On May 9 Russia celebrated Victory Day. As in 2022, there were no glorious victories to report. In contrast to the usual grand shows advertising the country’s military power, this year’s parade seemed to have the motto “less is more”. The flypast was cancelled. The number of troops was modest. A lone Soviet T-34 tank … Continue reading Another Victory Day without a victory
A “special grammatical operation”: what Putin’s use of cases reveals
Putin can avoid certain words, but it is more difficult to avoid grammar. In a pioneering study, Laura Janda et al. show how Putin's use of case forms of Russia, Ukraine and NATO is different from 'normal' language. My additional analyses reveal that Putin's use of cases with Russia and Ukraine has been stable over the years. A missed opportunity to discover what he was really thinking all this time?
“This is not a bluff”: What Putin says about nuclear weapons
We have never been so close to a nuclear war since the Caribbean crisis. I examined the mentions of nuclear weapons in Putin's speeches and found that nuclear threats are a recent thing. Their purpose is to force Ukraine and the West to negotiate with Russia. And this gives us some hope...
Putin’s world is not multipolar
Putin has been announcing the new "multipolar" world order again and again. My word2vec analysis of Putin's speeches suggests that he is more interested in restoring the "bipolar" word order of the cold war.
The good, the bad and the dancing king
In my previous post, I looked at the frequencies of different countries and organizations in Putin’s speeches. But we can also check which countries appear more frequently in positive and negative contexts, like I did once. This time I made a list of all countries of the world plus some organizations like NATO and the … Continue reading The good, the bad and the dancing king
NATO’s expansion as a fig leaf for Putin’s true obsession
Our crazy times forge strange alliances. Pope Francis claims that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine was “provoked”. With this opinion, he joins the company of left-wing intellectuals like Sahra Wagenknecht and right-wing populists like Alice Weidel. Who could only have imagined that these radically different people would join their forces, spreading the idea that NATO and … Continue reading NATO’s expansion as a fig leaf for Putin’s true obsession