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Ukraine war

Is Putin cracking? Voice analysis belies steely exterior

Russian leader's initial optimism of conflict gave way to high stress, audio indicates

An analysis of Russian President Vladimir Putin's speech on the anniversary of the annexation of Crimea indicated lower stress levels but an inward-looking mindset. (Source photo by Getty Images)

TOKYO -- With Russia now more than a month into its invasion of Ukraine and showing little sign of backing down, how has Russian President Vladimir Putin's mindset changed over the course of the conflict? The answer may lie in his voice.

Nikkei and Yokohama-based Risk Measurement Technologies looked at 1 hour and 19 minutes of voice samples from Putin from between Feb. 1 and March 18. An analysis of the audio suggests his stress levels were elevated starting in the days before the invasion and climbed sharply in early March, when Moscow responded to the tightening sanctions net around the country.

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