Cover Osteuropa 3/2016

In Osteuropa 3/2016

Ribbon of Saint George
Order of Glory, Symbol of Remembrance, Pro-Kremlin Icon

Vera Demmel

Deutsche Fassung


Since 2005, the orange-black Ribbon of St. George has been Russia’s most important symbol for remembering victory in the Great Patriotic War. The colours of the ribbon go back to a ribbon on which the Order of St. George, first awarded in the mid-18th century, was worn in the Russian Empire. In the Soviet Union as well, these were, starting in 1942, the colours of a badge then called the Guards ribbon. During the protests against election fraud in winter 2011/2012, the ribbon for the first time became a symbol of the Putin regime’s followers, who now wore it outside the celebrations of Victory Day on May 9. After the upheaval in Ukraine in February 2014, it became a symbol for the insurgents and separatists in the Crimea and Ukraine’s east. In Russia, it is now omnipresent and has often become a largely meaningless symbol that is even used to market consumer products.

(Osteuropa 3/2016, pp. 19–31)