Man at His Best

This Is Vladimir Putin's Response to Trump's Victory

And Russia's, for that matter.

BY DIANA BRUK | Nov 10, 2016 | Culture

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Russia and Vladimir Putin were prominent figures in the US presidential race. Russian hackers stole a trove of emails from chairman of Hillary Clinton's campaign, John Podesta, leaking them with the aim, many suspect, of influencing the election. Meanwhile, Putin and Donald Trump engaged in bit of a bromance. At one point, Clinton even accused Trump of being Putin's puppet.

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Trump denied her claim and insisted he doesn't even know Putin, despite having bragged earlier about meeting the Russian leader. But the day after the US Election, the bromance was back on. Putin sent Trump a telegram to congratulate him on his victory. According to the official Kremlin website, Putin wrote that he hopes to "work together to end the crisis in Russian-American relations and "search for effective responses to global security challenges." He also said that he was confident that "building a constructive dialogue between Moscow and Washington, which is based on principles of equality, mutual respect and taking into account one another's true positions, is in the interest of our peoples and the world community."

In a presentation in Moscow on Wednesday, Putin congratulated Trump, again emphasising that he looks forward to being friends (but don't forget that it was all America's fault in first place):

I'd like to congratulate the American people with the end of the electoral cycle. And I also would like to congratulate Mr Donald Trump with his victory. We heard [Trump's] campaign rhetoric while still a candidate for the US presidency, which was focused on restoring the relations between Russia and the United States. We understand and are aware that it will be a difficult path in the light of the degradation in which, unfortunately, the relationship between Russia and the US are at the moment. And as I have already said at length, it is not our fault that Russian American relations are currently in this state. But Russia wants to and is ready to restore full-length relations with the United States. I repeat we understand that this will not be an easy route, but we are ready to walk our part in it, and do everything to return Russian American relations to a stable and sustainable developmental track.

 

Within Russia, reactions are mixed. Among many of my own Russian friends and relatives, there is a sense of shock at Trump's rise to power.

"If this had happened in Russia, I would have assumed that he just bought the votes and been done with it," my cousin, Sveta, who lives in St Petersburg, told me. "But it seems like America is strict about that sort of thing, which is why I don't understand how this could have happened."


But those who support Putin (and benefit from that support) are elated.

"We are very glad that relations will improve with Russia and stop the artificial Cold War which Washington and London try to push on the world," pro-Kremlin analyst Sergei Markov told the BBC.

Margarita Simonyan, the editor-in-chief of the state-owned television news network RT and the state-owned international news agency Rossiya Segodnya, tweeted that she wanted "to drive through Moscow with an American flag in the window."

She then tweeted: "If Trump recognises our Crimea, cancels the sanctions, reaches an agreement with us about Syria and releasing Assange, I'll retire. For the world will be perfect."


Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump supporters are seen on October 7, 2016 in Milan, Italy.
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Putin's detractors, however, are feeling even more anxious than usual.

The dissident music group Pussy Riot offered these words of comfort.


And Garry Kasparov, the Russian chess grandmaster and fierce Putin critic, made a fitting Game of Thrones reference.


 

From: Esquire US


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