Keeping to the motto “One should speak the truth even at risk of provoking a scandal”, V. I. Arnol’d describes in this interview his student experiences in the “Golden years of Moscow Mathematics”, focusing on personalities of Kolmogorov, Pontryagin, Petrovskij and others, meetings with Western mathematicians and their influence upon Soviet mathematics, differences between styles of Russian, French, and American mathematicians, and views upon applied mathematics. To give a flavour of that fascinating personal confession by one of the leading mathematicians of our time, let me quote one sentence: “The real danger is not the applied mafia itself, but the divorce between pure mathematics and the sciences created by the (I would say criminal) formalization of mathematics and of mathematical education”.