I think this is a pretty good statement.
The parts which I feel are not necessary are in <>.
Due to our Russian ethnicity <and my father’s outspoken criticism of the Moldavian push for independence>, my family was threatened and discriminated against during the Moldavian civil war. After decades of forced allegiance to the Soviet Union, hatred for Russian language and Russian people infiltrated our lives and triggered the fight between nationalists and separatists. Granted political asylum by the U.S., my family <immigrated to the declining steel town of ****. My parents> arrived in this country with little money, no family, and no English skills. <After turning to the Orthodox Church for help,> We shuffled from one household to the next. With no one *else* to look after me, I walked to work with my mom where I watched ballet practices or slept in concert halls as she accompanied young soloists on the piano. The shock of adjusting to Western society led to my parents’ divorce, after which my mother married and divorced two more times. My memories of those years are scattered between practice rooms, strangers’ homes, and various schools as we moved frequently before finally settling <in the ***** suburbs> down. With no familial foundation and not much to call our own, a feeling of displacement and uncertainty carried over into my teenage years.
-- I don't think you need to mention that your dad probably helped bring the discrimination down upon your heads by criticizing their desire for independence, and I don't think we need to know the details of where you lived. The Russian Orthodox Church detail just comes out of nowhere and then goes nowhere, so I think it can also be left out. I do like the detail of you accompanying your mom to rehearsals -- it is perhaps not very relevant, but I feel it's poignant.
My intellectual curiosity motivated me to pursue my dreams and to overcome the instability of my upbringing. From a young age, I was curious about the country I came from, and wanted to explore <what existed beyond American borders -- a bit clunky; I think "the world" or something suffices>. A trip to Moscow and St. Petersburg opened my eyes to the richness of Russian culture. Inspired by the opulence of the Hermitage, the elegance of Spartacus ballet at the Bolshoi and the ingenuity of Tretakyovski Gallery, I learned to read and write Russian in college. What began as an interest in my own ethnicity ultimately blossomed into a passion for studying international relations. <As a result of my immigration to the U.S., an unconventional upbringing and extensive international travel, I do not feel restricted by nationality. This is good, but you don't go anywhere with this idea of not being restricted by nationality > Each experience abroad teaches me about the world’s interconnectedness and globalization’s effect on multiculturalism. While some feel isolated by the anonymity of a new environment, I am galvanized by dissociating from the patterns and expectations of daily life (I think it would be good to add galvanized towards doing what).
Seeking to further explore the <cultural, political and economic> principles of international relations, I supplemented college coursework with internships. <Senator ******'s seat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee combined with the opportunity to serve regional interests sparked my curiosity. Something about this feels incomplete> As an intermediary between constituents and staffers, I began to understand how the needs of **** are incorporated in the national political dialogue and the legislative process of foreign policy. My experience at the Russo-British Chamber of Commerce introduced me to a European and Russian perspective on commerce and politics, but I *feel* I had the most direct impact on people’s lives while helping Russian-speaking immigrants at Catholic Charities Refugee Services (...which were helping Meskatian Turks, I would add - the connection between a Catholic service and Muslims is not instantly clear). With no citizen’s rights in Russia, Meskatian Turks were historically persecuted due to their Islamic faith and Turkish descent. Clients’ experiences of being Turkish in modern Russia reminded me of the intolerance and ethnic prejudice towards Russians in 1990s Moldova. Using my education and experience to help others stabilize their lives in the U.S. allowed me to come full circle. (good) My ability to understand my clients’ plight and gain their trust stemmed from my own family’s struggles to assimilate. In a small but meaningful way, I helped these fellow refugees take the first strides towards a new future. I shared in the joy of their day-to-day achievements, such as getting a driver’s license, a first job or registering for school. I found my contribution extremely rewarding, but it also made me eager to expand my capability for serving those victimized by political discrimination.
Encouraged by the satisfaction of working with refugees and the intellectual challenge of currently dealing with cross border legal issues at **** investment bank, I believe a future in international law is a natural combination of my personal background and professional goals. Never forgetting I was once an uncertain Russian girl or allowing complacency to overpower personal growth, I bring an open mind moulded from cross-cultural experiences. Humility and empathy for others, as well as a passion for ensuring that ethnicity and political affiliation are not grounds for discrimination*, confirm <I think another word would be better) my dedication to the study of law goes beyond the need to satisfy career objectives.
Hope this helps. Best wishes