THE BLOG

Myth, Memory, Identity in Russia Today

I have been watching Russian and French television all day, and for the former, fascinating TV agitprop -- отдел агитации и пропаганды -- set against the grand fireworks display in Moscow and Sebastopol. On the Big Parade, my friend Boris (@rolltidebmz), who got up at 2:00 AM to watch it live, has this offering:

"To your point, one of the best examples is this song played today at the Victory Day parade in Moscow. English subtitles: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C3etK30TVAw"

A must watch, must listen:

The huge country is rising
Is rising for the deadly battle
Against the dark fascist force
Against their cursed hordes
Let our noble wrath
Seethe like waves
The national war is going
The sacred war

Today, this day, in fierce TV presentation, the counterpoint between emotional outpouring and bursting pride on one hand, and the live feed of fellow Russian patriots being gunned down -- Innocent civilians too, dropped on the street -- must create an intense longing for national catharsis too long denied. Again and again, RT replays the cruel fascist suppression of comrades and kin in Eastern Ukraine. Mariupol becomes the place of martyrdom today in the spirit of the desperate fights of never-to-be-forgotten ancestors. The militia marches to battle in Mariupol like Soviet partisans -- in brave motley uniforms and armed to the teeth -- surrounded by adoring women and proud old men.

Do Russians everywhere remember the four battles of Kharkov, the liberation of Sebastopol today, 70 years ago?

Like it was yesterday -- because yesterday is today. At least while you are watching RT (or other Kremlin-driven media like LifeNews and Russia24).

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