Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2892: Alexander Borodai - Donetsk's People's Republic Prime Minister (Pro-Russian Separatist Leader) interview with Chris Cuomo regarding Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 - Body Language (VIDEO, PHOTOS)

Alexander Yurevich Borodai (Александр Юрьевич Бородай) is the "self-proclaimed Prime Minister of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic" (an eastern portion of what most consider Ukraine). Yesterday he was interviewed by Chris Cuomo regarding the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17. The above video is a substantial fraction of that video. What follows is a partial body language analysis of Alexander Borodai.

From 0:36 - 0:39, Borodai displays a head tilt backwards with an eye-roll.

Rolling of the eyes such as this is a very conscious and deliberate contempt display. He wants to flaunt his contempt.

Although Mr. Borodai perhaps has an underlying asymmetric mouth configuration when he speaks, in this video he has multiple examples of additional asymmetry.


 At 1:53

Note that when compared to the image above taken about a second earlier, Borodai's additional left facial contraction in this image exhibits a slight increased eyelid closure, increased left contraction of his mustache area, and increased nostril flare. These are all significant for the nonverbal signals of contempt.

This image taken at 2:14 during the above video displays both contempt and disgust.

The dramatic backwards head tilt - with his proverbial "nose in the air" is highly significant for disgust.

Continued display of contempt at is seen here at 3:42. Note throughout most of this interview, Borodai has partial eyelid closure - which acts as an amplifier for the emotions of disgust, anger and contempt.

At 3:59 Mr. Borodai's eyebrows are vectored downward as his mouth foreshortens and his upper lip thins in another clear expression of anger.

What else is seen here which signifies anger?

For about 2.5 seconds (from about 4:06 to 4:08.5), Mr. Borodai's eyelids exhibit prolonged full closure. This display signifies very strongly the emotion contempt.


Contempt exists whenever a person feels that he/she is better than another person or group of people. It is extremely caustic to both the recipient and those who project it.

Note the relative lack of hand and arm illustrators by Mr. Borodai during this interview. This characteristic taken in isolation is consistent with a significant elevation of anxiety. Much of the time his hands are placed flat on the tops (anterior surface) of his thighs. This additional sign is highly significant and further indicator of anxiety. And although his legs cannot be seen directly, their position can be appreciated indirectly by the configuration of his arms (which are as stated earlier resting on them). Borodai's legs are closer together vs. Cuomo's - and indeed though Cuomo is unarmed and in a war zone, most of Mr. Borodai's body language is significantly beta to Mr. Cuomo's alpha. Cuomo is more confident. Conversely, Borodai has low emotional comfort and has contempt, disgust and anger directed at Cuomo and his line of questioning.

The rate of Alexander Borodai's blinking throughout much of the interview was significantly increased above normal. This is another strong anxiety indicator.

Note that from 3:34 - to 3:44, Borodai had virtually no eye contact with Cuomo as he was explaining about the fog of war and his effort to recover the bodies. Eye contact often drops dramatically during the act of lying.

From 2:28 - 2:32 while he was speaking about the treatment of the bodies, Borodai displayed the low, conventional steeple (tips of fingers and thumbs of each hand touching each other). This was a strong signal hyper-alpha display - however because this was prolonged and used with an additional chopping motion - it became indicative of arrogance and a condescending mindset. This small portion of the his story (a decapitated body that fell through a roof and landed on a woman's bed) was probably true (a few seconds later, beginning at 2:33 he uses the alpha-beta hybrid illustrator of a basketball steeple) - but he is over-compensating with his confidence during this "slice of truth" - because the remainder of his story is scattered liberally with deception.

See also:

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2891: James Garner and ... Why was he so well liked?

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2811: Jason and David Benham are Dropped from HGTV - Body Language of Subtle Contempt, Anger & Disgust
Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2786: Jewish Community Center Shooter - Frazier Glenn Cross, Jr - A Very Common Body Language Display of "Hate Crimes", Mass Shootings and Terrorism

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2769: Smiling Out of Context in a Mass Shooter - T.J. Lane's Body Language

Negotiation Nonverbal Communication Secret # 1496:  Tiger Woods' Disgust & Biofeedback

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2533: Angela Merkel's Low Steeple "Trademark" - A Major Body Language Mistake

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2753: Malaysia Airlines Flight 370's Pilot Zaharie Ahmad Shah, Body Language