Deep memory during the Crimean crisis
References to the Great Patriotic War in Russian news translation
In Russian media and statements by Kremlin officials, the current war in Ukraine is regularly imagined through the lens of World War II. Protection of ethnic kins in Crimea against their local “fascist” government is even invoked to justify the annexation of the peninsula in March 2014. A narrative analysis of a corpus consisting of 770 English and French newspaper articles and 39 translations demonstrates how the Russian news translation website InoSMI re-interprets Western reports on the Crimean crisis by triggering “deep memory” (Wertsch 2008a, 2008b) of the Great Patriotic War. Through selective appropriation, translation shifts and manipulation of visual material, the internet portal highlights particular aspects of the WW II narrative template that activate simplified schemata opposing Russian “patriots” and Ukrainian “fascists.” The paper thus underscores the role of news translation as ideological memory-work.
Keywords: news translation, memory, narrative, Russia, Ukraine, Crimea, Great Patriotic War, Soviet victory, fascism
Published online: 27 June 2019
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