YOU DECIDE: An In-depth Examination of the Tucker Carlson & Vladimir Putin Interview

Nick Kangadis | February 9, 2024
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The left have lost their minds over this. The establishment elite and globalists have lost their minds over this. The FACT of the matter is, it doesn’t matter how you feel about independent journalist Tucker Carlson or Russian President Vladimir Putin, journalism is journalism. And as someone with an honors degree in Journalism, THIS interview between Carlson and Putin was journalism at its finest.

In case you live under a rock, Carlson released his much anticipated and even more vilified interview with Putin on Thursday evening. The interview, as Carlson intimated, was held on Tuesday.

Opposition to this interview seems to hate it so much because its something out of their control — so much so, that you, the viewer, made your voices heard through the sheer number of viewers on multiple platforms.

It’s not clear how many viewers Carlson received on his website, but the numbers speak for themselves on platforms like X and YouTube. As of this writing, in an 18-hour timespan, about 7.4 million people have watched the video on Carlson’s YouTube channel alone — forget that the interview has been viewed many millions more times on other channels as well. As for X, as astounding 139.7 million accounts have viewed the interview. Now, those views might just be someone passing by it on their X feed, stopping for a couple of seconds and moving on. But, there aren’t very many videos on X that receive that amount of views, no matter the watch time.

As for the content of the interview itself, what I am about to present to you is most likely what no other outlet will provide for you. I took notes and timestamps along the way throughout the two-plus hour interview documenting information and context people might want to know, and I will simply provide you with the subject matter, or question, and answer in their full quote with the aforementioned timestamps.

No matter what anyone on the left, or the right for that matter, might say about this interview, I believe it is up to ALL OF YOU to decide for yourselves what to do and how to interpret the information and context given.

Related: Why So Scared? EU Members Want 'Travel Ban,' Sanctions on Tucker Carlson for Putin Interview

When it comes to true journalism, there’s only one thing you can do…think for yourself and come to conclusions based on the information given to the best of your understanding.

Before I get to absolute specifics, the first half hour or so of the interview is basically Putin giving a detailed, yet succinct history lesson of Russia and Ukraine pretty much up to present day.

Putin also mentioned the CIA a number of times during the first half of the interview, almost implying that they make a lot of the decisions for the U.S. on the international stage.

Another quick note is that Putin also invoked NATO throughout the interview, conveying that a lot of the escalation of matters over the years can be attributed to that group’s reneging on its once-upon-a-time promise that they would not advance its membership to basically encircle Russia. Putin noted that NATO did this five times.


(51:56) - Escalation into War

Carlson: Was there anyone for you to talk to? Do you call a U.S. president, Secretary of State, and say, ‘If you keep militarizing Ukraine with NATO forces we’re going to act?’

Putin: We talked about this all the time. We addressed the United States and European countries leadership to stop these developments immediately. To implement the Minsk agreements. But frankly speaking, I didn't know how we were going to do this. But I was ready to implement them. These agreements were complicated for Ukraine. They included lots of elements of those Donbas territories independence. That's true. However, I was absolutely confident. And I'm saying this to you now. I honestly believe that if we managed to convince the residents of Donbas and we had to work hard to convince them to return to the Ukrainian statehood, then gradually the wounds would start to heal. But when this part of territory reintegrated itself into a common social environment, when the pensions and social benefits were paid again, all the pieces would gradually fall into place. No, nobody wanted that. Everybody wanted to resolve the issue by military force only. But we could not let that happen. And the situation got to the point when the Ukrainian side announced, no, we will not do anything. They also started preparing for military action. It was they who started the war in 2014. Our goal is to stop this war. And we did not start this war in 2022. This is an attempt to stop it.

Carlson: Do you think you've stopped it now? I mean, have you achieved your aims?

Putin: No. We haven't achieved our aims yet because one of them is de-nazification. This means the prohibition of all kinds of neo-Nazi movements. This is one of the problems that we discussed during the negotiation process, which ended in Istanbul early this year. And it was not our initiative because we were told by the Europeans in particular that it was necessary to create conditions for the final signing of the documents. My counterparts in France, in Germany said, How can you imagine them signing a treaty with a gun to their heads? The troops should be pulled back from Kiev. I said, all right. We withdrew the troops from Kiev. As soon as we pulled back our troops from Kiev, our Ukrainian negotiators immediately threw all our agreements reached in Istanbul into the bin and got prepared for a long standing armed confrontation with the help of the United States and its satellites in Europe. That is how the situation has developed, and that is how it looks now.


(1:03:22) On communications with U.S. President Joe Biden

Putin: …the President of Ukraine has legislated a ban on negotiating with Russia. He signed a decree forbidding everyone to negotiate with Russia. But how are we going to negotiate if he forbade himself and everyone to do this? We know that he is putting forward some ideas about this settlement, but in order to agree on something, we need to have a dialog. Is that not right?

Carlson: Well, but you wouldn't be speaking to the Ukrainian president. You'd be speaking to the American president. When was the last time you spoke to Joe Biden?

Putin: Well, I cannot remember when I talked to him. I do not remember. We can look it up.

Carlson: [Chuckling] You don’t remember?

Putin: No. Why? Do I have to remember everything? I have my own things to do. We have domestic political affairs.

Carlson: Well, he's funding the war that you're fighting, so I would think that would be memorable.

Putin: Well, yes, he funds, but I talked to him before the special military operation, of course. And I said to him then, by the way, I will not go into details, I never do. But I said to him, then, 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. I told him, told him repeatedly, by the way, I think that would be correct if I stop here.

Carlson: What did he say?

Putin: Ask him, please, it is easier for you. You are a citizen of the United States. Go and ask him. It is not appropriate for me to comment on our conversation.

Carlson: But you haven't spoken to him since before February of 2022?

Putin: No, we haven't spoken. Certain contacts are being maintained, though.


(1:06:07) On the level of importance of having dialogue with Biden

Carlson: …from the outside, it seems like this could devolve or evolve into something that brings the entire world into conflict and could, um, initiate some nuclear launch. And so why don't you just call Biden and say, let's work this out.

Putin: What's there to work out? It's very simple. I repeat, we have contacts through various agencies. I will tell you what we are saying on this matter and what we are conveying to the US leadership. If you really want to stop fighting, you need to stop supplying weapons. It will be over within a few weeks. That's it. And then we can agree on some terms before you do that, stop. What's easier? Why would I call him? What should I talk to him about? Or beg him for what?

Carlson: And what messages do you get back?

Putin: ‘You were going to deliver such and such weapons to Ukraine. Oh, I'm afraid, I'm afraid. Please don’t.' What is there to talk about?


(1:07:17) On the threat of Russia invading other countries

Carlson: Do you think NATO is worried about this becoming a global war or a nuclear conflict?

Putin: At least that's what they're talking about. And they're trying to intimidate their own population with an imaginary Russian threat. This is an obvious fact. And thinking people, not philistines, but thinking people, analysts, those who are engaged in real politics, just smart people, understand perfectly well that this is a fake. They're trying to fuel the Russian threat.

Carlson: The threat I think you're referring to is a Russian invasion of Poland. Latvia. Expansionist behavior. Can you imagine a scenario where you send Russian troops to Poland?

Putin: 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.

Carlson: 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?

Putin:It is absolutely out of the question. You just don't have 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. In order to extort additional money from U.S. taxpayers and European taxpayers in the confrontation with Russia in the Ukrainian theater of war. The goal is to weaken Russia as much as possible.


(1:09:40) On U.S. politicians using rhetoric to fuel conflict

Carlson: One of our senior United States senators from the state of New York, Chuck Schumer, said yesterday, I believe, that we have to continue to fund the Ukrainian effort, or U.S. soldier citizens could wind up fighting there. How do you assess that?

Putin: This is a provocation and a cheap provocation at that. I do not understand why American soldiers should fight in Ukraine. They are mercenaries from the United States. They're the bigger number of mercenaries comes from Poland, with mercenaries from the United States in second place and mercenaries from Georgia in third place. Well, if somebody has the desire to send regular troops, that would certainly bring humanity to the brink of a very serious global conflict. This is obvious. Do the United States need this? What for? Thousands of miles away from your national territory. Don't you have anything better to do? You have issues on the border. Issues with migration, issues with the national debt. More than $33 trillion. You have nothing better to do. So you should fight in Ukraine. Wouldn't it be better to negotiate with Russia? Make an agreement. Already understanding the situation that is developing today, realizing that Russia will fight for its interests to the end. And realizing this actually a return to common sense, start respecting our country and its interests and look for certain solutions. It seems to me that this is much smarter and more rational.


(1:11:32) On who he thinks blew up the Nord Stream Pipeline

Carlson: Who blew up Nord Stream?

Putin: You, for sure.

Carlson: [Sarcastically] I was busy that day. I did not blow up Nord Stream. Thank you, though.

Putin: You personally may have an alibi, but the CIA has no such alibi.

Carlson: Do you have evidence that NATO or the CIA did it?

Putin: You know, I won't get into details, but 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, because there may be many people interested, but not all of them are capable of sinking to the bottom of the Baltic Sea and carrying out this explosion. These two components should be connected. Who is interested and who is capable of doing it?

Carlson: But I'm confused. I mean, that's the biggest act of industrial terrorism ever, and it's the largest emission of CO2 in history. Okay, so if you had evidence and presumably given your security services or Intel services, you would that NATO, the US, CIA, the West did this, why wouldn't you present it and win a propaganda victory?

Putin: In the war of propaganda, it is very difficult to defeat the United States because the United States controls all the world's media and many European media. The ultimate beneficiary of the biggest European media are American financial institutions. Don't you know that? So it is possible to get involved in this work, but it is cost prohibitive, so to speak. We can simply shine the spotlight on our sources of information and we will not achieve results. It is clear to the whole world what happened then. Even American analysts talk about it directly. It's true.


(1:17:28) On the global drawback of the use of the U.S. dollar as the world’s currency

Carlson: The U.S. dollar, which has kind of united the world, in a lot of ways, maybe not to your advantage, but certainly to ours. Is that going away as the reserve currency, the com the universally accepted currency? How have sanctions do you think changed the dollar's place in the world?

Putin: You know, to use the dollar as a tool of foreign policy struggle is one of the biggest strategic mistakes made by the US political leadership. The dollar is the cornerstone of the United States power. I think everyone understands very well that no matter how many dollars are printed, they're quickly dispersed all over the world. Inflation in the United States is minimal. It's about 3 or 3.4%, which is, I think, totally acceptable for the US. But they won't stop printing. What does the debt of $33 trillion tell us about? It is about the emission. Nevertheless, it is the main weapon used by the United States to preserve its power across the world. As soon as the political leadership decided to use the US dollar as a tool of political struggle, a blow was dealt to this American power. I would not like to use any strong language, but it is a stupid thing to do and a grave mistake. Look at what is going on in the world. Even the United States allies are now downsizing their dollar reserves. Seeing this, everyone starts looking for ways to protect themselves. But the fact that the United States applies restrictive measures to certain countries, such as placing restrictions on transactions, freezing assets, etc., causes grave concern and sends a signal to the whole world. What did we have here? Until 2022, about 80% of Russian foreign trade transactions were made in US dollars and euros. U.S. dollars accounted for approximately 50% of our transactions with third countries. Well, currently it is down to 13%. It wasn't us who banned the use of the US dollar. We had no such intention. It was the decision of the United States to restrict our transactions in U.S. dollars. I think it is complete foolishness from the point of view of the interests of the United States itself and its taxpayers, as it damages the U.S. economy, undermines the power of the United States across the world. By the way, our transactions in yuan accounted for about 3%. Today, 34% of our transactions are made in rubles and about as much. A little over 34% in yuan. Why did the United States do this? My only guess is self conceit. They probably thought it would lead to full collapse, but nothing collapsed. Moreover, other countries, including oil producers, are thinking of and already accepting payments for oil in yuan. Do you even realize what is going on or not? Does anyone in the United States realize this. What are you doing? You are cutting yourself off. All experts say this. Ask any intelligent and thinking person in the United States what the dollar means for the US. But you are killing it with your own hands.


(1:27:25) His assessment and his relationship with former President George W. Bush, including the only mention of former President Donald Trump


Putin: I had a very good relationship with say Bush. I know that in the United States, he was portrayed as some kind of a country boy who does not understand much. I assure you that this is not the case. I think he made a lot of mistakes with regard to Russia, too. I told you about 2008 and the decision in Bucharest to open the NATO's doors to for Ukraine and so on. That happened during his presidency. He actually exercised pressure on the Europeans. But in general, on a personal human level, I had a very good relationship with him. He was no worse than any other American or Russian or European politician. I assure you he understood what he was doing as well as others. I had such personal relationship with Trump as well.


(1:51:09) On the release of Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich, who is in a Russian jail, accused of espionage

Carlson: 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.

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.


(1:58:14) On coming to terms of peace

Carlson: I guess I want to ask one more question, which is and maybe you don't want to say so for strategic reasons, but are you worried that what's happening in Ukraine could lead to something much larger and much more horrible? And how motivated are you just to call the U.S. government and say, let's come to terms?

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.

Carlson: 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.

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?

Obviously, there’s much, much more to this interview. However, I wanted to provide all of you the full context and the time stamps to see for yourselves information that might be of importance to you in order for ALL OF YOU to make up your own minds.

You can use the time stamps above to follow along with the video below. Or, if you just want to watch the whole thing without any direction, that’s your prerogative as well. But, what do I know? I’m just trying to practice a little journalism here.


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