The real message of Vladimir Putin’s chat with Tucker Carlson
SummaryThe interview, taped in the Kremlin on February 6th and released online two days later, was the first Mr Putin has given to a Westerner since the invasion of 2022.
It cannot have taken long for Tucker Carlson to grasp that his interview with Vladimir Putin might not go to plan. His first question was about the threat posed to Russia by NATO and America; President Putin’s response was a lengthy disquisition on Rurik, a Varangian chieftain of the ninth century, the medieval reign of Yaroslav the Wise and the depredations of the Mongol horde. To some on America’s right, he is an enviably ruthless pragmatist, a warrior-prince of white Christian nationalism. He came across as one of those cranks who fixate on an arcane bit of history, except that his obsession—Russia’s historical claim to Ukraine—is backed by a nuclear arsenal.