'The Bright Past', or Whose (Hi)story? Challenges in Russia and Serbia Today
'Svetla prošlost' ili čija (pri)povest? Izazovi u Rusiji i Srbiji danas
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In Russia, two decades after the collapse of the Soviet Union, Stalin’s popularity soared in nationwide polls, as many recalled the country’s former prestige and their previous sense of security. Likewise, many Serbs, who formed the largest group in former Yugoslavia, look back with nostalgia to a time of greater national pride and material comfort. By contrast the dominated ethnic populations in that same nation at that same time were frustrated in their striving for national pride. Each polity has a story fashioned by selected and connected events that promote its national interests. Although the physical battle in former Yugoslavia has ended, the divisiveness remains, and is perpetuated by competing narratives of what happened and why. And in Russia, an increasingly emergent “invisible Stalinism” has once again given victims of the repression little validation of their experience. This article offers preliminary observations on the disjunction of narratives in Russia and Serbia, and... seeks to explain one of the key impediments to coming to terms with the past.