Interviews

Top Putin’s Interviews With US Journalists

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin (R) speaks with journalist of NBC News Keir Simmons in Moscow on June 11, 2021, during an exclusive interview ahead of a meeting with US President.InternationalIndiaAfricaOleg BurunovLongreadFormer Fox News host Tucker Carlson wants to conduct an interview with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Rossiya Segodnya media group editor-in-chief Margarita Simonyan said. How many times has the Russian head of state sat with US journalists before? Sputnik explains.Unlike the leaders of many other countries, Russian President Vladimir Putin often gives interviews to foreign media outlets, including those in the US. During these sit-downs, Putin has showed himself as a person capable of skillfully shielding himself from provocative questions asked by journalists.It’s worth noting in this vein that US citizens have always demonstrated tremendous interest in Putin’s interviews, something that is confirmed by the fact that millions of Americans watched the Russian president get interviewed on YouTube and via TV channels.

Interview With CNBC’s Hadley Gamble, October 2021

In October 2021, the Russian president answered a number of sticky questions from CNBC host Hadley Gamble.© Photo : X/@amuseAn X (formerly Twitter) screenshot of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s interview with CNBC’s Hadley Gamble in 2021.An X (formerly Twitter) screenshot of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s interview with CNBC’s Hadley Gamble in 2021.In particular, when asked about his possible successor, the Russian head of state said that he prefers not to answer such questions because there is plenty of time before the next presidential elections in his country and that “discussing this topic will destabilize the situation.”“The situation should be calm and stable, so that all state structures work smoothly and look calmly into the future. In line with the Russian Constitution, I can run for another term, but no decisions have been made on the matter yet,” Putin said.

Interview With NBC News’ Keir Simmons, June 2021

June 2021 saw the Russian president’s sit-down with NBC News correspondent Keir Simmons, who was berated by Putin for constantly interrupting him during the interview, which by the way gained at least 15 million views on YouTube.“If you sit tight and let me say to the end what I want to utter, you will understand everything. But […] you don’t want your viewers to hear my answer, that’s the problem. You are shutting me up. Is this freedom of expression? Or is it freedom of expression American-style?” the Russian leader said.© Photo : X/@dailyaz1An X (formerly Twitter) screenshot of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s interview with NBC News’ Keir Simmons in 2021.An X (formerly Twitter) screenshot of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s interview with NBC News’ Keir Simmons in 2021.At one point, Simmons asked the interviewee to comment on US President Joe Biden once saying during a meeting with Putin that he doesn’t think the Russian head of state “has a soul.”“I still have to think about what the soul is. But I do not remember this part of our conversation, to be honest. When we meet, talk, and work […], we act in the interests of our states and our people. And this underlies all our actions, thoughts, and incentives to organize similar meetings. As for the soul, turn to the church, please,” Putin said.

Interview With Fox News’ Chris Wallace, 2018

Putin’s interview with Fox News journalist Chris Wallace took place on the sidelines of the Moscow-Washington summit in Helsinki in July 2018, which saw the Russian president’s meeting with then-US counterpart Donald Trump.Almost half of the interview focused on Russia’s alleged collusion with Trump ahead of the 2016 US presidential election.Asked to clarify the issue, Putin said, “Do you really think that from the territory of the Russian Federation it was possible to influence the elections in the United States and influence the choice of millions of Americans? This is ridiculous.”© Photo : X/@FoxNewsAn X (formerly Twitter) screenshot of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s interview with Fox News’ Chris Wallace in 2018.An X (formerly Twitter) screenshot of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s interview with Fox News’ Chris Wallace in 2018.Another apparently provocative question pertained to why Putin and Trump were suspiciously polite to each other during the summit. The Russian president was at no loss for a response, saying that him and Trump talking like сultured persons to each other was only natural.“Does this surprise you? Was it really worth meeting in Helsinki to scold each other with indecent words? This does not correspond to diplomatic world practice. You shouldn’t meet if you insult each other and worsen relations. We met in order to find the ways to improve our relations, not destroy them completely,” Putin told Wallace.

Interview With NBC News’ Megyn Kelly, 2017

In an interview with then-NBC News anchor Megyn Kelly at the time, the Russian head of state in particular answered a question on how he feels about being at the helm of Russia for seventeen years.

“What do I feel? I feel a direct living connection with this land, its history and my country as such,” Putin said, mentioning the Piskaryovskoye Memorial Cemetery in St. Petersburg, where “about 400,000 people, mostly civilians, who died of hunger during the Siege of Leningrad in WWII, are buried.” He added that the death toll includes his older brother, whom Putin said he would never forget even though he would never saw him.

He also said that he hopes the fact that he has been the president of Russia for seventeen years did not greatly affect his personality.© Sputnik / Alexei Druzhinin / Go to the mediabankJune 3, 2017. Russian President Vladimir Putin and CNN anchor Megyn Kelly during an interview on the sidelines of the 2017 St. Petersburg International Economic ForumJune 3, 2017. Russian President Vladimir Putin and CNN anchor Megyn Kelly during an interview on the sidelines of the 2017 St. Petersburg International Economic Forum / Go to the mediabankA separate part of the interview was devoted to Russia’s alleged interference in the 2016 US election. When asked about the issue, Putin said that “there is no need to refer to anyone and blame anyone for their troubles for those who lost the election.”According to him, those who insist on Moscow’s purported meddling “are misled and do not analyze the information in full.”“I have never seen any direct evidence of Russian interference in the US presidential election,” the Russian leader underlined.Later on, Kelly herself shared her impressions about Putin’s personality in a sit-down with a US media outlet. She admitted that she tried to challenge and outwit the Russian president during the interview, which “led to a couple of very dynamic, almost explosive exchanges.” According to her, it’s impossible to outwit the Russian head of state.In a separate interview, Kelly underscored that Putin was “very polite and total gentleman” when she was talking to him behind the scenes, something that she said came as surprise to her. She also noted that the Russian president was “very personable” when the cameras were off.

Interview With US Filmmaker Oliver Stone, 2017

Also in 2017, US Oscar winning filmmaker Oliver Stone released the Putin Interviews, four-part documentary TV series, in which the Russian leaders, for example, touched upon relations with his dear ones.

When asked whether his daughters are married and if he sees them, Putin said that “they have their own family life,” and that he meets them. According to the Russian president, he takes pride in his children.

In response to an answer about whether he loves his grandchildren, the Russian leader said “yes” but expressed regret over failing to have much time to play with them.© Sputnik / Aleksei Nikolsky / Go to the mediabankRussian President Vladimir Putin is giving an interview with US film director Oliver Stone.Russian President Vladimir Putin is giving an interview with US film director Oliver Stone. / Go to the mediabankSeparately commenting to speculation about him seeking to become a tsar, Putin stressed “the [main] question is to rightfully use the power that you currently have.”

Interview With Bloomberg’s John Micklethwait, 2016

Trump-related topics were part of Putin’s 2016 interview with Bloomberg News Editor-in-Chief John Micklethwait, who specifically asked the Russian president Putin about which candidate he prefers in the US election at the time.”You know, I essentially already answered your question. I will reformulate it again in different words. We are ready to work with any president, of course. I also want to say that it depends on how ready the future [US] administration is. If someone says that they want to work with Russia, we will welcome it,” the Russian leader emphasized.© Sputnik / Alexei Druzhinin / Go to the mediabankRussian President Vladimir Putin in an interview with Bloomberg Russian President Vladimir Putin in an interview with Bloomberg / Go to the mediabankA separate question was related to what was behind Putin’s “success” as the Russian president.“I don’t know what secrets might be in this regard. I have no secrets, I just always try to feel people’s mood and their priorities, mainly focusing on this. And I think this is the most important thing in the work of any person who is engaged in the work that the people of Russia have entrusted to me,” Putin said.

Interview With CBS News’ Charlie Rose, 2015

Stone’s interviews were preceded by the Russian head of state sitting down with then-CBS co-anchor Charlie Rose who, in particular, asked Putin to give his thoughts on how long he intends to be at the helm of Russia.“That all depends,” the Russian president noted, referring to “the rules stipulated by the constitution,” which he said would “definitely not be violated” on his part.“But I am not sure that I should fully exercise these constitutional rights. This will already depend on the specific situation in the country, in the world and on my own mood,” according to Putin.© Sputnik / Michael Klimentyev / Go to the mediabankRussian President Vladimir Putin gives interview for CBS and PBS channelsRussian President Vladimir Putin gives interview for CBS and PBS channels / Go to the mediabankAsked about “what kind of legacy he wants to leave behind”, the Russian leader underlined that his country “must be efficient and competitive,” and that it should have “a stable economy, with a developed social and political system, flexible to changes in Russia and beyond.”

Interview With CNN’s Larry King, 2010

In December 2010, CNN’s legendary host interviewed Putin – who served as the Russian prime minister at the time – before the closure of the Larry King Live talk show. In other words, Putin became the last foreign senior official who sat down with King.In the interview, which was Putin’s second such sit-down with the CNN anchor since 2000, King at one point told the-then Russian prime minister that he knows about the interviewee’s efforts to improve his knowledge of the English language.© Photo : YouTube/CNNA YouTube screenshot of then-Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin’s interview with CNN’s Larry King in 2010.A YouTube screenshot of then-Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin’s interview with CNN’s Larry King in 2010.When asked whether he is “ready to speak to the public in English,” Putin said that his command of the language is “very bad,” adding that his tutor helps him learn and sing various English ditties.

“It's a return to the language as a form of recreation, of sorts. But of course if we meet in Moscow, I will try to speak English. Certainly, I understand a lot [of English phrases], which gives me the opportunity – at least without an interpreter – to communicate with colleagues in a semi-domestic or semi-business situation,” the-then Russian PM said.

Separately, King referred to Putin’s participation in the St. Petersburg on saving the tigers, asking him why he is so interested in these animals.“Not only in tigers. I just love nature. And there are many such people on the planet, thank God. I’m just one of them,” Putin emphasized.

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