Last week, Tucker Carlson traveled to Rusia to interview President Vladimir Putin. This sent the left into hysterics – some of whom have called for the journalist to face sanctions, or worse.
Prior to the interview – which can be seen right now in its entirety at tuckercarlson.com, Carlson explained that it’s his job as a journalist “to inform people,” as “most Americans are not informed” as to what’s happening in Ukraine.
To that end, let’s get into it.
Tucker starts the interview by asking Putin why he invaded Ukraine, “and the answer we got shocked us.”
Putin proceeded to delve into the history of Ukraine, going back to the middle-ages. Tucker pushed back, saying “I’m not sure why it’s relevant to what happened two years ago,” to which Putin continued with the history lesson.
“But why didn’t you make this case for the first 22 years as president, that Ukraine wasn’t a real country?” Tucker asked.
“The Soviet Union was given a great deal of territory that had never belonged to it, including the Black Sea region. At some point when Russia received them as an outcome of the Russo Turkish wars, they were called New Russia or another Russia. But that does not matter. What matters is that Lenin, the founder of the Soviet state, established Ukraine that way,” Putin replied. “For decades, the Ukrainian Soviet Republic developed as part of the USSR. And for unknown reasons, again, the Bolsheviks were engaged in Ukrainization.”
The trigger for the Ukraine war: “Initially, it was the coup in Ukraine that provoked the conflict… They launched the war in Donbas in 2014 with the use of aircraft and artillery against civilians. This is when it all started.”
Getting to the meat of the Ukraine war, Putin told Carlson that “The former Russian leadership assumed that the Soviet Union had ceased to exist and therefore there were no longer any ideological dividing lines. Russia even agreed voluntarily and proactively to the collapse of the Soviet Union, and believed that this would be understood by the so-called civilized West as an invitation for cooperation and association.”
“We were promised no NATO to the east, not an inch to the east, as we were told. And then what? They said, well, it’s not enshrined on paper, so we’ll expand.”
“That is what Russia was expecting, both from the United States and this so-called collective West as a whole. There were smart people, including in Germany, Egon Bahr, a major politician of the Social Democratic Party, who insisted in his personal conversations with the Soviet leadership on the brink of the collapse of the Soviet Union, that they knew security systems should be established in Europe. Help should be given to unified Germany, but a new system should be also established to include the United States, Canada, Russia and other Central European countries. But NATO needs not to expand. That’s what he said. If NATO expands, everything would be just the same as during the Cold War, only closer to Russia’s borders. That’s all. He was a wise old man, but no one listened to him. In fact, he got angry once. If, he said, you don’t listen to me, I’m never setting my foot in Moscow once again. Everything happened just as he had said.”
The state of negotiations:
Vladimir Putin: I already said that we did not refuse to talk. We’re willing to negotiate. It is the western side, and Ukraine is obviously a satellite state of the US. It is evident. I do not want you to take it as if I am looking for a strong word or an insult. But we both understand what is happening. The financial support. 72 billion U.S. dollars was provided. Germany ranks second, then other European countries come. Dozens of billions of U.S. dollars are going to Ukraine. There’s a huge influx of weapons. In this case, you should tell the current Ukrainian leadership to stop and come to a negotiating table, rescind this absurd decree. We did not refuse.
Tucker: Sure, but you already said it. I didn’t think you meant it is an insult because you already said correctly, it’s been reported that Ukraine was prevented from negotiating a peace settlement by the former British Prime Minister acting on behalf of the Biden administration. So, of course they’re a satellite. Big countries control small countries. That’s not new. And that’s why I asked about dealing directly with the Biden administration, which is making these decisions, not President Zelensky of Ukraine.
Vladimir Putin: Well if the Zelensky administration in Ukraine refused to negotiate, I assume they did it under the instruction from Washington. If Washington believes it to be the wrong decision, let it abandon it. Let it find the delicate excuse so that no one is insulted. Let it come up with a way out. It was not us who made this decision. It was them. So let them go back on it. That is it. However, they made the wrong decision. And now we have to look for a way out of this situation to correct their mistakes. They did it, so let them correct it themselves. We support this.
Tucker: So I just want to make sure I’m not misunderstanding what you’re saying. I don’t think that I am. I think you’re saying you want a negotiated settlement to what’s happening in Ukraine.
Vladimir Putin: Right. And we made it. We prepared the huge document in Istanbul that was initialed by the head of the Ukrainian delegation. He had fixed his signature to some of the provisions, not to all of it. He put his signature and then he himself said, we were ready to sign it, and the war would have been over long ago. 18 months ago. However, Prime Minister Johnson came, talk to us out of it and we missed that chance. Well, you missed it. You made a mistake. Let them get back to that. That is all. Why do we have to bother ourselves and correct somebody else’s mistakes? I know one can say it is our mistake. It was us who intensified the situation and decided to put an end to the war that started in 2014, in Donbas. As I have already said by means of weapons. Lt me get back to furthering history. I already told you this. We were just discussing it. Let us go back to 1991, when we were promised that NATO would not expand to 2008, when the doors to NATO opened to the Declaration of State Sovereignty of Ukraine, declaring Ukraine a neutral state. Let us go back to the fact that NATO and U.S. military bases started to appear on the territory, Ukraine creating threats to us. Let us go back to coup d’etat in Ukraine in 2014. It is pointless, though, isn’t it? We may go back and forth endlessly, but they stopped negotiations. Is it a mistake? Yes. Correct it. We are ready. What else is needed?
Watch Putin explain that he had a signed peace deal (before BoJo arrived) here:
— Michael Smith 🇺🇸 Ceo of nothing. (@Shotgunhunter1) February 8, 2024
On the negotiation process and its failure: “There have been [talks] they reached a very high stage of coordination of positions in a complex process, but still they were almost finalized. But after we withdrew our troops from Kiev… the other side threw away all these agreements.”
On his last conversation with Joe Biden: “Well, yes, he funds, but I talked to him before the special military operation, of course… I believe that you are making a huge mistake of historic proportions by supporting everything that is happening there, in Ukraine, by pushing Russia away.”
On the possibility of global conflict: “It goes against common sense to get involved in some kind of a global war and a global war will bring all humanity to the brink of destruction.”
On the concept of de-nazification: “De-nazification… means the prohibition of all kinds of neo-Nazi movements… We have to get rid of those people who maintain this concept and support this practice and try to preserve it.”
On Russia’s territorial ambitions: “We simply don’t have any interest [in Poland, Latvia, or anywhere else]. It’s just threat mongering.”
Elon Musk and Neuralink
Putin then suggested that Elon Musk is unstoppable, saying “He will do as he sees fit. Nevertheless, you’ll need to find some common ground with him. Search for ways to persuade him. I think he’s a smart person. I truly believe he is. So you’ll need to reach an agreement with him because this process needs to be formalized and subjected to certain rules. Humanity has to consider what is going to happen due to the newest development in genetics or in AI? One can make an approximate prediction of what will happen.”
On the Nord Stream explosion: “People always say in such cases, look for someone who is interested. But in this case, we should not only look for someone who is interested, but also for someone who has capabilities… Who is interested and who is capable of doing it?”
Tucker: “Who blew up Nord Stream?” Putin: “You for sure.” Tucker: “I was busy that day. I did not blow up Nord Stream.” Putin: “You personally may have an alibi, but the CIA has no such alibi.“
On presenting evidence of NATO’s involvement: “In the war of propaganda, it is very difficult to defeat the United States because the United States controls all the world’s media… We can simply shine the spotlight on our sources of information and we will not achieve results.”
On Germany’s silence regarding Nord Stream: “Today’s German leadership is guided by the interests of the collective West rather than its national interests.”
On global alliances and security: “Security should be shared rather than meant for the golden billion. That is the only scenario where the world could be stable, sustainable, and predictable.”
On the use of the US dollar as a political tool: “To use the dollar as a tool of foreign policy struggle is one of the biggest strategic mistakes made by the US political leadership.”
On the impact of sanctions and the shift away from the US dollar: “Even the United States allies are now downsizing their dollar reserves… It wasn’t us who banned the use of the US dollar. It was the decision of the United States to restrict our transactions in U.S. dollars.”
On the relationship with China: “China’s foreign policy philosophy is not aggressive. Its idea is to always look for compromise.”
On potential for change in US-Russia relations: “It is not about the personality of the leader. It is about the elites’ mindset, leader deal. If the idea of domination at any cost, based also on forceful actions, dominates the American society, nothing will change.”
On the nature of power in the US: “It is very difficult for us to sort it all out. Who makes decisions in the elections? Each state regulates itself… There are two parties that are dominant: the Republicans and the Democrats.”
On Christianity and violence: “It is very easy when it comes to protecting oneself and one’s family, one’s homeland. We won’t attack anyone… And we were protecting our people, ourselves, our homeland and our future.”
Tucker also asked about imprisoned WSJ reporter Evan Gershkovich:
Tucker: I just gotta ask you one last question. And that’s about someone who is very famous in the United States. Probably not here. Evan Gershkovich who’s the Wall Street Journal reporter. He’s 32. And he’s been in prison for almost a year. This is a huge story in the United States. And I just want to ask you directly, without getting into the details of it or your version of what happened, if, as a sign of your decency, you would be willing to release
him to us and we’ll bring him back to the United States.
Vladimir Putin: We have done so many gestures of goodwill out of decency that I think we have run out of them. We have never seen anyone reciprocate to us in a similar manner. However, in theory, we can say that we do not rule out that we can do that if our partners take reciprocal steps. When I talk about the partners, I first of all refer to special services. Special services are in contact with one another. They are talking about the matter in question. There is no taboo to settle this issue. We are willing to solve it but there are certain terms being discussed via special services channels. I believe an agreement can be reached.
Watch the full interview here on X:
Ep. 73 The Vladimir Putin Interview pic.twitter.com/67YuZRkfLL
— Tucker Carlson (@TuckerCarlson) February 8, 2024