War Memorials in Russia

Nataliya Danilova*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Abstract

The collapse of the Soviet Union has facilitated a ‘memory boom’ of previously neglected or ‘forgotten’ experiences across Eastern Europe. According to Blaker and Etkind, ‘the transition from the long socialist decades of secrecy and servility to the neoliberal twenty-first century with its mobility crises, and corruption, has made East European memory challenging, even explosive’ (2013, p. 4). This ‘explosive’ nature of memory expresses itself through the contestation of narratives and interpretations of past experiences, from the Stalinist Terror in Russia to the experience of the Soviet domination and the ‘double — Soviet and German — genocide’ of Eastern European societies. Blaker and Etkind also argue that, unlike Western societies, which tend to ‘fix troublesome memories in stone’, in Eastern Europe and Russia, ‘memoirs, novels, films, and fast-moving public debates about the past have outpaced and overshadowed monuments, memorials, and museums’ (2013, p. 5). Our analysis of war memorialisation challenges this observation. The experience of the Soviet Afghan War and the Chechen conflicts resulted in hundreds of new war memorials scattered across all the regions of Russia. In the context of the limited and highly selective media commemoration, local memorials become the main vehicles for the remembrance of fallen soldiers.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Politics of War Commemoration in the UK and Russia
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Pages146-174
Number of pages29
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-137-39571-9
ISBN (Print)978-1-349-67939-3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015

Publication series

NamePalgrave Macmillan Memory Studies
ISSN (Print)2634-6257
ISSN (Electronic)2634-6265

Keywords

  • Bereave Family
  • Memory Narrative
  • Military Culture
  • Military Duty
  • National Memorial

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