Started reading Huntington and got unhappy on page 2. He says Russia supported Serbia in the Yugoslavian conflict because of a cultural affinity they share. That’s a very insane statement. No such affinity exists, and there is no Russian person who’d claim there is. And as a Russian-speaker, I find it deeply aggravating when Americans tell me, “Ah, Ukraine! It’s like Serbia, right?” Both Russia and Ukraine are “like Serbia” in the same way we are “like Australia”. We are all humans, so there’s that commonality but nothing much else.
Then, as now, the only motivation that Russia had was to troll the US. Trolling is an end in itself. Serbia, schmerbia – who cares, as long as you can stick it to Americans? It’s all about that, all the time.
This is also an answer to the question of why the Russians promoted Trump’s candidacy. To troll, they did it to troll the US. Let’s not look for complexity where there isn’t one. Russia is like a 9-year-old boy who feels an overpowering need to tug on a girl’s braid.