While pursuing deeply authoritarian and conservative politics in Russia, Putin uses "progressive" words like diversity, equality, neo-colonialism and so on on the international stage. How is it possible? What does he want to achieve?
Category: Language genius
Top 10 weirdest messages from Putin in 2022
No doubt, it has been a crazy year. In February, Russia invaded Ukraine. Thousands of people have died, including children. Millions had to flee. Those who stay are fighting with cold and darkness. There is something carnivalesque about this parade of obscene, idiotic cruelty displayed by Russians. The mask of civilisation has fallen, and all … Continue reading Top 10 weirdest messages from Putin in 2022
Cognitive biases, communicative efficiency and propaganda
At least some of our cognitive biases can be explained by the tendency to save effort. But communicative efficiency also helps all kinds of manipulators to deceive us. An example is Putin's use of the word "genocide" when speaking about the conflict in Donbass. We should get used to spending more processing effort, before it is too late for our democracy!
Putin’s insanity talk
In recent months, Putin has been talking about his opponents' words and actions as "nonsense" and "rubbish". Two female politicians, according to him, are out of their mind. I think that Putin's insulting behaviour is another example of projection as a self-defense mechanism. He is trying to distract attention from his own fatal errors and present himself as a paragon of rationality.
What is a woman? A not-so-innocent question
In his documentary "What is a woman?" Matt Walsh manipulates his interviewees and viewers by pretending that he is interested in finding out the "truth" about what a woman is "in reality". His question thus contains the answer he expects to hear: a religious and conservative view of a woman as a "natural kind".
The “dirty bomb” and a typology of lies in Russian propaganda
Russian propaganda uses lies of different complexity. I discuss the most recent message by Shoigu and others about Ukraine's plans to use a "dirty bomb". This message is very worrying. It is also an interesting example of recursion, suggesting that the Russian propaganda is getting more and more sophisticated, perhaps to compensate for the lack of military successes.
Putin declares partial mobilisation
In Putin's address where he announces a "partial" mobilisation, he tries to maximize the stakes for Russia and minimize the costs of this move for ordinary Russians. But the stakes are high first and foremost for Putin himself.
Putin’s reaction to Ukraine’s counter-offensive
After Ukraine's successful counter-offensive near Kharkiv, Putin pretends that nothing serious has happened. A little study in lexical semantics.
A result of careless smoking in the Crimea. The Russian propaganda machine has produced many beautiful expressions, which would have made Joseph Goebbels envious. I have collected several of them. This little dictionary can help you understand the language of Putin and his friends better, and also to appreciate the numerous memes in the Internet. … Continue reading Ruscist-English dictionary
“The exercises are going according to plan”, or How Putin exploits the rules of cooperative interaction
I'm not sure if this photo was really taken immediately after Macron's calling Putin, but it is a good illustration. The Élysée Palace published the telephone call between Macron and Putin a few days before the Russian invasion of Ukraine (the French transcript can be found here and an English translation here). This text gives … Continue reading “The exercises are going according to plan”, or How Putin exploits the rules of cooperative interaction