This article deals with some puzzling features in/of contemporary Russian collective memory. In terms of methodology, the article is based on (1) the idea of the commodification of collective memory and (2) the strong interconnections between memory and national identity. While analyzing popular, historical, and political narratives such as those concerning national celebrations, historical texts, and political declarations, I argue that the Ukrainian crisis produced a new type of historical consciousness in Russia, which is connected with the conservative populist tendency in Russian politics currently. As an element of the cultural “industry,” collective memory is connected with an asymmetric exchange that appears in the process of mnemonic commodification. The surplus value of collective memory is caused by the fact that it is used in the process of popular mobilization. I conclude that to maintain the regime and to mobilize support, officials aim to rebuild Soviet images and promote an alternative to the Western model, and that they therefore seek to emphasize traditional values and retro-size Russian contemporaneity.

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