What Has the Putin Interview Achieved?  

Vladimir Putin’s challenge was to tell Americans through Tucker Carlson a complicated and unfamiliar narrative of how dearly Ukrainians and Russians are paying for Putin’s initial naïve trust in the West, writes Tony Kevin.

U.S. journalist Tucker Carlson with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow on Feb. 6 for an interview that aired on Feb. 8. (Kremlin)

By Tony Kevin
Special to Consortium News

It is clear by now that both Vladimir Putin and Tucker Carlson took risks in embarking on their interview last week, gambles that appear to be paying off so far.   

Putin was sick of rude and argumentative Western journalists. He had given no Western media interviews since Russia’s military operation in Ukraine began two years ago. He demanded, and received from Carlson, a serious  interview in which he would be free to develop his facts and arguments.

He rather sharply reminded Carlson of the agreed ground rules at the outset of the interview, saying:  “Are we having a talk show or a serious conversation?” 

A chastened Carlson replied: ‘Thank you, it’s formidably serious.” And he spent the next two hours listening as Putin expounded at length on his main subjects: Russian-Ukrainian interconnected national histories since 862; and the causes, course and likely end of the present war in Ukraine.   [Available in English voice and text on the Kremlin official website.] 

This style of interview left Carlson vulnerable to ridicule from leading Western mainstream media, such as The GuardianThe Economist, The New York Times, Washington Post and the BBC

They all essentially alleged that Carlson had betrayed his profession by fluffing the opportunity to put Putin on the spot with hard “gotcha” questions. Their consensus: the interview was boring, irrelevant, rambling, full of lies, simply not worth anybody’s time watching or reading. 

It is clear already that much of the world’s journalistic universe disagrees. Putin’s extended history lesson appears in the world’s media and on social media platforms to have already made an impact on serious U.S., European and Global South audiences.  Carlson’s reputation as a serious dissident Western journalist can only be enhanced by this conversation with the Russian president.  

Putin’s Betrayed Trust in the West

Putin in June 2023, showing African leaders what he said was a draft peace agreement with Ukraine, which was discussed in Turkey in 2022. (Kremlin.ru, CC BY 4.0, Wikimedia Commons)

The risk Putin ran was that under Carlson’s questioning he might inadvertently embarrass himself politically at home by exposing his earlier years of trust in the West. This trust was not finally extinguished in him until the crucial betrayal by Kiev under Western pressure of the agreement to end the Ukraine war, then still in its first weeks, which was reached in Russian-Ukrainian peace negotiations in Istanbul in March-April 2022.  

Putin paid dearly for his decision then to withdraw Russian forces that had almost surrounded Kiev, as a gesture of good faith he said to the Kiev regime and its Minsk Accord guarantors, Germany and France. Within days the Bucha massacre took place, blamed on Russia but with evidence that it was carried out by the neo-Nazi Azov battalion. 

Initially stunning the Kremlin with its cruelty and cynicism, Putin was then exposed to damaging criticism from harder-line Russian nationalists that he had been too gullible, putting Russian lives at risk.  

Putin concluded that the West was never to be trusted again.  

In the interview, Putin grieved the tragically huge number of Ukrainian and Russian Federation soldiers’ deaths and permanent disabilities in the long war, which should have ended in March 2022, but still bloodily continues.  

Putin’s challenge was to tell American mainstream audiences through Carlson this complicated and unfamiliar narrative without reminding listeners how dearly Ukrainians and Russians — in his view, the same people — are paying for his initial naïve trust in the West. He focused listeners’ minds on Western treachery and duplicity rather than his own naïve acceptance of their trickery.  

From this perspective, the interview was a battle of wits.  

Putin exposed the history of Western false assurances during the five waves of NATO expansion after President Ronald Reagan’s and Bush Senior’s promises of “not an inch” to the East. He recounted the history of the United States’ sabotage of the Russian-German, Baltic gas pipeline last year, leading to the subsequent impoverishment of the German economy through loss of access to Russian cheap energy.   

He denounced the Scholz government’s continuing betrayal of German national interests in favour of U.S. and NATO interests. He recalled how the war in Ukraine actually began with the February 2014 U.S.-instigated coup d’etat in Maidan Square, how Kiev’s military attacked Crimea and the Donbass and how Putin eventually responded by entering Russian troops into Ukraine in February 2022. 

Rebutting Claims of Territorial Ambition

Carlson and Putin in Moscow. (Kremlin)

Putin rebutted claims of Russia’s territorial ambitions in and beyond Ukraine. He left open the possibility of future Romanian, Hungarian and Polish claims on parts of Western Ukraine annexed  by Stalin in 1945.  He made it clear  the Odessa region was at risk of being incorporated into Russia, along with the four already incorporated Novorussian regions.  But he promised flexibility in peace negotiations, saying: 

“Let them [Ukraine regime, U.S. and NATO ] think how to do it with dignity. There are options if there is a will.”  

It may be significant that Putin complimented Volodymyr Zelensky’s grandfather’s good war record in the Great Patriotic War. This may suggest Putin does not rule out Zelensky possibly having a role as Ukrainian leader in peace negotiations.             

Putin effortlessly rebutted Carlson’s efforts to tempt him to express an opinion in favour of former President Donald Trump in the upcoming U.S. presidential election, a trap he was too smart to fall into. Putin replied that it does not matter who is U.S. president, the hegemonic policies and values of the Washington permanent elite remain the same.            

Carlson’s Curveball

Carlson questioning Putin. (Kremlin)

Towards the end of the interview, Carlson threw Putin an interesting curveball, asking him to release Evan Gershkovich, the sentenced and imprisoned U.S. journalist on espionage charges, and allow Carlson to take him back to the United States. 

Putin was likely prepared for the Gershkovich issue to come up.  Carlson had to raise it, or else he would have been crucified by the Western media.

Yet I think Putin was taken aback by the drama of Carlson’s proposal. He answered carefully and in detail. I believe this exchange will prove useful in negotiating Gershkovich’s eventual release and hopefully also that of Paul Whelan, a U.S. marine imprisoned in Russia for espionage, as part of a delicate prisoner exchange. It would involve the case of a Russian agent’s execution in Germany of a notorious Chechen terrorist who had murdered Russian prisoners of war during the Chechen wars.  

Western media had no plausibility in accusing Carlson (as they nevertheless tried to do) of not raising the Gershkovich case strongly enough.  

On other matters, Putin bluntly accused the West of C.I.A. subversion against Russia in the Chechen wars and other jihadist violent insurgencies in the North Caucasus — more categorically and bitterly than ever before publicly.   

They did not discuss the current appalling situation in Gaza where Israel continues to violate its human rights obligations as a U.N. member. I assume this was by prior agreement: probably Putin did not want to be personally quizzed on Russia’s position on Israel’s ongoing massive war crimes. Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Russia’s U.N. ambassador have already made such criticisms strongly.  

One could argue that the outcome was a win for both men.  Putin offered the West through the vehicle of the Carlson interview a clear window into his thinking on how to end the war in Ukraine: denazification as part of the peace negotiation and subsequent legislation, and an end to Western arms supplies to Kiev.   

Putin ended the interview on his own terms. He was mocked by Sarah Rainsford of the BBC for doing so, proving yet again that years spent working in the in-bred Western foreign correspondent community in Moscow do not open closed Russophobic minds.  

Tony Kevin is a former Australian senior diplomat, having served as ambassador to Cambodia and Poland, as well as being posted to Australia’s embassy in Moscow. He is the author of six published books on public policy and international relations.

CORRECTION:  Putin praised Zelenksy’s grandfather, not father, as was earlier reported.

The views expressed are solely those of the author and may or may not reflect those of Consortium News.

48 comments for “What Has the Putin Interview Achieved?  

  1. D'Esterre
    February 14, 2024 at 19:25

    We have extended family connections to Russia, the Ukraine and the Donbass.

    In the early years of the 20c, a relative was born in what is now the northeast of the Ukraine. But at the time (before the revolution), that area was still part of Russia. It wouldn’t become part of the Ukraine until 1922, when Lenin shifted the administrative boundaries.

    I’m familiar with the history outlined by Putin: a family member is very interested in, and well-informed about, that part of the world.

    When the US-sponsored putsch occurred in Kiev, that same family member watched a without-commentary TV feed (supplied by RT) of events there. As some of you will be aware, RT has since been banned from the Ukraine by Kiev.

    I watched some of that feed. It was illuminating, in that what was captured on camera didn’t necessarily match what the MSM was telling us.

    We also watched events in the Crimea. Many westerners are unaware that, prior to the Kiev putsch, the Crimea had made two previous attempts to decamp from the Ukraine. They made sure that their third attempt was successful. Despite assertions to the contrary, made by commentators here in NZ, the Crimea’s return to Russia happened pretty much without a shot being fired.

    Following the Odessa atrocity in 2014 (for which, last I looked, nobody has ever been charged), the Donbass declared independence. The Kiev régime has been persecuting that area ever since.

    As to what happened in February 2022, our news sources informed us at the time that Russian intel had detected a buildup of Ukrainian military, close to Donetsk, if I remember rightly.. Kiev had decided to launch a full-scale military invasion of the Donbass, in order to force it back into the Ukraine.

    The Donbass had for some time been pleading with Russia for assistance in fending off Ukrainian attacks (which had resulted in 13000-14000 casualties up to that point). Once Russia got wind of the planned attack, Putin formally recognised the Donbass as an independent polity, then Russia agreed to launch its military operation. That operation is legal under the provisions of the UN charter. [Ed: The relevant passage in the Charter is Article 51: “Nothing in the present Charter shall impair the inherent right of individual or collective self-defence if an armed attack occurs against a Member of the United Nations, until the Security Council has taken measures necessary to maintain international peace and security.” The question is whether this is applicable to the Donbass republic, which are not UN member states.]

    Here in NZ, many citizens are completely ignorant of events in the Ukraine. Thus when our government at the time announced support for Kiev, there was little opposition, though some of us protested.

    My response to people who’ve parroted the MSM line to me is as follows: the citizens – and most especially the children – of the Donbass, have never done anything to any of us in NZ, yet here our government is, supporting the régime that’s been persecuting them since 2014. You couldn’t make this stuff up. I would say the same to anybody in the West.

    I’m well aware that NZ is a member of 5 Eyes and has therefore been subject to pressure, in particular from the US and the UK. But that doesn’t make it morally right.

    I hope that Russia regains all of that territory, including the Odessa region. Odessa – that most Russian of cities, I’ve seen it described – was my late relative’s favourite city in the Ukraine.

  2. robert e williamson jr
    February 13, 2024 at 13:50

    Somebody needed sure as hell to do something. Tucker jumped on the opportunity and that is to his credit.

    Nice job Tucker did for himself. Him and his TCN.

    I was not impressed, other than Tucker played his role apparently realizing his station his. One of the very few times I’ve seen the man act as if he realized even he has his limitations.

    I’m no fan of either person, however Tucker played a role and performed will enough to fool many who are likely relieved Vlad didn’t take off his head. Tucker is no match for Putin who played his roll rather diplomatically. He achieved what he could it seems, something those representing the U.S. might want to learn.

    Putin said Russians do not surrender, I believe some do. Other wise Putin was very affective and Tucker not really so much.

    So much ado about so very little substance.

    Thanks CN

  3. Rick Boettger
    February 13, 2024 at 09:53

    Thanks for pointing out the Ben Norton interview. I couldn’t find it at that link, but here: hxxps://twitter.com/BenjaminNorton/status/1756351434776584217

    This opened my eyes to the war-vs-China slant that indeed does ally all of MSM. I am so grateful for Consortium, Greenwald, and, now, Ben Norton as antidote to the vast wasteland of MSM. (NewsNation is actually trying to do balanced news, but nothing like the above.) Hilariously, Mika on Morning Joe recently castigated Fox for its PR on behalf of Trump. But MSNBC and CNN are even more extreme in their support of all things Dem, with the networks almost equally in the bag, along with NYT and Wash Post. I’d also like to thank the intelligence of this comments section, as the NYT letters sadly demonstrate why the NYT has become so extreme (on a very gentle report of the Hunter Biden investigation, of 635 online comments, 630 complained that the NYT shouldn’t have reported it at all).

  4. James White
    February 13, 2024 at 09:23

    The U.S. and Europe have been lying about the Ukraine war and the causes of the war for over two years now. This interview, more than anything else has called that bluff. Putin first got to the heart of what Ukraine is and what it means to Russia. The reasons stated by NATO for fighting this war have been exposed for the massive Psychological Operation that they are. NATO countries have become little more than a mean girls club. Where the pretty and popular girls prey on the weaker ones and bully them to despair. Note how the E.U. deals with Hungary. Through extortion to destroy them economically unless they succumb to the will of the Globalists and Greens. Poland was threatened in much the same way before the Ukraine war and the U.K. was punished before that for Brexit. The E.U. has descended into evil as power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Sunak, Macron and especially Scholz have been exposed for the cowards and weaklings they are by that pipsqueak woman Von der Leyen who has made herself into the Regent of all Europe with no consent whatsoever of the governed. Heads must roll in the elections this year across Europe as well as in the U.S.

  5. February 13, 2024 at 08:56

    Good summary. Some additional thoughts:

    Putin’s tale of the refusal to surrender by surrounded Ukrainian troops (in Russian: “Russians don’t surrender”) – a story I had not heard before – and his closing line about no one can separate the soul (paraphrase) were powerful examples to reinforce his historical overview.

    There is no US political that could come anywhere near this kind of thoughtful and nuanced political discourse.

  6. Riva Enteen
    February 13, 2024 at 07:53

    Let’s hope the interview has more of an effect than the ICJ ruling. Israel continues its genocide, giving the bird to the US and the Court. If facts are still relevant, Putin painted the picture that must be seen.

    • February 13, 2024 at 09:04

      I would say Israel is definitely flipping the bird to the court, but not to the US. After all, the US continues to send Israel money to commit murder. No matter what Biden and Blinken say, they are entirely complicit in the ongoing genocide through actions.

  7. Steve
    February 13, 2024 at 07:41

    To my mind, Carlson came across as shallow and lacking gravitas. He had plenty of time to prepare but didn’t manage to come up with anything meaningful. OTOH Putin was his usual interesting, competent, on the ball self. Good that he was able to speak directly to the West without MSM filtering but it was a bit like the case of the University professor versus the high school student. No contest.

    • Robert
      February 13, 2024 at 11:12

      So tell us the additional questions Carlson should have, in your opinion, asked? Additionally, you imply that some questions/topics were discussed that should not have been included. Tell us those also. As is, you come across as just a dime a dozen critic with no recommendations to improve “the product”.

      • Steve
        February 13, 2024 at 16:11

        Oliver Stone’s interviews with Putin were an example of how it should be done. As I said, IMO, Carlson came across as weak and lightweight, maybe an indication of the decline of competence in the MSM ! Only my opinion, sorry if it didn’t fit with your outlook.

  8. Carl Zaisser
    February 13, 2024 at 05:21

    In a way, if Vladimir Putin had given more of a bone to Carlson about the American journalist from the WSJ whose release he sought…even though it was rather pathetic that TC tried to make the argument that “he’s just a kid”, it might have bolstered the view of Carlson amongst those in the MSM now criticizing him. Not release the guy on the spot, but possibly promise to get more personally involved to move the process, that Putin made very clear was already in progress between intelligence agencies out of view where it should be, forward. The comment above which referred to Americans not reading history by H.L. Mencken in the 1920s are absolutely relevant today. And the bias of the MSM, which serves only power, was also described in detail over 100 years ago by Upton Sinclair in “The Brass Check…”. So, it was GOOD that Putin sought to lay out a detailed discussion…for the record, of course, because it is unlikely that the American public will read this interview and begin to wake from their slumber…of Russian history, and perhaps most importantly, of the history of NATO expansion. But there is much more to be said about all that. Putin just scratched the surface. People should begin with the six years of discussions between USSR/Russia, the EU, and the US between 1990 and 1996. The summaries from these discussions are all easily available in, ironically, our own US National Security Archives. Anyone reading them will want to know more about the winding story of NATO expansion that led from then up to February 2022. Here is Joshua Shifrinson’s long essay analyzing those early years in the 1990s: Deal or No Deal? The End of the Cold War and the U.S. Offer to Limit NATO Expansion: hxxps://direct.mit.edu/isec/article/40/4/7/12126/Deal-or-No-Deal-The-End-of-the-Cold-War-and-the-U

  9. TDillon
    February 12, 2024 at 22:56

    Considering the historical context in which this interview is situated, in my view this interview is a historic event.

    First, it provided an accurate, fairly compact account of the events leading to the current Ukraine conflict. In particular, it laid bare the absolute dishonesty of the US rulers. It will educate some Americans about this reality, and solidify this awareness in many more minds around the world. Thus it will lubricate the process of abandoning the Western hegemony.

    Second, it helped consolidate Putin’s role as one of the greatest statesmen of this era. His full-spectrum competence, his reasonableness, and his diplomatic approach help explain the extremely high regard in which he is held in Russia and much of the world.

    In contrast, the literally absurd responses of the Western mainstream media and politicians showed vividly the brainless depths of their corruption.

    • Robert
      February 13, 2024 at 11:20

      I will add by saying that almost every citizen of a Western country has said to himself “there is no way my guy could pull off a two hour interview” as well as Putin did. Speaking for myself, I know Joe Biden couldn’t do it, Joe Biden knows he couldn’t do it, and same for Biden’s handlers and American media. A two hour interview with Biden would be beyond disastrous for him and US standing in the world.

  10. WillD
    February 12, 2024 at 22:00

    I don’t think Putin made any effort to conceal his own ‘naïve acceptance of their trickery’, if anything he seemd to freely admit it.

    Personally, I think it was a good interview – any longer would have made it much harder to digest, and any shorter would have made it seem too superficial. Carlson, to his credit, allowed Putin to make his case without interuption or intereference – something which other western journalists would not have done.

    Putin didn’t say much that was new, that he hadn’t said before, but he did do a good job of laying out the context in which the Ukrainian conflict is taking place, and the long history of Western antagonism and provocation – all of it well documented and irrefutable. That was the whole point and purpose, and he succeeded.

    Nobody is surprised that the western media and politicians have had their little tantrums and melt-downs, and vainly attempted to discredit Putin, Carlson, and the interview. Rather than attempt to take it seriously and analyse what Putin said, they simply dismiss it as propaganda or lies – thus revealing their own biases and inability to do real jounralism.

  11. Robert
    February 12, 2024 at 21:57

    I think that both Putin and Carlson came out as winners. Putin for his intelligence, temperament, humor, and the inevitable favorable comparison to the bumbling, demented US President. The two losers are the Biden Administration and mainstream media both of whom have been relentlessly demonizing Putin for years. The picture they painted of Putin was shattered.

  12. Oregoncharles
    February 12, 2024 at 21:11

    It’s always worthwhile to hear what the other side has to say; in this, I disagree with the current (anti)intellectual fashion. So thanks to Carlson , of all people
    On the other hand, and reflecting on this article, there is no more reason to BELIEVE Putin than Biden or for that matter Trump. (There seems to be independent evidence of a peace agreement early in the war, which, to our eternal shame, the US blocked.) They are all warmongers and war criminals (Trump, as it happens, a little less than the other two).

    I’ve been following current affairs for about 55 years now. There is one great lesson, from all of that: they’re lying to us, because powerful people almost always have something to hide and usually a nefarious agenda.

    Consequently, the greatest use of discursive interviews like this one is when they’re unintentionally revealing. For instance, Putin’s half-hour history lesson, right at the beginning, may be illuminating – but it also supports the claim that he is trying to restore the Russian Empire. (An amusing response: hxxps://www.yahoo.com/news/mongolias-former-president-mocks-putin-124949878.html. It includes maps that show the extent of the Mongol empire, compared with the extent of Russia in about 1470. Russian history is indeed complicated. For one thing, there were actually two different Russias: Kievan, based in what is now Ukraine; and Muscovite, which originated in the tiny principality of Moscow. The Mongols came in between.)

    My own take is that there are shameless war mongers on both sides, and more than enough guilt to go around. Both Ukraine and NATO in fact severely provoked Russia; but at the same time, under international law there is simply no excuse for Russia’s invasion. Nor is this Putin’s first.

    • Jack WAUGH
      February 14, 2024 at 02:53

      What is your defense plan for ethnic Russians, since you don’t like Putin’s?

      • Rafael
        February 14, 2024 at 14:01

        Good question!

  13. J. Karter
    February 12, 2024 at 20:08

    This piece was a fair and honest take-away of major points of the interview. I applaud wholeheartedly the choice and chance to have heard and read the interview, and thank those who are casting a light on it. If we can never hear another side, how can our opinions even begin to form.

  14. February 12, 2024 at 18:13

    It is believed that Putin’s knowledge of history and geopolitics and his ability to recall them was impressive to watch” -Tucker-Putin interview is but a public relations exercise used by the Russian president to please to the West, to sell formatted image to the Americans. The first question that comes to mind is “which kind of history Putin is speaking about”? the answer to that question is Putin, a former KGB’s officer in East Germany was turned politician thanks to Boris Yeltsin, the man who transformed a global power, the USSR, into a mere US colony. As a mere politician whose job is to keep the power as long as possible, looking to please both to the anti communist West and the heirs of Gorbachev and Yeltsin, Putin is reciting only the Post Soviet revisionist and anti communist historiography and defamation of the real and genuine history of Russia from 1917 to 1991. In sum, Putin’s history is the real history that occurred between 1917 and 1991 but ideological and political history, a revisionist history similar to the revisionist history rewritten by the West comparing Hitler to Stalin, hailed as the man who defeated Nazism and liberated the European continent from the yoke of a racist and bloody regime, was depicted as a monster and even making the USSR responsible for the outbreak of the WWII. When we come to the geopolitics, one can say Russia in the post Soviet era ceased to be a global major player having its word in the world politics because the dreamed goal of United states to crush the USSR has been realized without Colour revolution nor atomic bomb by luring and deceiving the naïve Gorbachev by vague promises comparable to the Minsk agreements in 2015, stratagem used by the West to buy time and to strengthen neo nazi in Kiev 10 years ago. The evidence that Russia post Soviet ceased to be a major player in global politics, NATO’s expansion eastwards since 2004 whose member states were passed from 16 to 30 in 2022 and since 32. The second evidence that post Soviet Russia became insignificant player in global politics and geopolitics is the numerous Colour revolutions fomented by the United states and its European proxies aimed at regime change in the ex Soviet republics. The third evidence that post Soviet Russia era ceased to play key role in geopolitics is the advent of neo nazi regime in Ukraine without any reaction from the current Russian leadership. If Russia today escaped the fate reserved to the ex Yugoslavia, Iraq, Syria and Libya, it is thanks to the atomic bomb whose first production in 1949 was ordered by Stalin, a dissuasive weapon serving as a deterrent and counterweight to the US Manhattan project planning to wipe out 76 Soviet major cities following the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki on August 6 and 9, 1945. North Korea supported since its inception by the USSR learned the lesson by building and acquiring the atomic weapon as a powerful deterrent against US imperialism which was unfortunately not the case of ex-Yugoslavia, Iraq, Libya and Syria.

    • Michael G
      February 13, 2024 at 16:55

      The fourth evidence that Post Soviet Russia became an insignificant player in global politics is the fact the jackals went in and stole (privatized) everything that wasn’t nailed down.
      Russia is turning the franchise around though. Recent sanctions didn’t “reduce the ruble to rubble” as Von Der Leyen was hoping. The EU put through legislation yesterday to steal the interest on 200 billion in Russian assets they are holding as a last ditch effort. And they are probably going to steal the 200 billion outright in the near future. Have to give something back to said jackals jumping up and down about their losses in Russia. Pissed down the drain in the same way the 61 billion the Senate just approved to a lost war in Ukraine.

    • Rafael
      February 14, 2024 at 14:12

      I cannot agree. If the Russian Federation is the same doormat today as it was 30 years ago, then why don’t the Euro-American politicians praise Putin the same way they used to praise Gorbchev and Yel’tsin?

  15. Barbara
    February 12, 2024 at 18:13

    Looking back, knowing the end result from actions taken, what would Putin have done differently.
    Putin wanted to join the NATO. Would Russian have been admitted if instead of asking Clinton, had he publicly asked would Russian have been admitted.
    I would remind Putin, the US had missals in Turkey, and we never used them.

  16. February 12, 2024 at 18:06

    Excellent commentary, and we can only hope this interview is a catalyst moving us to greater world peace.

  17. bardamu
    February 12, 2024 at 17:18

    It is interesting that so much energy should go to evaluating Carlson at such a moment. The man runs risks to bring us voices that are prohibited and that he does not altogether agree with. It is strikingly unusual that he has learned some things, and that might be a study for another time. For now, let’s just thank him.

    What I see accomplished here is that a large Western audience got fairly palpable contact with a Russian point of view–that of the head of state. Amidst the current wave of censorship and fanciful propaganda, that is no small thing.

    Putin’s disillusionment with Western lies had been known to Westerners who had paid attention, but I have to wonder whether anyone at all expected the deep dive into eastern European ethnic history. Formally, this is not the way for a head of state to manipulate media, and I would have to expect that Mr. Putin knows this. His action only seems reasonable if one accepts that he might consider this history absolutely necessary to understand the crisis at hand, so that he had little choice but to undertake it.

    Perhaps this ought not be a surprising attitude: in general, one must understand history to understand the present, and few Westerners know much about the history of Ukraine. Surely this is a history with conflicting points of view and many analyses, like other histories, so even someone uninformed might choose to be skeptical about one thing or another, or at least to feel that one could not verify matters.

    Nonetheless, it ought to be obvious to even a broadly mainstream media audience that this man and this conflict have been grossly misrepresented to them. This is a fairly predictable result of even the beginnings of relatively open media exposure. And that, presumably, is what all the censorship and threats of sanctions are about.

  18. Vera Gottlieb
    February 12, 2024 at 17:00

    Bravo Putin!!! He spoke about some very inconvenient truths and in so doing bared the Anglo/Saxon asses of evil’s hypocrisy.

  19. William Flowers
    February 12, 2024 at 16:51

    I suppose you could argue naiveness on Putin’s part from one angle. But the ending results from the actions of the west overwhelmingly weigh in favor of Putin. In regards to the fact that those actions once again serve as cementing the repetitive untrustworthy atmosphere of the west. That decision of Putin probably also saved 10s of thousands of lives considering the actions that followed in Bucha of the fascist. Obviously, no one’s live has worth to these people other than servitude to their ideology and current agenda to satisfy the west. The free ride ends without it. The common practice in the newly regions of the Russian Federation is to kill and destroy as many and as much as possible as they retreat. I think it’s fair to say the same scenario would have played out in Kiev and surrounding areas also. Who’s to say this might not have been a goal of Putin’s?

    Relative to a comment above. I take articles like this and add my own commentary to them in an online Agnostic community. Getting particular people to observe the interview has been difficult. The length is an obvious issue. Video being the other. The two aspects are a collision with cognitive dissonance that already exist in which republican supporters can be added to. I’ve found it hard to get people to view video news as it is, let alone long versions of videos of this length. The other underlining problem is Putin, Carlson, and RT. A vast majority of democratic supporters won’t touch it due to the interviewer, Putin, and the relationship with RT. So, whatever angle you attempt to deliver it from, it becomes difficult to build exposure of it.

    That just made me think of another issue. While your news site is so relevant towards exposing information we find hard to find and get out to others, you also share news from other independent sites I follow. Yet never anything from RT. They have great talk shows and a great live news network that delivers a completely different realistic view of worldly political issues that we’ll never see in western medias. It would be nice to also see you independent news sites help us get the messages from those great journalists and vast number of scholars seen there from around the world giving their insights also. Are we not better as a united force that includes them also?

  20. hetro
    February 12, 2024 at 16:20

    Another achievement was presentation of Putin, the person. Strong presence. Irony and dignity. Humor. Brain. No ad hominem, no bullshit.

    Contrasts: Biden, Blinken, Kirby, HRC—THEY are the useful idiots. One wants to issue a loud horse-laugh into their faces.

  21. JonnyJames
    February 12, 2024 at 16:11

    What is not being talked about much: Putin also called out Carlson’s ignorance and warmongering hypocrisy regarding China. TC is a bait-and-switch conman who supported the neocon war on Iraq, supports siege warfare on Venezuela, supports Israel and…

    Ol’ ‘ucker would rather the US bomb China, and Iran (Allies of Russia). He (like his narcissist buddy, DT) thus supports destroying Russia’s key allies. With friends like that, who needs…

    I’m sure I’m not the only one to notice the double-standards, and contradictory policy preferences. Carslon’s background and wealth are worth checking out as well, for some context.

    Sorry, I can’t fawn over a dude who wants to bash China, Iran and support Israel. He is acting as the spokesperson for the controlled opposition. His warmongering hypocrisy, elitism, ignorance and cowardice is just as bad as John Bolton and the rest of the so-called neocons. His reported wealth is in the 10s of millions, maybe in the 100s of millions, I wonder where his money is invested? Does he put his money where…? He is fine with others getting killed, while he makes a killing.

    The interview did have a couple of positives: it demonstrated that Vladimir Putin does not support Carslon’s buddy, DT, and that he is far more informed and intelligent than the makeup/coiffured Carlson.

    Despite the all the publicity and praise for TC, he supports the status-quo and will tell everyone to support the other senile, kakistocrat-freak that our “democracy” shoves in our faces.

    • Steve
      February 13, 2024 at 16:21

      I laughed out loud when Putin mentioned Carlson’s CIA ambitions. Does beg the question is he an asset.

      • JonnyJames
        February 14, 2024 at 11:55

        Yes, some might say that, but I couldn’t possibly comment. ;-)

  22. Carolyn/Cookie out west
    February 12, 2024 at 16:10

    Thank you Tony Kevin for your article. Carlson risked his life to do this interview. Unfortunately, but not surprising, the MSM was not at all interested in any mention of peace negotiations. War-mongering continues in the U.S. I think Carlson has a naive, almost dare I say child-like, faith that hearing the other side of issues, especially re: war and peace, that people will listen and be open to change. Sadly Russophobia is entrenched in U.S. and Allies, like a disease. May peace prevail.

  23. Susan Siens
    February 12, 2024 at 15:33

    Unlike Sarah Gainsford of the BBC, my partner and I are very interested in history and have been watching the interview in parts, two hours being too long to watch in one session. You cannot expect anyone who works for STATE MEDIA in the West to say anything sensible, to listen to a long interview, to do some reading, to inform themselves. They are told what to say and their careers shoveling shit on the public are the only thing that matters to them.

    • Charles E. Carroll
      February 12, 2024 at 16:57

      Well said!

    • Gordon Hastie
      February 13, 2024 at 05:18

      They get paid very well for shoveling shit, even BBC hacks such as Gainsford these days. After all, if they ever had ambitions to be be journalists they’ve clearly been bribed to throw them on the funeral pyre.

    • Curmudgeon
      February 13, 2024 at 15:18

      It’s good that you are interested in history, as am I. I watched the interview, and while good, I noted that Putin, in his “history” lesson, left out some important points in order to retain his “Nazi” narrative. I live in a Western Canadian city with a large “Ukrainian” population. They first arrived in the 1890s, and my parents’ generation, born in the early 1900s called them “Galicians” the area they were from. There is an important history that is glossed over, but provides enormous context. I grew up, and had summer jobs, with Ukrainians, Poles, Germans, and others. Some were school and sports friends. Among the “Ukrainians” here as in Ukraine, there have always been a split between those who wanted to assimilate, and those who drew the inspiration of their philosophy from Taras Shevchenko, the “storied Ukrainian poet and nationalist”. Those people still exist here today. Some of those I grew up with, while proud of their heritage (as they should be) had parents that wanted no part of the “old country”, while others were living in Ukraine physically located in Western Canada. While there was emigration from Eastern Europe 1910-1920, there was another massive wave in the 1920s, during the Russian civil war, which continued in the former Austrian, Hungarian, and German territories handed to the USSR post WWI. Tens of thousands, including Mennonites fled those areas. Many had fought against the Soviets and escaped. Again, these people spit in ideology, but all, including Mennonites were, virulently anti-Communist. For the Ukrainians, Jews, and Russians were synonyms for Communist. The “Shevchenko” group have a closed Credit Union, and are enormously successful politically, and quite frankly don’t get along with any other “ethnic group”. As an aside, there were “Slava Ukraina” t-shirts here back in the late 70s.

      In the interview, Putin acknowledges that “Ukrainian nationalism” started in the 19th century and that Bandera was only the latest of many. He even acknowledges that the collaboration was to free themselves from “Russia”, except in the “Ukrainian” mindset, Russian=Communist=Jew. He glosses over the Holomodor, which I first learned about in the late 1950s from a friends parents. Putin goes directly back to “Nazi”, as if Ukrainians could have no anger about being handed over to communists whom they fought, then proceeded to starve to death millions of family, friends and neighbours. Gosh! why weren’t those “Nazis” happy being “Russians”? The SS was the vehicle for these crazies, not the ideology.

      In the 1960s I worked summer jobs in a factory filled with immigrants from all over Europe. Most had come post WWII. None of them talked about “Russians”, including the Poles and Hungarians. Some were combatants against the Soviets. All of them referred to “Communists”. They, similar to the Ukrainians, saw communists=Russians, but not Jews. Putin blows all of this off as “Nazis killing Russians” not other nationalist groups fighting communists. That includes his ridicule of the Canadian government for inviting a “Nazi” to hear Zelensky speak, although I suspect he doesn’t really like Zelensky, a native Russian speaking Jew. I don’t support the Canadian government’s involvement in NATO. I understand why the crazies in Ukraine hate “Russians”, but they aren’t “Nazis”. I also understand that Russia had to act to save the Russians in Donbas from the crazies armed and trained by NATO for the 2014 coup d’état. It’s much more complicated than Putin will admit publicly.

      • Harbinger
        February 14, 2024 at 02:33

        So, if Galicia was historically nationalistic and anti-Russian, how can there be an expectation of an unbiased history from anecdotal accounts of the Ukrainian diaspora in a Western country?
        E.g.: « Holodomor» or starvation affected many regions of former USSR and former republics, including Ukraine (as did raskulachivanie and repressions). It is revisionist history to say that “Russia” did it to “Ukraine.” Same with “fighting communism” – these were internal supranational struggles, (so, people were pro and against communism across the USSR) – now being re-written as “imperialistic” to support the revisionist narrative of the “Russian empire.” Or retold by those escaping Stalinist and following regimes as if it was done on behalf of “Russia” (fyi – Stalin wasn’t even “Russian”). In contrast, Nazis led the war of extermination against Slavs and Jews. Nearly 30 mil Slavs died fighting them, again, across the USSR (which now is not mentioned at all, as it’s all about Holocaust, tho both happened). And it was the Soviet army that freed those republics from Nazism (and prisoners of concentration camps including Jews). Grew up there, heard the stories from those who fought (of many nationalities). There was gratefulness. Celebration. Unity. Brotherhood. Hence, unlike the West, Russia did not forget the war and the sacrifices. I wish you learned your Eastern European history from more than a handful of immigrants with Galicians roots who immigrated during hard times and turned their hatred towards Russia (or assimilated with the Western Ryssiphobia).

        • Rafael
          February 14, 2024 at 14:26

          Excellent, thoughtful comment!

  24. Rubicon
    February 12, 2024 at 13:14

    First of all, we listened to Putin explaining a little of Russian/East European history. We found it illuminating and very helpful. But we know that the vast majority of Americans do NOT read history, most especially Asian nor even European history. This is especially true of today.
    H.L. Mencken noted this fact as long ago as the 1920s. Even then he depicted American citizens as backward and illiterate.

    Secondly, it was striking that Putin spoke about the CIA because he knew Tucker Carlson had wanted to join the CIA. Turns out, Carlson’s father headed the psyop “Voice of America” for many years. Tucker’s father’s right-wing ideology, heavily influenced the young Mr. Carlson. Where has this influence led Tucker: for several years on Fox his toxic animous against China was writ large several times. Add all these influences together, you end up putting the puzzle pieces together: behind his likeable facade, you learn he’s in the league of Right-Wing ideologies. Very similar to Trump’s beliefs. After all, who helped stage manage his first election……none other than Steve Bannon.
    We thank Putin for revealing who Tucker really is.

    • Philip Reed
      February 12, 2024 at 16:28

      If being “ right -wing” has enabled Carlson to develop an appreciation for actually listening to the Russian side of history and against the lies and deceit of the collective west when it comes to all things Ukraine/ Russia then by all means bring on the “ big reveal “ of Tucker Carlson.
      Quite frankly your conflation of Tucker and Bannon is quite puzzling . If you’ve been following Tucker closely these past three to five years you should have noticed that he’s not a big fan of US foreign policy and is quick to call out Republicans and Democrats equally depending on the issue du jour. Two things got him fired from Fox. His views on Covid and mRNA vaccines and his opposition to the Ukraine narrative. And the coup de grace was calling out Big Pharma in general, Pfizer in particular, on his final Friday broadcast . That was Fox’s number one sponsor. His integrity in the face of all that
      deserves our respect as does his new venture into the world of independent journalism and media.
      Respect that you clearly feel he doesn’t deserve. Of course you’re welcome to your opinion.

    • Michael G
      February 12, 2024 at 19:09

      It doesn’t matter what Tucker’s ideology is. He didn’t talk for the most part. And there is no “Right” or “Left” wing. Partisanship is just one big happy warmongering family.
      The interview was directed at the “vast majority of Americans” who take their news from Main Stream outlets, and who Putin wouldn’t let near him.
      Putin didn’t say much new. Alexander, on “The Duran” did point out that, in addition to the Ukrainians, the French and Germans were part of the Istanbul Accords in March 2022. And when Putin pulled back from Kiev as a gesture of goodwill, all three of them were responsible for throwing the agreement in the trash.
      My favorite part of the agreement that away was the outlawing of Nazism on a “legislative level”. That would have axiomatically meant the outlawing of Zionism, and stopping the ongoing genocide in Gaza. But how could we have that, the government would have had to throw itself in jail.

      • hetro
        February 13, 2024 at 09:48

        I think it does matter, because his past does at least suggest the possibility that current perception of him as radicalized hero could be mistaken. So perhaps we should be cautious on being swept along into hero worship here. What speaks on itself as fact is the interview and what was said and what was suggested. As example, again I refer to the “boogie man” moment, with Putin’s grin and irony following Tucker’s bringing up China. Is Tucker climbing out from the American obsession with China as an enemy, and being consistent on this consideration with other of his apparent views of the moment? I suggest we continue critical regard. Possibly Ben Norton’s comment on Tucker, his warning, is outdated and we have someone to seriously consider as a new leader, possibly a new president. I say possibly on this. We do know, absolutely, that Tucker is a patriot and advocate of the constitution.

        To the end of thinking further note this interview with Tucker yesterday reported by RT. Again, Tucker the Valiant is shining through here:


      • Tim N
        February 13, 2024 at 10:48

        There most certainly is a left wing and a right wing. The right wing consists of the entire political class and their media servants. There is not a single bonafide leftist in the Congress–not one! And yes, I’m including the Squaddies and Sanders. They’re liberals who do as they’re told.

  25. hetro
    February 12, 2024 at 13:07

    Assessing Tucker Carlson is another consideration of this moment, how it relates to the new MAGA campaign, and Carlson’s possible role in a new Trump administration. At the moment he is being applauded on the one hand and villified on the other. On its own merits the interview was valuable and did succeed as a profound event. Also, as one commenter in Russia Today noted, it brought attention to a highly visible challenge of MSM allegiance to The Official Narrative.

    Still, where Carlson is now in his professional evolution, from his previous fixity as Right Wing at Fox News to his new heroic status, is also worth consideration.

    So, to this end, and with thanks! to the CN commenter who brought this link out the other day, this commentary by Ben Norton is interesting and worth considering.


    • Michael G
      February 12, 2024 at 19:15

      Does not matter what Tucker’s ideology is. Assessing Tucker is not “another consideration of this moment” The interview was directed at the people who only take their news from MSM and who haven’t had a chance to hear anything from anyone except the Ministry of Truth.

    • Nyah
      February 12, 2024 at 21:52

      Thank you for the suggestion to watch Ben Norton’s analysis of Carlson. Consortium News needs to publish an accompanying article of it.

    • Carl Zaisser
      February 13, 2024 at 06:28

      I listened to the Ed Norton commentary you cited. It’s frightening how difficult it is to truly get perspective on all the nuances involved here about what Carlson is up to. That said, I’ve been living in Europe a long time, never watch CNN anymore, or Fox News, so I missed a lot of the stuff that Norton brings up. It all makes good sense. Thanks for posting it. I am going to post the link to my FB groups. I wonder what Glenn Greenwald would have to say about this angle on Tucker. I might try to get him the link and seek a comment.

      • nwwoods
        February 13, 2024 at 12:05

        That would be *Ben* Norton, not Ed(ward) Norton, the screen actor. No disrespect intended.

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