Donald Trump’s presidential victory was met with jubilation in Moscow. Parties were thrown and in the State Duma champagne corks popped, while Russian officials openly praised the new US president on TV. But at the same time a certain anxiety was palpable − Trump had not been expected to win, and nobody thought his victory would go down well in Washington.
Indeed, within a few months Trump’s win had become a Pyrrhic victory for the Kremlin. The sanctions against Russia were hardened first by Obama, and then by Trump. This led to an angry tweet from Dmitri Medvedev, the Russian prime minister: ‘The Trump administration has shown its total weakness by handing over executive power to Congress in the most humiliating way.’
Meanwhile, the two Russian government organizations instrumental in executing the Kremlin’s US policy suffered sudden and severe setbacks, losing people and positions.