Russian President Putin. TASS
Anna Nemtsova, Politico: Trump Is Already Helping Putin Consolidate Control of Ukraine
The GOP candidate's pro-Russia comments have become must-see TV in both countries—and they’re demoralizing the Ukrainians.
MOSCOW—In living rooms and kitchens across Russia and Ukraine, the U.S. presidential election is as riveting to TV viewers as “Game of Thrones” is to their American counterparts. Every time Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump speak of Russian President Vladimir Putin, Crimea, Russian hackers or the Donbas (the disputed region of eastern Ukraine)—and it’s rebroadcast here, which it usually is—people in both countries sit up as if some crazy American reality show has just come on. Almost every day, television channels in both countries highlight America’s new scandals and intrigues involving Trump’s connections with post-Soviet oligarchs, or leaked DNC emails, or the endless hurling of insults and the constant debate over America’s supposedly disappearing greatness.
But the main reason the U.S. election has become must-see TV is not because it’s a great reality show, or because Putin and the conflict between Russia and Ukraine come up as issues in the campaign as often as Mexican immigrants, ISIS and Benghazi. It's because the political rhetoric across the Atlantic is actually starting to change facts on the ground in Russia and Ukraine. In both countries, coverage of the political chaos in the United States—the north star of politics for both anti-American and pro-American figures in this part of the world—is stirring public discontent and doubt about the future in Ukraine, and a sense of confidence, even arrogance, in Russia.
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WNU Editor: I usually respect what Anna Nemtsova writes when it comes to Russia and Ukrainian issues .... but she is wrong on this one. Ukrainians are not depressed because of what is happening in the U.S. .... they are depressed because of what is happening in their own country, and by the hands of their own leaders. And as for the Russian point of view .... yes .... there is an interest in the U.S. election, but the series "Games of Thrones" is far more interesting to most Russians than the Trump-Clinton match. And as for Donald Trump helping Russia consolidate control of Ukraine .... please .... Donald Trump has no influence or means to dictate what U.S. foreign policy should be .... the man who has that power is President Obama .... and he is the one that Anna Nemtsova should be directing her ire at.