The military and propaganda tactics Russia used in the war against Georgia in 2008 are eerily similar to the ones it uses in the war against Ukraine. There are a few important lessons we can learn from those events.
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
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?
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.
“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 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.
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.
One more reason why Ukraine is NOT Russia
According to distributional semantics, Ukraine is more similar to the West, the USA and Europe than to Russia. The analysis is based on a corpus of Putin's speeches.
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