What could Trump actually do for Putin, if he wanted to do the fellow a solid?
1. The absolute #1 favor would be stop or at least curb fracking in the US. In order for Russian economy to do well, the oil price needs to stand at $105-110 per barrel. The absolute disaster point for Russia is if it drops to under $30.
The current price is $65. It’s bad but not the end of everything that Putin cares about. The only thing right now that can bring it lower is the US fracking.
2. The second best thing Trump could do for Putin is to say something to the effect that “it’s time to accept that the Crimea is part of Russia.” And please don’t think this is minor. This single statement would cause enormous upheaval and a lot of really bad shit happening. And unlike curbing fracking, this is not unrealistic.
Of course, it would be an absolute dream come true for Putin if Trump asked him to sit down and divide spheres of influence in the world between the two of them but that’s a total pipe dream, so it’s ridiculous even to discuss.
3. What else? Well, it would give some fleeting pleasure to Putin if Trump got himself impeached. But the practical value of that would be nil.
Trump would please Putin if he performed some public act of contrition, recognizing the [completely imaginary] harm that the US has done to Russia. But yet again, anybody who knows anything about Trump can see that this is not happening.
4. Create some massive instability in the US. Something like a major economic collapse, starving crowds roaming the streets, etc. Again, zero practical value for Putin but it wouldn’t be unpleasant for him to watch.
I can’t think of anything else because the previous administrations have already given him everything else.
This is where you look if you want to find out whether he’s trying to repay some debt he consciously contracted.