In 1993, Russia literally had to fight to adopt its new constitution. In October that year, the then president Boris Yeltsin ordered tanks to shell the White House in Moscow (seat of then Supreme Soviet, now of the Russian government), where plotters were hoping to restore the Soviet Union and roll back democratic reforms. In 2020, no show of force was required to amend the constitution (if we are to ignore the military parade on the Red Square on the eve of the seven-day-long referendum), and yet the consequences of this move for both Russia and its neighbours might be even more drastic than those 30 years ago.
Across the world countries celebrate annual Remembrance Days to remember the dead of their armed forces in past and ongoing conflicts. Germany does so too on the National Day of Mourning, but with an unusual formula of remembering the victims of violence and war of all nations. The purpose is to remind the living of the preciousness of peace rather than of any great mission of the own nation. This is due to Germany’s responsibility for the war of extermination and the Shoah. While the broad mourning formula is not uncontested, perspectives which run across national collectives are indeed promising ways to build a shared culture of peace.