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Is Tucker Carlson in Russia? Former Fox News host apparently pictured in Moscow

Tucker Carlson has apparently been spotted at Moscow‘s Bolshoi Theatre, sparking speculation about whether he could be in the city to interview Vladimir Putin.

However, there was no official confirmation of the visit from Carlson’s office, or from the US and Russian authorities.

On Sunday, a Telegram channel named Mash – believed to be close to Russian law enforcement authorities – published purported photos of Carlson in Moscow. It also said that he flew in from Istanbul and “he has been in Moscow for three days”.

The post included two photos – supposedly showing Mr Carlson at an airport and another at Moscow’s Bolshoi Theatre, where he was said to have attended а ballet performance on Sunday.

“Without exaggerating, it is safe to say that we are in for an epochal event,” the pro-Kremlin Bezgranichny Analitik Telegram channel wrote. The Kremlin declined to say whether or not Russian President Vladimir Putin would grant an interview to U.S. journalist Tucker Carlson - or whether he was in Moscow.

"We can hardly be expected to provide information on the movement of foreign journalists," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said when asked about speculation that Mr Carlson was in Russia to interview Putin.

"Many foreign journalists come to Russia every day, many continue to work here, and we welcome this," Mr Peskov said. "We have nothing to announce in terms of the president's interviews to foreign media."

The Russian president has faced increasing international isolation since his nation invaded Ukraine in February 2022. Carlson is a former Fox News host, who is sympathetic to Putin, launched a subscription-based streaming video service in December. Mr Carlson has previously attacked the Joe Biden administration while parroting Russian propaganda.

On X, former advisor to the internal affairs ministry in Ukraine, Anton Gerashchenko wrote: “Putin doesn’t sit down with journalists one on one too often. The last time it happened in 2021, when Putin talked to NBC’s Keir Simmons.

“The goals that the Kremlin pursues are obvious. We will see what comes out of this. Will new narratives be voiced loud and clear? I doubt it.

“Putin has ramped up the propaganda machine to full speed before the ‘elections’.”

Russia faces the prospect of Mr Putin extending his two-decade stranglehold on power until at least 2030, with an election in March.

Another Telegram channel belonging to the RIA state news agency in Russia posted that “it is said the TV host, who openly sympathizes with Russia, has come here in the hope of talking to Putin”.

Marjorie Taylor Greene, a member of the US House of Representatives from Georgia, wrote on social media that “Democrats and their propagandists in the media are spasming at the prospect of Tucker Carlson interviewing Putin”.

Meanwhile, Mr Peskov, Putin’s spokesperson, mentioned that the Kremlin gets “dozens” of interview requests from Western media daily but doesn’t see the value in an interview, because “[Western] society has been stupefied by Russophobic propaganda”.

He added: “Whether or not Carlson will be among the potential candidates, we’ll have to wait and see.”

The Independent has reached out to Mr Carlson for comment.