Everything seems to be coming to a head when it comes to the Trump White House’s alleged ties with the Russian government. National Security Advisor Michael Flynn resigned less than a month into his job following reports that he was vulnerable to blackmail by the Kremlin. His departure has been followed by some Russian officials tossing around the word “Russophobia” while defending Flynn. And a new Foreign Policy report (with full analysis) digs deep into why Russia may regret its now inextricable ties to the Trump administration.
All of this follows the conclusion by U.S. intelligence agencies that Russia hacked the DNC in an effort to get Trump elected. The Kremlin reportedly celebrated Trump’s victory as “a divine gift,” but now, “political elites in Moscow have stopped cheering.” They realize that Russia is irrevocably tied to Trump’s success or failure as president, and they’re worried that the latter will drag them down, too. An excerpt:
“What the Kremlin fears most today is that Trump may be ousted or even killed. His ouster, Kremlin insiders argue, is bound to unleash a virulent and bipartisan anti-Russian campaign in Washington. Oddly, therefore, Putin has become a hostage to Trump’s survival and success. This has seriously restricted Russia’s geopolitical options. The Kremlin is perfectly aware that Democrats want to use Russia to discredit and possibly impeach Trump while Republican elites want to use Russia to deflate and discipline Trump. The Russian government fears not only Trump’s downfall, of course, but also the possibility that he could opportunistically switch to a tough anti-Moscow line in order to make peace with hawkish Republican leaders in Congress.”
However, the entire Foreign Policy report is almost breathtaking in its scope. Putin reportedly believed Trump would help in “normalizing” Russia’s position with the West, but instead, Trump’s thrown the U.S. into uncharted territory. He’s angered Mexico, goes back and forth with China, and Iran may be pushed over the nuclear edge by the Trump administration’s opening moves. Should Trump be impeached or assassinated, Putin won’t be able to extract Russia so easily from its new best friend.
The Russian government, reportedly, is feeling drawn into a situation that is “abruptly and agonizingly complex” and is “still traumatized by the disintegration of the Soviet Union.” So, yes, it sounds like there are some regrets. Is any of this nervousness also sourcing from Trump trashing the U.S.-Russia nuclear plan as “a bad deal” while also asking his aides to explain it to him? Possibly. And then there’s the whole golden showers mess, which ain’t over yet. The Kremlin must be chock full of tension.
(Via Foreign Policy)