The Eurasian Union through Russian Collective Memory and the Dilemma of Identity

The Eurasian Union project recently put forward by the Russian government has become the object of broad speculation among political analysts regarding Russian intentions and goals regarding the former Soviet republics, what has become known as “the near abroad.” These accounts mainly consider the project within the “Realist” approach and discuss its political or economic aspects. Rarely, however, do they touch on its cultural or psychological dimensions. The current paper argues that the idea of Eurasian Union, well beyond any political or economic rationales, is underpinned by traditions of Russian collective memory and identity. This essay analyses Russian historical narratives as a specific type of mnemonic device in this context, suggesting how they work as cultural tools to promote collective remembering.

Authors: Rauf Garagozov