Memory, Kinship and the Mobilization of the Dead: The Russian State and the "Immortal Regiment" Movement
War and Memory in Russia, Ukraine and Belarus | Palgrave Macmillan | Published : 2017
This chapter examines a new addition to the repertoire of Victory Day commemorative traditions in post-Soviet space: the newly invented annual “Immortal Regiment” parade, in which people march bearing photographs of their ancestors who fought in the Great Patriotic War of 1941–45. The chapter focuses on attempts by the state authorities and their supporters to instrumentalize the new ritual and to appropriate the Red Army’s war dead, and the emotions they evoke. It explores the ways in which the figure of the dead Red Army soldier is being brought back to life in new ways as part of the current regime’s authoritarian project.