Deciphering Putin’s ‘Obsessive Thoughts’ in Tucker Carlson Interview | News of the Russian-Ukrainian war
Russian President Vladimir Putin told conservative American journalist Tucker Carlson that ending Moscow’s nearly two-year-old invasion of Ukraine is “simple.”
In his first interview with a Western correspondent since the start of the all-out invasion of Ukraine two years ago, the Kremlin chose Carlson, the former Fox News star turned Internet commentator.
The reason is clear – Carlson has called the Russia-Ukraine war a “border dispute,” called on the Americans to cut off multibillion-dollar aid packages to Kiev, and likened Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to a “rat” and a “pimp.”
During the two-hour interview, which was taped in the Kremlin’s gilded-furnished audience hall, Carlson did not press Putin the way he is accustomed to confronting pro-Democrat guests on the Fox News show. Launched last year.
Putin’s goal seems clear – he wanted Carlson to urge Republicans to stop supporting Ukraine and focus on domestic problems.
“You have issues on the border, issues on immigration, issues on the national debt,” Putin told Carlson, who appeared naive and shy for most of their session. “You have nothing better to do, so should you fight in Ukraine? Wouldn’t it be better to negotiate with Russia?”
When Carlson asked if Putin could call US President Joe Biden to “come up with a solution,” Putin declined — but said the solution was “very simple.”
“If you really want to stop the fighting, you have to stop supplying weapons. It will end in a few weeks. That’s all. Then we can agree on some conditions,” he said.
Carlson did not even attempt to refute Putin’s bizarre and baseless claims.
One was Putin’s belief that elected leaders do not run the United States.
“So, you’ve twice described U.S. presidents making decisions and then having them undermined by the heads of their agencies. So, according to your story, it sounds like you’re describing a system that’s not run by the people who were elected,” Carlson said.
“That’s true,” Putin said without further clarification, and Carlson readily agreed.
Carlson called it “the largest act of industrial terrorism ever,” but did not deny Putin’s claim that the CIA allegedly blew up the pipeline — and provided no concrete evidence at all.
History lesson or tired metaphors?
Putin began the interview with a long lecture on the history of Eastern Europe, in which he reiterated the Kremlin’s manipulative view of Eastern Europe. Kievan Rusa medieval great power whose disintegration led to the emergence of today’s Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus.
Carlson seemed completely ignorant of the issue, and kept nodding in bewilderment when Putin told him about a Viking prince named Rurik, whose descendants ruled Kievan Rus. One of them, Prince Vladimir, converted to Orthodox Christianity a thousand years ago.
According to Putin’s logic, Russia was the only legitimate heir to Kievan Rus’, and the idea of Ukraine was itself “invented” by Tsarist Russia’s arch-rival, Austria.
“Before World War I, the Austrian General Staff relied on Ukrainian ideas and began to actively promote Ukrainian and Ukrainian ideas,” Putin said.
To Carlson’s audience and many people in the West, the lecture may seem boring and irrelevant.
But for Ukrainians, Putin’s interpretation of events is a dangerous and threatening reminder that the Kremlin denies Ukraine’s right to exist.
“Because all these tales about Prince Vladimir and Rurik should tell all skeptics only one thing, which is that this man has obsessive thoughts,” said Maria Kucherenko, of the Kiev-based charity Come Back Alive.
“And he will stop at nothing to make it real,” she told Al Jazeera.
Ukrainian officials and public figures who have met Putin face-to-face have long maintained that the Russian president is determined to subjugate and destroy Ukraine no matter what.
“He is tough and acts as if he has this almost divine power, with regard to Ukraine in particular,” Yuriy Vitrenko, who headed Naftogaz, the Ukrainian state energy company, at the time, told this reporter in 2021, recalling his meetings with Putin. .
Putin repeated his old claims that today’s Ukraine is an “artificial state” created by Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin, who annexed regions in Poland, Hungary and Romania and made them part of Soviet Ukraine.
Putin also suggested that Hungary, whose nationalist leader Viktor Orban remains the most pro-Russian leader within the European Union, “has the right to regain its territory.”
One observer compared Putin’s intention to the intentions of the Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler, who sparked World War II by annexing areas in Eastern Europe that were inhabited by people of German origin.
Nikolai Mitrokhin of the German University of Bremen told Al Jazeera: “I believe that the response to his Hitlerism by the elites in North America and Europe will be very harsh and will lead to more military aid to Ukraine.” “Here Putin worked to Biden’s advantage by trying to motivate Trump’s audience.”
For other Ukrainian observers, the interview offered little more than tired metaphors from the Kremlin.
“The only thing notable about this interview is the size of the table – it is small! The rest we have seen and heard many times,” Svetlana Chunykhina, vice president of the Association of Political Psychologists, a group in Kiev, told Al Jazeera.
“Tucker goddamn Carlson served very well as a mic stand for the crazed lunatic who rambled for two hours about how he loved killing Ukrainians.”
To a Russian observer, the interview is a Kremlin public relations stunt aimed at convincing ordinary Russians that Putin’s war has not turned their country into an international pariah state rejected by the West.
“They want to show that Russia is not facing the civilized world, but only the separate elites within it. It is about a kind of confirmation that there are other elites, and here is a well-known journalist interviewing… (Putin).”
“Once (these elites) win the elections, the West will admit that Russia is right,” he told Al Jazeera, referring to Donald Trump’s likely victory in the November presidential election and the recent success of several nationalist and far-right groups in the presidential elections in November. November. Europe.
The timing of the interview was crucial for Ukraine.
On Wednesday, Republicans blocked a much-needed multibillion-dollar aid package for Kiev — while Zelensky announced his highly contentious decision to fire the president. Valery Zaloznythe trusted and influential supreme leader.
However, for Ukrainian soldiers, the interview is only a sign of weakness.
“They are two losers trying to prop each other up, trying to express their conspiracy theories,” said Valentin, a Ukrainian drone operator stationed in the eastern region of Donetsk who watched parts of the interview on his mobile phone.
“They cannot face the truth about Ukraine, which is real and will prevail,” he told Al Jazeera by phone.
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