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A Recap of the Tucker Carlson-Putin Interview

Written by Nico Fodor

Edited by Eliza Dorton and Annika Lilja

Image by Gage Skidmor (CC BY-SA 2.0)

On Thursday, February 8th, former Fox News host Tucker Carlson conducted a highly anticipated two-hour interview with Russian President Vladimir Putin and gave American people a rare glimpse into the president’s perspective on the ongoing Russia-Ukraine War along with thoughts about the upcoming US presidential election. The interview covered a variety of topics, such as Putin’s rationale for the Russia-Ukraine War to the potential release of Evan Gershkovich, a Wall Street Journal Reporter currently being held in Russia. The interview drew lots of criticism, especially from Ukrainians, who have been living with Russia’s denial of their country’s sovereignty for over two decades.

Throughout the interview, Putin sounded confident and comfortable, presenting himself as a moral world leader engaged in a just war. On the other hand, Carlson gave little pushback against Putin’s claims and seemed to have minimal power in the interview. The lack of confrontation allowed Putin to dominate the conversation and promote his narrative without notable challenge from Carlson, giving the interview an unbalanced dynamic.

One intriguing aspect of the interview was Putin’s alleged openness to negotiation with the U.S. regarding the war in Ukraine. Expressing a willingness to engage in discussion, Putin simultaneously launched anti-U.S. propaganda, criticizing American leaders for supporting Ukraine financially and suggesting U.S. intelligence agencies undercut the Biden administration. 

As the interview progressed, it became evident that Carlson struggled to maintain control, particularly during Putin’s lengthy, “extremely detailed” lecture on Russian history in the opening 30 minutes of the interview when asked about his reasoning for initiating the violence in Ukraine (Carlson). During the rest of the interview, Putin easily avoided Carlson’s attempts to receive direct answers, leaving Carlson with historical references and names he probably was not familiar with (Stern, et al). Despite occasional efforts to challenge Putin’s opinion, Carlson made no mention of war crimes allegations, adding to the perception that the interview lacked depth and hard-hitting questions.

The interview garnered significant attention in both Russian and American media. Russian outlets, such as RT, highlighted the event as a success for Putin’s propaganda campaign, emphasizing the fact that Carlson visited Russia. Carlson’s proposal of releasing Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich added a surprising twist, considering it could be a sensitive topic between the US and Russia. Putin said that Russia had done enough “gestures of goodwill” and then added that Gershkovich received sensitive and confidential information, justifying his arrest.

Overall, the Carlson-Putin interview provided a window into the Russian president’s narrative, motivations, historical claims, and strategic communication tactics. While some viewers may see it as an interview with Putin’s genuine thoughts, others may criticize Carlson for providing a platform for Putin to just vent his thoughts without much pushback to an American audience.



Mastrangelo, Dominick. "5 things to know about Tucker Carlson's interview with Vladimir Putin." The Hill, 10 Feb. 2024,

Rainsford, Sarah. "Tucker Carlson: Putin Takes Charge as TV Host Gives Free Rein to Kremlin." BBC, 11 Feb. 2024,

Stern, David L., et al. "Tucker Carlson exposed Putin's true war motive: For Russia to own Ukraine." The Washington Post, 11 Feb. 2024,

Talmazan, Yuliya, and Helsel, Phil. "Former Fox News host Tucker Carlson interviewed Russian President Vladimir Putin." NBC News, 8 Feb. 2024,

Putin, Vladimir. "The Vladimir Putin Interview." Interview by Tucker Carlson.

Tucker Carlson Network, 8 Feb. 2024,

Tucker's initial thoughts right after the Putin interview. Instagram,


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