Ukrainian Guilts and Apologies: a Space of Connotations

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Abstract
According to the results of 162 respondents survey, the affective and cognitive components of feelings of guilt in the space of Ukrainians’ collective consciousness were described. This space is complex, but poorly structured, capable of appearing and spreading little understood defensive assessments and attitudes. The content of relevant processes recorded the following trends: undifferentiated feelings of guilt, general self-accusations, accusations of Ukrainians themselves for historical failures, shame for Ukrainians’ violence, readiness to recognize or not to recognize Ukrainians’ guilties, accusations of Ukrainian powers of different periods, denunciation of Soviet power, Ukrainians’ feelings to be innocent victims of Russia, the avoidance of political guilt. In defining of the perpetrators of Ukrainian historical miseries the agents of Russian-Soviet influences and the Ukrainian authorities of various times unconditionally dominate. Psychologically more problematic is the sphere of recognition / non-recognition by Ukrainians of their own faults. One can speak of the presence of a basic affective background – the experience of undifferentiated feelings of guilt. The Ukrainians’ consciousness is characterized by two main emotional-value positions: denialdefensive (we are not guilty of anyone) and avoiding-defensive (we are only guilty of ourselves). The opposite self-accusatory position (we are guilty of others and should ask them for forgiveness) has a relatively small share. The denial-defensive position essentially correlates with the narcissistic Ukrainian identity. The avoiding-defensive position reflects the conciliatory Ukrainian identity. Recognizing the historical blames of Ukrainians and a need to apologize concerns the representatives of humanistic Ukrainian identity. It means understanding the real state of affairs without illusory idealization, the ability to profoundly experience one’s involvement in the Ukrainian world, and the willingness to assume moral responsibility for the sins of the past.
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Archival date: 2019-04-26
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