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Profs & Pints DC: How Putin Speaks

April 25, 2022 @ 6:00 pm - 8:30 pm UTC+0

$2 – $12.

Profs and Pints DC presents: “How Putin Speaks,” an analysis of what the Russian leader’s words reveal about his thinking and motives, with Ksenia Turkova, linguist, Voice of America journalist, former news anchor in Russia and Ukraine, and guest lecturer at American universities.

Ever since Russian President Vladimir Putin launched his nation’s war on Ukraine by announcing a “the special operation” there, many have wondered about his motives and what drives him. Linguists who have been studying his language portrait for years say a host of clues lie in his rhetoric and manner of speaking.

Join Dr. Ksenia Turkova, a trained linguist with more than two decades of experience as a journalist for independent Russian and Ukrainian news outlets, as she paints a linguistic portrait of Putin and offers insights on his beliefs and intentions based on the rhetorical tools that he has used throughout his presidency.

She’ll look, for example, at Putin’s frequent characterization of his actions toward Ukraine as “denazification.” Along with attaching an invective to the Ukrainian resistance, the term evokes a dark chapter in Russia’s past that ended with a revered miliary triumph. It also flips around the term “decommunization,” which Ukrainians used in revolting against the Soviet Union and tearing down its monuments, a chapter of their history loathed by Putin and many of the generals who rose alongside him in the former U.S.S.R.

She’ll look more broadly at how Vladimir Putin evokes Soviet and Cold War language, by referring to a neighboring country as a “brother nation,” or talking about the “decaying West,” “unfriendly countries,” or “traitors of the nation,” often to create an image of Russia as a “besieged fortress.” She’ll discuss how, and why, he seldom explicitly names his political opponents. And she’ll examine various ways that he consciously uses language intended to convince Russians that he is tough or macho.

Among the questions she’ll tackle: How do his oratorical skills as an autocrat influence Russian people? What does his manner of speech have in common with figures in American politics? (Advance tickets: $12. Doors: $15, save $2 with a student ID. Listed time is for doors. Talk starts 30 minutes later. Please allow yourself time to place any orders and get seated and settled in. Bring proof of vaccination and a mask as they may be required in response to local infection rates. The Bier Baron will be requiring event attendees to purchase a minimum of two items, which can be food or beverages, including soft drinks.)


April 25, 2022
6:00 pm - 8:30 pm UTC+0
$2 – $12.
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Profs and Pints
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The Bier Baron Tavern
1523 22nd Street Northwest
Washington, DC 20037 United States
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202 293-1888
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