Vladimir Putin launched on a 30-minute history of Russia’s claims over Ukrainian territories
Vladimir Putin launched an extensive rant defending his decision to invade Ukraine as he sat down with Tucker Carlson for his first major international interview since 2021.
The Russian president outlines his reasoning for the “special operation” that over the past two years has been ravaging Eastern Europe, leaving hundreds dead and thousands forced to flee their home to escape brutal missile and drone strikes.
Carlson, who has been met with widespread criticism for his decision to interview Putin, admitted the Russian leader “shocked” him and his team with some of his answers.
He described the sit-down as tense, noting Putin appeared “annoyed” at times with his questions and interruptions for clarification.
During the two-hour exchange, the Russian despot addressed several aspects of his strategy and his plans for the future of the war. Here are the five main bombshell claims from his interview with Tucker Carlson.
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Carlson said some of Putin’s answers shocked him and his team
Vladimir Putin says war in Ukraine can be ‘over in weeks’
Tucker Carlson noted the tensions between Russia and the international community have been fueling concerns the war could continue indefinitely.
He said: “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?”
Tucker Carlson has been warned he could face severe consequences for his interview with Putin
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Putin dismisses NATO threat of all-out war with Russia as bid to ‘intimidate’ public
NATO officials in recent weeks have warned civilians should brace for an all-out war between the alliance and Russia.
The Russian leader has been feeding fears of a potential nuclear war breakout since putting his arsenal on high-alert within weeks of launching his invasion of Ukraine.
Putin, however, hit back at the claim, suggesting the security alliance is “trying to intimidate their own population with an imaginary Russian threat.”
He continued: “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.”
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Vladimir Putin outlines only reason why Russia would expand war past Ukraine border
Asked whether he had contemplated invading other neighbours like Poland or Lithuania, he said: “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. 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.”
Putin’s ultra-secret forest hideout just 18 miles from NATO land
Ukraine ‘threw away’ chance for negotiated peace after bowing to Western allies’s demands
Putin claimed peace negotiations with Ukraine had reached “a high stage of coordination” only for Kyiv to reject the agreement at the insistence of its allies in the West.
He alleged Russia agreed to withdraw troops from near Kyiv in a gesture of goodwill but the deal collapsed under the pressure of the US and EU members.
Putin told Carlson: “After we withdrew our troops from Kyiv, as I have already said, the other side threw away all these agreements and obeyed the instructions of Western countries, European countries and the United States to fight Russia to the bitter end.
“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 dialogue. Is that not right?”
Putin claimed Ukraine rejected a peace agreement because of Western pressure
Bill Clinton ‘tricked’ Russia with promise to join NATO after collapse of USSR
The Russian leader alleged he had been told by former US President Bill Clinton that Russia could be considered for membership of NATO but ultimately backtracked.
He claimed the pair discussed the possibility during a meeting at the Kremlin but Clinton changed his stance within hours after talks with his staff.
Putin said: “At a meeting here in the Kremlin with the outgoing President Bill Clinton, right here in the next room, I said to him, I asked him: ‘Bill, do you think if Russia asked to join NATO, do you think it would happen?’
“Suddenly he said, ‘you know, it’s interesting. I think so.’ 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’.”
He added: “You can ask him. I think he will watch our interview, he’ll confirm it. I wouldn’t have said anything like that if it hadn’t happened. Okay, well, it’s impossible now.”