Published online by Cambridge University Press: 24 June 2021
This chapter considers the period of the war cult’s maturation (1960s–80s) as the victory myth came to eclipse alternative modes of patriotic expression. The chapter argues that late-socialist war commemorations, in line with the Soviet people doctrine, continued to dilute particularistic depictions of the Russian nation at war while channeling Russocentrism toward the contained outlets of prerevolutionary and early Soviet history, culture, and modernization narratives. But while authorities forced the most egregious claims about the Russocentric essence of victory underground, these ideas persisted at the margins of late-socialist culture, as well as outside the RSFSR, much as they had after the war. As the war cult grew in prominence, party-affiliated Russophile intellectuals occasionally contested the internationalist orientation of the dominant victory myth. In response, the Party promoted the war victory in a way that maximally overlapped with certain Russophile concerns (patriotism, love of the homeland, respect for tradition, anti-Westernism, etc.) while simultaneously enforcing the victory myth’s ideologically orthodox, pan-Soviet framing.