The practice of political use of the symbol of the Great Patriotic War by the Russian officials in the 2000–2010s is analyzed on the examples of the rhetoric of presidents V. Putin and D. Medvedev. Putin’s attempt to rehabilitate the Soviet past as a part of «the thousand year old Russian state» opened new opportunities for political use of the Great Victory symbol as compared to Yeltsin’s formula «The victory of the people, but not of the Communist Party and the Soviet State». The Victory and the USSR’s development into a world superpower became the central elements of the new narrative of the Russian history. As a result of this transformation the symbol of the Victory was «divorced» from the tragic memory of Stalin’s regime.
The Great Patriotic War, political uses of the past, collective memory, official rhetoric, national narrative, frame analysis.