The Use and Abuse of Soviet History in Putin's Russia

April 6, 2021, 12:30-2:00pm

Join Harvard's Davis Center for an online talk with Nina Tumarkin and Ivan Kurilla on Vladimir Putin's usage of Soviet history.

In 2005, Russian President Vladimir Putin described the dissolution of the Soviet Union as "the greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the [20th] century." Putin takes pride in his sixteen years of service in the KGB, and often talks nostalgically about the Soviet Union's role as a global superpower. During his 21 years as the leading political figure in the Russian Federation, Putin has used Soviet history to confer legitimacy on his own rule, and he has used Russia's schools to inculcate a particular version of Soviet history. The speakers will explore how Soviet history has been used and abused by the Russian authorities to benefit their own interests and promote Putin's vision of Russia as a great power on the world stage.

Register for Zoom webinar, or watch live on YouTube.


Nina Tumarkin, Kathryn Wasserman Davis Professor of Slavic Studies, professor of history and director of Russian area studies, Wellesley College; center associate, Davis Center

Ivan Kurilla, professor of modern history, European University of St. Petersburg (Russia)

Nadia Boyadjieva (moderator), visiting scholar, Davis Center; professor of international law and international relations, Institute for Balkan Studies, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences