Vladimir Putin mocked Tucker Carlson for attempting – and failing – to join the CIA, throughout their more than two-hour-long, freewheeling interview released on Thursday.
The remark came during a discussion of the 2014 political protests in Ukraine, which led to the ouster of its then-President Viktor Yanukovich and subsequently Russia’s annexation of Crimea and backing of so-called pro-Russian separatists in japanese Ukraine.
The Russian president went on to claim that his 2022 invasion of Ukraine was an attempt to put an finish to the battle that he falsely argued Ukraine had started again in 2014.
Mr Putin stated that the “entire Ukrainian economy” used to be based mostly on commerce with Russia.
“The cooperation ties between the enterprises were very close since the times of the Soviet Union. One enterprise there used to produce components to be assembled both in Russia and Ukraine and vice versa. There used to be very close ties,” he stated.
“A coup d’etat was committed, although, I shall not delve into details now as I find doing it inappropriate, the US told us, ‘Calm Yanukovich down and we will calm the opposition. Let the situation unfold in the scenario of a political settlement’. We said, ‘Alright. Agreed. Let’s do it this way’. As the Americans requested us, Yanukovich did use neither the Armed Forces, nor the police, yet the armed opposition committed a coup in Kiev. What is that supposed to mean? ‘Who do you think you are?’, I wanted to ask the then-US leadership,” he stated.
“With the backing of whom?” Mr Carlson requested.
“With the backing of CIA, of course.”
At that time, Mr Putin jabbed on the right-wing media determine for his personal previous efforts making use of to work for the CIA.
“The organisation you wanted to join back in the day, as I understand,” he stated.
“Maybe we should thank God they didn’t let you in. Although, it is a serious organisation. I understand. My former vis-à-vis, in the sense that I served in the First Main Directorate – Soviet Union’s intelligence service. They have always been our opponents. A job is a job.”
He added: “Technically they did everything right, they achieved their goal of changing the government. However, from political standpoint, it was a colossal mistake. Surely, it was political leadership’s miscalculation. They should have seen what it would evolve into.”
Both Mr Putin’s declare that Mr Yanukovich didn’t use power towards the protesters – who had been outraged after he backtracked on a deal for nearer cooperation with the European Union in 2014, as a substitute transferring again in the direction of Russia – and his declare that the CIA was behind a “coup” to substitute Mr Yanukovich, had been blasted as outright lies by critics.
Mr Putin additionally falsely claimed that “initially, it was the coup in Ukraine that provoked the conflict” between Russia and Ukraine.
In 2019, RadioFreeEurope wrote that “more than 100 people were killed and 2,500 injured in clashes with security forces, some of them shot dead by snipers,” throughout the Euromaidan protests in Kyiv in 2014.
A scholar of Russian struggle propaganda, Dr Ian Garner famous on X: “Putin blames other countries for not agreeing that the coup – which let’s remember wasn’t a coup – was a coup. It was the CIA’s fault.
“Putin blames the coup, but also claims he’s bothered about NATO’s eastward expansion (contradicting himself) … and by Ukraine’s desire to join NATO (i.e. the standard ‘only Russia can call the shots in Ukraine’ line),” he added.
A former deputy minister on the Ukrainian Ministry of Internal Affairs, Anton Gerashchenko, additionally wrote on X that Mr Carlson’s interview merely made him an “instrument of propaganda” for Mr Putin.
“This interview is propaganda from the leader of an aggressor country and a war criminal. It can’t be called anything other than propaganda.
“This interview made Carlson himself an instrument of propaganda. Tucker Carlson understands this well and realizes how much he miscalculated”.
The US Ambassador to Russia between 2012 and 2014, Michael McFaul, noted that the beginning of the interview was “revealing about why Putin invaded. He was not reacting to some imminent NATO expansion but seeking to correct (in his view) things that occurred centuries before the creation of NATO”.