Putin wants to create hysteria in West and will not give up his goals: Interview analysis by ISW

Sources close to the Russian President administration have reported to the Russian opposition outlet Meduza that the interview of Russian President Vladimir Putin with American journalist Tucker Carlson was not intended for the Russian audience, but the Kremlin has wanted to create informational effects and hysteria in the West.

Source: Institute for the Study of War (ISW); Meduza

Details: One of Meduza’s sources added that the interview’s secondary goal was to show the Russian domestic audience that Putin can still shape global discourse based on the popularity of the interview. However, they did not evaluate Putin’s success in this regard.

Sources in the Kremlin focused on presenting the interview as an extremely successful and popular Russian attempt to shape the information environment in the West, claiming that the interview demonstrated Putin as an influential world leader. Kremlin Spokesperson Dmitry Peskov stated that American interest in Putin’s interview is “undeniable” and that the Kremlin is interested in the international reaction to the interview because it continues to monitor the domestic response to it.

Russian occupation officials pointed out that the interview reached over 60 million views and stated that the world is increasingly interested in Putin’s views and “truths”.

Meanwhile, the Russian online community noted that Putin did not provide any new information in his interview with Carlson and simply repeated Kremlin’s previous talks about Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine for the US audience.

In addition, Dmitry Medvedev, Russian Security Council Deputy Chairman, emphasised that “Putin told the Western world in the most thorough and detailed way why Ukraine did not exist, does not exist, and will not exist”.

Medvedev’s description of Putin’s interview demonstrated that Russia did not abandon its maximalist goals of eradicating Ukrainian statehood and that Putin has no intention of negotiating with Ukraine on any terms other than those aligned with his objectives.

To quote the ISW’s Key Takeaways on 9 February:

  • The Russian online community noted that Russian President Vladimir Putin did not offer any new information in his interview with American media personality Tucker Carlson and simply repeated longstanding Kremlin talking points about Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine for American audiences.

  • Russian Security Council Deputy Chairperson Dmitry Medvedev noted that Putin told the Western world in the most thorough and detailed way why Ukraine did not exist, does not exist, and will not exist.

  • Delays in Western aid appear to be exacerbating Ukraine’s current artillery shortages and could impact Ukraine’s long-term war effort.

  • Newly appointed Ukrainian Commander-in-Chief Colonel General Oleksandr Syrskyi identified several of his goals as commander of the Ukrainian Armed Forces.

  • Ukrainian actors reportedly conducted a successful drone strike against two oil refineries in Krasnodar Krai on 9 February.

  • Ukrainian military officials reported that Russian forces are increasing their use of illegal chemical weapons in Ukraine, in an apparent violation of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC), to which Russia is a signatory.

  • Bloomberg reported on 9 February that Ukraine is considering economic reforms in order to secure funding from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in the event that the US Congress continues to block crucial aid.

  • Russian forces advanced near Kreminna, Bakhmut, and Avdiivka amid continued positional engagements along the frontline.

  • Russian paramilitary organisation Novorossiya Aid Coordination Center (KCPN) is training drone operators in east (left) bank Kherson Oblast near Krynky.

  • Russian occupation authorities continue to prepare for the upcoming Russian presidential elections by creating the appearance of popular support for Russian Vladimir Putin in occupied areas of Ukraine.

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