NewsDisinformation and debate: Experts debunk Putin's controversial claims from Tucker Carlson interview

Disinformation and debate: Experts debunk Putin's controversial claims from Tucker Carlson interview

Tucker Carlson's interview with Vladimir Putin made a big impact.
Tucker Carlson's interview with Vladimir Putin made a big impact.
Images source: © PAP | PAP/EPA/GAVRIIL GRIGOROV/SPUTNIK/KREMLIN POOL

8:37 AM EST, February 10, 2024

The controversial interview between Tucker Carlson and Vladimir Putin has sparked a heated international debate. Numerous misinformation and accusations emerged from it, which experts tirelessly debunked. These experts concur that Putin's main objective was to rationalize Russia's aggression towards Ukraine.

The disinformation began early in the conversation, when Putin led Carlson into a discussion about Russia's historical origins. He claimed that the country he governs came into existence in 862. Putin set the historical breadth of his nation, which stretches back to the 11th century, against what he presumes is the "modern invention" that is Ukraine.

He asserted that Ukraine was "created only in the 20th century". Sergey Radchenko, a historian from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, rebuffed this claim as an outright "lie".

"Vladimir Putin is seeking to contrive a distorted narrative, claiming that Russia as a nation started its evolution in the 9th century. You could equally argue that Ukraine as a nation started its development in the 9th century, supported by the same degree of evidence and documentation," the historian remarked.

Later in their discussion, Putin declared that "Ukraine is an artificial state, shaped by Stalin's will". He asserted that Ukraine was established by Soviet leaders in the 1920s and was apportioned land to which it had no historical claim.

Professor Radchenko, cited by the BBC, partially concurred with this aspect of Putin's tirade. He agreed that the Soviets indeed outlined the borders in a haphazard manner. Nonetheless, he stressed that this doesn't justify the denial of the existence of Ukrainians.

The ontological debate about the statehood and the Polish issue

Radchenko repudiates Putin's pronouncement that Ukraine isn't a genuine country because it took its modern shape in the 20th century. From his viewpoint, using such a parameter could make any countries seem spurious, stating that all of them emerge through a "historical process".

He recalled that Russia's occupation of Siberia was a result of decisions by its czars, executed at the expense of the local populace.

"If Ukraine is a fictitious country, then so is Russia," the historian summarized.

Industry experts have also caught Putin's fabrications about Poland. He alleged, among other things, that Poland, attacked by Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union in 1939, "collaborated with Hitler". Taking a step further, Putin asserted that Poland encouraged Hitler to initiate World War II by denying him control over Gdansk.

Professor Prazmowska, quoted by the BBC, rebutted Putin's misinterpretation of the diplomatic relations between Poland and Hitler's Germany as "collaboration". She also indicated that the Soviet Union held identical relations with Germany during that time.

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