Copyright © 2021

The work of Euromaidan Press is supported by the International Renaissance Foundation

When referencing our materials, please include an active hyperlink to the Euromaidan Press material and a maximum 500-character extract of the story. To reprint anything longer, written permission must be acquired from [email protected].

Privacy and Cookie Policies.

With Trump, Russian government and Russian opposition swap positions on US

A Russian sugar manufacturer celebrating the election of Donald Trump the next president of the United States of America (Image: social media)
A Russian sugar manufacturer celebrating the election of Donald Trump the next president of the United States of America (Image: social media)
Edited by: A. N.

Russian democrats have denounced Donald Trump’s ban on some Muslims entering the US as a violation of human rights, while the Russian government media have been far more restrained or even supportive of what the new president has done, the clearest reversal in the way the two parts of the Russian political spectrum view the United States.

Aleksey Gorbachev (Image:
Aleksey Gorbachev

In a commentary in today’s Nezavisimaya Gazeta, Aleksey Gorbachev, the political observer of that Moscow paper, says that under Barack Obama, the Russian opposition generally supported official Washington’s moves while the Russian government condemned them. Now in the Trump era, the reverse is true.

Konstantin Merzlikin, the deputy head of the PARNAS Party, says that “no one prohibits a migration service from strictly checking the admission to its country of citizens of states with a heightened level of terrorist threat. But when such a measure is introduced … toward those with visas and resident permits, serious questions arise about fundamental rights and freedoms.”

He adds that in his view, “this will produce an increase in anti-Americanism around the world.” Yabloko Party leader Emiliya Slabunova agrees: Trump’s action, she says, “will not only deepen the split in America and in the world community but increase the risk of new terrorist actions.”

Sergey Mitrokhin, another Yabloko leader, says that the wave of protests against Trump’s actions clear show just how much what the US president has done “contradicts American civilization” because the US is “a country of immigrants.” Imposing a religious test “not only points to double standards but raises the risk of terrorist attacks against Americans abroad.

Moreover, according to Mitrokhin, the order “testifies to the lack of analytic thinking in Trump and his entourage.” Any further steps in this same direction would become a chance to rethink the basis of [America’s] existence.”

But Russian state television [the main tool of Putin’s propaganda machine – Ed.], Gorbachev says, “assess the situation differently.” Its broadcasters talk about how Trump is “a builder of a new America” and criticize the opponents of his immigration ban either as those who long for Obama’s time or who want cheap labor for American factories.

According to the Nezavisimaya Gazeta journalist, “experts are certain that Russian media will be sympathetic to Trump just as long as he will keep their hopes alive for the lifting of sanctions.” Up to now, he quotes Aleksey Mukhin, head of the Moscow Center for Political Information, they remain “in a state of euphoria about Trump.”

Mukhin says that he doesn’t share that euphoria because despite Trump’s “pro-Russian rhetoric,” the American president remains “a very complex personality with whom [Moscow] will find it extremely difficult to agree on something.”

Nonetheless, it is striking and disturbing that Russian democrats are condemning what Washington has done while Russian authoritarians are praising or at least not criticizing it, a pattern that represents a departure from the past and that should be a warning signal to those who care about democracy in all countries.


Edited by: A. N.
You could close this page. Or you could join our community and help us produce more materials like this.  We keep our reporting open and accessible to everyone because we believe in the power of free information. This is why our small, cost-effective team depends on the support of readers like you to bring deliver timely news, quality analysis, and on-the-ground reports about Russia's war against Ukraine and Ukraine's struggle to build a democratic society. A little bit goes a long way: for as little as the cost of one cup of coffee a month, you can help build bridges between Ukraine and the rest of the world, plus become a co-creator and vote for topics we should cover next. Become a patron or see other ways to support. Become a Patron!
Related Posts