Within the cityscape, the heart of socio-historical memory beats first loudly, then softly to itself, reflecting fully the discursive picture of social demand for history. The institutionalized network of commemorative sites in a city is made up of institutionally demanded entities such as, for example, the Bronze Horseman in St Petersburg or the Eternal Flame at the wall of the Kremlin in Moscow, sites that serve to safeguard and remember the pages of the past history of both the city and the country, and which are crucial for producing collective identity. However, the object of interest is this chapter is the local memorializing of the ‘local war’ in Afghanistan, which has taken the form of small-scale museums/clubs, acting both as meeting places and places of remembrance. This dual epithet expresses well the museums’ leading communicative function, but the object itself being memorialized in these places is not as clear-cut. Let us look at the (incomplete) list of such sites found on the internet:

the Federal Exhibition Hall and Afghan War Historical Museum (Perovo, Moscow);

the Patriot Club-Museum (Ob’);

the Memorial Museum of Warrior-Internationalists (Minsk);

the Russian Afghan Veterans’ Union Museum (Kirov Province);

the Warrior’s Glory and Afghan War Museum (Orenburg);

the Museum of Fighting Glory of the Warrior-Internationalists (Noginsk);

the Museum of Afghan and Local Conflict Veterans (Omsk);

Memory, a Martial-Patriotic Club (Belgorod);

the Re-enactment Club for the War in Afghanistan 1979–1989 (Odessa).

The variety in the clubs’ names hints at how organizers in the provincial regions and the ‘backwoods’ have attempted to solve the complicated question of how to establish a tradition for the memorializing and representation of their own experience to others. But the memorializing and representation of what exactly, of whom and for whom? This question reflects the problems found at the crossroads of two approaches: war memory studies and cultural studies. Accordingly, the memorializing process ‘trips up’ both as an interpretation of war memory’s specific nature (in this case, that of the Afghan War) and as a set of discursive cultural practices aimed at symbolizing a given memorialized event.