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Values shift in Ukraine: any evidence yet?

Freedom of choice & expression

Let me emphasize, the majority of young Ukrainians prefer the freedom over security in the times of the war in the East. I believe, this is something that deserves specific attention. Young Ukrainians, who may well establish social trends, strongly believe in the value of personal freedom, while being ready to sacrifice their greater security even in the wake of the war in the East Ukraine. By freedom here I mean (and hopefully those who were interviewed) the freedom over decision together will following the responsibility over one. Another catchy trait of young Ukrainians is readiness to go against the majority – something that may hardly be imagined during the Soviet times. Moreover, a total majority of 80% of young Ukrainians value the right for peaceful demonstration and protest. In fact, civic activism is another trend that highlights the paradigm shift of Ukrainian society happened in the last 20 months. 

Post materialism & civic activism

In all, openness, freedom and post-materialism create in its synergy a powerful enemy for the Soviet basic principles of materialistic “sameness” where no such thing as individual choice exists. Moreover, the Soviet model precludes individuals from having power over the life decisions. This is something that Maidan stood against in the freezing winter. In fact, I believe such a paradigm difference exists currently between Ukraine and Russia. Russian model of society, similarly to the Soviet one, serves a strong authoritarian leader, be it a President or a Tsar, who tops the societal hierarchy At the same time, Ukraine has shown the paradigm shift where no such a person to serve is present (well, after Yanukovich ran away). I have to mention here, that the Communist party, that has materialistic ideas at its core, did not reach the threshold to enter the Parliament as a result of popular elections. The same story applies to the Lenin monuments, which have been falling all over Ukraine. Ukraine and Ukrainians have been building the new paradigm of society as no such thing as a wise, strong and guiding leader exists, but rather a community of people, driven by their values and identities. Again, this is something unique on the global stage that we could observe on Maidan, as no one directed the Revolution; it was led by people and no one told them how, when and why should they build the barricades. This means that ordinary people took the initiative from below and organized networks autonomously.