Perceptions of the past in the post-Soviet space

Journal article

Bakke, Kristin M.; Kit Rickard & John O'Loughlin (2024) Perceptions of the past in the post-Soviet space, Post-Soviet Affairs 39 (4): 223–256.

Read the article here (Open Access)

Honing in on how citizens in the former Soviet Union find themselves in an information competition over their own past, this paper explores whether and why ordinary people’s perceptions of historical events and figures in their country’s past are in line with a Russian-promoted narrative that highlights World War II – known as the “Great Patriotic War” in Russia and some former Soviet states – as a glorious Soviet victory and Stalin as a great leader. We draw on comparative survey data across six states and one de facto state in 2019–2020 to examine whether geopolitical or cultural proximity to Russia is associated with a more favourable view on a Russian-promoted narrative about the past. We find that closer geopolitical proximity to Russia is associated with perceiving the past in line with the Russian-promoted narrative, though the findings are less consistent when it comes to measures for closer cultural proximity.

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