Charles University, Prague and Free University, Riga
Most recent fellowship dates
This research looks into the domestic sources, structural foundations and historical patterns of Russia’s ongoing war in Ukraine. It argues that this war is a result of the transformation of the political and ideological regime over the past 20 years, which has evolved into a personalist dictatorship of Vladimir Putin and allowed for a strategic miscalculation of such magnitude. On the other hand, it looks onto the politics of memory, post-imperial ressentiment, and the cult of war that has emerged in Russia. Ultimately, it sees this war as a completion of several long cycles of Russian history––the post-Soviet cycle, the incomplete Soviet breakup, and the end game of the Imperial cycle of Russian history––throwing Russia back to the times of Muscovy.
In the past decade, memory politics has become greatly contested. Russia under Putin has launched a major propaganda offensive ahead of the 75th Anniversary of Victory in World War II (8 May in the world, 9 May in Russia), claiming a unique role in the toppling of German Nazism that is “devalued” and “falsified” in the West. The research will explore the implications of this memory “Cold War” on Russia’s relations with Europe, and prospects for a consolidated historical narrative regarding the War, reconciling and de-securitising historical memory.