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Tucker-Putin ‘History Lesson’ was ‘Necessary’ to Show Americans Russian-US Friendship was Possible

© Sputnik / POOL / Go to the mediabankTucker Carlson interview with Russian President Vladimir Putin
Tucker Carlson interview with Russian President Vladimir Putin - Sputnik International, 1920, 10.02.2024
On Thursday, US Journalist and former Fox News Contributor Tucker Carlson interviewed Russian President Vladimir Putin, the first such interview by a Western journalist since Russia launched its special operation in Ukraine.
One controversial aspect of the interview was Putin’s insistence on starting with an extensive summary of the histories of Russia and Ukraine that lasted for nearly half an hour at the start of the interview. Many observers criticized the decision, fearing that it would cause those with shorter attention spans to tune out the interview before Putin addressed his decision to launch the special operation.
Russian President Vladimir Putin listens to a question during an interview with US journalist Tucker Carlson at the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia. - Sputnik International, 1920, 09.02.2024
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Rick Sanchez, an American journalist, former anchor for CNN and current host of two shows on RT, told Sputnik's Fault Lines that the history lesson was a necessary aspect of the interview to show Americans that the conflict in Ukraine did not start in February 2022 and that the US and Russia could have struck up a partnership in the wake of the Cold War.

“The word that comes to mind is necessary,” Sanchez said of the interview. “For some damn reason in this country, we have decided that we will allow our government officials, our State Department, oftentimes, people who aren't even elected, to determine whom we are allowed to hear and whom we are allowed to listen to.”

Sanchez argued that the segment of the interview that focused on the fall of the Soviet Union and Putin’s rise to the Presidency roughly a decade later illustrated how the United States rebuffed his overtures of friendship, despite verbal support from Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush.

“It almost seems as you listen to the man, that we have done everything possible to make sure Russia is not our friend. Even when they came to us offering to embrace and make friendship,” Sanchez explained. ”One can’t help but wonder why... Why do we want to be in a state of internal friction and even war with this country? The only answer I come to is money.”

On the subject of whether the history lesson segment went on too long, Sanchez agreed it might have been off-putting to Americans used to cable news and two-and-a-half minute interviews but noted that is not part of Russian culture and Putin likely wanted to provide the context Americans have been lacking in the conflict.
“I think Putin went in saying, ‘I’ve got a long and important story to tell, and it begins with A [and] ends with Z.’ He was hell-bent on taking him through that,” Sanchez explained, noting that Putin’s knowledge of history and geopolitics and his ability to recall them was impressive to watch.
“Say what you will about [Putin], you’re allowed to hate him, you’re still allowed to be mad at him about Ukraine or about anything else, but you can’t walk away from that interview and say ‘oh, that guy’s an idiot.’”
Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks during an interview with US journalist Tucker Carlson at the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia. - Sputnik International, 1920, 09.02.2024
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While Sanchez noted that those who pay attention and follow the conflict closely likely were already aware of Putin’s reasoning for the conflict, he felt it was important for Americans to hear and that it could potentially move things forward geopolitically.
“I think it will be impactful for Americans to hear this, and I think it will have some kind of resonating consequences that may even lead to something that resembles an end to the situation in Ukraine,” he predicted.
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