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Features of the Manifestation of Patriotism among Students with Different Attitudes to a Special Military Operation

Kudinov SergeI Ivanovich

ORCID: 0000-0002-2117-6975

Doctor of Psychology

Professor, Department of Psychology and Pedagogy, Peoples' Friendship University of Russia

117198, Russia, Moscow, Miklukho-Maklaya str., 10, office 2

Kudinov Stanislav Sergeevich

ORCID: 0000-0002-1515-8754

PhD in Psychology

Associate Professor, Peoples' Friendship University of Russia

117198, Russia, Moscow, Miklukho-Maklaya str., 10, office 2

Kudinova Sofiya Sergeevna

Student of the Department of Psychology and Pedagogy, Peoples' Friendship University of Russia

117198, Russia, Moscow region, Moscow, Miklukho-Maklaya str., 10, office 2






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Abstract: The article presents the results of an empirical study characterizing the dependence of the manifestation of patriotism and attitude to a special military operation among students. The relevance of the research is due to the socio-political transformations of the domestic and foreign policy of the state, which require a revision of the system of patriotic education of young people based on basic, national and historical values. Changes in the architecture of interstate relations require the restructuring of the formation of a person who is ready to defend the priorities of his country in various spheres of life, which is impossible without a true patriotic attitude to his homeland. The theoretical and methodological basis of the study was a systematic approach developed by domestic researchers B.F. Lomov, V.S. Merlin, V.D. Nebylitsin, A.I. Krupnov, etc.; a holistic and functional approach to the study of personality traits and character traits (Krupnov, 1994), studies of patriotism (Kudinov, 2017,2018; Gavrilushkin, 2012; Lutovinov, 1997; Potemkin, 2009; etc.). The questionnaire "Patriogram" was used to study patriotism (Kudinov, Potemkin, 2008). To identify the attitude of students to a special military operation, an author's questionnaire was developed. The results of the study on a sample of 109 students of Moscow universities, followed by mathematical and statistical analysis, allowed us to establish statistically significant differences between the indicators of patriotism among students with different attitudes to a special military operation. In general, it was found that there is no direct relationship between the indicators of patriotism and a positive attitude to the special operation. Low indicators of patriotism are also not directly related to a negative attitude towards their own. The empirical data obtained indicate that the students consider patriotism in a broad context and does not associate this personal property with confrontation in relation to the outside world. The results of the study prove the need to improve educational activities aimed at the formation and development of patriotism at different stages of education.


students, patriotism, special military operation, indicators, variables, characteristics., respondents, percentages, scales, analisis

This article is automatically translated. You can find original text of the article here.

Introduction. The problem of patriotism has now become particularly relevant in connection with well-known events in the country. It should be noted that different interpretations of this concept can be found in different subject areas. However, despite these discrepancies in the definitions, the basic essence of this definition is noted. In the most general form, in various dictionaries, patriotism is understood as devotion to the Fatherland, love for the motherland, a sincere desire to serve one's fatherland.

As President Vladimir Putin has repeatedly pointed out in his speeches, true patriotism is "a deep awareness of personal involvement in the fate of the country, civic responsibility and the desire to dedicate your talent to Russia, to your fellow citizens, a willingness to always be with your Homeland in moments of triumph and in times of trials and tribulations"

The history of the consideration of this issue indicates that the prominent figures of literature and science at the turn of the 19th 20th centuries V.S. Solovyov, N.A. Berdyaev, S.N. Bulgakov, I.A. Ilyin, A.F. Losev, P.I. Novgorodtsev, L.N. Tolstoy, N.A. Tolstoy attracted close attention to the ideas of patriotism..G. Chernyshevsky et al. [2,5,14].

At the beginning of the 20th century, the problem of patriotism continued to be discussed within the framework of pedagogical science by N.F. Bunakov, M.I. Demkov, K.V. Yelnitsky, P.F. Kapterev, V.N. Soroka-Rosinsky, etc. The main emphasis in the works of these authors is shifted to the plane of the ratio of patriotism of the citizens of the country and the welfare of the state.

The problem of patriotism in Russia and the USSR began to be discussed most actively in the Soviet period from the beginning of 1918 to the end of the 80s of the XX century. During this period, a significant number of works were written on the problem of patriotism and it was connected with the ideology of the USSR, where one of the priorities of the state was the education of patriotism in every citizen of the country. In fairness, it should be noted that in the Soviet period of time this task was solved very successfully. Among the numerous studies of patriotism in the era of prosperity of socialism, one can single out the works of such authors as: A.A. Agaev, A.N. Vyrshchikov, N.I. Gubanov, S.D. Yemets, V.M. Zarvansky, A.N. Kolesnikov, V.V. Makarov, R.Ya. Mirsky, V.Sh. Nakhushev, P.N. Pospelov, P.M. Rogachev, N.E. Sapegin, et al. In these works, the problem of the ideology of patriotic education was analyzed, as well as the content of this phenomenon in the form of structural organization and essential features [4].

A significant surge of interest among scientists and politicians to the problem of patriotism is noted at the turn of the XX and XXI centuries. Such a sharp demand for patriotism in Russia is due to the collapse of the USSR, the loss of ideological foundations, the destruction of socialist basic values: Homeland, family, work, love. These values were replaced by such as power, money, career, prestige. The formation of these values was significantly influenced by both Western propaganda and the complete absence of any viable state program for the ideological education of young people in the country. All this could not but affect the change in the mindset of society, in which such concepts as patriotism have ceased to be relevant and vital among young people.

In recent decades, interest in this problem in our country has increased markedly. Remaining in the field of interdisciplinary research, patriotism is considered as a complex socio-psychological education. Summarizing the different approaches to the study of this problem, A.V. Kuznetsova formulated the main research positions revealing the essential characteristics of patriotism. For example, the author points out that in a number of studies, patriotism is understood as the highest feeling of the subject, which manifests itself in childhood and then throughout life in the process of socialization, its formation occurs. Another approach in the study of this phenomenon focuses on patriotism as a phenomenon exclusively social in nature. There are widely presented works where the analyzed phenomenon appears as a kind of power, reflecting the nature of the historical development of the Russian state. In some studies devoted to patriotism, the leading role belongs to the individual, whose purpose is seen in the awareness of his historical, cultural, national, spiritual and other belonging to the Motherland. And the last direction is highlighted by the author, where true patriotism is interpreted as the spirituality of the individual. Such patriotism, according to the authors, "presupposes selfless, up to self-sacrifice, service to the Fatherland, which is the measure of morality in assessing any social activity, the very meaning and purpose of human life" [12].

In the research of P. M. Rogachev, patriotism is understood as a basic value "inherent in all spheres of life of society and the state, which is the most important spiritual asset of the individual, characterizing the highest level of its development and manifesting itself in active self-realization for the benefit of the Fatherland" [13].

In the work of V. A. Koltsova and V. A. Sosnin, it is noted that patriotism is a complex multifaceted phenomenon that manifests itself in different ways in different social conditions. Patriotism from the positions of these authors can manifest itself at different levels. At the personal level, it can be characterized as a higher feeling or one of the components of the personality substructure in the form of values, beliefs, norms of behavior, as well as criteria for evaluating social phenomena). At the microsocium level, this phenomenon appears as a substructure of public consciousness or national identity. In turn, this substructure contains feelings, ethnic stereotypes, attitudes towards their people, traditions and culture. When educating the younger generation from the position of the authors, it is necessary to take into account or rely on each of the selected levels [6].

In foreign studies, the problem of patriotism has not been spared by such authors as J.Goode and J.Velody (J. Good, J. Velody, 1988); B.Nagaylo and V.Svoboda (Nahaylo B., Swoboda V., 1990); V.Kimlika (Kymlicka W., 1996); T.Kirk and A. McElligot (T. Kirk, A. McElligot, 1999); L.McGirr (McGirr L., 2001), etc.

A number of authors tried to explain the connection of patriotism with nationalism or chauvinism, some researchers also emphasized the connection between patriotism and racism. This is most clearly seen in the work of B. Anderson (Benedict Anderson. Imagined Communities. Reflections on Origin and Spread Nationalism). The author reflects that nations are fictional communities: "there are various processes through which a nation began to be imagined, and subsequently modeled, adapted and transformed. Such processes concern mainly social changes and different forms of consciousness. It is doubtful, however, that social changes or changes in consciousness alone could explain the devotion with which people treat the creations of their imagination or why people are willing to die for these creations" [1. p.50].

As A.V. Potemkin writes in his dissertation, "foreign authors, with rare exceptions, do not differentiate the concepts of "nationalism", "chauvinism" and "patriotism", and if the separation of these concepts is present, then it is conditionally and clearly not indicated. Some researchers, speaking of patriotism, mean by this "national pride" [11. p.38].

In addition, in modern research, there is a differentiation of such concepts as patriotism and patriotism, these definitions are filled with different meaningful semantic meaning. Patriotism, according to numerous studies, is understood as service to the Motherland, concern for its well-being, being a global concept embracing culture, language, one's own people, traditions, etc. Patriotism acts as a personal education, a property of personality [6,7]. From these positions, the national psychological features of patriotism, the dependence of patriotism and tolerance, responsibility and patriotism were investigated.

In this study, the main goal was to identify the dependence of patriotism and attitude to a special military operation among students.

Materials and methods. As a methodological basis of the study, a systematic approach and a holistically functional concept of personality traits and character traits of A. I. Krupnov were used.

The main research methods were questionnaires and testing. In order to identify the attitude to the special military operation, the author's questionnaire "Patriotic attitudes" was used. The questionnaire included 11 questions, the answers to which give a clear and complete picture of the attitude to the SVO. The results of the survey characterize a positive, neutral and negative attitude towards the declared military operation and some aspects of their country.

To study patriotism, as the analysis of scientific literature has shown, mainly developed questionnaires are used for each individual case, based on the goals and objectives of the study, in some works there are materials based on observation and expert assessment.

In this study, the questionnaire "Patriogram" (S. I. Kudinov, A.V. Potemkin) was used as a basic methodology for the study of patriotism. The technique meets the criteria of validity and reliability, is widely used in modern research. The questionnaire includes 8 components and 16 scales that characterize various aspects of the manifestation of patriotism. The severity of individual scales makes it possible to diagnose the specifics of the manifestation of the value-semantic orientation of patriotism, the depth of awareness of this quality, its motivation, as well as behavioral, regulatory and emotional aspects of the property.

In the statistical processing of empirical material, the method of comparative analysis of the Student's t-criterion was used. Statistical processing of the material was carried out using the STATISTICA 10.0 program.

The respondents were university students (Peoples' Friendship University of Russia, Russian University of Sports, Russian New University), a total of 108 people took part, aged 19-22 years, of which 50 boys and 58 girls. The study was conducted anonymously in order to increase the reliability of empirical data. All diagnostic materials were encrypted. Before the start of the survey, an oral conversation was conducted with the respondents, in which the purpose of the study, the main tasks were announced, and the anonymity of the data obtained in the questionnaires was guaranteed. About 80% of respondents expressed concerns about the consequences of this survey if the results do not coincide with the official position of the state on this issue.

Results and their discussionThe analysis of the results of the study concerning the civil responsibility of the individual, the assessment of the masculinity of citizens, attitude to their country, as well as a direct negative, neutral or positive attitude to the declared operation allowed us to identify three subgroups of respondents based on their attitude to the special military operation Table.

1. Let's focus in more detail on the analysis of empirical research data in two contrasting groups of respondents.

Students who positively perceive the special military operation as the main arguments noted the expansion of nationalist views on the part of the Ukrainian authorities and extremist-minded citizens, especially among young people.

Table 1.

Indicators of the severity of students' attitude to a special military operation in percentage termsPositive attitude

Neutral attitude

Negative attitude




Russian Russian culture restriction, prohibition on the territory of the Russian language, demolition of monuments to Russian outstanding personalities, including Catherine II. The erasure from the memory of citizens and the falsification of the events of World War II, the glorification of Nazi criminals from the UPA, the Ukrainian insurgent army during the war, the awarding of the title of Hero of Ukraine to S. Bandera and R. Shukhevych, who during the war killed hundreds of thousands of citizens. The atrocities that increasingly covered the territory of Ukraine, starting with Kiev, the events on the Maidan and the deaths of civilians in Odessa, burned alive. Bombing and killing of civilians on the territory of Donbass and Luhansk People's Republic for 8 years. The threat of a war on the territory of Russia.

During the interview, the students of this group noted that they receive basic information about events in Ukraine both from official sources, state TV channels, and Internet resources, as well as through personal contacts with relatives living in Ukraine. At the same time, they fully trust the Russian authorities and President Vladimir Putin, as well as the Russian army and other state authorities, including the Federation Council and the State Duma. Answering questions about the condemnation of its by foreign states and their leaders, respondents indicated as the main reasons for this attitude the restoration of Russia as a strong state, the independence of politics and the strengthening of the country's economy.

The results of the questionnaire indicate that 73% of respondents from this group closely follow the events related to the special military operation on the territory of Ukraine. These are those students who have relatives or friends living in the territory of this state, or their relatives take part in their own. At the same time, 43% of the respondents of the subgroup indicated that every citizen of their country is obliged to fulfill his civil and military duty, and any discussions regarding the announced special military operation are unnecessary, since 29% noted the time to act toughly. Only 35% of respondents at the beginning of a special military operation blamed the regime of Ukraine, or rather, the leadership of this country and the extremist-minded part of the population. The Russian leadership, in their opinion, had no choice, since delaying this decision could lead to more serious problems, since for eight years part of the pro-Russian-minded territory was bombed and the population of civilians was destroyed. More than 67% of students noted that in difficult times for the country, everyone should unite to solve military and civilian problems. And at the same time, 52% of the respondents support young people who have gone abroad to avoid mobilization. As an argument in support of these citizens, the subjects indicated the unacceptability of killing other people in all its manifestations, including military, military operations. In addition, 45% of respondents in this group indicated that they would leave for another country if they had such an opportunity with a guaranteed job and accommodation. As a clarification, they named developed European countries, the USA and England. The main premise for departure was called the possibility of travel, self-development in both professional and personal aspects, knowledge of other cultures, traditions, etc. They do not see anything wrong with this and indicate that most of the children of Russian officials and civil servants live abroad, work, get an education and have real estate. Answering the question that young people today have few prospects for development and self-expression in Russia, 41% gave an affirmative answer. The main argument was that after graduating from university, young specialists cannot find a well-paid job in their specialty, there is no social protection of young people.

49% of respondents answered in the affirmative to the question that it is necessary to avoid participation in hostilities by hook or by crook, even if the country needs it. And to the question that people should not participate in hostilities and try to avoid them in every possible way, since human life is the greatest value, 82% indicated.

The results of the distribution of answers to the questions posed show that in the group of respondents supporting a special military operation, there is a clear understanding of the situation that has developed within the framework of the interstate policy of Russia and Ukraine. Students soberly assess this problem and come to the conclusion that this issue can be solved exclusively by military means. They are sure that no negotiations and concessions are capable of restoring peace. At the same time, they do not consider the whole world hostile, since they perceive unfriendly countries, from the point of view of official authorities, as acceptable for living and working. The position of these respondents regarding the fact that people should avoid and avoid participating in hostilities in every possible way, given that they support a special operation, seems quite contradictory. Even more unexpected is their position regarding the fact that they support those young people who have evaded their education by moving to live abroad. Apparently, this position can be explained by the fact that students do not adequately perceive the scale of this disaster, believing that it is somewhere far away and someone else is obliged to take part in it, but they are not, most likely, regular military, while ordinary civilians should live their lives..

39% of students negatively assess the special military operation. The analysis of the arguments of this position allowed us to highlight key points, among which: Ukrainians are a fraternal people; we have one religion; the people have one historical past; we went through the Great Patriotic War together; we have practically the same culture and traditions; - this is a fratricidal war; - this is the genocide of the Slavic people; murder is a mortal sin- this is the destruction of the entire infrastructure and economy of both Russia and Ukraine; - this is the isolation of Russia in the world community; our peoples live both in Russia and Ukraine, therefore, a war with their own people; relatives and friends live in Ukraine; it is necessary to unite and integrate for the development of technology and economy, and not to fight; in the modern world, it is necessary to solve all interstate issues at the diplomatic level; - this is a war on foreign territory, etc.

The answers of the respondents of this group to questions concerning the attitude to the special military operation are somewhat different from the group with a positive attitude to the SVO. Thus, 3% answered in the affirmative to the question concerning the constant monitoring of events related to a special military operation. Their attention is due to personal interest (relatives and relatives participate in their work), fears for Russia (bombing of Russian settlements close to the border, the death of civilians and destruction), concern for refugees and other civilians left homeless.

Regarding the fact that every citizen of Russia is obliged to fulfill his civil and military duty, 29% of respondents gave a positive answer. While 71% of respondents answered in the negative, explaining their answer by saying that women, physically and mentally unhealthy people, as well as highly qualified specialists of narrow specialties should not take part in military operations. As to whether discussions are currently needed to establish peace and end the war, 39% of respondents believe that the time for negotiations has passed and it is necessary to act toughly. 36% of the subjects blamed the Ukrainian regime for unleashing military operations in the special operations zone. The detailed answers to the questions posed allowed students to argue this position. In their opinion, Russia's decision to launch the operation was the aggressive policy of the Kiev regime, as well as the threat of NATO expansion to Russia's borders. At the same time, only 4.5% of respondents in this group are convinced that in difficult times for the country, everyone should unite to solve military and civilian problems. And 12% of the students in this sample have a positive attitude to the fact that some of the young people, fleeing from mobilization, left the country. This fact seems quite interesting in comparison with the group of students who support their own, where 52% expressed such support. It turns out that those young people who do not support the special operation as a whole are more critical of avoiding the mobilization of young people. In addition, in this group, almost half as many respondents expressed a desire to leave for another country if they had such an opportunity with a guaranteed job and accommodation, 25%. Answering the question that young people today have few prospects for development and self-expression in Russia, 30% gave an affirmative answer, which is eleven percent more than in the first group. The reasons given were wider opportunities for self-realization, more freedom for self-expression, as well as a more developed civil society. At the same time, some respondents indicated restrictions on freedom in their country, repression of dissent, etc.

The position of students who have a negative attitude to the special military operation is also seen as somewhat strange. On the issue of avoiding participation in hostilities by hook or by crook, even if the country really needs it, only 6% answered that it should be avoided. While there were 49% of such students in the group expressing support for SVO. No less contradictory is the situation regarding the fact that people should not participate in hostilities and try to avoid them in every possible way, since human life is the greatest value, only 1.5% answered in the affirmative, while 82% of those in the group supporting their own turned out to be.

The analysis of the survey data allows us to conclude that in this group, despite the fact that students do not support a special military operation, their civil position nevertheless looks state, socially attractive for the country. They strive to take an objective approach to the assessment of military operations, closely monitor daily events. They are distinguished by a more mature and balanced position on a number of important civil issues. First of all, they point out that in difficult times for their country, it is necessary to unite and eliminate internal differences, citizens should support each other and the leadership of the state, and it is also necessary to defend their country without avoiding military action.

In general, the civic position of this subgroup of young people is more attractive to society and the state. Despite the denial of the fact of their own, they express their readiness to defend their country.

In general, it can be summarized that, regardless of the attitude to the special military operation, the student youth considers the protection of their Homeland a priority task and at the same time disclaims responsibility for these events, believing that someone else should solve these problems.

The analysis of the results of the patriogram revealed some distinctive features in the manifestation of patriotism among students with different attitudes to a special military operation. In general, it can be noted that respondents with a positive attitude to their own have an average level of manifestation of this quality, students with a neutral attitude to special operations have a medium-low level of patriotism, while students with a negative attitude have a slightly above average level of patriotism. The obtained fact proves that not all those who critically evaluate this operation are anti-patriots, as well as the opposite.

In the hierarchical structure of the components of patriotism, distinctive features are recorded in students with different attitudes to their own Table. 1. Comparative analysis using the Student's t-test revealed statistically significant differences in individual indicators of patriotism among students with a positive and negative attitude to their own.

Table 2

Comparative analysis of the severity of the variables of patriotism among representatives with different attitudes to their







With a positive attitude towards ITS

With a negative attitude to ITS

Social value. purposes





p < 0,01

Personal significance. Goals





p < 0,01






not significant






p < 0,05






not significant






not significant






not significant






not significant






p < 0,01






p < 0,05






p < 0,01






not significant

Before. communes. productivity.





not significant

Sub. personal productivity





not significant

According to the data of the presented table, statistically significant differences were recorded in such indicators as personally significant and socially significant goals of patriotism, indicators of motivation for patriotic behavior and cognitive meaningfulness. Moreover, respondents who support a special military operation are statistically significantly dominated by personally significant goals of patriotism and egocentric motivation for the realization of this property. This indicates to a greater extent an imaginary patriotism. Respondents are ready to show this property only in situations where it is beneficial. Respondents who have a negative attitude to their own statistically significantly more pronounced socially significant goals of patriotism, socially-oriented motivation for the realization of this quality and cognitive meaningfulness of patriotic behavior and positioning. The dominance of these features in the hierarchical structure to a greater extent indicates the true patriotic intentions of the respondents.

In general, in the hierarchy of the severity of the components of patriotism, students supporting their own are marked by personally significant goals of patriotism (when it is advantageous to be a patriot), aggressiveness (insufficient activity of patriotic behavior), external self-regulation (patriotism manifests itself exclusively under the influence of external factors and other people), egocentric motivation of patriotic behavior aimed at satisfying career expectations and social self-realization subjects, cognitive awareness (insufficient comprehension of patriotic self-expression). According to other characteristics of the patriogram, there is an average and medium-low level of severity.

Respondents with a negative attitude to their own as the leading characteristics in the patriogram are socially significant goals and attitudes of patriotism (in the name of protecting the Motherland, the people, etc.), cognitive meaningfulness (maturity of understanding patriotism as the basis of the value-semantic and moral sphere of personality), sociocentric motivation of patriotic behavior. This set of characteristics testifies to the sufficient formation of ideas about patriotism as an important quality of every citizen. At the same time, emotional-volitional and behavioral characteristics responsible for the real manifestation of this quality in society are at a low and medium level of manifestation. This fact indicates that these respondents understand that patriotism is important, necessary, good, but they themselves are not ready to actively manifest it.

The results obtained can be used to develop effective programs aimed at the formation of patriotism among schoolchildren and students.

ConclusionThe results of the study confirm the fact of an ambiguous attitude to the special military operation among the youth students.

The revealed positions of the students to the SVO show that, in general, they have sufficient understanding of the main causes of this operation. At the same time, they are not ready to make a decision on their own to take part in their own. The position of those respondents who seem to support their own, but at the same time support those who have withdrawn from participation in the military operation and left for other countries, seems quite contradictory. Moreover, they are ready to leave the country themselves and go to where they think it is better. The results of the patriogram did not reveal a direct relationship between the attitude to a special military operation and the manifestation of patriotism. The analysis of the data allowed us to establish a low indicator of patriotism in the group with a neutral attitude to the special operation, an average level among those who support the SVO and an average high level among respondents who have a negative attitude to the SVO. In general, the results of the study indicate an ambiguous attitude to the SVO and a rather weak formation of patriotism among students. The data obtained can become the basis for the development of programs for the formation of patriotism in the framework of educational work in universities.

Limitations: the small sample size does not allow us to fully extrapolate the results obtained in this study to the entire general population.

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