Vladimir Putin’s controversial Tucker Carlson interview fact-checked

Russian President Vladimir Putin attends an interview with former Fox News host Tucker Carlson at the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia, Tuesday, Feb. 6, 2024.
Russian President Vladimir Putin attends an interview with former Fox News host Tucker Carlson at the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia, Tuesday, Feb. 6, 2024. Copyright (Gavriil Grigorov, Sputnik Pool Photo via AP)
By James Thomas
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The Russian president made many well-worn disputed claims about Russia's war in Ukraine in his interview with a former Fox News host. The Cube takes a closer look at the misinformation surrounding the broadcast.

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Vladimir Putin’s interview with former Fox News host Tucker Carlson has made headlines across the world – but not for the right reasons.

Aside from the Russian president's myriad untrue statements about his war in Ukraine, a number of other false claims about how Carlson secured the interview have flooded social media.

Here's a rundown of where the interview went awry.

In the controversial encounter, Putin once again claimed that Ukraine started the war and that Russia wants to end it.

This is untrue.

Russia initially attacked Ukraine back in 2014, when it annexed Crimea and later occupied parts of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions.

Russia then began its full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, despite repeated assurances by Putin that he was planning no such thing.

Since then, Russia has ignored demands from the UN and the International Court of Justice to withdraw.

Ukraine is a sovereign state

The first 30 minutes or so of the interview saw Putin present an argument denying Ukraine’s statehood and claiming that it’s a historical part of Russia.

It’s a fact that Ukraine is a sovereign state, recognised by UN members, including Russia itself. Ukraine’s centuries-long history is an established fact.

Putin also said that the conflict is necessary to what he called de-Nazify Ukraine, protect Russian speakers, and that Ukrainians still consider themselves Russian, which is false.

The Ukrainian nation, including both Ukrainian and Russian speakers, is fighting against Russia as a whole. In fact, most Russian speakers in Ukraine have switched to using Ukrainian.

Ukraine stands firm in liberating all occupied territory and pursuing its own path, rejecting any Russian interference.

False claims by Carlson

It wasn’t just Putin making false claims.

When announcing the interview, Carlson said he was the only western journalist to try and reach out to Putin since the full-scale invasion of Ukraine began.

This isn’t true.

Not only have various journalists come out and said that their requests to interview Putin have been repeatedly rejected, but even the Kremlin has refuted the claim.

According to Russian news reports, Russia’s presidential press secretary Dmitry Peskov said Carlson was wrong and that they receive many requests for interviews with Putin.

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Another false claim suggested that Carlson has been placed on a Ukrainian assassination schedule as a result of the interview.

Tweets seen millions of times suggest Carlson was put on the Myrotvorets "kill list" following the broadcast.

The Myrotvorets list is an independent project that aims to keep track of Ukraine's supposed enemies.

While a few people have died after their details were published on the list, there’s no proven link between the two.

Additionally, Carlson was on the list even before the interview, and there has been no call for violence towards him.

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Another false claim surrounding Carlson that did the rounds on social media was that the EU is considering sanctions against him because of the interview.

Euronews has already debunked this claim, and the European Commission confirmed that no discussions regarding sanctions are underway.

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