Two Sides to Every Story • Highlights of Tucker Carlson’s Interview with Vladamir Putin

    icon Feb 09, 2024
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In the first one-on-one interview since the full-scale war in Ukraine began, which to date has cost American taxpayers $72 billion dollars and generated an estimated 124,000-131,000 casualties, with as many as 17,500 killed in action, Russian president Vladimir Putin sat down with American journalist Tucker Carlson for an in-depth interview spanning over two hours, which in the eight hours since it was posted has already topped 67 million views.

Last week Carlson traveled to Russia to interview Putin, which predictably sent the left into hysterics - some of whom have called for the journalist to face sanctions, or worse - and underscoring the dangerous precipice the United States now stands upon as government forces and the Biden Administration continue their campaign to control the free flow and exchange of information, and therefore distort and reshape the narrative of what is truly happening in the Ukraine.

Mainstream legacy media have interviewed Ukrainian President Zelensky numerous times, and prior to the interview Tucker 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, which makes it next to impossible to have any meaningful understanding of the conflict when we forget the important age-old axiom of how there are always two sides (and usually many more perspectives) to any story.

Carlson began the interview by asking Putin why he invaded Ukraine, which prompted Putin to give a detailed history of the conflict, going back to the middle-ages and up through Catherine the Great and pivotal times in the aftermath of World War I, documenting how Ukraine was never a real country onto itself so much as a region defined by annexed territories.  

"The Soviet Union was given a great deal of territory that had never belonged to it, including the Black Sea region,” explained Putin. “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.  For decades, the Ukrainian Soviet Republic developed as part of the USSR. And for unknown reasons, again, the Bolsheviks were engaged in Ukrainization."

When asked what triggered the war, Putin referenced the CIA orchestrated coup in Ukraine, which provoked the conflict, the same way American involvement in the Vietnam war was exacted through the bogus Gulf of Tonkin incident.

"Initially, it was the coup in Ukraine that provoked the conflict,” said Putin. “They launched the war in Donbas in 2014 with the use of aircraft and artillery against civilians. This is when it all started."

With this in mind, here are some additional key highlights and takeaways from the interview

• NATO Expansion.  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 Egon Bahr in Germany - a major politician of the Social Democratic Party - who insisted in his personal conversations with the Soviet leadership on the brink of the collapse - that new 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 Bahr said. If NATO expands, everything would be just the same as during the Cold War, only closer to Russia's borders. He was a wise old man, but no one listened to him. Everything happened just as he had said."

Editor’s Note: Putin’s fear of NATO encroaching on Russia’s borders is the same fear and argument President John F. Kennedy made about Russia violating the Marshall Plan by encroaching on United States borders during the Cuban Missile Crisis.

• 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: 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. 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?

• 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 Russia's territorial ambitions: "We simply don't have any interest [in Poland, Latvia, or anywhere else]. It's just threat mongering."

• 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."  (Editor’s Note: The CIA involvement with the Nord Stream pipeline explosion is articulated in Pulitzer Prize winning investigative journalist Seymore Hersh’s piece that can be found on Substack. Hersh was the reporter who broke ‘The Pentagon Papers’)

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 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."

• Imprisoned Wall Street Journal  reporter Evan Gershkovich:

Tucker: 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.

You can watch the full interview here on X:

Here's a link to the full transcript: .


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