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16 Apr, 2024 15:19

Telegram founder reveals Tucker Carlson interview

The messaging platform now has a new channel, created by the US journalist
Telegram founder reveals Tucker Carlson interview

Russian-born IT entrepreneur Pavel Durov has teased a “very rare” interview conversation with Tucker Carlson, recorded around the same time as the American journalist’s visit to Russia and his much publicised encounter with President Vladimir Putin.

The St Petersburg-born billionaire, along with his mathematician brother Nikolay, founded VK, Russia’s answer to Facebook, before developing Telegram in 2013. The messaging platform has since grown to over 800 million active monthly users, according to Durov.

“As a leader of a politically neutral platform, it is my responsibility to speak to journalists representing different political views,” Durov said in a post on his official channel. “This way I can remain fair to all audiences and tell the story of Telegram to everyone.”

According to Durov, on the same day in February he had also given a three-hour interview to “a journalist of liberal views” as well as to Carlson, “who is famously conservative.”

“The interview with Tucker will be released very soon. It will be in video format, which is very rare for me – so be sure to watch it,” Durov added.

He also revealed that the American journalist has set up an official Telegram channel for his Tucker Carlson Network, urging the public to “keep an eye on the announcements there.” The channel has already attracted over 55,000 subscribers.

Carlson was the most popular cable TV host in the US until last April, when Fox News terminated his contract, taking a massive hit in ratings and market value. He returned several months later on X (formerly Twitter), after the platform’s new owner Elon Musk promised to protect freedom of speech.

In February, Carlson visited Moscow and recorded a lengthy interview with Putin, the first the Russian president gave to a Western journalist since the Ukraine conflict escalated in 2022.

Telegram has long been the most popular messaging application in Russia and Ukraine. It has also gained popularity in the rest of the world in recent years, after Meta changed the privacy settings of WhatsApp. 

Durov currently lives in the Middle East and has obtained the citizenships of France and the United Arab Emirates, in addition to his native Russian. Telegram is registered as a limited-liability company in Dubai, but the location of its physical headquarters has not been made public.