Keywords: rhetorical canons, historism, proper name, common noun, one nation, brotherly peoples


This paper discusses Vladimir Putin’s online publication entitled “On the historical unity of Russians and Ukrainians” drawing on the rhetorical canons of invention (the choice of theme and arguments), disposition (content linearization), elocution (verbal ornamentation), performance (communication conditions). At the invention stage, it is found that the idea of peoples’ unity replaces the Soviet-era cliché of brotherly nations, since the author of the publication finds fault with Bolsheviks claiming that modern Ukraine is a brainchild of the Soviet era, while the lack of reference to the Belarusians in the publication headline decreases the status of this Slavic nation though it is referred to in the text. With respect to the disposition, the analyzed publication relies on the two-part model, which besides introduction and conclusion, includes narration and refutation sections, determining differences in the choice of linguistic means. As for the elocution, this paper explains that the imperial understanding of unity is rendered by the term referring to the great Russian nation while the post-Soviet view is encoded by the phrase naming a triple nation, designating a fragment which in the author’s opinion should be preserved after the separation of the Soviet fifteen sister republics. The narration section is filled with dates, figures, and personal names, aimed at creating effects of knowledgeability and truthfulness. The refutation section is stuffed with common nouns in the plural, forming an effect of massive-scale events, and impersonal statements that can characterize anyone and anywhere. This paper proves the vagueness of the characterizing adjectives “spiritual”, “violent”, “historical”; of the pronouns “other”, “our”, “some”; of the fuzzy constructions “over and over again”, “apparently”. The paper shows the counterproductive use of the historism “little Russians” in the modern context and of the neologism анти-Россия “anti-Russia”, with the latter contradicting the idea of unity proclaimed at the outset of the publication under discussion. As for the performance stage, this paper reveals the incompatibility of some statements in the publication with sociolinguistic ideas concerning the formation of national languages.


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How to Cite
Potapenko, S. I. (2021). “HISTORICAL UNITY OF RUSSIANS AND UKRAINIANS” PUBLICATION FROM RHETORICAL PERSPECTIVE. New Philology, (83), 213-221. https://doi.org/10.26661/2414-1135-2021-83-31