Russian troops awaiting a German attack, courtesy of Wikipedia

Evgeny Sergeev of the Russian Academy of Sciences tells Centenary News of the need to "renovate the historical memory of the First World War in modern Russian society"

Posted on on 31 July 2013
Share |

As 99th anniversary of Germany's declaration of war on Russia apporaches, Professor Evgeny Sergeev, Head of the Research Centre "The Twentieth Century: socio-politic and economic problems", Institute of World History at the Russian Academy of Sciences, speaks to Centenary News' Tanja Bonny about Russia's plans to mark the First World War Centenary.

The First World War is somewhat overshadowed in Russia by the Revolution of 1917, which saw 300 years of Romanov rule brought to an end and the rise of Bolshevism and the Soviet Union, which dubbed the First World War as an "imperialist war".

Professor Sergeev recognised that "In general, people in Russia are not as enthusiastic about World War One as about World War Two, because, as you know, Russia was not among the winners of the conflict".

The professor highlighted however, that historians "are doing [their] best to encourage public interest in the celebration of the Centenary".

A clear programme of commemorative events to mark the Centenary has not yet emerged from Russia, but Professor Sergeev highlighted that "governmental structures, i.e. the Russian Parliament (our State Duma) and President Putin's Administration, have recognised the importance of joining other European countries, the USA and Japan in the commemoration of the First World War’s beginning in 2014".

The professor said that the creation of an organising committee in April 2013 was helping to draft a commemorative programme for the Centenary years and that a "commemorative lecture" would be delivered to schoolchildren in September 2014.

Professor Sergeev stated that the "most important task" during the Centenary "is to maintain, or even renovate, the historical memory of the First World War in modern Russian society".

To read the full interview, carried out by Centenary News' Tanja Bonny, click here.

Posted by: Daniel Barry, Centenary News