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Article

Память о кризисе 1993 года и рождении российской Конституции в политическом дискурсе 2000-2010-х гг.

The article continues the author’s previous research project about framing the collective memory about “the 1990s” in Russian political discourse. It is devoted to the most dramatic event of the post-Soviet transition in Russia – the political crisis of 1993 that led to adoption of the Constitution that formally functions till now. The author analyzes constructing the conflicting interpretations of the crisis by studying mass media publications in the post-Yeltsin period. To reveal the evolution of competing public narratives, the article focuses at three jubilee periods that reflect different stages of Russia’s political development – the 10th, the 20th and the 25th anniversaries of the events. It demonstrates the significant change in the official discourse after Vladimir Putin’s coming to the presidential office. The narratives about the victory of reformers over counter-reformers and pre-emptive violence aimed to stop a civil war, that were used by Yeltsin, dropped off to be substituted by the story about the Constitution as a historical choice of the Russian people. Putin also tends to use a memory about the 1993 crisis to emphasize “the stability” that is considered the main achievement of his rule. The narratives articulated by the Communists and other successors of the memory of the White House defenders did not change over time. The author explains it by the notice that, in these discourses, the events of 1993 took a shape of the “myth of origin” of Putin’s political regime. On the contrary, the discourse of the Liberals evolved, as, by the 2010s, the apologetic interpretations typical for 2003 gave a way for the critical ones. The tendency for bridging between the narratives about the consequences (though not the reasons) of the crises articulated by the Communists and the Liberals became visible in the recent period. However, it does not prevent the symbolic conflict between them that plays a decisive role in constructing their political identities.