Find in today’s article the key messages of Tucker Carlson’s interview with the president of Russia, Vladimir Putin, shot on February 6, 2024.
The interview took place in Moscow and was primarily about the war in Ukraine. Putin talked about how it started, what’s happening and, most presently, how it might end.
Putin on Ukraine’s statehood
At the beginning of the interview, Tucker Carlson asked the most obvious question: Why did you do this? Did you feel a threat, an imminent physical threat? What’s your justification? The answers, as Tucker said, shocked him.
Putin talked for a very long time, probably half an hour, about the history of Russia going back to the 8th century. The interviewer thought this was a filibustering technique and interrupted him several times. Even if Putin was annoyed by the interruption he took the discussion to the conclusion that it was not a filibustering technique. There was no time limit on the interview so they ended it after more than 2 hours instead.
Putin made a comprehensive historical presentation about how Ukraine was built after World War II as an “artificial state”:
After World War II Ukraine received in addition to the lands that had belonged to Poland before the war part of the lands that had previously belonged to Hungary and Romania so Romania and Hungary had some of their lands taken away and given to Soviet Ukraine and they remain part of Ukraine so in this sense we have every reason to affirm that Ukraine is an artificial state…Vladimir Putin on Ukraine as a state
Putin on Romanian and Hungarian territories taken by Ukraine after WW II
Putin referred to the Ukrainian soviet state as an artificial one by reminding Carlson that after WW II parts of Hungarian and Romanian territories were taken by the USSR and offered to the soviet Ukraine.
Tucker Carlson asked: Do you believe Hungary has a right to take its land back from Ukraine and that other nations have a right to go back to their 1654 borders? Putin replied: I’m not sure whether they should go back to the 1654 borders but given Stalin’s time, so-called Stalin’s regime, which as many claim saw numerous violations of human rights and violations of the rights of other states, one may say that they could claim back those lands of theirs while having no right to do that it is at least understandable.
Another question Carlson raised was about Putin’s invitation to other state chiefs to claim their part. At the question “Have you told Victor Orban that he can have part of Ukraine?” Putin replied, “I have never told him, not a single time. We didn’t even have any conversation on that but I know for sure that Hungarians who live there wanted to get back to their historical land.“
Putin on the so-called collapse of the USSR
Also, Putin referred to the so-called collapse of the USSR, which he believed was misunderstood by the American citizens.
First I think that the Russian leadership believed that the fundamentals of the relationship between Russia and Ukraine were a common language more than 90% of the population there spoke Russian. Family Ties Every third person there had some kind of family or friendship ties, common culture, common history, and finally common Faith, coexistence with a single state for centuries and deeply interconnected economies. All of these were so fundamental, that all these elements together make our good relationships inevitable. The second point is a very important one: I want you as an American citizen and your viewers to hear about this as well – 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. That is what Russia was expecting both from the United States and the so-called Collective West as a whole.Vladimir Putin on the so-called collapse of the USSR
Putin on the US refusal to accept Russia in NATO
Putin reiterated his discussion with Bill Clinton about Russia’s attendance to NATO.
I became president in 2000 I thought okay, the Yugoslav issue is over, but we should try to restore relations. Let’s reopen the door that Russia had tried to go through moreover, I said it publicly. I reiterated this at a meeting here in the Kremlin with the outgoing President Bill Clinton, right here in the next room. I asked him “Bill, do you think about the fact that Russia asked to join NATO? Do you think it would happen suddenly? He said – you know, it’s interesting, but in the evening when we met for dinner he said “you know I’ve talked to my team, no, it’s not possible now.”Vladimir Putin on the US refusal to accept Russia in NATO
Putin on Crimea issue
During the interview with Carlson, Putin explained why losing Crimea was a key point for Russia’s actions.
Without losing Crimea we would have never considered even lifting a finger if it hadn’t been for the bloody developments on maidan because we agreed with the fact that after the collapse of the Soviet Union, our borderers should be along the borders of former Union’s republics. We agreed to that, but we never agreed to NATO’s expansion and we never agreed that Ukraine would be in NATO. We did not agree to NATO bases there without any discussion with us for decades.Vladimir Putin on losing Crimea issue
Putin on Nazi ideology in Ukraine
Regarding the Ukrainian people, Putin talked about his concerns: “I say that Ukrainians are part of the one Russian people. They say, “No, we are a separate people.” Okay, fine if they consider themselves a separate people, they have the right to do so but not based on Nazism. The Nazi ideology.”
Putin on using nuclear weapons
Putin kept mentioning everyone’s fear of another World War or the possibility of using nuclear weapons.
Can you imagine a scenario where you send Russian troops to Poland? Only in one case: if Poland attacks Russia. Why? Because we have no interest in Poland, Latvia, or anywhere else. Why would we do that? We simply don’t have any interest. It’s just threat-mongering. Well, the argument I know, you know this is that, well, he invaded Ukraine, he has territorial aims across the continent, and you’re saying unequivocally you don’t. It is absolutely out of the question. You just don’t. To be any kind of analyst, 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. It’s obvious. There are certainly means of deterrence. They have been scaring everyone with us all along. “Tomorrow Russia will use tactical nuclear weapons.” “Tomorrow Russia will use that.” No, the day after tomorrow. So what? To extort additional money from us taxpayers and European taxpayers in the confrontation with Russia in the Ukrainian theatre, a war. The goal is to weaken Russia as much as possible.Vladimir Putin on using the nuclear weapons
Putin on cooperating with China
Another subject detailed by Putin was the relations with China.
We’re neighbours with China. You cannot choose neighbours just as you cannot choose close relatives. We share a border of a thousand kilometres with them. This is number one. Second, we have a centuries-long history of coexistence. We’re used to it. Third, China’s foreign policy philosophy is not aggressive. Its idea is to always look for compromise. And we can see that. The next point is as follows. We are always told the same Boogeyman story, and here it goes again through a euphemistic form, but it is still the same Boogeyman story. The cooperation with China keeps increasing. The pace at which China’s cooperation with Europe is growing is higher and greater than that of the growth of Chinese-Russian cooperation. Ask Europeans, aren’t they afraid? They might be, I don’t know, but they are still trying to access China’s Market at all costs, especially now that they are facing economic problems.Vladimir Putin on Russia’s cooperation with China
For those who want to watch the full interview, you can do that on Tucker Carlson’s channel.