Green men, MH17, bare chest: Putin on edge over Austrian TV presenter’s questions

Ahead of his recent visit to Austria, Vladimir Putin answered questions from Austria’s ORF news presenter Armin Wolf. The Russian leader was noticeably nervous in the course of the interview.

For the first time over the past years, Putin did not manage to hide his irritation during the conversation that took place on June, 4. Putin started the conversation with his traditional monologue about Russia’s balanced police towards Austria and the EU.

A minute later, however, he heard unfavourable questions about Russia’s attempt to get Europe in hot water, shooting down of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 and the annexation of Crimea.

In a fury

Judging by the Russian president’s body language, one can state that Putin was in a rage. Losing control of his emotions, the Russian leader repeatedly accused the interviewer’s of not letting him to fully express his opinion and thoughts.

Apparently, the format of the interview did not fit Mr Putin; he would have preferred questions and answers prepared by the Kremlin press service in advance. But the journalist stood firm and thwarted any attempts to voice propaganda pieces – so it was with the question about Ukraine.


Wolf asked the head of Russia to explain why he had lied about Russian little green men in Crimea. Putin countered saying he had to send troops to shield Russian military bases from Ukrainian nationalists…

This meeting was scheduled as part of information support in the run-up to Putin’s first visit to the West after winning the 2018 presidential election, but in the end it turned out to be his major failure. But since the interview was of official nature, the failure was published on the website of the president.

Naked king

The Austrian journalist also put a number of soft questions: for example, he asked why Putin often posed bare-chested. He did not receive a clear answer, but obviously made the Russian president feel bad. He was ashamed to such an extent that responding to the TV presenters’s request to say a couple of sentences in German (and Putin does know the language of Goethe), he only flatly answered ‘Danke schoen’ (thank you).

English subs

Міchał Kacewicz/MS,

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