abroad for several weeks in winter and don’t do anything on those islands I want. That’s it. I reboot my consciousness.
Artem Berman: The next question is whether you perceive the work, well, in this case as a process, as an important mechanism for integrating a person into society?
Oleg Ivanenko: No! I don’t perceive a work like this. You probably need it… Well, again, we’ve already had an understanding. Yes, probably, during some period you work for earning money. This is a necessity because current conditions and technologies make it possible to earn much money fast, very fast. It’s because we have technologies. It was impossible earlier. Moreover, we got trauma when it was just impossible.
Artem Berman: What kind of technologies? Give an example.
Oleg Ivanenko: What kind of technologies make it possible to earn money? Well, all of them are here now. In general, I understand that the most promising thing in the world is algorithms. Yes, these are algorithms now. Besides, this is the theory, the history of numbers, which gives possibilities to make informative decisions. Probability calculus is the fundamental science for me. It is one of the most exact sciences for me. I realize this. All these things make it possible to make these decisions more accurately now. Accordingly, more accurate decisions cause ...
Artem Berman: The economy of time.
Oleg Ivanenko: To tremendous results, that, well, make it easier to provide yourself with resources quickly. You probably understand that after another million money doesn’t make sense for you. It makes sense when you have an aim, and you are living up to it. Well, this is it. Long ago, economists counted that after $ 600,000, it just didn’t make any sense for you. Everything you do in this life, every act should have a causal link according to your big life plan and the challenge you meet — everything you do. Accordingly, every time you think about how to simplify this. You think what to do to make others do it for you. Well, we are… Well, I became aware of this after I started to move differently. Well, you probably know that I have an uncomfortable haircut. It’s because I’ve never done my hair by myself. You should organize everything so accurate that people will do it for you. They are flashed with an idea, with a task. Never mind. This is the other story. However, you are always at your best. No one can even imagine that you’ve never closed buttons by yourself in this life. It has never been for a moment in life, although you can learn this in theory. Theoretically, I can learn how to do hair. However, this is not practical.
Artem Berman: Look, I have another two questions. What does support you besides this internal driver, what else drives you in this life? Family, friends, environment, hobbies? What drives you?
Oleg Ivanenko: Well, we have things that we like, and we must find time and opportunity to do them. You definitely have to understand why you enjoy life. You can’t live without this. I mean, you should spend some time with these activities. Game, women, fishing ... This is a short answer. We’re not inventing anything new ...
Artem Berman: Of course.
Oleg Ivanenko: It’s because a whole person, embodied in human consciousness and existence here, is probably ... For the reason that you and I have read everything, and everything has been written about it by everyone long time. That’s why we’ve chosen the best passages and use them now. It’s simple.
Artem Berman: Is your work, your business connected with your education? Was it useful, your education?
Oleg Ivanenko: Yes, of course. Returning to our subject, at some phase you should understand that you must do something else. That’s it. Probably, I didn’t have time to study a foreign language perfectly, and since I understand how much time I should spend now, I do not dare to spend it. Because… It’s not about I don’t have time. You can turn on the headphones, and it will buzz, but you are distracted. What is the most important task for the person, who is engaged in large structures or large tasks? His/her biggest task and process where he/she spends most of his/her time is to think. To think and make more balanced and competent, and rational decisions. And it distracts thinking, a piece of shit Bullshit! What the fuck do you need it for?  In a few years, translators will translate everything using...
Artem Berman: Artificial intellect and other things.
Oleg Ivanenko: Yes. I am told that it develops the brain. I say that it is not what develops the brain. Foreign languages do not develop the brain. The brain is developed by the information or experience of those people who faced it and concentrated it in their work. This is what you do. This is what you will concentrate on. I will read your work with pleasure. I’ll spend my time on this.
Artem Berman: Okay. The last question can be irrelevant for you, but I will ask. Do you have any financial support from the state, and is it a considerable part of your total income? Well, let’s say like this. I can imagine the answer.
Oleg Ivanenko: I dream of building a model in the state when the state understands that for the implementation and transformation of ideas that bring huge resources and income to the state or free these resources and income, the person who did it is obliged to get a lot of money. This should be honest money and official taxes. It doesn’t exist now; we have just American half-model. However, as soon as this happens, and you will understand that the task you have completed is socially significant and global and everyone realizes the value of this challenge, it must bring you crazy resources, then it will be productive in my understanding of working with state resources, with public finance. While we don’t have such system, but we can do it, it will be theft. It is considered a theft in this country. I know thousands of ways how to make money from the state. I do not use any of them.
Artem Berman: Okay. I have the last question. I’m going to say 4 phrases. I will start them, and you will finish. This is a bit philosophical story. Just off the top of your head. The first phrase is ‘I am capable of…’
Oleg Ivanenko: I am capable of anything.
Artem Berman: ‘I will be…’
Oleg Ivanenko: I will be whatever I want me to be.
Artem Berman: ‘I want…’
Oleg Ivanenko: I want.
Artem Berman: ‘I am afraid of…’
Oleg Ivanenko: I’m not afraid of almost anything. Well, we should feel fear because it is …
Artem Berman: The instinct.
Oleg Ivanenko: Exactly. If you hear a loud sound you need to do something to protect yourself. In general, it is not about having or not having fear. It is about knowing how to deal with it.
Artem Berman: Thank you…
Oleg Ivanenko: And thank you.