How has the Red Army’s ordeal and triumph in the Second World War been commemorated since 1945? Why do millions of people across the former Soviet Union continue to participate in commemorative ceremonies, constantly inventing new rituals to pay their respects to the dead and celebrate the triumph of a country that no longer exists? Why are they joined every May 9 by hundreds of thousands of Russian speakers in Germany, Israel, the United States and countless other countries with large communities of Soviet origin? Are they all deliberately or unwillingly promoting Russia’s new assertive politics of history, and if not, what else motivates them? And how will the great-great-grandchildren of the war generation commemorate the war in 2055? Based on archival research in different former Soviet republics and ethnographic observations from over twenty countries, this project provides fresh answers to all of these questions, revising much received wisdom about Soviet and post-Soviet war commemoration.