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Putin’s Carlson interview shows the links between Trump talk and Russian messaging


The interview served up Putin’s dense justifications for his war in Ukraine. It also displayed the common ground he shares with leading Trump supporters.

In 2019 Vladislav Surkov, a close advisor to Putin and one of his chief ideologues, wrote: ‘Foreign politicians attribute to Russia interference in elections and referendums across the planet. In fact, the matter is even more serious – Russia is interfering in their brains, and they do not know what to do with their own altered consciousness.’ 

Surkov has since been disgraced, but Russia’s insidious information warfare escalated to new heights on 8 February with the broadcast of US pundit Tucker Carlson’s interview with Russian President Vladimir Putin. 

On X (formerly Twitter) alone, the replay has, at the time of writing, garnered over 85 million views. This is not counting the millions who will have viewed it on Tucker Carlson’s website, via Russia Today and on the Kremlin’s website. Clips and social media reposts will further push Putin’s message to millions across the globe.

Beyond giving a platform for Putin to repeat his usual lies on history, NATO expansion and the war in Ukraine to a worldwide audience, the interview also underscored the close alignment of Donald Trump’s interests with those of the Kremlin.

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