Video: ZOiS Forum

#30PostSovietYears | 1991 Today: Memories of the Transition Period and its Aftermath


Panel discussion

with Olga Malinova (Higher School of Economics Moscow), Oleg Lutohin (Yeltsin Center), Félix Krawatzek (ZOiS) and Nina Frieß (ZOiS)

The “wild 90s” have become a trope in Russian public and political discourse to discredit democracy. With reference to the economic ruin, the political chaos and national disintegration, the narratives about that period have become increasingly one-sided and serve to stabilise the present political system. But the 1990s have been filled with contradictions, allowing for competing memories to exist in specific realms. We discussed insights from the various projects that the Yeltsin Center has developed to try and shape the memory of that era, embed these in the wider political and public context and its shift over time, and illuminated how the wider Russian society relates to that era. Mariya Mizernaya, participant of the EUSTORY History Campus by Körber-Stiftung presented results of the project "#30PostSovietYears | Phantom Pasts or Everyday Present?".


  • Olga Malinova is a political scientist and professor at the Higher School of Economics in Moscow. Her research focuses on memory and public discourse in Russia.
  • Oleg Lutohin has been Boris Yeltsin Museum Director at Yeltsin Center in Ekaterinburg since January 2021.
  • Félix Krawatzek is a Senior Researcher at ZOiS, where he coordinates the Research Cluster “Youth in Eastern Europe”.
  • Mariya Mizernaya is participant of the EUSTORY History Campus by Körber-Stiftung.
  • Chair: Nina Frieß is a Researcher at ZOiS. Together with Félix Krawatzek, she investigates historical narratives intended for young people and how they are perceived.


Taking #30PostSovietYears as its theme for 2021, the Centre for East European and International Studies (ZOiS), in cooperation with the Körber Foundation, the German Association for East European Studies (DGO), the German Historical Institute Moscow, the Friedrich Ebert Foundation in Russia and Memorial International, is hosting a series of events and online formats that revisit the watershed year of 1991 and examine the legacies of the Soviet era.


The event is part of the series ZOiS Forum. The ZOiS Forum brings together academic, artistic, and political perspectives on the issues driving Eastern Europe today.