Putin’s 2014 Address to Federal Assembly Text Network Analysis

Every year in December Vladimir Putin addresses the Russian Federal Assembly. His address is considered to be a good indicator of the current political mood in the country. Putin’s 2014 speech is especially interesting, because it concerns not only Russia but the whole world. We at Nodus Labs together with Way to Russia analyzed Vladimir Putin’s address made on the 4th of December 2014 using text network analysis and below we present a brief report on what we discovered.


Text network visualization of Vladimir Putin 2014 address.

To navigate through the text network, use Nodus Labs text network analysis tool – it enables you to zoom in / out of text and see the main topics more precisely.
To learn more about the algorithm used, read our research papers on the TNA method we use.

Most Influential Terms in Putin’s 2014 Speech

Text network analysis of Putin’s 2014 speech shows that the most influential terms in the speech are:
“ukraine”, and

These terms are indicated with bigger nodes in the graph. The bigger size indicates the nodes that are not only the most frequently used in the text, but also that connect various different topics together – so-called “junctions of meaning circulation” (high betweenness centrality measure in terms of the network science). It means that Putin was using these 4 terms often to switch between different contexts in the text.

Most Relevant Topics in Putin’s Speech

The closer are the nodes to each other, the more often they were used together in the same context. The nodes that cluster together (communities) are shown with the same color, indicating contextual proximity of the terms used.

We identified 4 main “communities” of terms (contexts or topics, in other words) in Putin’s address (you can see them on Textexture page more precisely):

a) russia international strategic respect
b) people business freedom amnesty
c) ukraine development support sign
d) country year event government

From this list we can see that Putin focused quite heavily on

a) Getting “respect” for Russia from international community as the new political strategy of Russia;
b) Offering more freedoms and amnesty to Russian businesses;
c) Indicating that Russia supports future development of Ukraine;
d) The events that happened during 2014, which were quite difficult for the government;


Comparative Analysis

Our previous study published in Russian Journal of Communication used text network analysis to study Russian presidential addresses to Federal Assembly from 2008 to 2012. The graphs can be seen below.

The first two addresses of President Medvedev focused on the relation between the government and the public mainly:

President Medvedev’s 2008 address to Federal Assembly

Try InfraNodus Text Network Visualization Tool developed by Nodus Labs. You can use it to make sense of disjointed bits and pieces of information, get visual summaries for text documents, and generate insight for your research process: www.infranodus.com

President Medvedev’s 2009 address to Federal Assembly

After that, in Medvedev’s 2010 speech rhetorics shifted towards families and children (in response to Russia’s demographic crisis):

President Medvedev’s 2010 address to Federal Assembly

The next address was again focused on the country’s development and modernisation:

President Medvedev’s 2011 address to Federal Assembly

Vladimir Putin, who took the office again in 2012, focused on the same values as Medvedev before (modernisation and economic development), however, he also emphasized that such development should be made gradually and also stressed the importance of patriotism (something new comparing to the previous rhetorics used).

President Putin’s 2012 address to Federal Assembly

In his next presidential address Putin again stressed the same values: economic development and modernisation. This time, however, there was more attention towards the regional development, education and housing:

President Putin’s 2013 address to Federal Assembly

All in all, comparing to the presidential addresses of 2008-2013, the rhetorics of president in 2014 became much more specific. Instead of focusing on the abstract concepts of ‘modernisation’ and ‘economic development’, as well as the respect of international law, this time Putin focused much more on the very specific ways that those policies could be implemented. Capital amnesty and less regulations for businesses, as well as the creation of special economic zones to foster economic development. At the same time, his international stance became much more conservative and much more focused on patriotism and traditional Christian values.

It’s left to be seen what will happen of all those promises, one thing is clear: there seems to be an increasing rift in the Russian governing circles. On the one side, they are interested in modernisation, deregulation and more liberal economic policies. At the same time, internationally, they are much more protective right now, using the rhetorics of patriotism and Christian values to unify people together against the external threat.


Further Exploration

You can navigate through Putin’s 2014 address using the network of the most relevant terms he used, to find the excerpts you’re interested in. To do that, please, use this link: Putin’s 2014 Speech Text Network Analysis.

Let us know if you have further questions or if you’re interested in comparative analysis of this speech to previous presidential addresses.

Also, check our studies of the US presidents inaugural speeches from 1969 to 2013 and Russian presidents’ address to Federal Assemblies study 2008 to 2012.

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