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  • The Commemoration of the Eightieth Anniversaryof the Great Terror in the Russian Federation: Actors, Strategies, Practices

Educational Programme
Final Grade
Year of Graduation
Denis Panfilov
The Commemoration of the Eightieth Anniversaryof the Great Terror in the Russian Federation: Actors, Strategies, Practices
Political Science
(Bachelor’s programme)
In this research the problem of the political usage of the period of the Great Terror by the actors of the policy of memory in the Russian Federation in 2017-2018 was studied. The main reason for highlighting this problem was the contradictory state of the memory policy in Russia as public practices and norms related to the regulation of collective memory. This study focused on the memory politics of the memory of the Great Terror in Russian society.

The work was designed to answer the following research question: how do actors in the politics of memory commemorate the memory of the Great Terror in 2017-2018?

The answer to the research question is that mnemonic actors make decisions about commemorating the 80th anniversary of the Great Terror based on those symbolic possibilities that they have in the framework of the fragmented mnemonic regime of Russia and constructing their value-filled narratives that are very different in content in ideologically plural society, in which the formation of a memorial culture after the collapse of the Soviet Union did not take place. At the same time, authoritative narratives serve as an explanation for the moderate re-Stalinization in society due to the characteristic features of the content of these narratives.

The main contribution of this study can be considered the development of a categorical scheme for the comparative analysis of narratives, concentrating on the commemoration of a traumatic event in a particular society. This scheme was obtained by studying the basic concepts and characteristics associated with the historical traumas of society, integrated into a more general scheme of comparative analysis of narratives by O. Malinova. The conclusions obtained using this scheme were confirmed by a narrative analysis of expert interviews, which proves the suitability of using this scheme for analyzing the memory policy regarding traumatic historical events, such as the Great Terror in modern Russia.

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