Experts claim that the negative image of the Ukrainian people in the Russian mass consciousness was caused by informational conjuncture, and not prejudice against Ukrainians.
Positive evaluations prevail in the Russians own self-image considerations, and there are more negative things in their opinions on the citizens of Ukrainians.
The most characteristic features of the Russian nation, according to their compatriots, are hospitality (48% of respondents) and readiness to help (47%).
Russians also consider themselves patient, open and simple in their regard for others (44% each). Besides, Russians consider themselves peace-loving (41%), reliable (27%) and hard-working people (25%). The Russians consider their biggest vice to be irresponsibility (6%).
Ukrainians are seen as hypocritical and cunning people, according to 30% of the respondents.
To the Russians’ mind, they are characteristically secretive (24%) and envious (23%). Many Russian citizens suspect their neighbors of being hotheaded (20%), mean (17%) and cruel (15%). Russians think that the Ukrainians’ positive aspects include hospitality and hard work (21% each), rationality and energy (16% each). The fifth and sixth places in popularity are divided between openness and patience (14% each).
Deputy head of Levada Center Alexey Grazhdankin thinks that in the recent months, a change in the Russian mass consciousness occurred in their perception of the Ukrainian people.
“The Russians, like other nations, have their own national stereotypes of other people. The profile of qualities that Russians ascribe to Ukrainians remains more or less constant. Another thing is that there is a general worsening in regard to Russians’ attitudes towards Ukrainians, Ukraine in general. This is how disputable, negative characteristics of Ukrainians are pushed forth, and the positive ones are weakened. The Ukrainians’ image is distorted,” the sociologist explains.
As Obozrevatel previously reported, according to Russian Levada Center, as of the beginning of August, the events on Donbas radically changed the Russians’ attitude towards Ukraine, as such over a half of the citizens surveyed (55%) have a negative attitude towards the neighboring state.
As such, 40% of the respondents view relations between Russia and Ukraine as ‘enemy relations,’ 39% consider them ‘tense.’
The Russians consider the current Kyiv government responsible for the worsening of the relations between the two countries, and only 3% of the respondents consider Russia guilty of mounting tensions.
Translated by Mariya Shcherbinina