Ahead of his state visit to Austria on June 5, the first since his reelection, Russian President Vladimir Putin gave ORF news anchorman Armin Wolf an exclusive interview.
Over 52 minutes, the exchange tackled a wide array of topics, from Crimea to Syria, North Korea, the US elections and Russia’s relations with Europe – including hard-hitting questions and some tense moments. Today, with the publishing of the English transcript, the interview is making waves internationally.
Here, you can watch excerpts from the ORF interview featuring additional analysis and a making of (as well as chapter points so you can skip straight to the hardest-hitting questions) as well as the complete one-on-one interview.
After the transcript’s release, commentators quickly took to Twitter to congratulate Armin Wolf for his “forensic questioning” and “impressive and informed pushback.”
Brilliant and utterly gripping interview with Putin by Austrian TV presenter Armin Wolf. Even the official Kremlin transcript crackles with Putin's frustration at the forensic questioninghttps://t.co/7fHIHPLhFE pic.twitter.com/UldNlF3EYn
— Stuart Millar (@stuartmillar159) June 5, 2018
Today's Putin interview with Austria's public broadcaster ORF is worth your time – impressive and informed pushback from @arminwolf on Crimea, MH17 and troll factories https://t.co/TGBRX8aEd5 and transcript in English https://t.co/KEWteB4MDh
— Julia Karmo (@juliakarmo) June 5, 2018
This is a really tough and far-ranging Putin interview by ORF Austrian journalist Armin Wolf: on Russian authoritarianism, Ukraine, MH17, hackers. Rarely seen a Western interviewer push Putin like this: https://t.co/HtctZFmuON
— Benjamin Haddad (@benjaminhaddad) June 5, 2018
Of course, given the Russian president’s combative nature, some pushback was to be expected:
"Armin Wolf: May I take you at your word?
Vladimir Putin: Try it."https://t.co/oeXgOTxozP
(This interview is spectacular.)
— jay cowit (@jaycowit) June 5, 2018
Some even called it possibly “the toughest interview” the Russian president has had to endure.
— Ivan Nechepurenko (@INechepurenko) June 4, 2018
— Oskar Górzyński (@OskarGie) June 5, 2018
— Alexander Frost (@AlexB_Frost) June 5, 2018
The Austrian TV presenter also didn’t shy away from asking the question that’s been on the mind of anyone who has ever seen Putin posing shirtless for the cameras.
Kudos to Austrian TV for sending a well-informed reporter able to push back against obfuscation to do the most probing interview with Putin I can remember for years. (And also trolling him a bit at the end). Fascinating transcript https://t.co/vmmwcDTUvC pic.twitter.com/mcufL3vD4R
— Shaun Walker (@shaunwalker7) June 5, 2018
There’s even a mock-up cover commemorating the momentous interview!
— Euke Frank (@EukeFrank) June 4, 2018