(WFAE Charlotte) When Donald Trump was running for president, the Kremlin didn't make a secret that it preferred him to Hillary Clinton.
The thinking in Moscow was that Clinton would follow President Obama in trying to diminish Russia's role in the world. Trump, on the other hand, promised not only to be friendlier to Russia, but to turn established U.S. foreign policy on its head.
Now it might seem that Russian President Vladimir Putin's wildest dreams have come true: Trump is in the White House, and the United States is too distracted by internal divisions to throw its weight around internationally. […]
Individual reports about the Kremlin's role in U.S. politics don't reach a wide audience in Russia, says Nikolai Petrov, a political scientist at the Higher School of Economics in Moscow. But taken as a whole, they project an image of Russia's newfound power.
"The more scandals and rumors connected to Russia, the better it is for Putin to demonstrate how important he is – and how important the country has become under his leadership," said Petrov.
"It's possible to think that Russia can benefit from this chaos," said political scientist Petrov. "But in the longer term, I think that it's not in Russia's interests as well." […]
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