Russian Historians: Tucker Carlson Interview Confirms Putin’s Detachment from Reality

Russia historians say the Tucker Carlson interview solidified one thing about Putin — he’s off the rails

Vladimir Putin’s recent interview with Tucker Carlson has drawn criticism from two Russia experts who argue that it showcased Putin’s detachment from reality and his attempts to undermine Ukraine’s sovereignty through a skewed version of Russian history.

During the two-hour interview, Putin spent nearly half an hour presenting his interpretation of Russian history, seemingly in an effort to deny Ukraine’s status as a sovereign nation. This tactic, which he has employed repeatedly since the onset of the conflict in February 2022, has been refuted by numerous historians and analysts.

Russian Historians: Tucker Carlson Interview Confirms Putin's Detachment from Reality
Russian Historians: Tucker Carlson Interview Confirms Putin’s Detachment from Reality (Credits: Business Insider)

According to Robert English, a professor at the University of Southern California specializing in Russia, the Soviet Union, and Eastern Europe, Putin’s performance was peculiar and revealed his increasing detachment from reality.

Putin’s persistent references to historical events, such as Rurik and the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, led Simon Miles, an assistant professor at Duke University’s Sanford School of Public Policy, to characterize Putin as delusional.

Miles highlighted a particular moment in the interview where Carlson seemingly overlooked Putin’s role in initiating hostilities in Ukraine, setting a tone that Miles described as concerning.

The timing of the interview coincides with a critical juncture in Ukraine’s efforts to secure ongoing support from the United States. Putin could have attempted to justify Russia’s actions by citing concerns over NATO expansion, but instead, his rhetoric reaffirmed his personal imperialistic ambitions, potentially swaying Western opinion towards continued support for Ukraine.

English noted that Putin missed an opportunity to present himself as reasonable and open to compromise, instead reinforcing the perception of him as imperious and imperialistic, making compromise unlikely.

Masha Gessen of The New Yorker warned of the danger posed by Putin’s delusions, particularly in his revisionist portrayal of World War II’s beginning and his comparisons to Hitler.

Former President Donald Trump’s recent remarks, suggesting leniency towards Russian aggression against NATO members, further amplified concerns regarding Putin’s worldview.

Meanwhile, US senators are pushing forward a bill aimed at providing aid to Ukraine and Israel, although its fate in the House remains uncertain.