Analysis of the News: “Western illusions shattered: How Moscow views Putin’s messages to America”

February 2024.

As part of the program Regional Initiative for combating disinformation “Western Balkans Combatting disinformation Center: Exposing malicious influences through fact-checking and Analytical Journalism“, we present you a new analysis of fake news and disinformation narratives.

Western illusions shattered: How Moscow views Putin’s messages to America

https://sputnikportal.rs/20240209/zapadne-iluzije-pukle-u-paramparcad-kako-u-moskvi-gledaju-na-putinove-poruke-namenjene-americi-olivera-ikodinovic-1167515346.html

The long-awaited interview between American host Tucker Carlson and the President of the Russian Federation, Vladimir Putin, was published on Tucker Carlson’s website on February 9 after midnight. Immediately after its publication, it caused violent reactions from many media, given that this is the first interview of the Russian President with Western media since the beginning of the invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.

The most significant criticism of Putin comes at the expense of his thirty-minute elaboration of Russian and Ukrainian history instead of answering the crucial question – Why did Russia invade Ukraine? Indeed, history plays a role in this conflict, but partial historical recall and Russia’s “near abroad” policy cannot be the only answer to this burning question. In the example of Ukraine, we can see how repressed segments of history are re-actualized and used for the “nationalization of history”. But Putin boldly exploits this by claiming that Ukraine is an artificial state and nation. Considering that all nations are artificial creations, Putin’s statement has practically no meaning but serves to provoke the Ukrainian people.

According to Sputnik, Putin’s history lesson “opened the eyes of the West”, considering they did not have the opportunity to hear the other side of the story and history. This narrative of information blockade and Western media propaganda is very problematic, considering that we live in a time of cutting-edge technologies and independent media. It is clear why the president of Russia thinks that the world’s citizens have no place to be informed about world events, given that this is the policy in his country and that access to almost all independent media in Russia has been blocked since February 24, 2022. “The Government of the Russian Federation owns Russian State Television and news agencies, and the Kremlin either controls other media outlets or destroys those unwilling to cooperate. In 2023, Russian authorities imprisoned 28 journalists, including two American citizens,” as reported by Nova S.

This kind of narrative particularly delighted Russian philosophers, such as Alexander Dugin, who said that this interview was “the most successful event in media politics since the beginning of the Special Operation” and that this conversation will be remembered in history as an event thanks to which a nuclear conflict was avoided. Indeed, this conversation is significant for the future course of Russian-American relations, but for now, it has no visible influence on the course of the conflict itself. Attempts by Russian philosophers to romanticize this conversation are unfounded, considering there were no indications that a nuclear war would occur.

During the interview, Putin emphasized the importance of Russian-Serbian relations, which is also reflected in Russia’s assistance to Serbia during the wars of the 1990s. “As soon as the events in Yugoslavia began, Boris Yeltsin raised his voice in support of the Serbs. We could not help but defend the Serbs because the Serbs are a special people close to us, with an Orthodox culture,” Putin emphasized in the interview. However, support and assistance to Serbia in the 1990s was absent several times. As a permanent member of the Security Council, Russia did not use its right of veto but joined the international sanctions against Serbia. In addition, during that period, the Russian Federation was a military ally of Croatia, arming it with the most modern weapons and supporting its officials, reports Nova S.

In this case, too, we have an example of information manipulation, and many media agreed that this was not a classic interview, given that Putin spoke outside the questions that were not challenging for the president of the Russian Federation. As Putin said, he did not enjoy the interview because he expected a much harsher approach and more aggressive questions from the American presenter. One gets the impression that Tucker Carlson was in Moscow more as an emissary of Donald Trump’s election headquarters than as an independent journalist, given that Putin’s main message in this interview is his willingness to dialogue on the end of the war with the USA.

Author: Nataša Stanojević