Cover Osteuropa 1/2013

In Osteuropa 1/2013

“Glory to You Forever, Borodino!”
The Patriotic War in Present-Day Russia

Regine Nohejl

Deutsche Fassung


The Patriotic War of 1812 in Russia has become an all-purpose historical fairy tale. It involves an overpowering aggressor from the West, which Russia, due to its moral superiority, ultimately defeats. Ever since the Crimean War, this story has been told again and again whenever Russia has faced peril from abroad. Today, it is readily deployed to legitimise President Vladimir Putin’s system of “vertical power”. The celebration of the war’s 200th anniversary in Borodino showed how important patriotic mobilisation is for the regime. Official committees watched over the correct representation of the heroes of 1812. “Defeat Napoleon” was a central theme in school curricula.

(Osteuropa 1/2013, pp. 61–74)