By Manish Anand
New Delhi, February 9: Russian President Vladimir Putin sought to convey an impression that he’s not in a hurry to end the Ukraine War. In two-hour long interview to former FOX presenter Tucker Carlson, Putin asserted claims on parts of Ukraine by citing historical records which date back to the ninth century AD.
Setting the tone for the interview, Putin gave an exhaustive account of the Russian history and the evolving of Russia as a country. He even cited his encounter with a set of people wearing Hungarian headgears to claim that parts of Ukraine also belonged to Hungary. Putin shared historical records and anecdotes to reiterate the Russian claims on parts of Ukraine while also asserting that the US pushed him into the war by inducting Kyiv into NATO.
“A group of Ukrainian soldiers were surrounded by the Russian forces. The Ukrainian soldiers were asked to surrender. They were told that they would not be harmed. But they shouted back, saying that they are Russians, and Russians don’t surrender,” Putin told Carlson, who is facing criticism in the US and Europe for providing the Russian ruler a platform to peddle his propaganda.
Putin accused former UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson for wrecking the Istanbul peace initiative between Russia and Ukraine. He alleged in the interview that Johnson was working at the behest of the US. Putin also said that he hasn’t spoken to the US President Joe Biden after he launched the “special operations in Ukraine in 2022”.
He, however, admitted that officials of the US and Russia are maintaining communications. Putin underlined that the US can stop the Ukraine War by stopping the Ukrainian funding, as well as by also stopping the army supply. “The US has given as many as $72 billion of funding to Ukraine. Europe is also funding Ukraine. The American and European mercenaries are fighting in Ukraine. They have to stop all these to get the negotiations started,” added Putin.
The Russian President put the blame on the doorsteps of the US for the Ukraine War by bringing NATO to the border of Russia while also backing off from the joint missile defence system that he had discussed with the American leadership.
In the course of the interview, Putin indicated that the Biden administration has been cold to cues for peace talks as the Russian President spoke in patronizing tones for the Republican Presidents such as George Bush Jr. and Donald Trump.