№ 4, 2020
The article continues the project devoted to framing the memory of the “nineties” in the Russian political discourse. It examines one of the most dramatic moments in the history of the post-Soviet transformation — the political crisis of 1993, which resulted in adopting the Constitution that formally is still in use today. The author examines the process of framing the memory of the events of 1993, analyzing publications of the federal print media in the post-Yeltsin period. She focuses on three time periods that reflect different stages in the development of the Russian polity — the tenth, twentieth and twenty-fifth anniversaries of the crisis, which makes it possible to trace the evolution of the revealed narratives. The analysis shows a noticeable change in the official discourse when V.Putin became a President — the narratives proposed by B.Yeltsin about the victory of the reformers over the counter-reforms and the suppression of an armed rebellion / prevention of civil war were discarded, while the main attention shifted to the Constitution as a “historic choice of the Russian people”. At the same time, Putin uses the dramatic events of 1993 to emphasize the current “stability”, which is supposed to be the main achievement of his rule. The narratives articulated by the communists and other successors of the memory of the defenders of the White House have not undergone significant changes. The author explains it by the fact that for this ideological segment the events of 1993 represent a “myth of the foundation” of Putin’s regime. In liberal discourse, critical versions of the crisis narrative eventually trumped the apologetic ones. In recent years it has become especially clear that liberals and communists tend to converge on their interpretation of the consequences of the crisis (but not its causes or the assessments of the actors). However, the symbolic conflict that plays an essential role in constructing their political identities still remains.
Malinova O. Y.
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