Former Fox News host Tucker Carlson 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

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

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

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

  • VIDEO: Putin says it would be ‘understandable’ if Hungary annexed parts of Ukraine

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

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

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’

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’

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’

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’

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?

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’

03:30 , Gustaf Kilander

Carlson met Snowden in Moscow, report says

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

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)

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

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)

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

03:00 , Gustaf Kilander

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

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.

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

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

01:30 , 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, 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.

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

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.”

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’

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

00:50 , Gustaf Kilander

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

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.”

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

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’

00:40 , Gustaf Kilander

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

00:40 , Gustaf Kilander

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

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’

00:29 , Gustaf Kilander

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

00:28 , Gustaf Kilander

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

00:21 , Gustaf Kilander

Putin claims Ukraine peace deal was blocked by Boris Johnson

00:15 , Gustaf Kilander

Putin mocks Carlson ‘like his little child’

00:12 , Gustaf Kilander

‘The Tucker Face’

00:10 , Gustaf Kilander

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

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

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.”

RFK Jr backs Tucker Carlson

00:02 , Gustaf Kilander

Putin says he hasn’t talked to Biden since before invasion

00:01 , Gustaf Kilander

Putin said he hasn’t spoken to President Joe Biden since before the invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.

“We haven’t spoken,” he said, but he added that “certain contacts are being maintained”.

Putin claims peace talks were close to finalized

Thursday 8 February 2024 23:59 , 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.

Putin blames non-existent ‘coup’ on CIA

Thursday 8 February 2024 23:56 , Gustaf.Kilander

‘Putin is explaining the many (completely imaginary) coups-d’etat that have(n’t) taken place in Ukraine’

Thursday 8 February 2024 23:53 , Gustaf Kilander

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

Thursday 8 February 2024 23:46 , 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.

Tucker Carlson posts two-hour interview with Vladimir Putin

Thursday 8 February 2024 23:42 , Gustaf Kilander

Putin addresses jailing of American journalist

Thursday 8 February 2024 23:41 , Gustaf Kilander

Propaganda scholar calls interview ‘carefully scripted series of questions designed to allow Putin to parade his historical grievances and distortions’

Thursday 8 February 2024 23:37 , Gustaf Kilander

Dr Ian Garner, a scholar on Russian propaganda, wrote on X that “Putin’s got to the 1990s and is telling us all about how awful the USA is. Thank God Carlson is interviewing Putin so that he can FINALLY tell the REAL TRUTH, i.e. all the lies he’s told and the media has reported on over and again for years on end”.

“Putin claiming NATO has always been negative toward Russia, even when he was a very well behaved boy in the early 2000s. Skimmed over all the NATO-Russia cooperation and the vocal support for RU-NATO integration from many in the West at that time,” he added. “There’s nothing new in this interview. Nothing. It’s a carefully scripted series of questions designed to allow Putin to parade his historical grievances and distortions to the American public.”

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