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Putin Thanks Right-Wing U.S. Journalist for Interview

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday said he was grateful to controversial right-wing U.S. talk show host Tucker Carlson for his interview last week and "intermediary" role with the West.

Former Fox News star Carlson released a two-hour interview with Putin in Moscow last Thursday, just ahead of the two-year anniversary of Russia's offensive in Ukraine.

In it, the Russian president said the West needed to understand that it was "impossible" for Russia to be defeated in Ukraine.

"Since we are not able to have direct dialogue (with the West) today... we have to be grateful to Mr. Carlson to be able to do it by his intermediary" role, Putin told journalists in quotes distributed by the Kremlin.

Even so, Putin said he was "not totally satisfied" with the interview, the first he has given to a Western journalist since launching his offensive in Ukraine.

It has been seen more than 200 million times on X, formerly Twitter.

Putin's disappointment, though, seemed to stem from his hopes for a more bellicose exchange, saying that he expected Carlson to be more "aggressive" and was waiting for "difficult questions."

"I was not only ready for that but I was hoping for it because that would have allowed me to reply in the same manner," Putin said.

Carlson came in for criticism from Western media for the lack of tough questions in the interview, in which Putin lectured him on his views of Russian history, portraying the country as a victim of Western betrayals.

Putin acknowledged that Carlson had "tried to interrupt me several times" but praised the conservative journalist, who is close to former U.S. President Donald Trump, for his "patience."

The Russian leader did complain, though, that his quotes were "deformed" in Western media.

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