It is one thing to move to Russia physically. The most radical act is to do it inwardly, by becoming Orthodox and learning the Russian language. In Russia you will always be a westerner. The question is can you stay in the West and become Russian?
This is basically my story. I would answer your question, that I stayed in the West and became Russian. I am Russian by blood, though I consider the Russian identity more as a spiritual and/or cultural thing than anything else.
I was born in the West. It was during my teen hood that I would say that I became really Russian. Then I really learned the Russian language, culture, and Orthodox religion by all myself on the internet. Before my teen hood my knowledge of the Russian language paled in comparison with the English language. The Russian culture and history was not something that I thought about all that much. And I was a quasi atheist. This is what a western public education does to someone.
I can't say for sure what prompted me to make my transformation. Perhaps it was because I became older and more mature, my thinking deepened. I realized just how little I knew about the Russian language, culture, history, religion, etc, and that was embarrassing for me. And so I embarked on a quest for my own identity. At around the time of my teen hood my parents tranferred me onto home school instead of public school system, because I was bullied by both teachers and students for rejecting the propaganda. My parents however didn't know how to run a home school so I was basically free to do what I wanted. Also around this time they purchased internet so that I could access my lessons in Khan Academy. We didn't have internet before that.
At first I started watching just Russian language tutorials on YouTube, like grammar and stuff. It was just another part of home school for me. But then I also started learning the Russian language by watching Russian songs and movies on YouTube. And I fell in love with the Russian culture, music, architecture, clothing, everything about it. My father once told me that if I really wanted to, I could learn Russian on my own, and make it into a hobby. I believe that's the key to learning anything, is to make it your hobby. And actually Russian became an obsession for me. I watched documentaries about Russian history, cultural traditions, and I went down some pretty deep rabbit holes. I listened to narrations of the poems of Pushkin and Lermontov on YouTube, I would print the transcripts and follow along to make sure that I actually understood the deep meanings behinds the lyrics, instead of just rote memorization. I think that one of the best ways to learn a language is to use songs or poetry, because the rhymes and melodies tend to stick in your head and replay themselves over and over on repeat, you don't have to exert any extra efforts in order to memorize them. And it's very fun too!
Now you may think that YouTube is not a reliable source of information for learning Russian (language, culture, history, etc), but I would say that it is simply a gold mine for this, you just need to know where and how to look. My YouTube algorithm has been trained by me to such an extent that none of the western consumerist stuff shows up on my home page, or in the reccomended videos on the side. I use ad blocking extensions too. There are like hundreds thousands of relevent songs, music videos, documentaries, lectures, etc.
And you may think that such a home study practice does not necessarily make someone who has grown up in the western society, a Russian person, but I would once again disagree. I have found some of the best educational materials on the internet about Russian culture. It is a total immersion in the Russian world. I would say that it is impossible to study such materials and not have your whole entire worldview changed as a result. I now see the world with completely different eyes after 10 years of studying this topic.
Previously I found lots of things about the western culture weird and illogical, but I just couldn't put my finger on what exactly was wrong. I was just looking at individual things. I would say that having access to another culture, it's worldview, it's mindset, can completely change the way you look at things. That's why I think so many people in the western world become NPC's, is because they only have a single frame of reference from which they look at things. They can't even imagine the possibility of a different social, cultural, ideological, spiritual, mental, etc system. They can't fathom how things can be so much different than what they're used to. I mean even just basic things like philosophy and attitudes.
I don't really participate in the western culture and/or society, apart from working my job, going to the stores and gas stations, and doing whatever the bureaucracy requires. But I have completely cut all western cultural stuff like junk food, Netflix, western music, video games, movies, restaurants, bars, etc out of my life. I have completely rejected all that stuff. My reason being that such cultural practices are neither Russian nor Orthodox. I live in the society but by my own will I do not participate in it and I mostly keep to myself and my "echo chamber".
You could say that I live as a monk. I would say that one does not necessarily have to live in a monastery in an isolated place in order to live like a monk. In fact, it is possible to live in the western society, in the big cities, like a monk. It's just harder in a sense that like, if you live in a secluded monastery the location is doing the work of filtering out the cruft for you. So there is the question are you really so pious or is your internal state dependent on your location. Whereas if you live in the middle of the society and you do not want to participate in it, then your internal state is dependent on yourself only, not on your location. It's up to you to include or exclude various activities. I just live in society and ignore it. I feel like I'm different, not from here. Almost as if I'm an alien from another planet.
Sometimes it feels like a chronic depression that the society which I idealize has not been existing on the planet for like a century now. Since one of my main goals is to pass my culture onto my next generation, it is obvious that I should be having a wife who would be on board with this. So my requirements for a spouse are narrower than most men in society. With all the regular things in the western society which corrupt women and make it difficult for men to find good wives, and also adding this additional condition, would make it a very difficult thing to do, is an understatement. So I'm beginning to feel black pilled about the situation. Religion comforts me, but one cannot be celibate forever.
In Russia you will always be a westerner.
What do you mean by this? The question is, if I move to Russia, would I be considered as a westerner by the locals, even if I don't identify with the western culture and/or civilization? Or would I be like Hiroo Onoda and consider the locals as westerners, for failing to strictly adhere to the 19th century traditional Russian culture? Maybe it is that way only in the big cities? I think that there should be conservative communities in Russia, such as Orthodox, Old Believers, Cossacks, where the traditional Russian culture still exists?