Cognitive dissonance

I do not understand how some people from Donbas have reached the point where they hate everything and everyone.

The fascist government in Kyiv is their enemy. West Ukraine is entirely full of fascist enemy armies. Their local separatist leaders are – who? Oh, well, probably fascists as well… America is our enemy, look how it’s trying to destroy Russia, and Ukraine too for that matter- it didn’t even manage to stop Russia taking Crimea from Ukraine. The Pope is fascist, obviously, and trying to subvert our Slavic Orthodox church via the Kyiv patriarchate and of course those fascist West Ukrainian Greek Catholics. Europe – full of paedophiles and a culture we don’t understand, let them keep their strange values, we don’t need them.

The only way I could explain this was by assuming these people had never been to Europe or America, had never visited West Ukraine, had never really been anywhere beyond their small, dying industrial towns.

But no. My sister lives in America, they say, in the same sentence as all the above. My son is studying in Germany. I worked for three years in Italy, I’ve been to France and Indonesia and China. We go every year on holiday to West Ukraine, we always have such a lovely time, people are so kind there.

I just do not understand how people can hold these two views of the world in their heads at one time.

And these people of Donbas who hate everyone and everything are so kind too, like the people of West Ukraine; kind and hospitable and longing for peace. They poured out their hatreds and fears to me, a representative of everything they hate and fear- and then offered me cups of tea as they told me of relatives abroad and remembered happy holidays in West Ukraine.








2 Responses to “Cognitive dissonance”

  1. 1 vlodko62 May 23, 2014 at 1:51 pm

    Thanks, Lily! I too have been to Donbas – my wife is from there, so we have relatives who call us to express their cognitive dissonance. And though I’m an American, my family is originally from Western Ukraine.


  2. 2 rambutanchik May 26, 2014 at 7:43 am

    Thanks Vlodko. I’m glad your relatives are still speaking to you, and hope they are safe…


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