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Nataliia Onishchenko

Doctor of Psychological Sciences, Professor. National university of civil defence of Ukraine

ORCID 0000-0003-3026-1650


DOI - https://doi.org/10.52363/dcpp-2022.3.12

Key words: war; psychotrauma; experience; psychotraumatic situation.

The article presents data on the study of the characteristics of the perception of the beginning of the war by the civilian population of the city of Kharkіv. The main reactions of the inhabitants of the city to the beginning of a full-scale invasion of the enemy into Ukraine are analyzed. The dynamics of the emotional experiences of the citizens of the city in the first days of the war, in those days when active hostilities began, is being studied. Particular attention is paid to the perception by the inhabitants of the city of the fact of the outbreak of war with the nearest neighbor. A study is being made of the content characteristics of people's experiences in relation to the situation, their attitude and individual understanding of what is happening to them is analyzed.

To achieve the goal of the study, a structured interview was conducted with the civilian population of Kharkiv in the early days of a full-scale invasion of Ukraine. The results showed that at the beginning of the war, the main reaction to what was happening in both men and women was confusion. Along with this, emotions of fear and anxiety dominated. Among the psychophysiological reactions of that time, the most common can be called asthenization or lack of strength. The strength and intensity of the fear experienced by the respondents did not change much over time - this emotion was observed throughout all stages of the study.

According to the results obtained, the subjects had the effect of protective psychological mechanisms, mainly by the type of denial. This, in turn, interfered with their objective assessment of the situation around them. In this regard, the results of a relatively noticeable level of confusion among the subjects regarding their further actions were expected - the vast majority of the study participants did not understand what to do next. It was found that most of the respondents were primarily concerned about the safety of their family members and the preservation of the lives of their loved ones.

The study of these indicators in dynamics made it possible to establish that over time, under the influence of superpowerful stress factors, certain changes occur in the mental state of a person.