Securitization of Memory in the Pandemic Period: The Case of Russia and Latvia

Keywords: Securitization, memory, Russia, Latvia, Covid-19 pandemic

Abstract

The article examines the processes of memory securitization in the Russian Federation and Latvia during the coronavirus crisis. The key factor that allowed the authors to make such a statement about the problem was the temporary coincidence of the pandemic with the 75th anniversary of the final defeat of Nazi Germany and the so-called Victory Day. As a theoretical basis for the study, we use the constructivist understanding of security in order to study, with specific examples, how the threat in the form of a pandemic became a frame for securitization of memory.  The authors identify the peculiarities of the articulating of security problems by political elites in two states with different memory regimes framed by the pandemic as an external factor.

Author Biographies

Sergii Pakhomenko, University of Latvia, Riga; Mariupol State University, Ukraine, pakhomenko.s@ukr.net

Sergii Pakhomenko is an Associate Professor of the Department of International Relations and Foreign Policy of Mariupol State University.  He holds a PhD from the Institute of History of Ukraine of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine (Kyiv) with a specialization in History of Ukraine. In 2020 he held a research fellowship at the University of Latvia. His scientific interests are politics of memory, nation and nationalism studies, social security, and the problems of nationalism and ethnic minorities in the countries of the Baltic-Black Sea region. He won the Vyhovsky Award of the Institute of Eastern Europe of Warsaw University in 2017.

Iryna Gridina, Mariupol State University, Ukraine, ingreedina@gmail.com

Iryna Gridina is a Professor of the Department of International Relations and Foreign Policy, the Faculty of History of Mariupol State University. She holds a PhD in History of Ukraine, and she is also a holder of an Advanced Doctorate (Doctor of Science) in Historical Sciences with a specialization in History of Ukraine. Her main research areas are hybrid warfare, aggression of the Russian Federation and the war in the East of Ukraine, and ideology and propaganda in political processes.