MOSCOW, Russia – Russian President Vladimir Putin recently sat down for an interview with conservative American journalist Tucker Carlson, during which he expressed that ending Russia’s almost two-year-old invasion of Ukraine is “simple”.
This interview marked Putin’s first with a Western reporter since the full-scale invasion of Ukraine began two years ago. The interview was significant as Carlson, a former Fox News personality, has been critical of the Ukraine-Russia conflict, referring to it as a “border dispute” and advocating for the halting of aid packages to Ukraine.
Throughout the two-hour interview, which took place in a Kremlin audience hall, Carlson did not challenge Putin as aggressively as he had with past pro-Democrat guests on his former show on Fox News.
Putin’s goal in the interview appeared to be to urge Republicans to stop supporting Ukraine and focus on domestic issues, arguing that the United States has its own problems to address before interfering in Ukraine. He also mentioned that stopping the supply of weapons to Ukraine would result in the conflict ending within a few weeks.
During the interview, Putin also discussed the history of Eastern Europe, highlighting Russia’s view of its connection to the region and its interpretation of Ukraine’s origins. He reiterated his belief that Ukraine is an “artificial state” created by Soviet dictator Josef Stalin.
The timing of the interview was critical for Ukraine, as it coincided with Republicans blocking a multibillion-dollar aid package for the country. Ukrainian officials and public figures have long maintained that Putin is determined to subjugate and annihilate Ukraine, with some comparing his intentions to those of Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler.
Overall, the interview with Putin and Carlson received mixed reactions, with some viewing it as a public relations stunt for the Kremlin and others seeing it as a demonstration of weakness. Ukrainian servicemen and officials expressed their disappointment with the interview, describing it as a display of conspiracy theories rather than facing the truth about Ukraine’s situation.