Tucker Carlson, the previous Fox Information host who now has a present on the social community X, has been noticed in Moscow in current days, resulting in hypothesis in Russia and america that he’s about to realize his long-stated purpose of interviewing President Vladimir V. Putin.

If that’s the case, Mr. Carlson could be the primary American media determine to land a proper interview with the Russian chief since he invaded Ukraine almost two years in the past.

Mr. Putin’s spokesman, Dmitri Peskov, has indicated that Mr. Putin was denying requests from Western new shops as a result of their nations had been “stupefied” by anti-Russian propaganda. However Mr. Carlson has been a defender of Mr. Putin whereas attackinghis Western critics, putting him on the vanguard of a pro-Putin wing of the American conservative motion.

In a name with reporters on Monday, Mr. Peskov mentioned: “Many international journalists come to the Russian Federation daily. Many proceed to work right here, and we welcome this.” He added, “As for potential interviews with the president, together with with international media, we now have nothing to report in the intervening time.”

Russian media on Monday confirmed a black Mercedes van mentioned to be transporting Mr. Carlson round Moscow coming into after which leaving the state administrative constructing that homes Mr. Peskov’s workplace.

On tv and on-line, Russian state media has handled Mr. Carlson like a visiting celeb, providing a stream of images and movies of his numerous stops — on the airport, eating at a restaurant, taking within the Spartacus ballet on the Bolshoi Theater.

In a single video in broad circulation, together with on X, Mr. Tucker advised a self-professed fan that he was there as a result of “I needed to speak to folks and go searching and see the way it was doing — and it’s doing very properly.” Requested a few potential interview with Mr. Putin, Mr. Carlson shrugged and mentioned, “We’ll see.”

Lower than a 12 months in the past, Mr. Carlson was one of many prime stars on cable information, because the host of “Tucker Carlson Tonight” on Fox Information, the place he was greatest identified for trafficking in white nationalist themes and conspiracy theories.

Fox abruptly canceled his program final spring, after a series of controversies each on and off air. Mr. Carlson has had a a lot decrease profile from his new perch on X, the place he began his personal present final 12 months.

As images and video of Mr. Carlson in Moscow started circulating on social media over the weekend, his followers reveled of their hope that an interview was within the offing — and his critics slammed what they portrayed as appeasement of an autocrat waging an unlawful battle whereas brutally cracking down on dissent at residence.

Information of his arrival in Russia acquired a decidedly heat response in Moscow. In a report about native response to his go to, a girl tells an interviewer on the Russian state outlet Sputnik, “He’s the bravest and most brave American journalist as we speak.’’ A person provides, “He’s identified for telling the reality, which is why he usually faces criticism in america.”

Mr. Carlson is a well-recognized face within the nation. When he was nonetheless at Fox, Mr. Carlson’s commentaries have been usually featured on Russian state tv, together with those who painted Volodymyr Zelensky, Ukraine’s president, as a “dictator” waging a “regime change” battle in opposition to Russia on the behest of American and British masters. Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022. It did so with the specific purpose of ousting Mr. Zelensky’s authorities.

Upon Mr. Carlson’s cancellation at Fox, Russian shops attributed it to his “fearless” reporting on Ukraine.

Mr. Carlson has claimed with out proof that the U.S. authorities had thwarted his previous try and interview Mr. Putin.

Mr. Carlson has promoted his present on X as a bastion of free speech.

Mr. Putin has intensified his curtailment of free speech in Russia through the Ukrainian battle. Media shops within the nation have been ordered to discuss with as a “particular army operation.” Journalists face potential jail time for calling it an invasion.

Mr. Putin’s authorities has been holding Evan Gershkovich, a Wall Road Journal reporter, in jail for almost a 12 months. The federal government has charged him with espionage — an accusation vehemently denied by Mr. Gershkovich, his newspaper and america authorities, which has declared that he’s being wrongfully held.

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