The Kremlin confirms that Tucker Carlson got an interview with Vladimir Putin

The Kremlin confirmed on Wednesday that Russian President Vladimir Putin conducted an interview with former Fox News anchor Tucker Carlson.

This is the first interview that Putin has conducted with a Western media personality since his comprehensive invasion of Ukraine two years ago.

Carlson posted a video from Moscow on Tuesday in which he said he would interview Putin. Carlson claimed that Western journalists had interviewed Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky several times but could not be “bothered” to interview the Russian president.

The interview will be published on Thursday, according to Justin Wells, president of programming at Carlson’s streaming network. It is not known what was said in the interview.

Russian President Vladimir Putin during a meeting in Moscow on Tuesday.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has significantly limited his contacts with international media since he launched war in Ukraine in February 2022. (Alexander Kazakov/AFP/Getty Images)

Putin has significantly limited his contacts with international media since he launched war in Ukraine in February 2022. Russian authorities have cracked down on the media, forcing some independent Russian media outlets to close, banning other media outlets and ordering a number of foreign correspondents to leave the country.

Russia has closed the Moscow office of CBC/Radio-Canada In May 2022.

Two journalists working for American news organizations – Evan Gershkovitch of The Wall Street Journal And Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty Alsou Kurmasheva – In prison on charges they reject.

Western journalists were invited to Putin’s annual press conference in December – his first since the war began – but only two had the opportunity to ask a question.

Why Tucker Carlson?

Dmitry Peskov, Putin’s spokesman, told reporters that Carlson was chosen for the interview because his “position is different” from other English-language media outlets.

Before his exit from Fox, Carlson repeatedly questioned the validity of US support for Ukraine in the wake of the Russian invasion, and questioned why Americans were being asked to hate Putin so much. His comments were often reported in Russian state-run media.

People walk on the edge of Red Square outside the Kremlin during heavy snowfall in Moscow on February 7, 2024.
People walk on the edge of Red Square outside the Kremlin during heavy snowfall in Moscow on Wednesday. (Natalia Kolesnikova/AFP/Getty Images)

In his video this week, Carlson denounced the “corrupt” US media for his “cheerleading sessions” with Zelensky, which he said were aimed at getting America into a war with Eastern Europe and paying the price for it.

Peskov also rejected Carlson’s suggestion that no Western journalists had submitted requests to interview Putin.

He said that the Kremlin received many requests from major Western television channels and newspapers, which he stressed “take a unilateral position.” Peskov said that Carlson’s position was “in no way pro-Russian nor pro-Ukraine, but pro-America.”

The Associated Press was among the media outlets that requested an interview with Putin.

“Does Tucker really think that we as journalists haven’t tried to interview President Putin every day since his all-out invasion of Ukraine?” CNN’s Christiane Amanpour He said on XPrevious Twitter.

“It’s ridiculous, we’ll keep asking for an interview, just like we’ve done for years now.”

BBC Russia editor Steve Rosenberg Sent a note to X saying His organization “submitted several requests” to the Kremlin For interviews with Putin over the past 18 months.

The interview will be published online

Carlson said in his video that the interview with Putin will be distributed for free on his website and on Channel X. Carlson, who was fired by Fox News in April, announced he would start his own streaming service in December.

Fox gave no explanation for firing Carlson, who was one of the highest-rated figures at the time.

Like many people who have left the network that is America’s most popular conservative media outlet, he has struggled to stay in the public eye.

Carlson He worked at Fox News for more than a decade He hosted a show in which he discussed conspiracy theories about Russia and the January 6 insurrection. On Wednesday, Russian official media covered Carlson’s visit extensively.

Vladimir Soloviev, one of Russia’s most famous TV presenters, said the interview would “break through the existing siege and narrative” in Western media that is focused, he said, on Putin’s “brutal and unprovoked invasion of Ukraine.”

Soloviev, whose show is often critical of Western media, said Carlson is “scary” because he does not fit that narrative.

(tags for translation)Moscow

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