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Putin mocks Tucker Carlson in freewheeling interview about Ukraine and jailed journalist: Updates

Former Fox News host Tucker Carlson has released his interview with Russian President Vladimir Putin, who started with a long diatribe on Russian history and its relationship with Ukraine.

The two-hour, seven-minute interview was recorded on 6 February and released in full shortly before 6pm ET on Thursday. Carlson travelled to Moscow for Putin’s first interview with a Western media figure since the invasion of Ukraine began in February 2022.

Putin repeated his argument that Ukraine wasn’t a real country which was shaped by the “will” of Soviet leader Josef Stalin.

When Carlson requested that jailed Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich be allowed to return to the US with Carlson and his crew as a show of “goodwill” from Putin, the Russian leader said that his “goodwill” had run out, complaining about the lack of reciprocity from the West.

Asked why he doesn’t call President Joe Biden and work out a solution in Ukraine, Putin asked: “What’s there to work out?”

“Stop supplying weapons and it will be over within weeks,” he added.

Putin also claimed that peace talks had at one point “reached a very high stage of coordination of positions ... they were almost finalized”.

Key Points

  • Putin rants about Ukraine in rare interview with ex-Fox host Tucker Carlson

  • Putin repeats ‘nonsense’ claim Boris Johnson scuppered efforts to end Ukraine invasion

  • ‘Kremlin cannot stand’ not getting western approval, Russian opposition leader says

  • Tucker Carlson’s strange interview with Vladimir Putin

Putin ‘showed Tucker Carlson his place as an admitted media actor,’ former Russian foreign minister says

Saturday 10 February 2024 21:00 , Gustaf Kilander

Tucker Carlson is not on a Ukrainian ‘kill list’, despite social media rumors

Saturday 10 February 2024 20:02 , Graig Graziosi

Rumors circulating online that former Fox News host Tucker Carlson was placed on a Ukrainian “kill list” for his highly criticised interview with Russian President Vladimir Putin are false, according to a new report.

A photo supposedly showing Carlson among the names of those Ukrainian forces wanted dead has been misconstrued by social media commenters, according to an Associated Press analysis. Claims that Carlson has been sanctioned by the European Union for the interview were also shown to be false, the report states.

The photo circulating on social media shows a picture of Carlson and short biography describing him as a “pro-Russian propagandist”, as an “accomplice of Russian war criminals and occupiers”, and accuses him of attacks “on the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine.”

READ MORE:

‘Putin always told us that his invasion was not about stopping NATO expansion'

Saturday 10 February 2024 19:00 , Gustaf Kilander

‘Putin just cannot refrain from insulting people who suck up to him even when it harms him'

Saturday 10 February 2024 17:00 , Gustaf Kilander

A softball encounter with lots of agreement

Saturday 10 February 2024 15:00 , Io Dodds

In advance of his interview, Carlson made the bold claim that not a “single Western journalist” had bothered to interview the Russian president since the conflict began nearly two years ago.

He was quickly contradicted by the Kremlin itself, which said that many other reporters had asked and been turned down because of their supposed pro-Western bias. Carlson, meanwhile, was chosen because “he has a position which differs” from other English-language media.

Indeed, Carlson has a long history of pro-Putin advocacy. In 2017, he asked: “Why is Vladimir Putin such a bad guy?” In 2019, he claimed the US should “take the side of Russia” in any conflict with Ukraine. Ever since, he has opposed American support for the war and defended Russia’s conduct.

Thursday’s interview largely continued in that vein. Although Carlson sometimes tried to grill the Russian leader or hold him to account, there were also plenty of soft-serve questions and chummy exchanges.

When Carlson asked Putin who he thought blew up the Nord Stream oil pipeline, which runs under the sea between Russia and Germany, the two men quickly agreed that it was the CIA or some other Nato agency.

They also agreed that American support for Ukraine is destroying the international stature of the US dollar, and that Nato helped provoke the war by accepting Eastern European countries. (The question of why so many of Russia’s neighbours and near-neighbours felt they needed to join a defensive organisation was not one that Carlson troubled to ask.)

Nor did Carlson spend much time pushing back on Putin’s claims or challenging his decision to invade Ukraine in the first place.

Perhaps, then, it was fitting that Putin was the one to end the interview.

“Shall we end here, or is there anything else?” said the 71-year-old, after concluding his answer to a question.

“No, I think that’s great,” murmured Carlson. “Thank you, Mr President,”

‘So clearly wrong’ : Historian debunks Carlson’s interview

Saturday 10 February 2024 14:45 , Graig Graziosi

Historian Tom Holland has debunked Vladimir Putin’s claims he made during his much-anticipated interview with Tucker Carlson.

The former Fox News host interviewed the Russian President, who started with a long diatribe on Russian history and its relationship with Ukraine, during the two-hour interview, which aired on Thursday (8 February).

Historian Tom Holland debunks Putin’s claims after Tucker Carlson interview

VIDEO: Putin repeats de-Nazification claim, meanders around Carlson questions

Saturday 10 February 2024 13:00 , Gustaf Kilander

‘A dictator’s outrageous lies always function as loyalty tests and trial balloons'

Saturday 10 February 2024 11:00 , Gustaf Kilander

‘Putin is a dictator full of superiority & inferiority complexes, just like the USSR'

Saturday 10 February 2024 09:00 , Gustaf Kilander

Carlson tried to push his pet topics, with little success

Saturday 10 February 2024 07:00 , Io Dodds

One striking facet of the interview was how frequently Carlson, who was fired by Fox News last year numerous accusations of bigotry and misleading journalism, took the opportunity to push his particular hobby horses.

Faced with a more or less unique opportunity to confront one of the most powerful men in the world, who is responsible for launching one of the bloodiest conflicts on European soil in decades, Carlson chose to quiz Putin about whether he was a “Christian leader” – and other topics close to Carlson’s heart.

“Do you see the supernatural at work as you look out across what’s happening in the world now? Do you see God at work? Do you ever think to yourself, ‘these are forces that are not human’?”

After a pause, Putin answered: “No, to be honest. I don’t think so.”

At two points, Carlson – a longtime Sinosceptic – asked Putin about the rising danger of China to the US and other countries, such as asking if he was worried that developing countries were becoming “dominated” by Chinese influence.

“We have heard these bogeyman stories before,” said Putin. “China’s foreign policy is not aggressive; its idea is always to look for compromise.... it is to your own detriment, Mr Tucker, that you are limiting cooperation with China.”

Carlson also frequently sought Putin’s agreement on his belief that the US and other countries are no longer controlled by elected politicians, but by a deep state bureaucracy, or that Ukraine is effectively controlled by foreign interests.

Putin, though, did not always play ball, saying that he believed Zelensky has the freedom to negotiate a peace deal, and that a change of opinion among US elites could support that.

On one of these topics, at least, Putin was expansive: the threat of artificial intelligence and the prospect of using technology to create a new form of humanity.

“Due to genetic researches, it is now possible to create a superhuman: a specialised human being, a genetically engineered athlete, scientist, military man....

“The time will come to reach an international agreement on how to regulate these things.”

VIDEO: Putin says it would be 'understandable' if Hungary annexed parts of Ukraine

Saturday 10 February 2024 05:00 , Gustaf Kilander

'De-Nazification' means whatever we say it means

Saturday 10 February 2024 04:00 , Io Dodds

Putin, alongside many Russian propogandists, has long claimed that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine was about “de-Nazifying” the country. He repeated those claims at length in Thursday’s interview.

However, despite repeated probing from Carlson, he never quite managed to define exactly what “de-Nazification” would mean or why it justified an armed invasion.

He described how some Ukrainian nationalists collaborated with the Nazi occupation during the Second World War, and claimed that the country remains a hotbed of neo-Nazism today.

(He did not mention the Soviet general Andrey Vlasov, who led a brigade of Russian collaborators against Stalin’s forces, or the fact that Putin’s Russia has served as an inspiration for numerous neo-Nazis in the US and Europe.)

Hence, Putin claimed, Russia’s war in Ukraine cannot end because such ideologies have not yet been stamped out, and nor has the Ukrainian government agreed to do so as part of a peace process.

VIDEO: Putin calls Ukraine an ‘artificial state shaped at Stalin’s will’

Saturday 10 February 2024 03:00 , Gustaf Kilander

Russia could test NATO’s Article 5 within five years

Saturday 10 February 2024 02:00 , Gustaf Kilander

No plans to release jailed US journalist

Saturday 10 February 2024 01:15 , Io Dodds

Carlson’s interview with Putin offered slim hope for Evan Gershkovich, an American journalist for The Wall Street Journal who has been imprisoned in Russia on charges of espionage for nearly a year.

“I want to ask you directly,” said Carlson, “without getting into the details of what happened, if as a sign of your decency you would be willing to release him to us, and we’ll bring him back to the United States.”

After a long pause, and a heavy sigh, Putin refused. He claimed that Gershkovich was “caught red handed” receiving classified information, “and doing it covertly”.

He also suggested that Gershkovich was “working for the US special services” and was “essentially controlled by the US authorities”.

The Journal has insisted that Mr Gershkovich is innocent and that his activities fell strictly under the umbrella of legitimate journalism.

Carlson, a fellow journalist, nevertheless seemed at least somewhat sympathetic to Putin’s framing, saying: “The guy’s obviously not a spy, he’s a kid. And maybe he was breaking your laws in some way, but he’s not a super-spy.”

Putin claims Boris Johnson shot down peace attempts

Saturday 10 February 2024 00:30 , Io Dodds

Throughout the interview, Putin insisted that Russia is willing to negotiate and that Ukraine and the USA, rather than the country that invaded Ukraine, are the main barriers to peace.

As part of that, he referenced longstanding reports in Ukrainian and other media that a potential peace deal was scuppered in April 2022 by then British prime minister Boris Johnson.

“[Zelensky] put his signature and then he himself said, ‘we were ready to sign it and the war would have been over long ago’. However, Prime Minister Johnson came talk to us out of it, and we’ve missed that chance,” Putin said.

“Where is Mr Johnson now? And the war continues.”

Johnson himself has denied those claims, calling them “total nonsense” and “Russian propaganda”.

And while his opposition to negotiations with Putin is a matter of public record, the idea that he was the deciding factor in Ukraine’s decision – or that he shot down a peace deal that would otherwise have been viable – is far from proven.

‘The interview was targeted as much at the Russian audience as at the Western one'

Friday 9 February 2024 23:45 , Gustaf Kilander

Former Ukrainian MP Anton Geraschenko wrote on X after the interview that “Putin’s main message was ‘Russia wants peace, Ukraine and the West don’t’.”

“Let’s not forget that the interview was targeted as much at the Russian audience as at the Western one (Tucker’s arrival to Moscow for the interview was broadcast in Russian media better than Putin’s public appearances),” he noted.

Putin ‘clearly not feeling very confident'

Friday 9 February 2024 23:00 , Gustaf.Kilander

Political scientist Ian Bremmer noted after the interview that the Russian “economy now is smaller than Canada’s, despite having the largest geographic landmass of any country in the world”.

“All these important resources, more nuclear weapons even than the United States. But [Putin’s] clearly not feeling very confident about that. Hence the need to give a huge history lesson to everyone that is willing to listen. And of course, you know, not much Tucker could do there. It’s not like he’s going to suddenly start interrupting the Russian leader,” he said.

He added that it was “really unclear how much of this would appeal to your typical Tucker Carlson audience. I mean, Putin’s talk of a multipolar world is something I find fairly interesting. I do think that the global economic order is increasingly multipolar. The security order is not. It’s still dominated by the United States. But that doesn’t mean the US wants to be the world’s policeman. And especially given the divisions inside the United States, it’s very difficult for it to do so. And it’s failed on many occasions. But I don’t think that that’s something that’s really going to engage a lot of people that are talking about or listening to this interview”.

'Stop supplying weapons and it will be over within weeks'

Friday 9 February 2024 22:15 , Io Dodds

Putin had a simple demand for the United States: stop supplying weapons to Ukraine.

Do that, the president proclaimed, and the whole war “will be over within weeks”.

That rather ominous statement came in response to Carlson asking whether Putin was doing everything he could to find a diplomatic solution, and why he couldn’t simply get on the phone to Joe Biden to end the conflict – which Carlson has repeatedly described as a proxy war between the US and Russia.

“What’s to work out? It’s very simple,” said Putin. “If you want to stop fighting, you need to stop supplying weapons... what’s easier? Why would I call him?

“What should I talk him about? Or beg him for what?

“‘You are going to deliver such and such weapons to Ukraine – oh, I’m afraid, please don’t’? What is there to talk about?”

Although Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky has insisted that his country is not losing the war, some experts are sceptical about his ability to retake the territory still occupied by Russia.

After stunning the world by repulsing Russia’s initial invasion, Ukraine’s long-awaited counteroffensive has stalled, and future support from the US and the European Union is in limbo after objections from sceptical politicians.

Putin doesn't think Ukraine is a real country

Friday 9 February 2024 21:30 , Io Dodds

Your basic education was in history, as I understand? If you don’t mind, I will take only thirty seconds, or one minute, to give you a little historical background.”

That was how Vladimir Putin, speaking through an interpreter, kicked off what turned out to be a nearly 30-minute lecture on the intertwined history of Russia and Ukraine.

His point? To portray Ukraine as a creation of imperialist powers with no identity of its own and no real claim to sovereignty. (Never mind that Russia itself was created by Eastern Europeans colonising vast swathes of Eurasia.)

Starting with the election of Prince Rurik to the throne of Novgorod in 862 AD, he described how successive empires, including the Soviet Union, shaped the modern boundaries of Ukraine by transferring land from Poland, Hungary, Romania, and Crimea.

“So,” Putin concluded, “we have every reason to affirm that Ukraine is an artificial state that was shaped at Stalin’s will.”

Carlson quickly pushed back, asking the president if he thought that Hungary had the right to take its land back from Ukraine, or that other nations have the right to return to their 17th-century borders.

After a long pause, Putin replied that he wasn’t sure – but that, given the nature of Stalin’s repressive regime, it would be “understandable” if they tried.

He then told a personal anecdote about taking a road trip through the Soviet Union in the early 1980s and encountering Hungarian Ukrainians, who still spoke Hungarian and considered themselves Hungarians.

At least, he clarified, he had never told Hungarian president Viktor Orban to his face that he could annex any part of Ukraine.

Putin’s history lesson was ‘something you do when you’re insecure’

Friday 9 February 2024 20:45 , Gustaf Kilander

Political scientist Ian Bremmer said after the interview that “no news was made”.

“Substantively, we learned really nothing new. Putin going on a very long history lesson with tangents, going back to Genghis Khan and the Roman Empire. And maybe we should talk about the fact that the Roman Empire is on Putin’s mind, too, just like so many people on Twitter,” he added. “But that if anything was going to lose a large percentage of your audience, that was almost guaranteed to do so.”

“I remember so many trips to Beijing and you’d meet with Chinese leaders, and the first 20 minutes were about Chinese leadership and rightful place in the world back in the 15th century. That’s something you do when you’re insecure,” he said. “As the Chinese were doing better and as they were becoming a larger economy and feeling more comfortable in the rest of the world, and that more countries had to listen to them, they did less of that.”

Softball questions, conspiracy theories and a 30-minute history lesson: Tucker Carlson's strange interview with Vladimir Putin

Friday 9 February 2024 20:00 , Io Dodds

Around eight minutes into his mammoth two-hour interview with Vladimir Putin, Tucker Carlson was forced to interrupt.

“I beg your pardon. Can you tell us what period...? I’m losing track of where in history we are,” said the former Fox News host, who had been listening to Putin’s words with an expression of deepening vexation.

“It was in the 13th century,” said the Russian president matter-of-factly.

The exchange was only one of many odd moments in Carlson’s much-trailed meeting with the ex-KGB strongman, who has dominated his country’s politics for more than two decades and is now virtually a dictator.

Streamed for free on Carlson’s website on Thursday evening, it was Putin’s first interview with a Western journalist since Russia invaded Ukraine in 2022.

Here are the key points of their strange, freewheeling, and occasionally comical encounter.

Political scientists says Putin interview comes as war ‘not going very well for the Ukrainians'

Friday 9 February 2024 19:15 , Gustaf Kilander

Ian Bremmer, a political scientist and the president of Eurasia Group, a political risk research and consulting firm, said after Tucker Carlson’s interview with Vladimir Putin that “this is now entering almost the third year of war when the Russians have invaded Ukraine, it is increasingly not going very well for the Ukrainians and therefore not very well for the United States and its allies”.

“And that means that the timing of this interview is important, especially in the context of a very heated, very divisive US election, when increasingly support for Ukraine is becoming a matter of political difference. And it wasn’t six months ago, but it certainly is becoming so very rapidly now,” he added.

He argued that Carlson “was invited because he is someone that historically has said that if he’s on a side, he’s not on the side of Ukraine, he’s on the side of Russia, and he’s given very favorable interviews with people that are ideologically aligned with Putin, like Viktor Orbán in Hungary, the one European leader of a country that has consistently taken Putin’s side more closely than he has the Americans and the Europeans”.

Putin mocked over claim Poland forced Hitler to invade

Friday 9 February 2024 18:30 , Gustaf Kilander

Putin mocks Tucker Carlson over his failed attempt to join CIA

Friday 9 February 2024 18:00 , Gustaf Kilander

Vladimir Putin mocked Tucker Carlson for trying – and failing – to join the CIA, during their more than two-hour-long, freewheeling interview released on Thursday.

The remark came during a discussion of the 2014 political protests in Ukraine, which led to the ouster of its then-President Viktor Yanukovich and subsequently Russia’s annexation of Crimea and backing of so-called pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine.

The Russian president went on to claim that his 2022 invasion of Ukraine was an attempt to put an end to the conflict that he falsely argued Ukraine had began back in 2014.

Mr Putin said that the “entire Ukrainian economy” used to be based on trade with Russia.

“The cooperation ties between the enterprises were very close since the times of the Soviet Union. One enterprise there used to produce components to be assembled both in Russia and Ukraine and vice versa. There used to be very close ties,” he said.

“A coup d’etat was committed, although, I shall not delve into details now as I find doing it inappropriate, the US told us, ‘Calm Yanukovich down and we will calm the opposition. Let the situation unfold in the scenario of a political settlement’. We said, ‘Alright. Agreed. Let’s do it this way’. As the Americans requested us, Yanukovich did use neither the Armed Forces, nor the police, yet the armed opposition committed a coup in Kiev. What is that supposed to mean? ‘Who do you think you are?’, I wanted to ask the then-US leadership,” he said.

“With the backing of whom?” Mr Carlson asked.

“With the backing of CIA, of course.”

At that point, Mr Putin jabbed at the right-wing media figure for his own past efforts applying to work for the CIA.

“The organisation you wanted to join back in the day, as I understand,” he said.

“Maybe we should thank God they didn’t let you in. Although, it is a serious organisation. I understand. My former vis-à-vis, in the sense that I served in the First Main Directorate – Soviet Union’s intelligence service. They have always been our opponents. A job is a job.”

READ MORE

Government warned UK could become ‘back door’ to Russian threats as foreign companies snap up British firms

Friday 9 February 2024 17:30 , Kate Devlin

The government has been warned the UK risks becoming a “back door” to cyber and other national security threats as foreign companies snap up British firms.

Checks are “not keeping pace” with growing threats from countries like Russia, a powerful group of MPs says.

They call for ministers to be notified of proposed investments which would affect media freedom, access to the sensitive data of individual, cybersecurity and critical supply chains.

MPs have attacked the proposed UAE-backed takeover of the Telegraph newspaper group, expressing concerns about foreign state ownership and warning that it is impossible to “separate sheikh and state”.

Liam Byrne, the chair of the Commons Business and Trade sub-committee, said it was “vital that we do not let our country become a “back door” through which our adversaries acquire capabilities that imperil the collective security of either us or our NATO Allies.”

The report is published as Rishi Sunak branded “clearly ridiculous” Russian President Vladimir Putin’s claim that his invasion of Ukraine was a result of Nato expansion.

READ MORE

Ukraine's new army chief says his immediate goals are better troop rotation and high-tech weapons

Friday 9 February 2024 17:00 , Samya Kullab, Alex Babenko, AP

Ukraine’s new military chief said Friday his immediate goals are to improve the rotation of troops out of the front lines and harness the power of new technology in the fight against Russia‘s invasion.

Col. Gen. Oleksandr Syrskyi, who previously was the commander of Ukraine’s ground forces, spoke a day after President Volodymyr Zelenskyy put him in charge of the battlefield campaign against Russia’s invasion.

“New tasks are on the agenda,” Syrskyi said on his Telegram channel.

Though he provided little detail, his remarks appeared to align with Zelenskyy’s stated aim of bringing “renewal” to the armed forces in Thursday’s shake-up and adopting a fresh approach to the fight.

But the changes at the top won’t solve some of Ukraine’s biggest problems: a shortage of manpower that has helped sap morale and may require a mass mobilization, and the inadequate supply of Western weapons to take on Russia’s might.

The shake-up of the military top brass caused some apprehension on the streets of Kyiv, the country’s capital.

Alisa Riazantseva, 35, said she had been “generally satisfied” with Syrskyi’s popular predecessor, Gen. Valerii Zaluzhnyi. “We hope that our government has not made a big mistake” by replacing him, she told The Associated Press.

Oleksandr Azimov, 61, said there was “some discontent, some dissatisfaction” about the changes at the top.

That may be a reference to previous criticism of Syrskyi’s strategy of holding on for nine months to the city of Bakhmut, which brought the war’s longest and bloodiest battle and which cost Ukraine dearly in troop losses. But it served the purpose of sapping Russia’s forces.

Syrskyi takes charge at an overall difficult time for Ukraine’s war effort. With the fighting about to enter its third year, Kyiv is largely dependent on support from Western countries where signs of war fatigue have emerged.

That has left Ukraine on the defensive while Russia has placed its economy on a war footing and is building up its weapon stockpiles. Analysts detected no sign of a deeper malaise in Zelenskyy’s move, which had been rumored for weeks.

“Command changes are normal for a state fighting a war over several years,” the Institute for the Study of War, a Washington think tank, said late Thursday.

Asked about Zaluzhnyi’s exit and Syrskyi’s appointment, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov on Friday downplayed the moves.

“We don’t think that these are the factors that could change the course of the special (military) operation,” he said, using the Russian government’s euphemism for the war.

Russian President Vladimir Putin used an interview broadcast late Thursday with former Fox News host Tucker Carlson to urge Washington to recognize Moscow’s interests and persuade Ukraine to sit down for talks.

READ MORE

‘Clearly ridiculous’ for Putin to blame West for Ukraine war, says Sunak

Friday 9 February 2024 16:30 , Dominic McGrath

Rishi Sunak has labelled “clearly ridiculous” claims by Vladimir Putin that the West and Nato are to blame to the war in Ukraine.

In an interview with former Fox News host Tucker Carlson, the Russian President repeated his claim that his invasion of Ukraine, which Kyiv and its allies described as an unprovoked act of aggression, was necessary to protect Russian speakers in Ukraine and prevent the country from posing a threat to Russia by joining Nato.

Speaking to broadcasters in the South West, the Prime Minister said it was “clearly ridiculous” to blame the West for the war.

“Russia conducted an illegal, unprovoked invasion of Ukraine. I’m proud that the UK has stood strongly with Ukraine from the beginning.

“I was there earlier this year, the first foreign leader to visit.

“It was my first visit of the year to announce significant military support to Ukraine and also a broader security relationship with them.

“We can’t let this type of behaviour go unchecked. It impacts all of our security.

“We’ve already seen the impact it had on everyone’s energy bills. And that’s why we’re working closely, not just with the US but with allies around the world, to give Ukraine the support it needs for as long as it takes to repel the Russian invasion.”

READ MORE

PHOTOS: Behind the scenes from Putin interview

Friday 9 February 2024 16:00 , Gustaf Kilander

In this pool photograph distributed by Russian state agency Sputnik, Russia's President Vladimir Putin gives an interview to US talk show host Tucker Carlson at the Kremlin in Moscow on February 6, 2024 (POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
In this pool photograph distributed by Russian state agency Sputnik, Russia's President Vladimir Putin gives an interview to US talk show host Tucker Carlson at the Kremlin in Moscow on February 6, 2024 (POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
In this pool photograph distributed by Russian state agency Sputnik, Russia's President Vladimir Putin gives an interview to US talk show host Tucker Carlson at the Kremlin in Moscow on February 6, 2024 (POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
In this pool photograph distributed by Russian state agency Sputnik, Russia's President Vladimir Putin gives an interview to US talk show host Tucker Carlson at the Kremlin in Moscow on February 6, 2024 (POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
In this pool photograph distributed by Russian state agency Sputnik, Russia's President Vladimir Putin gives an interview to US talk show host Tucker Carlson at the Kremlin in Moscow on February 6, 2024 (POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
In this pool photograph distributed by Russian state agency Sputnik, Russia's President Vladimir Putin gives an interview to US talk show host Tucker Carlson at the Kremlin in Moscow on February 6, 2024 (POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
In this pool photograph distributed by Russian state agency Sputnik, Russia's President Vladimir Putin gives an interview to US talk show host Tucker Carlson at the Kremlin in Moscow on February 6, 2024 (POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
In this pool photograph distributed by Russian state agency Sputnik, Russia's President Vladimir Putin gives an interview to US talk show host Tucker Carlson at the Kremlin in Moscow on February 6, 2024 (POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Former US ambassador to Russia weighs in on ‘boring’ Putin interview

Friday 9 February 2024 15:45 , Gustaf Kilander

VIDEO: Putin tells US to 'stop supplying weapons' to Ukraine in Tucker Carlson interview

Friday 9 February 2024 15:30 , Gustaf Kilander

Former Ukrainian minister and MP says Putin is a ‘psychopath’ who ‘lives in an absolutely fictional world'

Friday 9 February 2024 15:15 , Gustaf Kilander

PHOTOS: Tucker Carlson speaks to Vladimir Putin

Friday 9 February 2024 15:00 , Gustaf Kilander

In this pool photograph distributed by Russian state agency Sputnik, Russia's President Vladimir Putin gives an interview to US talk show host Tucker Carlson at the Kremlin in Moscow on February 6, 2024 (POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
In this pool photograph distributed by Russian state agency Sputnik, Russia's President Vladimir Putin gives an interview to US talk show host Tucker Carlson at the Kremlin in Moscow on February 6, 2024 (POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
In this pool photograph distributed by Russian state agency Sputnik, US talk show host Tucker Carlson looks on during an interview with Russia's President Vladimir Putin at the Kremlin in Moscow on February 6, 2024 (POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
In this pool photograph distributed by Russian state agency Sputnik, US talk show host Tucker Carlson looks on during an interview with Russia's President Vladimir Putin at the Kremlin in Moscow on February 6, 2024 (POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
In this pool photograph distributed by Russian state agency Sputnik, US talk show host Tucker Carlson is seen before an interview with Russia's President Vladimir Putin at the Kremlin in Moscow on February 6, 2024 (POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
In this pool photograph distributed by Russian state agency Sputnik, US talk show host Tucker Carlson is seen before an interview with Russia's President Vladimir Putin at the Kremlin in Moscow on February 6, 2024 (POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
In this pool photograph distributed by Russian state agency Sputnik, Russia's President Vladimir Putin gives an interview to US talk show host Tucker Carlson at the Kremlin in Moscow on February 6, 2024 (POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
In this pool photograph distributed by Russian state agency Sputnik, Russia's President Vladimir Putin gives an interview to US talk show host Tucker Carlson at the Kremlin in Moscow on February 6, 2024 (POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Watch: Putin claims Boris Johnson talked Ukraine out of peace deal

Friday 9 February 2024 14:30 , Joe Middleton

Putin repeats ‘nonsense’ claim Boris Johnson scuppered efforts to end Ukraine invasion

Friday 9 February 2024 14:00 , Mike Bedigan

Vladimir Putin has repeaeted a claim that Boris Johnson tanked negotiations for a peace settlement between Russia and Ukraine, which the former UK prime minister has previously labelled as “nonsense”.

During a highly anticipated sit-down interview with former Fox News commentator Tucker Carlson, the Russian president said, via a translator, that a “huge document” had been prepared and approved by the head of the Ukranian delegation.

“He put his signature and then he himself said, ‘we were ready to sign it and the war would have been over long ago’. However, Prime Minister Johnson came talk to us out of it, and we’ve missed that chance. “

In an interview with The Times in January, Mr Johnson strongly denied the claims, describing them as “total nonsense” and “Russian propaganda.”

READ MORE

Putin calls Ukraine ‘satellite state of US’

Friday 9 February 2024 13:30 , Gustaf Kilander

Putin blamed the West for the failed peace talks with Ukraine.

“We did not refuse to talk. Were willing to negotiate,” he claimed. “It is the western side. And Ukraine is obviously a satellite state of the US. It is evident.”

“So I just want to make sure I’m not misunderstanding what you’re saying. I don’t think that I am. I think you’re saying you want a negotiated settlement to what’s happening in Ukraine?” Carlson asked.

“Right,” Putin said. “And we made it where he prepared the huge document in Istanbul that was intialled by the head of the Ukrainian delegation to fix his signature to some of the provisions. Not so all of it. He put his signature and then he himself said we were ready to sign it and the word would have been over long ago. a month ago. However, Prime Minister [Boris] Johnson came to talk us out of it and we’ve missed a chance”.

Reaction: ‘Tucker didn’t ask a single hard question'

Friday 9 February 2024 13:15 , Joe Middleton

The BBC’s John Simpson offered a withering put down of Tucker Carlson’s interview with Vladimir Putin.

The highly regarded correspondent and TV presenter posted on X, formerly Twitter, that the former Fox News host didn’t ask the Russian president “a single hard question”.

He added that he allowed Mr Putin to “drone on” and that was why the Kremlin didn’t allow “someone serious” to do the interview.”

VIDEO: Putin says it would be 'understandable' if Hungary annexed parts of Ukraine

Friday 9 February 2024 13:00 , The Independent

Tucker Carlson met Edward Snowden and Biden accuser Tara Reade in Moscow, report says

Friday 9 February 2024 12:40 , Joe Middleton

Tucker Carlson met with NSA leaker Edward Snowden while in Moscow, according to Semafor.

The former whistleblower featured heavily in Russian media before seeking more privacy in his family life.

Mr Snowden was initially granted asylum in Russia in 2013 after leaking a trove of classified National Security Agency (NSA) documents, and then was granted permanent resident status in Russia in 2020. That year, he announced his decision to seek duel citizenship, stating in a tweet that “after years of separation from our parents, my wife and I have no desire to be separated from our son.”

Gustaf Kilander reports.

Tucker Carlson met Edward Snowden and Biden accuser Tara Reade in Moscow, report says

Putin ‘can’t live without’ the West, Russian opposition leader says

Friday 9 February 2024 12:00 , Gustaf Kilander

Mikhail Khodorkovsky, an exiled Russian businessman, oligarch, and opposition leader, wrote in a thread on X that “everything Putin does has one goal – to keep him in power for as long as possible. That’s why he assassinates journalists, that’s why he invaded Ukraine – and it’s also why he let Tucker Carlson interview him”.

Putin jailed Khodorkovsky in 2003 on trumped-up charges and confiscated his oil company.

“As much as Putin and his propagandists might paint the West as public enemy number one in Russia, the truth is, he craves western attention and approval. Why? Because it gives him legitimacy at home,” Mr Khodorkovsky wrote on X on Thursday night. “Russians might be taught to despise the West, but at the same time, a lot of them still view Europe and the US as cultural role models. They watch western films, they buy western goods, they follow western sports teams.”

“So, when a prominent westerner says something complimentary about Putin, this holds a lot of weight among the Russian public, and it contributes to Putin’s approval ratings. And Putin knows it,” he added.

Watch: Putin calls Ukraine an ‘artificial state shaped at Stalin’s will’

Friday 9 February 2024 11:40 , Joe Middleton

Putin equates jailed US journalist to ‘FSB professional killer’, reporter says

Friday 9 February 2024 11:00 , Gustaf Kilander

Who is Vadim Krasikov? The man whose exchange could lead to Evan Gershkovich release

Friday 9 February 2024 10:20 , Namita Singh

President Vladimir Putin said that Russia stands ready to negotiate a potential prisoner exchange that would free Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich, who was detained last March on espionage charges he denies, and hinted that Moscow wants the release of its agent imprisoned in Germany.

Asked by Tucker Carlson whether Russia would release Gershkovich, Mr Putin said Moscow is open to talks but repeated that the reporter was charged with espionage.

“There is no taboo on settling this issue,” Mr Putin said. “We are ready to solve it but there are certain conditions that are being discussed between special services. I believe an agreement can be reached.”

He pointed to a man imprisoned in a “US-allied country” for “liquidating a bandit” who killed Russian soldiers during the fighting in the Caucasus: “He put our soldiers taken prisoners on a road and then drove a car over their heads. There was a patriot who liquidated him in one of the European capitals.”

Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich, right, is escorted from the Lefortovsky court in Moscow, Russia (AP)
Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich, right, is escorted from the Lefortovsky court in Moscow, Russia (AP)

Mr Putin didn’t mention names, but he appeared to refer to Vadim Krasikov, a Russian serving a life sentence in Germany after being convicted of the 2019 brazen daylight killing of Zelimkhan “Tornike” Khangoshvili, a 40-year-old Georgian citizen of Chechen ethnicity.

German judges who convicted Krasikov said he had acted on the orders of Russian federal authorities, who provided him with a false identity, a fake passport and the resources to carry out the hit.

The Wall Street Journal reaffirmed in a statement that Gershkovich “is a journalist, and journalism is not a crime,” adding that “any portrayal to the contrary is total fiction.” “We’re encouraged to see Russia’s desire for a deal that brings Evan home, and we hope this will lead to his rapid release and return to his family and our newsroom,” it said.

‘This is how democracies die,’ says former Belgium prime minister

Friday 9 February 2024 10:07 , Namita Singh

Tucker Carlson’s interview is the “best thing that ever happened” to Vladimir Putin, says Belgium’s former prime minister Guy Verhofstadt, as he lashed out at the former Fox News presenter.

“America tomorrow will suffer from having him spreading lies unchallenged and unfiltered. This is how democracies die.”

Putin claims Ukraine peace deal was blocked by Boris Johnson

Friday 9 February 2024 10:00 , Gustaf Kilander

Putin urges US to push Ukraine to talks

Friday 9 February 2024 09:40 , Namita Singh

Russian president Vladimir Putin used an interview with former Fox News host Tucker Carlson to urge Washington to recognise Moscow’s interests and persuade Ukraine to sit down for talks.

Most of the interview focused on Ukraine, where the war is nearing the two-year mark. Mr Putin repeated his claim that his invasion of Ukraine, which Kyiv and its allies described as an unprovoked act of aggression, was necessary to protect Russian speakers in Ukraine and prevent the country from posing a threat to Russia by joining Nato.

Mr Putin pointed at Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky’s refusal to conduct talks with the Kremlin. He argued that it’s up to Washington to stop supplying Ukraine with weapons and convince Kyiv, which he called a US “satellite,” to sit down for negotiations.

“We have never refused negotiations,” Mr Putin said. “You should tell the current Ukrainian leadership to stop and come to a negotiating table.”

Putin’s forces have seized large swathes of land from Ukraine since the invasion of February 2022, as well as annexing the entire Crimean peninsula earlier in 2014. Kyiv has said it will not engage in any peace talks that involve giving up parts of its sovereign territory.

In video: Putin says it would be 'understandable' if Hungary annexed parts of Ukraine

Friday 9 February 2024 09:20 , Namita Singh

Putin claims jailed US journalist Evan Gershkovich was caught ‘red-handed’ receiving secrets

Friday 9 February 2024 09:00 , John Bowden

Russian President Vladimir Putin denied that jailed American journalist Evan Gershkovich was innocent of the espionage charges for which he remains imprisoned during a rare interview with right-wing commentator Tucker Carlson.

In the conversation, which was published in full on Thursday, Mr Putin insisted that Mr Gershkovich had obtained classified information from one of his sources in a clandestine manner, and had been caught “red-handed” upon receiving the information. The Wall Street Journal and US news outlets have strongly denied any wrongdoing by Mr Gershkovich and protested that his activities fell strictly under the umbrella of legitimate journalism.

“He was receiving classified confidential information, and he was doing it covertly,” the Russian president told Carlson.

Mr Putin added: “He was caught red-handed when he was receiving this information.”

READ MORE

Putin accuses CIA of blowing up Nord Stream

Friday 9 February 2024 08:40 , Namita Singh

When Tucker Carlson asked Russian president Vladimir Putin who he thought blew up the Nord Stream oil pipeline, which runs under the sea between Russia and Germany, the two men quickly agreed that it was the CIA or some other Nato agency.

“The CIA has no alibi,” he said.

In this picture provided by Swedish Coast Guard, a leak from Nord Stream 2 is seen, on 28 September 2022 (AP)
In this picture provided by Swedish Coast Guard, a leak from Nord Stream 2 is seen, on 28 September 2022 (AP)

The attack in September 2022, which happened as Europe attempted to wean itself off Russian energy sources following the Kremlin’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, contributed to tensions that followed the start of the war. The source of the sabotage has been a major international mystery.

In video: Putin repeatedly claims Evan Gershkovich received classified information

Friday 9 February 2024 08:20 , Namita Singh

Putin repeatedly claims Evan Gershkovich received classified information

Putin claims ‘Ukraine is an artificial state that was shaped at Stalin’s will’

Friday 9 February 2024 08:00 , Gustaf Kilander

Interrupting Putin’s history monologue, Carlson asked: “You obviously have encyclopedic knowledge of this region, but why didn’t you make this case for the first 22 years as president that Ukraine wasn’t a real country?”

“The Soviet Union was given a great deal of territory that had never belonged to including the Black Sea region, received Bucha at some point, when Russia received them as an outcome of the Russo-Turkish wars, they were called New Russia ... but that does not matter. What matters is that Lenin the founder of the Soviet state ... established Ukraine that way,” Putin said.

“For decades the Ukrainian Soviet Republic developed as part of the USSR. And for unknown reasons, again, the Bolsheviks were engaged in Ukrainian causation. It was not merely because the Soviet leadership was composed to a great extent of those originating from Ukraine. Rather, it was explained by the general policy of indigenisation pursued by the Soviet Union,” the Russian leader added.

“Same things were done in other Soviet republics. This involves promoting national languages and national cultures, which is not a bad in principle,” he said. “That is how the Soviet Ukraine was created. After World War Two Ukraine received in addition to the lands that had belonged to Poland before the war, both of the lands that had previously belonged to Hungary and Romania – So Romania and Hungary had some of their lands taken away and given to the Soviet Ukraine, and they still remain part of Ukrainian.”

“So in this sense, we have every reason to affirm that Ukraine is an artificial state that was shaped at Stalin’s will,” Putin claimed.

In November 2022, Olesya Khromeychuk, a historian and the director of the Ukrainian Institute London, wrote in The New York Times: This historical experience — of statelessness and struggle, repressive external rule and hard-won independence — has shaped Ukraine into the nation we see today: opposed to imperialism, united in the face of the enemy and determined to protect its freedom. For the people of Ukraine, freedom is not some lofty ideal. It is imperative for survival.”

In May 2022, US historian Stephen Schlesinger wrote in PassBlue: “Seven years before his death, in preparation for the Soviet Union joining the newly formed United Nations, Stalin advanced the proposition that Ukraine was an independent state.”

“His pronouncement came about during the conference that established the UN in San Francisco in the spring of 1945. There, Stalin demanded that Ukraine be admitted to the body as a separate, distinct nation with all the rights and privileges that come with full membership, including its own ambassador and participation as a member state in all UN sessions,” the historian added. “Stalin’s stance initially grew out of the Dumbarton Oaks conclave, which was held in Washington a year earlier, where the four sponsoring nations of the UN — Britain, the Soviet Union, the United States and China — met to draft the UN Charter.”

Humanity needs to think about advances in genetics and AI: Putin

Friday 9 February 2024 07:43 , Namita Singh

Vladimir Putin said the world was changing faster than during the collapse of the Roman Empire, mentioning advances in genetic research and artificial intelligence. He said geneticists could create a “superman” and quipped that Elon Musk had put a chip in a human brain.

But he said that humanity needed to think about what to do about the advances in genetics and artificial intelligence and suggested the nuclear arms control treaties of the Cold War could be a guide.

“When there arises an understanding that the boundless and uncontrolled development of artificial intelligence or genetics or some other modern trends, cannot be stopped, that these researches will still exist just as it was impossible to hide gunpowder from humanity... when humanity feels a threat to itself, to humanity as a whole, then, it seems to me, there will come a period to negotiate at the inter-state level on how we will regulate this,” Mr Putin said.

What did Putin say about war with Ukraine?

Friday 9 February 2024 07:40 , Namita Singh

After a half-hour lecture on the history of Russia and Ukraine dating back to dawn of Slavic history in 862, Vladimir Putin told Tucker Carlson that Russia and Ukraine almost agreed to a peace deal in Istanbul shortly after the full-scale war began in 2022 but that it was turned down by Ukraine at the behest of the West, specifically Boris Johnson, then British prime minister.

He suggested the West and Ukraine think about peace.

In this pool photograph distributed by Russian state agency Sputnik, Russia’s president Vladimir Putin chairs a meeting with the Presidential Council for Science and Education via video link in Moscow on 8 February 2024 (AFP via Getty Images)
In this pool photograph distributed by Russian state agency Sputnik, Russia’s president Vladimir Putin chairs a meeting with the Presidential Council for Science and Education via video link in Moscow on 8 February 2024 (AFP via Getty Images)

“Wouldn’t it be better to come to an agreement with Russia? To agree, understanding the situation that is today, understanding that Russia will fight for its interests to the end, and, understanding this, actually return to common sense, start respecting our country, its interests and look for some solutions?”

And Russia? “We are ready for this dialogue.”

Mr Putin questioned why the United States needed to spend so much on arming Ukraine for a war he cast in some ways similar to a “civil war”.

“Does the United States need this? Why? It is thousands of kilometres away from its territory! Don’t you have anything else to do?” Mr Putin said. He said there were mercenaries from the United States, Poland and Georgia fighting for Ukraine.

In video: Putin repeats de-Nazification claim, meanders around Carlson questions

Friday 9 February 2024 07:20 , Namita Singh

EU denies claim Tucker Carlson faces sanction over Putin interview

Friday 9 February 2024 07:05 , Namita Singh

The European Union has rejected a claim that Tucker Carlson is facing sanctions because of his interview with Vladimir Putin.

A spokesperson yesterday said that there are currently no EU talks on sanctions for the former Fox News host in response to rumours shared by X owner Elon Musk, among others.

Peter Stano, a spokesperson for EU foreign policy boss Josep Borrell, told the media on Thursday that “It’s not up to us to try to pre-empt or speculate whether someone will be proposed by a member state or group of member states to be put on the sanctions list”.

Report:

EU denies claim Tucker Carlson faces sanctions over Putin interview

Russian opposition leader on why Kremlin-controlled media loves Carlson

Friday 9 February 2024 07:00 , Gustaf Kilander

Putin says if US stops giving Ukraine weapons the war will be over ‘in weeks’

Friday 9 February 2024 06:23 , Namita Singh

Russian president Vladimir Putin told former Fox News host Tucker Carlson that if the US stopped sending weapons to Ukraine, the war would be over “in weeks”.

Asked why he doesn’t call President Joe Biden and work out a solution in Ukraine, Putin asked: “What’s there to work out?”

“Stop supplying weapons and it will be over within weeks,” Mr Putin added.

More here:

Putin says if US stops giving Ukraine weapons the war will be over ‘in weeks’

Putin repeats ‘nonsense’ claim Boris Johnson scuppered efforts to end Ukraine invasion

Friday 9 February 2024 06:22 , Namita Singh

Vladimir Putin has repeated a claim that Boris Johnson scuppered negotiations for a peace settlement between Russia and Ukraine, which the former UK prime minister has previously labelled “nonsense”.

During a highly anticipated sit-down interview with former Fox News commentator Tucker Carlson, the Russian president said, via a translator, that a “huge document” had been prepared and approved by the head of the Ukranian delegation, before Mr Johnson had stepped in and “dissuaded” Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelensky.

“He put his signature and then he himself said, ‘we were ready to sign it and the war would have been over long ago’. However, Prime Minister Johnson came talk to us out of it, and we’ve missed that chance.”

Mike Bedigan report:

Putin repeats ‘nonsense’ claim Boris Johnson sank efforts to end Ukraine invasion

Tucker Carlson fawns over ‘beautiful’ Moscow as he jokes about ‘betraying’ US

Friday 9 February 2024 06:03 , Namita Singh

Tucker Carlson joked about feeling like he’s “betraying” the US as he was mobbed by journalists in Moscow during his trip to interview Russian President Vladimir Putin.

As he interacted with members of the Russian media in what appeared to be a Moscow parking garage this week, Mr Carlson said he liked the city, adding: “I really do like it, I’m not just saying that.”

He continued: “Why do I feel guilty, like I’m betraying my country for saying that, I’m not, I love America. This is a really nice city. And I don’t care. It’s true. So thank you.”

Report:

Tucker Carlson fawns over ‘beautiful’ Moscow as he jokes about ‘betraying’ US

Putin claims peace talks were close to finalized

Friday 9 February 2024 06:00 , Gustaf Kilander

Putin claimed in the interview with Carlson that peace talks “reached a very high stage of coordination of positions in a complex process. But still, they were almost finalized”.

“But after we withdrew our troops from Kyiv, as I have already said, the other side threw away all these agreements and obeyed the instructions of Western countries, European countries and the United States to fight Russia to the bitter end,” he added.

Tucker Carlson’s strange interview with Vladimir Putin

Friday 9 February 2024 05:35 , Namita Singh

Around eight minutes into his mammoth two-hour interview with Vladimir Putin, Tucker Carlson was forced to interrupt.

“I beg your pardon. Can you tell us what period...? I’m losing track of where in history we are,” said the former Fox News host, who had been listening to Putin’s words with an expression of deepening vexation.

“It was in the 13th century,” said the Russian president matter-of-factly.

The exchange was only one of many odd moments in Carlson’s much-trailed meeting with the ex-KGB strongman, who has dominated his country’s politics for more than two decades and is now virtually a dictator.

Streamed for free on Carlson’s website on Thursday evening, it was Putin’s first interview with a Western journalist since Russia invaded Ukraine in 2022.

Here are the key points of their strange, freewheeling, and occasionally comical encounter.

Inside Tucker Carlson's strange interview with Vladimir Putin

Tucker Carlson met Edward Snowden and Biden accuser Tara Reade in Moscow, report says

Friday 9 February 2024 05:30 , Gustaf.Kilander

Tucker Carlson met with NSA leaker Edward Snowden while in Moscow, according to Semafor.

The former whistleblower featured heavily in Russian media before seeking more privacy in his family life.

Carlson reportedly met Snowden for hours, but the meeting was not for his video programme, the outlet noted.

But Carlson did record an interview with Tara Reade, a former Senate aide who later accused President Joe Biden of sexual assault, which he has denied.

The former aide moved to Russia after sharing her increasingly supportive views of Russian policies.

The Russian UN delegation called on her to speak in 2022 regarding “weapons diversion”, and she had Russia’s Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN appear on her YouTube channel.

Carlson did appear sceptical of her allegations against Biden in 2020.

The former Fox News host was heavily criticised for seeking an interview with Russian President Vladimir Putin, which was his main purpose for travelling to Moscow.

READ MORE

Journalists lash out at Carlson for teaching ‘good journalism’

Friday 9 February 2024 05:21 , Namita Singh

Several journalists, including from Russia, have also called out Tucker Carlson for patting himself on the back for landing an interview with Vladimir Putin.

“Unbelievable! I am like hundreds of Russian journalists who have had to go into exile to keep reporting about the Kremlin’s war against Ukraine,” Russian journalist Yevgenia Albats wrote. “The alternative was to go to jail. And now this SoB is teaching us about good journalism, shooting from the $1,000 Ritz suite in Moscow.”

“He says he’s interviewing Putin because freedom of speech is Americans’ birthright,” wrote BBC Eastern Europe Correspondent Sarah Rainsford, who was chucked out of Russia in 2021 after being declared a threat to national security. “I guess he knows that Putin made it a crime to tell the truth about Russia’s war on Ukraine? That independent Russian journalists have fled to avoid prison?”

Carlson mocked for claiming ‘Americans have no idea why Putin invaded Ukraine’

Friday 9 February 2024 05:14 , Namita Singh

Several journalists took to social media to mock Tucker Carlson for claiming that “most Americans have no idea why Putin invaded Ukraine or what his goals are now”.

“They’ve never heard his voice. That’s wrong,” he said.

Journalists were quick to point out that his 24 February invasion speech from 2022 was widely covered by major media outlets.“Poor, poor Vladimir Putin,” mocked the Wall Street Journal’s chief foreign-affairs correspondent Yaroslav Trofimov, wrote on X.

“Until now, nobody in the West has had the chance to hear him explain all the excellent reasons for why he had to invade Ukraine.”

“Not in the speech that was broadcast live on every global network the morning of the invasion, and not in countless others,” Trofimov added.

‘We never agreed to NATO’s expansion,’ Putin complains

Friday 9 February 2024 05:00 , Gustaf Kilander

Putin said, “We agreed with the fact that after the collapse of the Soviet Union, our borders should be along the borders of former Union republics. We agreed to that”.

“We never agreed to NATO’s expansion. And moreover, we never agreed that Ukraine would be in NATO ... we did not agree to NATO bases ... without any discussion with us for decades we kept asking you don’t do this, don’t do that,” he added.

‘He is a propagandist’: Carlson’s interview draws furious reaction

Friday 9 February 2024 04:45 , Namita Singh

Americal- Polish journalist, Anne Applebaum took to social media to lash out at Tucker Carlson for his interview with Vladimir Putin.

“Many journalists have interviewed Putin, who also makes frequent, widely covered speeches. Carlson’s interview is different because he is not a journalist, he’s a propagandist, with a history of helping autocrats conceal corruption,” she wrote on X.

“BBC tried repeatedly to interview Putin. I wonder why he says no to them, yes to Carlson?

Carlson before the interview, falsely claimed “not a single Western journalist has bothered to interview” Mr Putin since 2022.

Countless reporters from Western countries, including the BBC’s Russia Editor Steve Rosenberg, have sent the Kremlin repeated interview requests, wrote the British broadcaster in an article.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov acknowledged this and told the BBC: “Mr Carlson is not correct, and he couldn’t have known that. We receive a lot of requests for interviews with the president.”

Vladimir Putin cannot recall when he last spoke to Biden

Friday 9 February 2024 04:32 , Namita Singh

Russian president Vladimir Putin could not remember the last time he spoke with his US counterpart Joe Biden while claiming he had a “personal relationship” with his predecessor Donald Trump.

“I cannot remember when I talked to him,” he said of Biden, adding that the two last spoke before the February 2022 invasion of Ukraine. “But why should I remember everything? I have a lot of my own things to do. We have domestic political affairs.”

Putin: West is more ‘afraid of a strong China ... than it fears a strong Russia'

Friday 9 February 2024 04:30 , Gustaf Kilander

Putin claimed that the West is more “afraid of a strong China ... than it fears a strong Russia because Russia has 150 million people and China has 1.5 billion population and its economy is growing by leaps and bounds or 5 per cent a year. It used to be even more but that’s enough for China”.

“China’s potential is enormous. It is the biggest economy in the world today in terms of purchasing power parity and the size of the economy. It has already overtaken the United States quite a long time ago, and it is growing at a rapid clip,” Putin said.

Late last month, Bloomberg reported: “The US has pulled further ahead of China in the race for world’s biggest economy, thanks in part to a vibrant American consumer. US gross domestic product rose 6.3% in nominal terms — that is, unadjusted for inflation — last year, outpacing China’s 4.6% gain.”

“Let’s not talk about who is afraid of whom ... let’s get into the fact that after 1991 when Russia expected that it would be welcomed into the brotherly family of civilized nations nothing like this happened ... the promise was that NATO would not expand eastward, but it happened five times. There were five waves of expansion. We tolerated it, we were trying to persuade them we were saying, ‘Please don’t we are as bourgeois now as you are. We are a market economy and there’s no Communist Party power, let’s negotiate.”

Russia will fight for its interests ‘to the end’ – Putin

Friday 9 February 2024 04:18 , Namita Singh

Russian president Vladimir Putin said that Russia will fight for its interests “to the end” but has no interest in expanding its war in Ukraine to other countries such as Poland and Latvia.

He said Western leaders had come to realise it was impossible inflict a strategic defeat on Russia and were wondering what to do next.

“We are ready for this dialogue,” he said.

The Russian leader said the US had pressing domestic issues to worry about. “Wouldn’t it be better to negotiate with Russia? Make an agreement. Already understanding the situation that is developing today, realizing that Russia will fight for its interests to the end,” he said.

Washington, which has sent Ukraine more than $110bn in aid since Russia invaded in February 2022, has made clear it has no interest in talking on Mr Putin’s terms.

Putin claims Ukraine is not a real country

Friday 9 February 2024 04:01 , Namita Singh

Vladimir Putin took his chance to lay out his distorted version of history, claiming that Ukraine is not a real country.

“After World War II, Ukraine received in addition to the lands that had belonged to Poland before the war, both of the lands that had previously belonged to Hungary and Romania – so Romania and Hungary had some of their lands taken away and given to the Soviet Ukraine, and they still remain part of Ukraine,” he claimed.

“So in this sense, we have every reason to affirm that Ukraine is an artificial state that was shaped at Stalin’s will,” Mr Putin argued.

Tucker Carlson’s interview ‘part of Kremlin’s effort to get Western approval’

Friday 9 February 2024 04:01 , Namita Singh

Exiled Russian businessman and opposition leader Mikhail Khodorkovsky, a former oligarch who lives in London following his 2003 jailing in Russia after falling out with Vladimir Putin, noted on X that Tucker Carlson is part of the Kremlin’s effort to get Western approval.

“It needs Western approval. This is why, for example, Russian propagandists have taken to writing pro-Putin comments under articles on Western news sites under assumed European and American names, then reprinting them as ‘Western opinions’,” he wrote. “This is where Tucker Carlson comes in. He’s been complimentary of Putin for years, even as the dictator became persona non grata among the broader Western public. So when he visited Moscow, he got the superstar treatment.”

“His visit has received more media coverage than any visiting world leader or celebrity in years. His every move was portrayed as a matter of national importance – all because he satisfies the regime’s need for approval from the West,” the dissident wrote regarding Carlson’s Moscow trip.

Carlson says Putin ‘believes that Russia has a historic claim to parts of western Ukraine'

Friday 9 February 2024 04:00 , Gustaf Kilander

Introducing his interview with Putin, Carlson said that at the beginning, “we asked the most obvious question, which is why did you do this – because you feel a threat, an imminent physical threat. And that’s your justification – And the answer we got shocked us”.

“Putin went on for a very long time, probably half an hour about the history of Russia going back to the eighth century. And honestly, we thought this was a filibustering technique and found it annoying and interrupted him several times and he responded he was annoyed by the interruption,” Carlson added.

“But we concluded in the end for what it’s worth, that it was not a filibustering technique, there was no time limit on the interview, we ended it after more than two hours. Instead, what you’re about to see seem to us sincere whether you agree with it or not. Vladimir Putin believes that Russia has a historic claim to parts of western Ukraine,” he said.

“So our opinion would be to view it in that light as a sincere expression of what he thinks,” Carlson added.

Carlson 'far from being first Western journalist to have aligned with enemy’

Friday 9 February 2024 03:42 , Namita Singh

Tucker Carlson’s interview with Vladimir Putin has drawn sharp reactions and criticism from American journalists.

“Tucker Carlson is far from being the first Western journalist to have aligned himself with the enemy,” Jamie Dettmer wrote for Politico. “There’s a long tradition of the likes of Hitler and Stalin finding pliable Brits and Americans to do their propaganda for them.”

‘Carlson interviews Biden accuser Tara Reade’

Friday 9 February 2024 03:36 , Namita Singh

Tucker Carlson recorded an interview with Tara Reade, a former Senate aide who later accused President Joe Biden of sexual assault, which he has denied, claims a report published in Semafor.

The former aide moved to Russia after sharing her increasingly supportive views of Russian policies.

The Russian UN delegation called on her to speak in 2022 regarding “weapons diversion”, and she had Russia’s Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN appear on her YouTube channel.

Carlson did appear sceptical of her allegations against Biden in 2020.

Why did Putin agree to interview with Carlson?

Friday 9 February 2024 03:31 , Namita Singh

The Kremlin said Vladimir Putin agreed to an interview with Tucker Carlson because the approach of the former Fox News host differed from the “one-sided” reporting of the Ukraine conflict by many Western news outlets.

Carlson is considered to have close connections to Donald Trump, who is expected to be the Republican Party candidate in the November US presidential election.

Complaining about the billions of dollars in aid sent to Kyiv so far, Mr Trump has called for de-escalation of the war in Ukraine, in which the Joe Biden administration has strongly backed the Volodymyr Zelensky government.

For his part, Carlson has said much Western media coverage of the war is biased in Kyiv’s favour.

Tucker Carlson speaks during RiskOn360! GlobalSuccess Conference at Ahern Hotel and Convention Center on 20 November 2023 in Las Vegas (Getty Images)
Tucker Carlson speaks during RiskOn360! GlobalSuccess Conference at Ahern Hotel and Convention Center on 20 November 2023 in Las Vegas (Getty Images)

Carlson’s past comments about the Ukraine war have often mirrored the justifications put out by the Kremlin, such as saying Russia does not want “a hostile government next door”, and he has called Zelensky a “dictator”. Clips of his shows have repeatedly been featured in Russian propaganda shows on state TV.

In 2019, Carlson famously said US liberals “hate America” more than Putin does. “Putin, for all his faults, does not hate America as much as many of these people (American liberals) do. They really dislike our country,” he said.

“We should probably take the side of Russia if we have to choose between Russia and Ukraine.”

VIDEO: Putin calls Ukraine an ‘artificial state shaped at Stalin’s will’

Friday 9 February 2024 03:30 , Gustaf Kilander

Carlson met Snowden in Moscow, report says

Friday 9 February 2024 03:29 , Namita Singh

Tucker Carlson met with NSA leaker Edward Snowden while in Moscow, according to Semafor.

The former whistleblower featured heavily in Russian media before seeking more privacy in his family life.

Mr Snowden was initially granted asylum in Russia in 2013 after leaking a trove of classified National Security Agency (NSA) documents, and then was granted permanent resident status in Russia in 2020. That year, he announced his decision to seek duel citizenship, stating in a tweet that “after years of separation from our parents, my wife and I have no desire to be separated from our son.”

Carlson reportedly met Snowden for hours, but the meeting was not for his video programme, the outlet noted.

My colleague Gustaf Kilander reports:

Tucker Carlson met Edward Snowden and Biden accuser Tara Reade in Moscow, report says

Russian leader says he believes it's possible to reach a deal to free US journalist

Friday 9 February 2024 03:14 , Namita Singh

Vladimir Putin said he believed it was possible to reach an agreement to free US journalist Evan Gershkovich of the Wall Street Journal. He has been detained in Russia for nearly a year and is awaiting trial on spying charges.

He said Russian and American special services were discussing the Gershkovich case and had made some progress.

This grab from a handout footage provided by the Lefortovsky Court on 26 January 2024 shows US journalist Evan Gershkovich, arrested on espionage charges (AFP via Getty)
This grab from a handout footage provided by the Lefortovsky Court on 26 January 2024 shows US journalist Evan Gershkovich, arrested on espionage charges (AFP via Getty)

Mr Putin suggested that in return, Moscow wanted Germany to free Vadim Krasikov, who was convicted of the 2019 murder of a Chechen dissident in Berlin, although he did not mention Krasikov by name.

“There have been many successful examples of these talks crowned with success,” Mr Putin said. “Probably this is going to be crowned with success as well but we have to come to an agreement.”

Russia and the United States have agreed high-profile prisoner swaps in the past - most recently in December 2022 when Moscow traded Brittney Griner, a US basketball star convicted of a drugs offence in Russia - for Russian arms trafficker Viktor Bout.

Russia has no interest in wider war, says Putin

Friday 9 February 2024 03:01 , Namita Singh

Russian president Vladimir Putin said that Russia will fight for its interests “to the end” but has no interest in expanding its war in Ukraine to other countries such as Poland and Latvia.

Mr Putin, whose government also denied any plans to invade Ukraine up to the point it did so in February 2022, was speaking in an interview with former Fox News host Tucker Carlson.

In this pool photograph distributed by Russian state agency Sputnik, Russia’s president Vladimir Putin chairs a meeting with the Presidential Council for Science and Education via video link in Moscow on 8 February 2024 (AFP via Getty Images)
In this pool photograph distributed by Russian state agency Sputnik, Russia’s president Vladimir Putin chairs a meeting with the Presidential Council for Science and Education via video link in Moscow on 8 February 2024 (AFP via Getty Images)

Mr Putin claimed Western leaders had come to realise it was impossible inflict a strategic defeat on Russia and were wondering what to do next.

“We are ready for this dialogue,” he said.

Asked if he could imagine a scenario in which he would send Russian troops to Poland, a Nato member, Mr Putin replied: “Only in one case, if Poland attacks Russia. Why? Because we have no interest in Poland, Latvia or anywhere else. Why would we do that? We simply don’t have any interest.”

Wall Street Journal issues new statement on jailed reporter after Putin interview

Friday 9 February 2024 03:00 , Gustaf Kilander

Putin says if US stops giving Ukraine weapons the war will be over ‘in weeks’

Friday 9 February 2024 02:30 , Gustaf Kilander

Russian President Vladimir Putin told former Fox News host Tucker Carlson that if the US stopped sending weapons to Ukraine, the war would be over “in weeks”.

Asked why he doesn’t call President Joe Biden and work out a solution in Ukraine, Putin asked: “What’s there to work out?”

“Stop supplying weapons and it will be over within weeks,” Mr Putin added.

Asked about a possible nuclear conflict, Mr Putin said: “That’s what they’re talking about and they’re trying to intimidate their own people with these threats .... smart people understand that this is a fake, they’re trying to fuel the ‘Russian threat’.”

Mr Putin has used the prospect of nuclear in repeated attempts to intimidate Ukraine and the West.

When Carlson asked if Mr Putin would attack Poland, he said: “Only in one case, if Poland attacks Russia – we have no interest in Poland, Latvia or anywhere”.

“It is absolutely out of the question ... it goes against common sense to be involved in a global war ... and a global war will bring humanity to the brink of destruction,” he added.

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White House warns against believing ‘anything’ Putin says in Tucker Carlson interview

Friday 9 February 2024 02:00 , Natalie Chinn

Hours before Tucker Carlson dropped his interview with Russia’s Vladimir Putin, the White House delivered a message to viewers during the daily press briefing.

“Remember, you’re listening to Vladimir Putin,” National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby said. “You shouldn’t take it face value, anything he has to say.”

Carlson’s controversial interview is two hours long and was filmed in Moscow with the Russian president.

Topics discussed include NATO, the war in Ukraine, US-Russia relations, Elon Musk, and AI. They also talked about the imprisoned American journalist Evan Gershkovich.

Putin repeats ‘nonsense’ claim Boris Johnson scuppered efforts to end Ukraine invasion

Friday 9 February 2024 01:30 , Mike Bedigan

Vladimir Putin has repeated a claim that Boris Johnson tanked negotiations for a peace settlement between Russia and Ukraine, which the former UK prime minister has previously labelled as “nonsense”.

During a highly anticipated sit-down interview with former Fox News commentator Tucker Carlson, the Russian president said, via a translator, that a “huge document” had been prepared and approved by the head of the Ukranian delegation, before Mr Johnson had stepped in and “dissuaded” Ukraine.

“He put his signature and then he himself said, ‘we were ready to sign it and the war would have been over long ago’. However, Prime Minister Johnson came talk to us out of it, and we’ve missed that chance. “

In an interview with The Times in January, Mr Johnson strongly denied the claims, describing them as “total nonsense” and “Russian propaganda.”

Mr Johnson asserted that, during a conversation with Ukrainian President Zelensky following the peace talks in Istanbul, he had “expressed concerns” about the nature of the potential agreement, but assured him of the UK’s unwavering support for Ukraine.

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Putin calls invasion of Ukraine ‘element of a civil war'

Friday 9 February 2024 01:04 , Gustaf Kilander

Putin said in the interview with Carlson that “what is happening is to a certain extent, an element of a civil war”.

“Everyone in the West thinks that the Russian people have been split by hostilities forever and officially now they will be reunited. The unity is still there,” he added. “Why are the Ukrainian authorities dismantling the Ukrainian Orthodox Church? Because it brings together not only the territory it brings together ourselves – no one will be able to separate the soul.”

Friday 9 February 2024 00:59 , Gustaf Kilander

Towards the end of the interview, Carlson asked Putin: “Do you think it's too humiliating at this point for NATO to accept Russian control of what was two years ago Ukrainian territory?”

“Let them think how to do it with dignity,” Putin said. “Up until now, there has been the uproar and screaming about inflicting a strategic defeat on Russia on the battlefield.”

Putin calls Ukraine ‘satellite state of US’

Friday 9 February 2024 00:57 , Gustaf Kilander

Putin blamed the West for the failed peace talks with Ukraine.

“We did not refuse to talk. Were willing to negotiate,” he claimed. “It is the western side. And Ukraine is obviously a satellite state of the US. It is evident.”

“So I just want to make sure I'm not misunderstanding what you're saying. I don't think that I am. I think you're saying you want a negotiated settlement to what's happening in Ukraine?” Carlson asked.

“Right,” Putin said. “And we made it where he prepared the huge document in Istanbul that was intialled by the head of the Ukrainian delegation to fix his signature to some of the provisions. Not so all of it. He put his signature and then he himself said we were ready to sign it and the word would have been over long ago. a month ago. However, Prime Minister [Boris] Johnson came to talk us out of it and we've missed a chance”.

VIDEO: Putin repeats de-Nazification claim, meanders around Carlson questions

Friday 9 February 2024 00:50 , Gustaf Kilander

Putin repeats ‘nonsense’ claim Boris Johnson scuppered efforts to end Ukraine invasion

Friday 9 February 2024 00:49 , Mike Bedigan

Vladimir Putin has repeaeted a claim that Boris Johnson tanked negotiations for a peace settlement between Russia and Ukraine, which the former UK prime minister has previously labelled as “nonsense”.

During a highly anticipated sit-down interview with former Fox News commentator Tucker Carlson, the Russian president said, via a translator, that a “huge document” had been prepared and approved by the head of the Ukranian delegation.

“He put his signature and then he himself said, ‘we were ready to sign it and the war would have been over long ago’. However, Prime Minister Johnson came talk to us out of it, and we’ve missed that chance. “

In an interview with The Times in January, Mr Johnson strongly denied the claims, describing them as “total nonsense” and “Russian propaganda.”

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‘Kremlin cannot stand’ not getting western approval, Russian opposition leader says

Friday 9 February 2024 00:46 , Gustaf Kilander

Exiled Russian oligarch and opposition leader Mikhail Khodorkovsky wrote on X on Friday night that “when the war in Ukraine started, most of the West turned its back on Russia. Putin is no longer invited to meet with its leaders, nor do they visit him, and those western politicians who do sympathise with him tend to keep it quiet nowadays”.

“The Kremlin cannot stand this. It needs western approval. This is why, for example, Russian propagandists have taken to writing pro-Putin comments under articles on western news sites under assumed European and American names, then reprinting them as ‘western opinions’,” he added.

Pundit on Russian TV says Putin interview is ‘a slowly-burning fuse’

Friday 9 February 2024 00:40 , Gustaf Kilander

VIDEO: Putin says it would be 'understandable' if Hungary annexed parts of Ukraine

Friday 9 February 2024 00:40 , Gustaf Kilander

Putin ‘can’t live without’ the West, Russian opposition leader says

Friday 9 February 2024 00:34 , Gustaf Kilander

Mikhail Khodorkovsky, an exiled Russian businessman, oligarch, and opposition leader, wrote in a thread on X that “everything Putin does has one goal – to keep him in power for as long as possible. That’s why he assassinates journalists, that’s why he invaded Ukraine – and it’s also why he let Tucker Carlson interview him”.

Putin jailed Khodorkovsky in 2003 on trumped-up charges and confiscated his oil company.

“As much as Putin and his propagandists might paint the West as public enemy number one in Russia, the truth is, he craves western attention and approval. Why? Because it gives him legitimacy at home,” Mr Khodorkovsky wrote on X on Thursday night. “Russians might be taught to despise the West, but at the same time, a lot of them still view Europe and the US as cultural role models. They watch western films, they buy western goods, they follow western sports teams.”

“So, when a prominent westerner says something complimentary about Putin, this holds a lot of weight among the Russian public, and it contributes to Putin’s approval ratings. And Putin knows it,” he added.

‘Tucker is sitting there in agony with all his questions'

Friday 9 February 2024 00:29 , Gustaf Kilander

Putin equates jailed US journalist to ‘FSB professional killer’, reporter says

Friday 9 February 2024 00:28 , Gustaf Kilander

VIDEO: Putin calls Ukraine an ‘artificial state shaped at Stalin’s will’

Friday 9 February 2024 00:21 , Gustaf Kilander

Putin claims Ukraine peace deal was blocked by Boris Johnson

Friday 9 February 2024 00:15 , Gustaf Kilander

Putin mocks Carlson ‘like his little child’

Friday 9 February 2024 00:12 , Gustaf Kilander

'The Tucker Face’

Friday 9 February 2024 00:10 , Gustaf Kilander

‘Stop supplying weapons and it will be over within weeks'

Friday 9 February 2024 00:08 , Gustaf Kilander

Asked why he doesn’t call President Joe Biden and work out a solution in Ukraine, Putin asked: “What’s there to work out?”

“Stop supplying weapons and it will be over within weeks,” Putin added.

Asked about a possible nuclear conflict, Putin said: “That’s what they’re talking about and they’re trying to intimidate their own people with these threats .... smart people understand that this is a fake, they’re trying to fuel the ‘Russian threat’.”

Asked if Putin would attack Poland, he said: “only in one case, if Poland attacks Russia – we have no interest in Poland, Latvia or anywhere”.

“It is absolutely out of the question ... it goes against common sense to be involved in a global war ... and a global war will bring humanity to the brink of destruction,” he added.

Putin claims jailed US journalist Evan Gershkovich was caught ‘red-handed’ receiving secrets

Friday 9 February 2024 00:03 , John Bowden

Russian President Vladimir Putin denied that jailed American journalist Evan Gershkovich was innocent of the espionage charges for which he remains imprisoned during a rare interview with right-wing commentator Tucker Carlson.

In the conversation, which was published in full on Thursday, Mr Putin insisted that Mr Gershkovich had obtained classified information from one of his sources in a clandestine manner, and had been caught “red-handed” upon receiving the information. The Wall Street Journal and US news outlets have strongly denied any wrongdoing by Mr Gershkovich and protested that his activities fell strictly under the umbrella of legitimate journalism.

“He was receiving classified confidential information, and he was doing it covertly,” the Russian president told Carlson.

Mr Putin added: “He was caught red-handed when he was receiving this information.”

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Click here to read the full blog on The Independent's website