Tucker Carlson’s February 6th interview of Putin (which every American ought to see, but maybe surprisingly few will) started as follows:
Interview to Tucker Carlson
Vladimir Putin answered questions from Tucker Carlson, a journalist and founder of Tucker Carlson Network.
[published on the Kremlin’s site] February 9, 2024
The Kremlin, Moscow
Tucker Carlson: Mr. President, thank you.
On February 24, 2022, you addressed your country in your nationwide address when the conflict in Ukraine started and you said that you were acting because you had come to the conclusion that the United States through NATO might initiate a quote, “surprise attack on our country”. And to American ears that sounds paranoid. Tell us why you believe the United States might strike Russia out of the blue. How did you conclude that?
Vladimir Putin: It’s not that the United States was going to launch a surprise strike on Russia, I didn’t say so. Are we having a talk show or serious conversation?
Tucker Carlson: That was a good quote. Thank you, it’s formidably serious!
Vladimir Putin: You were initially trained in history, as far as I know?
Tucker Carlson: Yes.
Vladimir Putin: So if you don’t mind I will take only 30 seconds or one minute of your time for giving you a little historical background.
Tucker Carlson: Please.
Vladimir Putin: Let’s look where our relationship with Ukraine started from. Where does Ukraine come from?
The Russian state started to exist as a centralized state in 862. This is considered to be the year of creation of the Russian state because this year the townspeople of Novgorod (a city in the North-West of the country) invited Rurik, a Varangian prince from Scandinavia, to reign. In 1862, Russia celebrated the 1000th anniversary of its statehood, and in Novgorod there is a memorial dedicated to the 1000th anniversary of the country.
In 882, Rurik’s successor Prince Oleg, who was, actually, playing the role of regent at Rurik’s young son because Rurik had died by that time, came to Kiev. He ousted two brothers who, apparently, had once been members of Rurik’s squad. So, Russia began to develop with two centers of power, Kiev and Novgorod.
The next, very significant date in the history of Russia, was 988. This was the Baptism of Russia, when Prince Vladimir, the great-grandson of Rurik, baptized Russia and adopted Orthodoxy, or Eastern Christianity. From this time the centralized Russian state began to strengthen. Why? Because of a single territory, integrated economic ties, one and the same language and, after the Baptism of Russia, the same faith and rule of the Prince. The centralized Russian state began to take shape.
Back in the Middle Ages, Prince Yaroslav the Wise introduced the order of succession to the throne, but after he passed away, it became complicated for various reasons. The throne was passed not directly from father to eldest son, but from the prince who had passed away to his brother, then to his sons in different lines. All this led to the fragmentation and the end of Rus as a single state. There was nothing special about it, the same was happening then in Europe. But the fragmented Russian state became an easy prey to the empire created earlier by Genghis Khan. His successors, namely, Batu Khan, came to Rus, plundered and ruined nearly all the cities. The southern part, including Kiev, by the way, and some other cities, simply lost independence, while northern cities preserved some of their sovereignty. They had to pay tribute to the Horde, but they managed to preserve some part of their sovereignty. And then a unified Russian state began to take shape with its centre in Moscow.
The southern part of the Russian lands, including Kiev, began to gradually gravitate towards another ”magnet“ – the centre that was emerging in Europe. This was the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. It was even called the Lithuanian-Russian Duchy, because Russians were a significant part of its population. They spoke the Old Russian language and were Orthodox. But then there was a unification, the union of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and the Kingdom of Poland. A few years later, another union was signed, but this time already in the religious sphere. Some of the Orthodox priests became subordinate to the Pope. Thus, these lands became part of the Polish-Lithuanian state. …
That’s 5:45 into The Kremlin’s youtube video (or, into the Tucker Carlson Network’s video of the interview, at 7:04) Putin’s 30-minute-long history-lesson that opened the 127-minute-long interview, and this history continued till 30:19 into the interview (31:40 into Carlson’s), not like Putin had promised, “I will take only 30 seconds or one minute of your time for giving you a little historical background.”
Carlson had asked the crucial question immediately up front, “Tell us why you believe the United States might strike Russia out of the blue. How did you conclude that?” When Putin replied “I didn’t say so,” he spoke honestly, as I have never found him not to do (unlike U.S. Government officials, whom I routinely find to have deceived in their public statements). Here is what Putin had actually said to the Russian nation on 24 February 2022: “Russia cannot feel safe, develop, and exist while facing a permanent threat from the territory of today’s Ukraine.” He was not more specific than that, though he certainly should have been to Russians then, and to the entire world, both then and now.
Here is what’s “more specific” that he should have said to Carlson, instead:
Ukraine has the nearest foreign border to The Kremlin, just 317 miles (or 511 kilometers) or five minutes of missile-flying time away from Ukraine’s border; and as America’s NATO anti-Russian military alliance made unambiguously clear to Finland when Finland requested to join NATO “a condition that NATO had placed on Finland to join NATO was to allow America’s nuclear missiles to be positioned on Finland’s Russian border, which is closer to Moscow than any other except Ukraine’s.”
What was the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis — the nearest that the world ever got to WW3 — all about? Was it about the possibility that Soviet nuclear missiles might become able to hit Miami only a hundred miles away from Cuba (which was what American commentators were alleging at that time)? Hardly. It was about the possibility that Soviet nuclear missiles might become able to hit America’s central command in Washington DC only 1,131 miles away. What Ukraine is to Russia now, is what Cuba was to America in 1962 — only far worse: it is the danger of a decapitating blitz first-strike, to ‘win’ WW3 in essentially just one shot. In BOTH cases, it was and is about the necessity to prevent a hostile foreign power from blitz-decapitating one’s own nation’s ability to respond fast enough to a surprise blitz-invasion by that enemy, so as for that defending nation to be able to assess the enemy’s launch and then launch its own retaliatory weaponry in time to prevent such a one-shot ‘victory’. A mere five minutes is way too little time in which to assess the danger and respond to it. This is why Russia will NEVER allow Ukraine into NATO. Has Putin presented that case? JFK certainly did, to Americans, back in 1962, but did Putin in this interview — or ever? Never.
Instead, Putin insulted his interviewer for having even asked this question: “It’s not that the United States was going to launch a surprise strike on Russia, I didn’t say so. Are we having a talk show or serious conversation?”
Carlson might have been fuming at his interviewee at that point (I would have been if I had been in Carlson’s shoes then), but he showed no sign of it and just let his interviewee drone on for 30 minutes about history that avoided even mentioning the most important details, such as what I’ve just mentioned above, plus (as I stated on 24 February 2023 — the first anniversary of Russia’s strike back against its hyper-aggressive enemy the U.S. Government):
Finally, in December 2021, we officially submitted draft agreements on security guarantees to the USA and NATO. In essence, all key, fundamental points were rejected. After that it finally became clear that the go-ahead for the implementation of aggressive plans had been given and they were not going to stop. …
In fact, the key portions of the two 17 December 2021 proposed Agreements, with both the U.S. and with NATO, were, in regards to NATO:
The Parties shall guide in their relations by the principles of cooperation, equal and indivisible security. They shall not strengthen their security individually, within international organizations, military alliances or coalitions at the expense of the security of other Parties. …
The Russian Federation and all the Parties that were member States of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization as of 27 May 1997, respectively, shall not deploy military forces and weaponry on the territory of any of the other States in Europe in addition to the forces stationed on that territory as of 27 May 1997. With the consent of all the Parties such deployments can take place in exceptional cases to eliminate a threat to security of one or more Parties.
The Parties shall not deploy land-based intermediate- and short-range missiles in areas allowing them to reach the territory of the other Parties.
All member States of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization commit themselves to refrain from any further enlargement of NATO, including the accession of Ukraine as well as other States.
And, in regards to the U.S.:
The Parties shall seek to ensure that all international organizations, military alliances and coalitions in which at least one of the Parties is taking part adhere to the principles contained in the Charter of the United Nations.
The Parties shall not use the territories of other States with a view to preparing or carrying out an armed attack against the other Party or other actions affecting core security interests of the other Party.
The United States of America shall undertake to prevent further eastward expansion of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and deny accession to the Alliance to the States of the former Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.
The United States of America shall not establish military bases in the territory of the States of the former Union of Soviet Socialist Republics that are not members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, use their infrastructure for any military activities or develop bilateral military cooperation with them.
Any reader here can easily click onto the respective link to either proposed Agreement, in order to read that entire document, in order to evaluate whether or not all of its proposed provisions are acceptable and reasonable. What was proposed in each of the two was only a proposal, and the other side (the U.S. side) in each of the two instances was therefore able to pick and choose amongst those proposed provisions, which ones were accepted, and to negotiate on any of the others; but, instead, the U.S. side rejected all of them.
On 7 January 2022, the Associated Press (AP) headlined “US, NATO rule out halt to expansion, reject Russian demands”, and reported:
Washington and NATO have formally rejected Russia’s key demands for assurances that the US-led military bloc will not expand closer towards its borders, leaked correspondence reportedly shows.
According to documents seen by Spanish daily El Pais and published on Wednesday morning, Moscow’s calls for a written guarantee that Ukraine will not be admitted as a member of NATO were dismissed following several rounds of talks between Russian and Western diplomats. …
The US-led bloc denied that it posed a threat to Russia. …
The US similarly rejected the demand that NATO does not expand even closer to Russia’s borders. “The United States continues to firmly support NATO’s Open Door Policy.”
Russia invaded Ukraine on 24 February 2022.
All of that could have been said by Putin within far less than in the 30 minutes that he devoted to answering Carlson’s crucial first question. And more, besides, could also have been included in his answer to Carlson’s question within less than 30 minutes, such as:
Ukraine had been neutral between Russia and America until Obama’s brilliantly executed Ukrainian coup, which his Administration started planning by no later than June 2011, culminated successfully in February 2014 and promptly appointed a rabid anti-Russian to impose, in regions that rejected the new anti-Russian U.S.-controlled goverment, an “Anti-Terrorist Operation” (as Ukraine in April 2014 officially labelled all protesters) to kill protesters, and, ultimately, to terrorize the residents in those regions in order to kill as many of them as possible and to force the others to flee into Russia so that when elections would be held, pro-Russian voters would no longer be in the electorate. (Also, the U.S.-imposed regime banned Parties that weren’t anti-Russian. This was no democracy — it was/is a U.S. dictatorship.)
The war in Ukraine started in 2014, as both NATO’s Stoltenberg and Ukraine’s Zelensky have said; but Russia responded militarily on 24 February 2022, and yet the U.S. regime and its NATO colonies (‘allies’) still pretend that the war in Ukraine started on 24 February 2022, instead of on 20 February 2014.
However, even after at least $360 billion in support to Ukraine’s war against Russia after Russia’s invasion, from the U.S. and its colonies and their IMF, Ukraine’s prospects of winning against Russia have been declining not increasing throughout the course of the war and are now close to nil. But nonetheless, U.S. President Biden still insists upon adding yet another $60 billion to that $360 billion, in order to pump yet further the corporate stock-values of not only firms such as Lockheed Martin (which sell only to the U.S. and its ‘allied’ Governments) but also extraction-firms such as ExxonMobil (in order for those firms to be able to swing sweeter deals than non-American ones can).
Putin is an extraordinarily honest politician, far more honest than any leader of the U.S. or any of America’s colonies are, and his track-record of serving the interests of Russia’s residents instead of only the interests of Russia’s billionaires (as the U.S. and its colonies’ Governments do) is exemplary, which is why he has enormously higher job-approval-ratings from Russians than the head-of-state in America and any of its colonies do. But his performance at PR has never been good, hardly even mediocre. He is just about as different from America’s successful politicians as can be imagined.
Investigative historian Eric Zuesse’s latest book, AMERICA’S EMPIRE OF EVIL: Hitler’s Posthumous Victory, and Why the Social Sciences Need to Change, is about how America took over the world after World War II in order to enslave it to U.S.-and-allied billionaires. Their cartels extract the world’s wealth by control of not only their ‘news’ media but the social ‘sciences’ — duping the public.