Russian President Vladimir Putin is not one to give interviews often. His whole life and leadership is shrouded in mystery as rumours are continuously circulating about his family, health and war tactics. However, ex-Fox News host Tucker Carlson flew to Moscow for an exclusive with the Russian despot which aired on Thursday 8 February.
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The footage of the meeting has caused an explosion of online commentary as Putin ploughed through controversial statements and did something with his leg that observers were quick to pick up on. Here’s everything you need to know.
Putin’s health has already caused a lot of speculation over the years. The Russian President has been said to be suffering from a variety of diseases, such as cancer and Parkinson’s, but nothing has ever been confirmed. This came to a peak in October 2023 when Russian Telegram channel General SVR claimed that the Russian President had suffered a cardiac arrest and died. The Kremlin has viciously denied these allegations.
This time around, the focus was on Putin’s leg, which he seemed to be flexing before using his hand to push it down again. This has sparked yet more commentary online as users called the movement ‘strange’. One user, @11007_gf_Misty, wrote:
He 'strokes foot down'...and then is very self conscious of his action. Almost hoping no one noticed it...or it didn't seem odd.
This is not the first time Putin’s lower half has got people talking: last year, he was seen twisting his feet when he met with Tajikistan President Emomali Rahmon and people thought this could be a symptom of Parkinson's.
Putin will invade other European countries if…
During the interview, Putin also spoke about his plans for the war in Ukraine. There has been a tremendous loss of life on both sides of the conflict since Russia invaded the neighbouring country in February 2022, and several threats have been issued to the rest of Europe by Russian officials and propagandists. However, during this interview Putin stated that there is only ‘one cause’ that could prompt him to spread the war further into Europe.
Putin said that Western leaders are trying to scare their people by creating an ‘imaginary Russian threat’. Calrson asked what would push him to invade Poland or Latvia, and the Russian President answered:
Only in one case, if Poland attacks Russia. Why? Because we have no interest in Poland, Latvia or anywhere else. Why would we do that? We simply don't have any interest. It's just threat mongering.
He added that ‘those who are engaged in real politics, just smart people, understand perfectly well that this is a fake’.
Putin’s comments about Boris Johnson
Another part of the two-hour conversation brought another unexpected person into the spotlight: Boris Johnson. Boris, who was Prime Minister from July 2019 to 6 September 2022, is unlikely to be happy about what was said. He was in office when Russia invaded Ukraine, and Putin bizarrely claimed that he was responsible for the ongoing fighting in the country. He called the former PM ‘arrogant’ and stated that he sabotaged a peace deal:
It's very sad to me... we could have stopped these hostilities with war a year and a half ago already.
Boris, who is enjoying time with his family and new baby, has dismissed these claims as ‘total nonsense’.
The Sun: WHAT THE TUCK Putin warns of WW3, brags about ‘unstoppable’ weapons, & blames BORIS for Ukraine in rambling Tucker Carlson interview
Mirror: Vladimir Putin reveals the 'one case' when Russia would invade more European countries
Newsweek: Putin Spotted Using Hand to Put Leg in Place During Tucker Carlson Interview