In 2001, ten years after the launch of reforms in Russia, 54% of Russians believed the main achievement of the reforms was the availability of consumer goods, rather than freedom of speech or the possibility of travelling abroad. A decade later, public attitudes had not changed, and the availability of goods on store shelves was still perceived as the number one priority. The massive trauma caused by scarcity was particularly strong. How it was addressed and in what way it influenced public attitudes after the USSR collapse is examined in a study by HSE professor Oleg Khlevnyuk.
‘We tried to give them a bright future.’ These are the words of engineers, construction workers, geologists, doctors and other specialists from the former Soviet republic regarding the years they spent in Mongolia. Those Soviet-era specialists are still united by the memory of trying to build something on such a grand scale and then seeing the whole project collapse. More than 100 members of that community agreed to be interviewed in-depth by political scientist Alexei Mikhalev. Here, he shares information from their collective memory with IQ.HSE.
On March 11, Seth Bernstein gave a presentation — ‘Burying the Alliance: Interment, Repatriation and the Politics of the Sacred in Occupied Germany’ — at the scholarly seminar of the HSE International Center for the History and Sociology of World War II and Its Consequences where he works as a postdoctoral research fellow.