Moscow officials and commentators have treated Barack Obama with “unconcealed hatred” at the end of his presidency, blaming him for the absence of an agreement between Washington and Moscow and forgetting how they welcomed him eight years ago and how he pursued “the reset”.
Those celebrating or condemning the return of Churchill’s bust to the Oval Office as symbolic miss the point: President Trump may have put Churchill’s statue back in a place of honor, but his approach so far at least channels the ideas not of Britain’s greatest prime minister but rather of his discredited predecessor Neville Chamberlain.
Ukrainians and their friends and supporters have been so worried that any grand bargain between Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump will be a new “Munich” in which Ukraine will be handed over in whole or in part to the Kremlin that they have not considered fully just what any “deal” might look like.
While the attention of Russians and others around the world have been diverted – and one should ask be asking what they have been diverted from and why – ten pieces of bad even disastrous economic news have come out from or about Russia in the last 24 hours alone.
Moscow analyst Yury Khristenzen says that Moscow plans to “export separatism” across the entire former Soviet space, including Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania to break those countries to its will, confident that it can do so because the West will not be willing to go to war against a nuclear power
Nina Khrushcheva, a scholar at the New School in New York, says that what is likely to happen with the Trump administration is likely to turn out “more unbelievable” than Hollywood films like “The Manchurian Candidate” and to end even worse.
According to historian Leonid Mlechin, “fear of weapons of mass destruction” has disappeared and consequently it will not be as hard as it was to “push the nuclear button.”