Was Tucker Carlson put on a Ukrainian ‘kill list’ after Putin interview? Not exactly – here’s what we know

World News

After former Fox News host Tucker Carlson announced his sitdown interview with Russian President Vladimir Putin, viral social media posts began to claim Carlson was added to Ukrainian government “kill list,” though the controversial site is not government-run and has criticised Carlson for earlier remarks made by Carlson about Russia and the war.
HOLLYWOOD, FLORIDA – NOVEMBER 17: Tucker Carlson speaks during 2022 FOX Nation Patriot Awards at Hard Rock Live at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood on November 17, 2022 in Hollywood, Florida. (Photo by Jason Koerner/Getty Images)
Key Takeaways
  • Infowars host Alex Jones said during his show Carlson was added to a “Ukraine kill list” called Myrotvorets after announcing an interview with Russian President Vladimir Putin earlier this week, and another viral post on X claims Carlson was “punished” for the interview by being added on the “kill list.”
  • Myrotvorets is a running list made in 2014 by an independent organization called the Myrotvorets (or Peacemaker) Center, which keeps track of people it believes have committed crimes against the “national security of Ukraine, human life and health, peace, human security and the international legal order,” including musician and Russia defender Roger Waters and NBC journalist Keir Simmons.
  • People on the list who have died from various causes are marked as liquidated, including former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, who died in 2022 from disease, daughter of Russian nationalist Daria Dugina, who died in a car bomb attack the U.S. believes elements of the Ukrainian government was behind, and Italian journalist Andrea Rocchelli, who died after being hit by mortar fire in Ukraine while covering the conflict.
  • The site claims that Carlson was added to the list on June 08, 2023, after posting a 10-minute long video to X where he called Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky “rat-like,” and suggested the destruction of the Kakhovka dam in Ukraine was a Ukrainian terrorist act; Forbes could not independently verify when his name was added.
  • The site does list Carlson’s interview with Putin as another offense against Ukraine, along with a 2022 statement he made on Fox News, saying Ukraine’s army was too small to win a victory against Russia.
  • Ukrainian politician George Tuka told the Times of London the site doesn’t receive government funding and is not government-affiliated, and was created to keep track of Ukrainian political officials, ex-military and ex-police officers who were pro-Russia—Forbes has reached out to the Myrotvorets Center for comment.
  • Despite not being government-run, Ukrainian secret services reportedly keep “close ties” with the website, and the former Ukrainian Minister of Internal Affairs Arsen Avakov supported the site, while former Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko condemned it, according to the U.S. Department of State.
Key Background

Myrotvorets has received criticism from Western countries for exposing journalists. After Western journalists’ personal information was leaked on the site, G7 Ambassadors stated they were “deeply concerned” about the leak. They worried threats made against the journalists were a result of the leak, and called for the personal information to be taken down. The United Nations urged Ukrainian police to investigate personal data leaks on Myrotvorets and remove the data from the site.

The U.S. State Department also regularly includes Myrotvorets in its annual Country Reports on Human Rights Practices, identifying the various times journalists’ personal information was leaked on the site. A Ukrainian journalist’s personal data was leaked after a story she wrote led to the firing of a Ukrainian official, which reportedly led to her receiving threats, according to the State Department’s 2022 report.

Tangent

Carlson confirmed via a video posted to X on Tuesday he planned to interview Putin, arguing most Americans aren’t informed on the war in Ukraine, though they are “paying for much of it in ways they might not fully yet perceive,” through military aid. The interview will air on X on Thursday, and will mark the first time the Russian president has held a one-on-one interview with a Western journalist since 2019.

During his announcement video, Carlson claimed “not a single western journalist has bothered to interview” Putin, for which he received backlash. “Does Tucker really think we journalists haven’t been trying to interview President Putin every day since his full scale invasion,” CNN’s chief international correspondent Christiane Amanpour said in a response on X. Carlson has been outspoken about the war in Ukraine. He speculated in 2022 the U.S. may be responsible for the explosions that destroyed the Nord Stream pipeline, which supplies Russian natural gas to the rest of Europe.

He described the Ukraine conflict as “merely a border dispute,” and urged Americans to ask themselves a question: “Why do I hate Putin?” He implied the U.S. and other Western countries were at fault for the conflict, because “getting Ukraine to join NATO was the key to inciting war with Russia.” During a 2019 episode of his Fox News show, he said he was “rooting for Russia” to win the conflict in eastern Ukraine, before clarifying he was joking.

This article was originally published on forbes.com.

More from Forbes Australia