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An Alarmed Zelenskyy vs. a Nonchalant Putin: Analyzing Ukrainian and Russian Press Releases

Presented by:
Pei Yi Zhuo (Duke University)

Russia launched its full-scale invasion of Ukraine on February 24, 2022, turning a simmering conflict that had marred the region since 2014 into the largest war on European soil since the defeat of Nazi Germany. As the Ukrainian and Russian armed forces struggle against each other to gain the upper hand on the battlefield, the two governments are also prosecuting an information war for the hearts and minds of the world.

For a glimpse of how this parallel war of words is being waged, I scraped 1796 pieces from the news sections of the English language websites of the President of Ukraine ( and the Kremlin (

In an analysis along the lines of the one conducted by David Robinson on Donald Trump's tweets (, I found that whereas Zelenskyy's press releases became more disgusted, sad, negative, angry, and fearful as well as more frequent after February 24, Putin's press releases changed by a far lesser extent. My complete analysis is available as a blog post ( I posted my dataset on Kaggle (, and my scraping scripts are available on GitHub (

An Alarmed Zelenskyy vs. a Nonchalant Putin.pdf