Tucker Carlson has shared his long interview with the president of Russia Vladimir Putin, discussing the political leader’s justifications for the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The video, more than two hours long, represents the first time that the Russian leader has been interviewed by a Western journalist since the conflict began almost two years ago.
“The interview, as you’ll see if you watch it, is primarily about the ongoing war, the war in Ukraine: how it started, what’s happening, and most importantly, how it might end,” Carlson said at the beginning of the interview. video, speaking to the camera as he stands in front of the Kremlin. “At the beginning of the interview, we asked the most obvious question: ‘Why did you do this? Did you feel a threat, an imminent physical threat, and that’s your justification? The response we received surprised us. Putin spoke for a long time, probably half an hour, about the history of Russia since the 8th century. And honestly, we thought it was a filibuster and we thought it was annoying and we interrupted him several times.”
“But in the end we came to the conclusion, for what it’s worth, that this was not a filibuster. There was no time limit for the interview. We finished it after two hours. Instead, what you’re about to see seemed sincere to us, whether you agree with it or not,” Carlson continued. “Vladimir Putin believes that Russia has a historical claim to parts of western Ukraine. So our opinion would be to consider it, from that point of view, as a sincere expression of what he thinks.”
Carlson announced the interview on Tuesday, the same day the interview took place in the Moscow Kremlin. At the time, the former Fox News host claimed that “not a single Western journalist had bothered to interview the president of the other country in this conflict.” The Kremlin denied the allegation and said it has rejected requests from several publications to speak with Putin. Furthermore, in March 2022, shortly after the invasion of Ukraine, Russia passed a law that made it illegal to publish “false information” about the military; many news organizations pulled their staff out of the country.
During the interview, Carlson brings up the subject of Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich, who has been imprisoned for more than 250 days after being accused of espionage, something the U.S. government and the Journal deny. The presenter expressed hope that Gershkovich would be released.
“We have made so many gestures of goodwill out of decency that I think we have run out,” Putin said when asked about the possibility of freeing Gershkovich. “We have never seen anyone respond to us in a similar way… I do not rule out that the person he refers to could return to his homeland. “We want the United States Special Services to think about how they can contribute to achieving the objectives that our special services pursue.”
When asked to explain the alliance blocs in the geopolitical situation, Putin became more vague.
“Listen, you said the world is breaking into two hemispheres. The human brain is divided into two hemispheres. One is responsible for one type of activities, the other has more to do with creativity, etc. But it remains one in the same head,” Putin said. “The world should be a single whole. Security must be shared, instead of demanding the gold billion. That is the only scenario in which the world could be stable, sustainable and predictable. Until then, as long as the head is divided into two parts it is a disease, a serious adverse condition.”
Carlson shared the full interview for free viewing on the Tucker Carlson Network, a digital platform he launched after his departure from Fox News last summer, promoting it as “an alternative to traditional media.”