From Victory to Invasion: The Dialectic of Soviet and Post-Soviet War Commemoration


The story of how the USSR and post-Soviet Russia commemorated victory in World War II is often told as a struggle between a top-down ideological project and people’s authentic memories. According to this account, the Kremlin has been able to turn the myth of the Great Patriotic War on or off almost at will, and it is only occasionally that the truth has managed to break through.

In this lecture, Mischa Gabowitsch argued instead that state ideology and local practices have always shaped each other, in a process that can be traced from before 1945 all the way to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Mischa Gabowitsch is a sociologist and historian at RECET Vienna, author of Protest in Putin's Russia (John Wiley & Sons, 2016) and Guest of the Institute at IWM.

Katherine Younger, IWM Permanent Fellow and Research Director of our Ukraine in European Dialogue program, introduced the speaker and moderated the Q&A.

A recording of the event is available here: