Sources close to the Russian President administration have reported to the Russian opposition outlet Meduza that the interview of Russian President Vladimir Putin with American journalist Tucker Carlson was not intended for the Russian audience, but the Kremlin has wanted to create informational effects and hysteria in the West.
Source: Institute for the Study of War (ISW); Meduza
Details: One of Meduza’s sources added that the interview’s secondary goal was to show the Russian domestic audience that Putin can still shape global discourse based on the popularity of the interview. However, they did not evaluate Putin’s success in this regard.
Sources in the Kremlin focused on presenting the interview as an extremely successful and popular Russian attempt to shape the information environment in the West, claiming that the interview demonstrated Putin as an influential world leader. Kremlin Spokesperson Dmitry Peskov stated that American interest in Putin’s interview is “undeniable” and that the Kremlin is interested in the international reaction to the interview because it continues to monitor the domestic response to it.
Russian occupation officials pointed out that the interview reached over 60 million views and stated that the world is increasingly interested in Putin’s views and “truths”.
Meanwhile, the Russian online community noted that Putin did not provide any new information in his interview with Carlson and simply repeated Kremlin’s previous talks about Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine for the US audience.
In addition, Dmitry Medvedev, Russian Security Council Deputy Chairman, emphasised that “Putin told the Western world in the most thorough and detailed way why Ukraine did not exist, does not exist, and will not exist”.
Medvedev’s description of Putin’s interview demonstrated that Russia did not abandon its maximalist goals of eradicating Ukrainian statehood and that Putin has no intention of negotiating with Ukraine on any terms other than those aligned with his objectives.
To quote the ISW’s Key Takeaways on 9 February:
The Russian online community noted that Russian President Vladimir Putin did not offer any new information in his interview with American media personality Tucker Carlson and simply repeated longstanding Kremlin talking points about Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine for American audiences.
Russian Security Council Deputy Chairperson Dmitry Medvedev noted that Putin told the Western world in the most thorough and detailed way why Ukraine did not exist, does not exist, and will not exist.
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