Posted 5 января 2021,, 11:15

Published 5 января 2021,, 11:15

Modified 24 декабря 2022,, 22:37

Updated 24 декабря 2022,, 22:37

Even farther from the neighbor: how the life priorities of Ukrainians have changed in 4 years

Even farther from the neighbor: how the life priorities of Ukrainians have changed in 4 years

5 января 2021, 11:15
Over the past decade, the preferences of Ukrainian citizens have slowly but surely shifted in favor of common European values.

Ukrainian publicist Yuriy Khristensen reminds in his blog that every four years in Ukraine a World Values Survey is conducted, in which scientists ask not about "tasty Soviet ice cream", but about universal values:

“Who do we trust and should the state take care of us. What is the best - for the state to own land and factories, or create conditions for private initiative.

Low trust radius, paternalism, lack of initiative are signs of survival values. In a 2011 study on these values, Ukraine was ahead of the rest. And in a new 2020 study, Ukrainians' survival values prevail over development values. But there is a positive dynamic from survival to development.

How have the values of Ukrainians changed in nine years?

Social stereotypes

The family comes first among Ukrainians, and politics comes last. In the middle of the list are friends, free time, work and religion. Over the past nine years, tolerance to HIV patients (+ 16%), to people with non-traditional sexual orientation (+ 17%) and to abortion (+ 6%) has increased. The willingness to live in the neighborhood with migrants and people of other nationalities has decreased (-8%).

Happiness and well-being

The number of happy Ukrainians (+ 10%) and people with good health and self-esteem (+ 8%) increased. The number of those who were left without help at least once in the previous year decreased (-10%). Perhaps the Ukrainians have expanded their circle of acquaintances, or the state has begun to take better care of them. Or they began to receive help more often from people from a distant circle.

Social capital

Ukrainians began to trust Ukrainians more (+ 7%). The number of those who mistrust also decreased (-3%). Trust in the family has slightly shifted from "definitely" to "rather trust". Ukrainians began to rely less on the help of friends and acquaintances (-9%). Lost confidence in officials (-7%) and politicians (-4%). Probably because trust in TV has dropped (-23%).

Economic values

The number of those dissatisfied with their financial situation has decreased (-9%). The hope for the state decreased (-29%) and the understanding of the importance of individual efforts increased (+ 10%). Income equality is no longer a value (-41%). The state was less perceived as the best employer and owner of factories, newspapers, and steamships (-4%).


In general, the number of Ukrainians who feel safe has not changed (+ 1%). Drinking alcohol on the street fell the most (-12%). The number of cases of theft decreased (-3%). The interference of security officials in private life (+ 3%) and manifestations of racism (+ 2%) slightly increased. The number of Ukrainians who are ready to defend their country has grown (+ 17%).


The attitude towards receiving aid from the state on the ball has worsened (-14%). Free travel too (-3%). But petty theft became more permissible (+ 6%). And tax evasion (+ 11%). And bribery (+ 10%). And prostitution (+ 7%). And suicide (+ 5%). And violence against other people (+ 7%). Everyone disapproves of this, but less than nine years ago.

A family

The number of those who believe that it is necessary to educate religiosity (-7%) and obedience (-25%) has decreased. The number of supporters of the upbringing of determination in children increased (+ 17%), but there were fewer supporters of child independence (-8%). Higher education is more often considered the lot of boys (+ 7%), and earning money in the family is the task of fathers (+ 11%).


In general, Ukraine is a fairly secular country. The number of those who consider God important in their lives has decreased (-8%). Ukrainians began to pray less (-4%), but more often go to church (+ 9%). The number of those who consider religion as a set of ethical norms has increased, and the number of Ukrainians who believe that God should take care of them has decreased (-6%).


They have a positive attitude towards the authorities (-18%). Want to influence important decisions (+ 6%). We are ready to participate (petitions + 22%, rallies + 12%, elections + 11%). Trust the elections (+ 24%). See women in politics (+ 7%). They want democracy (+ 4%). Admitting a military dictatorship (+ 8%). They support the "left" (-3%) and the "right" (+ 3%). They watch TV less often (-35%). Are proud of citizenship (+ 15%).


The number of tough supporters is about 46%, and the number of supporters is to give people the opportunity to decide for themselves what should happen in their community, city and village 5%. The rest want opportunity for themselves and order for the rest. In nine years, the balance has shifted by 5% towards opportunities, and Ukraine has moved forward in the struggle of post-materialism against paternalism.

Why is it important?

A person's daily life depends not only on adopted laws, but also on unwritten norms, values and habits. In some country this ratio is higher, in some it is less. For example, in Germany, a person will not do anything until they receive instructions. And in Ukraine, a person reads instructions only when the usual behavior model has not yielded results.

In Russia, in the 2000s, a study was conducted that showed that informal practices have a six-fold stronger effect on people's real lives than adopted laws. According to this indicator, Ukraine is hardly closer to Germany than to Russia. Therefore, if we want to live like in Germany, we need to change not only the laws, but also the norms, values and habits unwritten on paper.


How does it work now?

According to some unwritten social norms and practices, Ukraine is among the leaders of economic development. For example, the value of the family. For some of the outsiders. For example, in terms of tolerance to corruption, paternalism and a low radius of trust between people. Ukrainians are waiting for the arrival of the Messiah, not realizing that they themselves will have to change.

For example, Ukrainians trust their inner circle and do not trust strangers. This leads to the fact that before the elections, politicians can count only on the support of the inner circle, and after the elections, the inner circle can count on the support of politicians. And the distant circle can be deceived, because nothing depends on it, except for a tick in the ballot.

What should we prepare for?

By historical standards, the values of Ukrainians are changing quite quickly. Some for the better, and some for the worse. But there are many more positive changes. We do not notice this, because we live within the changes. Anyone who is able to predict changes in the values of Ukrainians and facilitate their advance will gain a competitive advantage.

Politicians need to prepare for volunteering and fundraising. The population to support, and then to the emergence of politicians in power who care not only about the inner circle. Business to economic growth after changes in the heads of voters and politicians. These changes are already taking place, and it is difficult to imagine a cataclysm that will be able to stop them.