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Regular version of the site

Article

Heroes or Perpetrators? How Soviet Collaborators Received Red Army Medals

Journal of Slavic Military Studies. 2019. Vol. 32. No. 2. P. 280-288.

This article focuses on an analysis of the culture of memory that has developed in contemporary Russia. At the center of the research are the biographies of former collaborators who took part in Nazi crimes and then, after the liberation of Soviet- occupied territories, were mobilized into the Red Army and sub- sequently performed exploits honored by awards. Information that these men were arrested by the NKVD after the war can be found in their personal files, which are not accessible to the broad public. Instead, the fact of their awards and a brief description of their exploits can be found on the site ‘Podvig Naroda’ [Exploits of the People], which has open access. The state memory policy in contemporary Russia, as in the Soviet era, is aimed at emphasiz- ing the heroism of Red Army soldiers; their criminal activities remain in the shadow of the medals they received.