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Vladimir Putin rants about Ukraine in Tucker Carlson interview: Live

Putin calls Ukraine an ‘artificial state shaped at Stalin’s will’

Former Fox News host Tucker Carlson released his interview with Russian President Vladimir Putin, who started with a long diatribe on Russian history and its relationship with Ukraine.

The two-hour, seven-minute interview was recorded on 6 February and released in full shortly before 6pm ET on Thursday. Carlson travelled to Moscow for Putin’s first interview with a Western media figure since the invasion of Ukraine began in February 2022.

Putin repeated his argument that Ukraine wasn’t a real country which was shaped by the “will” of Soviet leader Josef Stalin.

When Carlson requested that jailed Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich be allowed to return to the US with Carlson and his crew as a show of “goodwill” from Putin, the Russian leader said that his “goodwill” had run out, complaining about the lack of reciprocity from the West.

Asked why he doesn’t call President Joe Biden and work out a solution in Ukraine, Putin asked: “What’s there to work out?”

“Stop supplying weapons and it will be over within weeks,” he added.

Putin also claimed that peace talks had at one point “reached a very high stage of coordination of positions … they were almost finalized”.

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Reaction: ‘Tucker didn’t ask a single hard question’

The BBC’s John Simpson offered a withering put down of Tucker Carlson’s interview with Vladimir Putin.

The highly regarded correspondent and TV presenter posted on X, formerly Twitter, that the former Fox News host didn’t ask the Russian president “a single hard question”.

He added that he allowed Mr Putin to “drone on” and that was why the Kremlin didn’t allow “someone serious” to do the interview.”

Joe Middleton9 February 2024 13:15

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VIDEO: Putin says it would be ‘understandable’ if Hungary annexed parts of Ukraine

Putin says it would be ‘understandable’ if Hungary annexed parts of Ukraine

The Independent9 February 2024 13:00

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Tucker Carlson met Edward Snowden and Biden accuser Tara Reade in Moscow, report says

Tucker Carlson met with NSA leaker Edward Snowden while in Moscow, according to Semafor.

The former whistleblower featured heavily in Russian media before seeking more privacy in his family life.

Mr Snowden was initially granted asylum in Russia in 2013 after leaking a trove of classified National Security Agency (NSA) documents, and then was granted permanent resident status in Russia in 2020. That year, he announced his decision to seek duel citizenship, stating in a tweet that “after years of separation from our parents, my wife and I have no desire to be separated from our son.”

Joe Middleton9 February 2024 12:40

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Putin ‘can’t live without’ the West, Russian opposition leader says

Mikhail Khodorkovsky, an exiled Russian businessman, oligarch, and opposition leader, wrote in a thread on X that “everything Putin does has one goal – to keep him in power for as long as possible. That’s why he assassinates journalists, that’s why he invaded Ukraine – and it’s also why he let Tucker Carlson interview him”.

Putin jailed Khodorkovsky in 2003 on trumped-up charges and confiscated his oil company.

“As much as Putin and his propagandists might paint the West as public enemy number one in Russia, the truth is, he craves western attention and approval. Why? Because it gives him legitimacy at home,” Mr Khodorkovsky wrote on X on Thursday night. “Russians might be taught to despise the West, but at the same time, a lot of them still view Europe and the US as cultural role models. They watch western films, they buy western goods, they follow western sports teams.”

“So, when a prominent westerner says something complimentary about Putin, this holds a lot of weight among the Russian public, and it contributes to Putin’s approval ratings. And Putin knows it,” he added.

Gustaf Kilander9 February 2024 12:00

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Watch: Putin calls Ukraine an ‘artificial state shaped at Stalin’s will’

Putin calls Ukraine an ‘artificial state shaped at Stalin’s will’

Joe Middleton9 February 2024 11:40

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Putin equates jailed US journalist to ‘FSB professional killer’, reporter says

Gustaf Kilander9 February 2024 11:00

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Who is Vadim Krasikov? The man whose exchange could lead to Evan Gershkovich release

President Vladimir Putin said that Russia stands ready to negotiate a potential prisoner exchange that would free Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich, who was detained last March on espionage charges he denies, and hinted that Moscow wants the release of its agent imprisoned in Germany.

Asked by Tucker Carlson whether Russia would release Gershkovich, Mr Putin said Moscow is open to talks but repeated that the reporter was charged with espionage.

“There is no taboo on settling this issue,” Mr Putin said. “We are ready to solve it but there are certain conditions that are being discussed between special services. I believe an agreement can be reached.”

He pointed to a man imprisoned in a “US-allied country” for “liquidating a bandit” who killed Russian soldiers during the fighting in the Caucasus: “He put our soldiers taken prisoners on a road and then drove a car over their heads. There was a patriot who liquidated him in one of the European capitals.”

Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich, right, is escorted from the Lefortovsky court in Moscow, Russia

(AP)

Mr Putin didn’t mention names, but he appeared to refer to Vadim Krasikov, a Russian serving a life sentence in Germany after being convicted of the 2019 brazen daylight killing of Zelimkhan “Tornike” Khangoshvili, a 40-year-old Georgian citizen of Chechen ethnicity.

German judges who convicted Krasikov said he had acted on the orders of Russian federal authorities, who provided him with a false identity, a fake passport and the resources to carry out the hit.

The Wall Street Journal reaffirmed in a statement that Gershkovich “is a journalist, and journalism is not a crime,” adding that “any portrayal to the contrary is total fiction.” “We’re encouraged to see Russia’s desire for a deal that brings Evan home, and we hope this will lead to his rapid release and return to his family and our newsroom,” it said.

Namita Singh9 February 2024 10:20

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‘This is how democracies die,’ says former Belgium prime minister

Tucker Carlson’s interview is the “best thing that ever happened” to Vladimir Putin, says Belgium’s former prime minister Guy Verhofstadt, as he lashed out at the former Fox News presenter.

“America tomorrow will suffer from having him spreading lies unchallenged and unfiltered. This is how democracies die.”

Namita Singh9 February 2024 10:07

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Putin claims Ukraine peace deal was blocked by Boris Johnson

Gustaf Kilander9 February 2024 10:00

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Putin urges US to push Ukraine to talks

Russian president Vladimir Putin used an interview with former Fox News host Tucker Carlson to urge Washington to recognise Moscow’s interests and persuade Ukraine to sit down for talks.

Most of the interview focused on Ukraine, where the war is nearing the two-year mark. Mr Putin repeated his claim that his invasion of Ukraine, which Kyiv and its allies described as an unprovoked act of aggression, was necessary to protect Russian speakers in Ukraine and prevent the country from posing a threat to Russia by joining Nato.

Mr Putin pointed at Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky’s refusal to conduct talks with the Kremlin. He argued that it’s up to Washington to stop supplying Ukraine with weapons and convince Kyiv, which he called a US “satellite,” to sit down for negotiations.

“We have never refused negotiations,” Mr Putin said. “You should tell the current Ukrainian leadership to stop and come to a negotiating table.”

Putin’s forces have seized large swathes of land from Ukraine since the invasion of February 2022, as well as annexing the entire Crimean peninsula earlier in 2014. Kyiv has said it will not engage in any peace talks that involve giving up parts of its sovereign territory.

Namita Singh9 February 2024 09:40


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