Retired Col. Douglas Macgregor, a frequent Fox News guest, claimed in a recent interview that Russian autocrat Vladimir Putin had ordered the invasion of Ukraine “in defense of his country” and in order to prevent a genocidal Ukrainian assault on Russian-speaking civilians in breakaway Ukrainian provinces. In other interviews, he blamed the United States for the invasion and argued that American “globalists” were driven to destroy Russia’s “national identity.”
Macgregor, a conspiracy theorist with a long history of xenophobic commentary, has made dozens of Fox appearances since 2017 and become network star Tucker Carlson’s go-to voice for foreign policy discussions. Carlson has described Macgregor as “our first choice for foreign policy analysis,” and defended the retired colonel when Macgregor’s declaration on Fox that the United States should “absolutely” allow Putin to annex as much of Ukraine as he wishes drew criticism from one of Carlson’s colleagues.
That commentary from Macgregor was so favorable to Russia that its state TV channels aired clips from the segment. But his discussion of the invasion has proved even more staunchly pro-Russian in recent radio and podcast interviews reviewed by Media Matters.
“Putin is acting in defense of his country, whether we like it or not. And he's not going to allow Ukraine to become a base for us to attack his country, undermine his country, subvert his government, and he had a legitimate right to do that,” Macgregor said in a March 3 radio interview.
He went on to blame the United States and Ukraine for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which he portrayed as a preemptive strike to prevent a planned Ukrainian genocide against “Russians” in the Putin-backed breakaway regions of Donetsk and Luhansk.
“We've brought this on,” he told the host, Joe Piscopo. “We worked very hard to create this and we created this, this phony, corrupt state in Kiev with this man, Zelensky in charge. We created an illusion and we made it dangerous to the Russians. We brought this on. [Putin has] been telling us for years and years and years, we won't tolerate this. And we are harvesting the crop that we sowed.”
After Piscopo responded by noting that “the Ukrainians were not fighting after the Russians,” Macgregor replied: “The Ukrainians were attacking the two provinces full of Russians. They’ve been fighting there since 2014. Fourteen thousand people have died or died before this began. And they were preparing to go into these so-called two breakaway provinces, which were filled with Russians, and kill everybody. And that's why finally, Putin pulled the trigger and said, ‘No. We're not going to wait. Go in.’ Because initially they said, ‘We'll wait until the Ukrainians launch this big attack, this big assault that they'd been planning.’ And they said, ‘No, we're not going to wait. We're not going to stand around and watch any more people killed there.’”
Macgregor also denied that Putin was “deliberately killing anybody that’s an innocent civilian,” arguing that the Ukrainian military is causing the “collateral damage” because it “operates in close proximity to the civilian population.”
Macgregor has repeatedly depicted Russia as the victim of American “globalists” who he claims want to destroy it because of the Russians’ allegedly strong sense of national identity and Christian values.
Senate Democrats and Republicans “seem to have decided to make war on Russia, whether that war is economic or cultural or otherwise,” Macgregor told Michael Savage during a recent podcast. “I think to some extent, we have to say that Russia to them represents the last major European state that is not part of the globalist, internationalist empire, if you will.”
“They've resisted LGBTQ,” he continued. “They've resisted doing what I would call this interesting blend of nihilism-Marxism-atheism, and as a result, they have to be subverted and overthrown.”
Macgregor returned to the theme later in the broadcast, telling Savage that “globalist[s]” think Russia “has to be destroyed” because they consider it anachronistic that Russians “have a strong sense of national identity” and “a national language, a history that they revere and there's an ethnicity.”
He made similar statements to Fox host Laura Ingraham for the March 8 edition of her podcast.
“We tried to turn Ukraine into a giant torpedo aimed at Russia by making it the sort of advanced platform for George Soros – who, I'm increasingly convinced, is probably the shadow national security adviser for President Biden -- and bring in, not just weapons, but infinite numbers of subversives, all of whom were determined to destroy Russia,” Macgregor explained.
“Remember, they hate Russia, which is not communist, it's not a Soviet state, because Russia is a Russian Orthodox Christian country that is based on Russian national identity,” he added. “Well that's unacceptable to the globalists. They're trying to destroy national identity everywhere.”
Macgregor added that Ukrainians “are simply being used as cannon fodder for the United States and Soros.”