dr. Mihaela RUSU
Abstract. This article uses geopolitical issues and speech analysis to examine from an interdisciplinary perspective three speeches by Vladimir Putin, the leader of Russian Federation, following the annexation of the Crimea Peninsula by Russia in 2014. These were: 1) the March 18, 2014 message of the Russian President; 2) his speech delivered at the Festive Concert dedicated to the annexation of Crimea and Sevastopol to the Russian Federation, March 18, 2015; and 3) the congratulatory message delivered by the Russian leader on the anniversary of the reunification of the Crimea and Sevastopol, March 18, 2016. The paper addresses two principal issues: 1) What were the main arguments used by Putin to justify and legitimize the annexation of Crimea and to mobilize popular support for this? population to support it? and 2) To what extent did the arguments used by the Russian leader explain Russia’s position on Crimea and its strategic importance to the Russian Federation? The main conclusion is that the Russian leader utilized an entire historical, geopolitical, ideological, propagandistic, and so forth arsenal to justify the annexation. He thereby called on unity, solidarity, and patriotism of his people as well as the desire of the Russians of the Peninsula to be part of the Russian Federation.
The final conclusion is that all three speeches had a single purpose: to legitimize the annexation of territory which had been part of Ukraine to the Russian State.
Keywords: geopolitics, discourse, Russia, Putin, Crimea