We are finally moving away from russia’s propaganda of a 'united nation of three' — political analyst
Maksym Yakovlev, director of the School of Political Analysis at the Kyiv-Mohyla Academy and head of the Department of International Relations at the Ukrainian Academy of Sciences, discusses the results of a sociological study on Ukrainians’ traditional values.
From July 6 to 20, 2022, the Kyiv International Institute of Sociology (KIIS) conducted its own all-Ukrainian public opinion survey «Omnibus.» 2,000 respondents living in all regions of Ukraine (except the Autonomous Republic of Crimea) were interviewed by telephone, based on a random sample of mobile phone numbers.
Maksym Yakovlev: This is not a meaningful analysis of these values, but an analysis of how people perceive the very term «values.» The perception of these values depends on the context of remembering them, so what we call these values. From this survey, we didn’t really learn what exactly these values are or what lies beneath them. We just learnt that we support things that are Ukrainian. If something is European, we like it more than what is common to Russians, Ukrainians, and Belarusians. A positive from this is that we are finally moving away from the Russian propaganda thesis about the «united nation of three.» It is not at all clear what unites us with these people as we differ from them significantly.
How long will it take Ukrainians to understand that Ukraine and Russia are different?
Maksym Yakovlev: I think it will take a long time. It is necessary to work based on facts. For example, we must show how many presidents have changed in Ukraine since independence and how many have changed in Russia and Belarus, or what forms of protests have taken place in Ukraine, etc. This process should work.
Based on the survey, we can see that there are people who still find it difficult to answer this question. These are mostly the eastern regions of Ukraine. It is still difficult for these regions to decide on common Russian and Belarusian values. This fact shows that before you can convince the world, you must do internal work.
- The term «traditional values» is actively used by Russia and Russian propaganda.
Russia and ‘traditional values;
Maksym Yakovlev: The Kremlin insists that Russia stands behind these «traditional values.» It is profitable for Putin to promote the idea of traditionalism according to his understanding. Their statistics are interesting: Russia is the leader in rates of single mothers, the number of divorces, etc. It is difficult to say that there are strong family values. Their «values» oppose Western trends, particularly in gender, and LGBT rights. Also, the Russian understanding of «traditional values» does not correspond to traditionalism in the West. A classic example is juvenile justice. In Russia, they invented all kinds of stories that juvenile justice is when children are forcibly taken away. Despite the fact that violence, in various forms, against children in Russia is a terrible thing, Russia uses the term «traditional values» as a cover-up.
Unfortunately, now it is difficult for Ukrainians to stop respecting Russian so-called «traditional values.» The war, of course, accelerates this process. However, it will not be easy for society to pass over certain perceptions of certain things. We must go through this gradually and naturally.