Whether Putin helped Trump or not, Trump clearly hasn’t helped Putin:
At the same time, Mr. Putin’s approval rating, still elevated by Western standards, has been sinking. In July it dropped 15 percentage points, to 64 percent from 79 percent, according to a Levada poll.
The Levada Center belongs to the Russian government (although they claim to be independent, which is a joke), so things must be even worse. If you are wondering what happened in July to create such a turn, Putin tried to raise the retirement age for above male life expectancy, meaning that most men (especially those living outside of Moscow) will die before they get to retire. The reason why Putin had to do it is that he’d spent the pension reserve on annexing the Crimea and couldn’t replenish it because of the low oil prices (resulting from the fracking revolution in the US), US sanctions, US pressure on Merkel to stop aiding Putin financially, and US tariffs. On every one of these issues, Trump has been unwaveringly anti-Russian.
Now a question. If Bernie Sanders (whom Russians supported on the par with Trump) had won the election – and this is something I would have obviously preferred – which of these things (fracking, pressure on Merkel, more sanctions, tariffs, etc) would he have promoted?
I understand nobody cares as much about Russia as they do about their lives right here at home. Neither do I, which is why I’m sad Bernie lost. But I wish people who don’t care and don’t understand stopped evoking Russia at every turn.