• During a speech before the Kremlin, Vladimir Putin formalized the annexation of four Ukrainian regions to Russia, after the announcement of the results of the “referendums” organized last week.

  • Above all, the Russian president has multiplied the attacks against “the West”, defended Russian culture and its traditional values, and accused “the Anglo-Saxons” of having caused the leaks from the Nord Stream gas pipeline.

  • Véronique Perry, linguist at the University of Toulouse Paul Sabattier, and General Vincent Desportes, professor of strategy at Sciences Po and HEC, decipher for

    20 Minutes

    the speech of the master of the Kremlin.

From the figure of Catherine II to Satanism and transidentity, Vladimir Putin swept very wide during a speech before the Moscow elite in the Kremlin, on the occasion of the ceremony planned to formalize the annexation of four Ukrainian territories.

The announcement of the results of the "referendums" and the tribute to the "heroes" who "fight to preserve their faith, their language", will have finally occupied only a handful of minutes out of the almost three quarters of an hour of speech.

Just enough time to place a first projection on the fact that "the first article of the UN guarantees the right of peoples to self-determination".

The tone was set, very offensive, with a posture of head of state more democratic than democracy.

A real "snub" to the international community, for the linguist Véronique Perry.

But also the first act of a permanent "inversion of good and evil", deciphers for

20 Minutes

General Vincent Desportes, professor of strategy at Sciences Po and HEC.

We invite you to analyze the three great rhetorical pirouettes of the Russian president.

To be Russian or not to be

In front of two huge flags, Vladimir Putin quickly evoked "the thousand-year-old history" which links part of Ukraine to Russia.

“For people who identify as Russian, there is nothing more important than finding their real country,” he added, explaining that the separatists were fighting for “their language”.

"His nationalism goes through the essentialization of the language, I am Russian therefore I speak Russian", and vice versa, explains the linguist Véronique Perry.

But “everything is patois;

given the size of the country, it is impossible for there to be a unification of Russian”, defends the Toulouse researcher.

The definition of the Russian people and culture that he defends is however very practical for Vladimir Putin, who seems to open the door to other territories.

Indeed, he accuses the “Soviet representatives” of having “destroyed our great country and presented the people with a fait accompli” during the dissolution of the USSR in 1991. “Putin is marked by the fall of the USSR.

He wants to rebuild Russia and put it in its place,” said General Vincent Desportes.

Even if it means "denying any form of change", according to Véronique Perry.

But Vladimir Putin still denies it: he doesn't want to resuscitate the USSR, “we can't go back to the past, Russia doesn't need that”.

Because the attachment of the Ukrainian regions is the "choice" of the inhabitants, and he does not want to appear as a colonizer.

The Toulouse researcher also points to the moment when Vladimir Putin challenges "the power of kyiv and its masters in the West", indicating that the inhabitants of the four annexed regions "become our citizens forever".

“He always talks about superiority, but the dominant always imposes his culture, his language.

That's what he does too,” she adds.

Satanism, parent 1 and neocolonialism

All pretexts are good to portray "the West" as a "barbarian" ogre.

Faced with the "neocolonialism" of the United States, Vladimir Putin recalls that "the Soviet Union led the camp of the anti-colonial struggle".

And even on the corridors negotiated to transport cereals out of Ukraine “under the pretext of ensuring food security in the Third World”, the Russian president asserts that “only 5% of Ukrainian wheat goes to Africa”.

“He is in a weak position internationally.

Even his allies in India and China are letting him go, ”recalls Vincent Desportes.

"He seeks legitimacy at all levels: ideological, historical, emotional," loose Véronique Perry.

For the inattentive listener, Vladimir Putin may have gone into a spin by suddenly evoking, pell-mell, "the extinction of family values", the freedom advocated by the West which "takes on the face of Satanism". and "Do we want a number 1 parent and a number 2 parent in Russia?"


"He plays on the fear" of a "modification of the patriarchal order", denounces the linguist Véronique Perry, specializing in discourse on the categories of gender and sex.

Vladimir Putin wants to show that "this war is a moral, just war, and that he is the defender of eternal values", according to General Vincent Desportes.

War, gas pipelines, nuclear weapons: whose fault is it?

Since he necessarily had to address the subject of the fighting, Vladimir Putin also rejected the stone in the camp opposite, calling "the kyiv regime to stop the war it started in 2014" to sit at the negotiating table.

"He is braced on his initial positions, turning the blame for the aggression on the attitude of Westerners", recalls Vincent Desportes.

“The West seeks to destroy us, to dislocate our State”, even denounces the Russian president.

"He justifies the mobilization a posteriori", explains the professor of strategy at Sciences Po, and wants "to show Russia that the nation is in danger".

Continuing on the highway of victimization, the Russian president also dismissed the suspicions hanging over Moscow about the leaks from the Nord Stream gas pipelines in the Baltic Sea.

For him, it is obvious, the crime benefits “the Anglo-Saxons”.

“By staging explosions on the international gas pipelines that run along the bottom of the Baltic Sea, they have actually started to destroy Europe's energy infrastructure,” he criticizes.

A “paranoia” for Véronique Perry, but also an “attempt to divert opinions in Europe”, underlines Vincent Portes.

All in his "strategy of counter-caricature, of reversal", in the words of Véronique Perry, the president pushed his advantage by targeting the United States: "Which is the only country in the world which has used the weapon twice nuclear ?

At the same time, he warns that Russia will defend its new territories "with all its weapons".

"Putin is preparing the ground for the use of tactical nuclear weapons", fears General Vincent Desportes, "his last card".

"Overall, this is not a speech that brings a peaceful solution closer," he concludes.


War in Ukraine: Vladimir Putin approves the annexation of four Ukrainian territories in the Kremlin


War in Ukraine: Russia in difficulty on the ground, Putin ratifies the annexation of the occupied regions

  • War in Ukraine

  • World

  • Vladimir Poutine

  • Russia