What is Putin thinking?

A quantitative analysis of Putin's public discourse derived from computational linguistic research of his speeches
THE RUSSIA PROGRAM HAS INITIATED A COMPREHENSIVE, LONG-TERM PROJECT to develop A LINGUISTIC PROFILE OF VLADIMIR PUTIN. It SEEKS TO VISUALIZE THE EVOLUTION OF HIS LANGUAGE USE OVER TIME AND ADDRESS THE MOST PRESSING QUESTIONS REGARDING HIS PUBLIC RHETORIC.
Quantifying Putin's Language
We have amassed a database of more than 800 speeches made by Vladimir Putin and applied computational linguistics and advanced AI methodologies to process them. Our objective is to construct models that reflect Putin's thought patterns and to analyze themes (topics) of significant interest. In the initial phase, we will release generalized diagrams representing his linguistic tendencies. Subsequently, we plan to develop an interactive application featuring a timeline slider to illustrate the development and evolution of these patterns over time. Ultimately, our system will incorporate a term search capability to monitor the usage and contextual shifts of specific concepts.
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Data Collection & Research
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Samples of Visualization
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Visualization of the overall change over time
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Term search & analysis over time
Network Analysis
Some takes from the network diagrams
  • 1
    The United States
    The US is central to Putin's perspective on international relations (grey in the first diagram), and he views nearly all global affairs through the lens of US actions and policies.
  • 2
    Russkii Mir
    While the "Russkii Mir" (“Russian World”) narrative (red in the first diagram) appears peripheral within his broader semantic network, we note the gradual integration of specific red clusters into the main body of terms.
  • 3
    War
    The concept of war is woven into discussions of economics and international relations, predominantly in connection with the US. This is why Putin refers to the conflict in Ukraine as a "special military operation" rather than a war, reserving the term "war" for conflicts involving the West.
  • 4
    The Nazi narrative
    The Nazi narrative (turquoise in the second diagram) is linked to Ukraine but remains isolated from other Ukraine-related themes. Its usage is primarily pejorative, lacking substantive explanatory value.
  • 5
    The Great Patriotic War
    This theme (purple in the second diagram) pertains to domestic affairs and does not contribute to the rhetoric of mobilization against Ukraine. The notion of "Ukrainian Nazism" is disconnected from the Great Patriotic War narrative.
  • 6
    Donbas and Luhansk
    These regions are mentioned mostly within the context of "Russian" and "people." Putin's narrative does not associate them with the Ukraine cluster unless discussing the impact on the "Russian people" of these regions.
Related Articles
Academic publications on Putin's thinking are yet to come. However, we published multiple papers using similar methodology.
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Contact
Feel free to write or call us
+1 (202) 9946340
russiaprogram@gwu.edu

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