Remembering War, Remaining Soviet: Digital Commemoration of World War II in Putin’s Russia
The Second World War held and retains a unique place in Soviet and post-Soviet historical memory. Scholars have generally studied the legacy of the war from the perspective of political and cultural elites. This article uses Russian digital commemoration to assess contemporary memory of World War II from a social perspective. A macroanalysis of I Remember, an interview and social networking site, and Pomnite Nas!, a site with user-contributed listings of war monuments, shows how popular memory of the war reiterates and updates Soviet historical narratives. Supported but not initiated by Vladimir Putin’s government, these sites show how state and society are interacting in Russia to produce and reproduce memory of the war. The article contributes both to methodological discussion of the internet as a source for memory studies and the fate of the Second World War in Russia.