Policy Memos

Local Chronicles vs. National History: The Search for Russian Identity

Policy Memo:

115

Publication Date:

10-2010

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Description:

While Russia’s federal government has paid close attention to the depiction of Russian history since Vladimir Putin’s first administration began reshaping the symbolic landscape of the country in the early 2000s, regional authorities have been more reluctant to use history for political aims. In recent years, however, many have begun to fashion a unique historical identity for their regions in an attempt to attract federal resources. With their potentially controversial efforts, the prospect for serious historical feuding in Russia extends beyond the many debates concerning federal efforts to prevent “falsification” of national history or the leadership role of Joseph Stalin. Local interpretations of history in some cases undermine loyalty to the federal center and pose threats to Putin’s program for the revival of Russian patriotism. [...]

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