Kyiv Security Forum

Alla Kovalenko: Europeans Amazed by Phenomenon of Ukrainians’ Values Change from Material to Freedom

13 April 2018, 18:29

The Europeans are amazed by the phenomenon, how Ukrainians’ values, in the revolutionary periods, can be changed from the material ones to the values of freedom and independence, the welfare of the state.

Alla Kovalenko, a Doctor of Psychological Sciences and the Head of the Department of Social Psychology at Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv, stated during the 11th Kyiv Security Forum in Kyiv.

“Our modern history shows that the stable periods for the Ukrainian society are changed with the revolutionary one. And we have already witnessed two recent revolutions. In stable periods, we do not see so clearly the change of values, meanings, ideals, and idols, while in the revolutionary ones it is possible to observe their rapid changes,” she said.

As A.Kovalenko reported, according to psychological and sociological data, the material values still dominate among Ukrainians: “Ukrainians want to live well, have material security, cherish their health, and the future of their children and their own”.

Meanwhile, in revolutionary periods, a significant transformation of those values is taking place from the vital meanings and ideals that exist. “The material values that prevailed in stable periods are substituted with other values. And here the values of freedom, independence, and the well-being of one’s own country are at the forefront,” the professor said.

She added that this phenomenon still needs to be studied.

“The change of Ukrainians’ values is a mystery both for the Europeans and for the representatives of other ethnic groups. This heroism, the rejection of the values of one’s own health and life, makes Europeans admire Ukrainians. There is a certain riddle for them how Ukrainians could do two revolutions,” A.Kovalenko noted.


The annual international event Kyiv Security Forum was launched by the Arseniy Yatsenyuk Foundation Open Ukraine in 2007 as a platform for high-level discussions on the current issues in Europe and the Black Sea region. The Forum aims at increasing security cooperation between the EU and the Black Sea region, raising awareness about regional developments among key regional players, promoting the role of independent and non-governmental actors in setting the security agenda in Europe.

The event is being held with the support of NATO Information and Documentation Center in Ukraine, the German Marshall Fund, The Victor Pinchuk Foundation, The Royal Institute of International Relations, Chatham House (UK), and The Regional Representative Office of the Friedrich Ebert Foundation in Ukraine.