Tatiana Zhurzhenko: “It was a moment of great uncertainty”

“One moment was of course the August putsch in Moscow. And it was a moment of great incertainty. We were very young, we were students and didn’t know how the situation will develop. I think because we were very young we were not very afraid. And the second moment was when Yeltsin shot the Russian parliament. I am from Eastern Ukraine and very close to Russia. We still lived like in the Russian information space at that time. For us it was a moment when it became clear that Perestroika is over. All this kind of utopia of peaceful democratization is over. I still remember watching this on TV, these shocking pictures of tanks shooting the parliament.”

Tatiana Zhurzhenko, Institute for Human Sciences (University of Vienna), Ukraine

At a conference in Thessaloniki in October 2015, we asked participants from Eastern and South-eastern Europe about their “Transition Moment”. Could they tell us a little story of a moment, when they realised that something was changing fundamentally in the early 90s.