Emotion AI analysis of Putin and Zelenskyy’s speeches prior to invasion

By Admin
March 4, 2022
2 min read
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By Nirit Pisano, Ph.D.

What do we know of Russian President Vladimir Putin's communication immediately preceding his launch of a military operation against Ukraine, and how might we understand the emotional impact of his words?

What was the makeup of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy's speech hours before the attack, and what can we learn from the emotional reverberation of his message amongst viewers?

I ran both speeches in their entirety through Cognovi Labs' technology to measure the emotionality of each leader while imparting his message. Given that both communications involved two parties - the speaker and his recipients - this allows us to trace the impact of divergent tones, in this case on the U.S. population.

The single most prominent emotion found in Putin's speech was Contempt; Contempt for perceived adversaries, Contempt for historical events, Contempt for differing ideologies, organizations, and governments.

Altogether missing from Putin's communication was Amusement and Trust. There was no opening for lightheartedness or relief from Putin's disdain, nor did he relay a sense of Trust that might be mirrored in the faith and conviction of his audience.

Did Putin's emotional position align with his needs? Whether or not he was aware of his delivering a contemptuous, mistrustful communication, his emotional state neglected to enlist support of potential allies or deepen relationships and coalitions.

Zelenskyy broadcasted his address in Ukrainian and then Russian, appealing to the population of his neighboring country. Zelenskyy's speech was littered, above all else, with Surprise. He posed pointed questions at the motivations, expectations, and assumptions of his fellow Russian speakers, reflecting his own astonishment while stirring the audience's shock and awe.

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