Tucker Carlson’s Putin Interview Fuels Meme Frenzy

There’s nothing like a good history lesson. Unless, that is, President Vladimir Putin is the person giving the lesson, and he’s using it to justify why he launched a war against Ukraine.

But Putin, eager as always to don his historian cap and Kremlinsplain away the invasion, gave U.S. conservative pundit Tucker Carlson the kind of history lesson he might not have expected when he decided to travel thousands of miles to Moscow to get inside the Russian leader’s head. 

In his interview with Carlson, which premiered Friday, Putin went through the tired, grievance-filled historical narrative that he has regularly invoked since the start of the war nearly two years ago. He talked about everything from the founding of the Ryurik dynasty in 862 AD and the baptism of Rus in 988 AD, to the time when Soviet dictator Josef Stalin allegedly “artificially” created the Ukrainian state and then the break-up of the U.S.S.R. in the early 1990s.

There was a lot to take in. And of course, not everyone has the time or patience to watch the full interview. But you’ll probably have a minute to spare for some memes about the interview, right?

Here’s a look at some of our favorite memes about the interview:

While U.S. audiences were able to watch the premiere of Carlson’s interview with Putin at the reasonable hour of 6:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, people living in Moscow were forced to stay up until 2:00 a.m. to catch the release. 

And so our first meme reads: “You up?” 

Just hours before the interview premiered, Carlson teased his two-hour talk with Putin by posting this still frame on Instagram. And the internet was instantly drawn to one thing: Putin’s pants, which are clearly saying the tide is coming in. 

“I would have started with this question,” blogger Uliana Yapparova wrote. 

“Who chooses your pants?” Carlson asks the Russian president. 

Russian comedian Anton Pikuli writes here: “Tucker Carlson’s interview with Putin be like…”

“Mister Putin, why did you attack Ukraine?”

“Carlson, my dear boy, did you know that in the year 862 Rurik…” 

Many of our readers will likely have heard the famous quote often attributed to Tsar Alexander III. It goes: “Russia has only two allies: the army and the navy.” 

But had the long-deceased ruler been alive today, maybe he would have said this instead:

“Russia has only two allies: Twix the cat and Tucker Carlson.”

In case you’re not in the loop, the pet cat named Twix was thrown from a train car by a railroad employee last month and ultimately froze to death, which caused an uproar on social media. We wrote about the hapless feline here:

British comedian Philomena Cunk (pictured below) once asked a historian: “What is the Soviet Onion?”

We can only fantasize about what Cunk would have asked Putin if she had the opportunity to interview him. So let your imagination run wild. 

Does this even need an explanation? We hope not.

“Let me give you a quick history lesson,” Putin tells Tucker Carlson.

And so a history lesson he gives.

“Uh, okay, I got it,” Carlson replies.

And the lesson continues.

“Help me.”

Indeed, one has to wonder why Putin chose to trace history back only to the Middle Ages when explaining why he invaded Ukraine in 2022. He very well could have gone back to the creation of our solar system, or the Big Bang. 

Coming soon to a WhatsApp family group chat near you, this image:

“February 9 — Victory in the Information War Day.” 

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