Artifacts of the 1990s | Beyond East and West
30 April, 2020

In the 1990s, tech novelties came to the market and soon became iconic. Game consoles, CDs, VCRs – once desired artifacts of the ‘90s can still be bought on electronics and flea markets, but they now cost peanuts.

Hromadske journalists spoke to people involved in this trade about how it helped them survive in the 1990s. Andriy, an electronics repair technician at a Kyiv market, told us about the “death valley”, a corner of the market where people who came here in the early 1990s still sell and repair their equipment. There are fewer people here now.

Viktor is a vendor and collector of retro equipment and has his own pavilion at the Petrivka market. Once upon a time, he also started off at Kyiv’s “radio market”, but now it is his hobby rather than a business.

Oleksiy trades on a flea market. Among his goods, we found a Dendy games console – the dream of every post-Soviet child of the early ‘90s. At one point, it cost 1.5 million karbovanets (officially average monthly salary), now Oleksiy is selling it for 200 hryvnias ($8).

READ ALSO: Rise in the 1990s | For East and West

"Artifacts of the 1990s" is the latest in Hromadske's English-language series "Beyond East and West" in partnership with LSE Arena, a programme based at the Institute of Global Affairs, London School of Economics and Political Science. 

"Beyond East and West" is a research project exploring Ukrainians’ connection to and understanding of their nation’s history. As part of this project we are producing a series of videos on history and analysing the response of audiences across Ukraine.