The Fox News host Tucker Carlson said Tuesday that Russia was right to defend itself over Ukraine.
Russian troops are amassing at Ukraine’s border and US officials are warning of an invasion soon.
Carlson said Putin “just wants to keep his western borders secure.”
The Fox News host Tucker Carlson sided with Vladimir Putin over his country’s military activity near Ukraine, saying the Russian president “just wants to keep his western borders secure.”
In recent months, Russian troops and artillery have amassed in large numbers at Ukraine’s borders, with officials in Kyiv and Washington warning that Moscow could be preparing an imminent invasion.
Russia has denied plans to invade, and said it was just responding to Ukrainian and NATO agression.
The US and NATO want Ukraine to join the bloc, whereas Russia has long been opposed to any NATO expansion. Putin said on December 1 that he wanted “legal guarantees” from NATO that it will never expand eastward.
In a 14-minute monologue on his show on Tuesday, Carlson defended Russia’s build-up of troops and warned that the US could start “hot war” with Russia if President Joe Biden continues to threaten Putin.
Carlson then blamed NATO, of which the US is a major player, for driving Putin to take defensive actions.
“NATO exists primarily to torment Vladimir Putin, who whatever his many faults, has no intention of invading western Europe,” Carlson said.
“He just wants to keep his western borders secure, that’s why he doesn’t want Ukraine to join NATO, at that makes sense.”
During a Tuesday video call, Biden told Putin that the US would impose “strong economic and other measures” should Russia invade.
Carlson said Biden was risking war with Russia by being combative.
“There is nothing we could possibly gain from a military confrontation with Vladimir Putin and there’s very much we could lose, including of course many thousands of American lives,” he said. “But that doesn’t mean Joe Biden won’t do it.”
Carlson has questioned the validity of supporting Ukraine over Russia in the past.
“Why would we take Ukraine’s side and not Russia’s side? It’s a sincere question. If you’re looking at America’s perspective, why? Who’s got the energy reserves? Who’s the major player in world affairs? Who’s the potential counterbalance against China,” he said on November 10.
Though Ukraine has been independent since the 1991 fall of the Soviet Union, some Russians believe that it should still be part of Russia.
In a 5,000-word essay published in July, Putin wrote that Russians and Ukrainians were “one people” and that Ukraine needs Russia.
“I am confident that true sovereignty of Ukraine is possible only in partnership with Russia,” he wrote.
Putin showed evidence of that belief in 2014, when Russia annexed Crimea, a peninsula of Ukraine. During a visit to Crimea in May, Putin said the people of Crimea are with “Russia forever now.”
Though NATO is yet to do so, Putin said last week that if NATO troops or advanced missile systems were deployed to Ukraine then things could go south.
“If some kind of strike systems appear on the territory of Ukraine, the flight time to Moscow will be seven to 10 minutes, and five minutes in the case of a hypersonic weapon being deployed. Just imagine,” Putin said.
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