This article reveals how the official patterns of commemorating the Soviet historical past in Russia match its local projections. Based on interviews with experts from 27 regions and some other field materials, the article maps the diversity of commemorative agendas across Russia. Focusing on the violent aspects of Soviet history, it outlines current configurations of the usable past important for local identity and notably used by regional authorities and other mnemonic actors over time. These repertoires of the usable past depend on the cultural infrastructure that was formed over time, but also on the efforts of mnemonic actors, who promote specific memories. This article argues that although regional approaches to commemorating the historical past are evidently dominated by the official federal narrative, local visions of common history are far from being uniform. The aspects that are downplayed or silenced at the federal level might be indispensable to regional and local identities. Expert interviews suggest that collisions between the narratives circulating at different levels typically do not escalate to open conflicts. The commemorative projects supported by regional authorities tend to conform to the federal-level framing, which is flexible enough to tolerate some local peculiarities. However, in many regions there are also non-state mnemonic actors who promote a commemorative agenda that deviates from the official state discourse. While being short of resources for developing memory hardware, they affect public discussions raising awareness about the downplayed aspects of the local past.

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