Staunton, May 13 – There has been yet another mood swing in Moscow about Donald Trump. After his election, Russian officials and commentators celebrated that event as a breakthrough for Russia. Then, after he came to office and took positions, Moscow didn’t like, many Russians dismissed him as a remake of Barack Obama as far as their country is concerned.
But now in the wake of Donald Trump’s firing of the FBI director and his meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, Russians again are expressing confidence that the US president will pursue policies they like and are declaring openly that “Trump is again OURS. Hurrah!” (sntdpni.livejournal.com/450550.html).
Karen Shakhnazarov, for example, said on Moscow’s First Channel Thursday evening that Trump is Russia’s revenge for Gorbachev: He will divide the US and end up “in Miami instead of Foros.” Then, he continued, “we will rule the world.” Russians just have to wait because “Trump is again ours!” (facebook.com/ruben.mehrabyan/posts/10155419896154040).
Such remarks, coming after more than two months of largely critical Russian commentary suggest that they, like the ones expressed earlier, are not so deeply held that they won’t change again on a dime (or perhaps kopeck) if once again the US president does something Moscow doesn’t like.
But at the same time, they underscore Moscow’s hopes that it now has an opposite number in Washington who will not be constrained as were his predecessors by Russian actions at home like violations of human rights or abroad like the invasions of Georgia or Ukraine but who instead will want above all to make “a big deal” – and that Moscow can exploit that desire.