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Article

Framing the Collective Memory of the 1990s as a Legitimation Tool for Putin’s Regime

The article reveals how the opposition between the “hard 1990s” and the “stable 2000s” was constructed by Putin and Medvedev from 2000 to 2018. By qualitative content analysis of public speeches and interviews, it demonstrates how contrastive use of the recent past worked for legitimation of Putin’s power through three discursive mechanisms 1) coining buzzwords that later became symbolic descriptors of the 1990s in public discourses, 2) populist framing of the new political course, 3) composing narratives about past events. Being constructed largely in the early 2000s, the negative framing of the 1990s became essential for the official legitimizing discourse.