Freddy Gray Freddy Gray

Nobody can stop Vladimir Putin… from talking

Vladimir Putin (photo: Twitter/X)

The trouble with ageing authoritarians is not necessarily that nobody dares tell them they are wrong. It’s that nobody ever tells them they are being tiresome.

A less polite man might have aggressively interrupted his interviewee, but would that have stopped Vlad, the intellectual impaler? 

Yes, as Tucker Carlson’s big interview in Moscow finally dropped online tonight, the world learned that Vladimir Putin is, among other things, an almighty history bore. He just cannot be stopped.

Following all the controversy and intrigue about what might be said, Putin managed to smother the excitement of the interview under an iron curtain of his own autodidactism. It was impressive, in a mind-numbing way. 

Carlson began the interview with a fair question: ‘On February 22nd, 2022, you addressed your country in a nationwide address when the conflict in Ukraine started, and you said that you were acting because you had come to the conclusion that the United States, through Nato, might initiate a, quote, “surprise attack” on our country and to American ears, that sounds paranoid. Tell us why you believe the United States might strike Russia out of the blue. How did you conclude that?’

‘Are we having a talk show or a serious conversation?’ replied Putin, taking wry umbrage at Carlson’s directness. ‘Your basic education is in history, as far as I understand,’ he added, showing he’d done a bit of homework of his own. ‘So if you don’t mind, I will take only 30 seconds or one minute to give you a short reference to history to give you a little historical background.’

One minute? That was the first lie. The president then launched into a potted, meandering, 20+ minute history of Ukraine, Russia, Poland and Lithuania, from 862 AD onwards.  

Poor Tucker! A less polite man might have aggressively interrupted his interviewee, but would that have stopped Vlad, the intellectual impaler? Would it heck! Tucker mumbled a couple of times about not understanding how the extended lecture was ‘relevant’.

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