Vladimir Putin, and Muscovites, hope Donald Trump will be a friend to Russia

Vladimir Putin signals he wants to work with Trump.Nine days before the US presidential election, Russian News Channels ranted about America’s “democracy:” Millions of “dead souls” voting! Voters bused around a city, casting ballots eight to ten times! Biggest scandal in history!This week, Kiselev barely mentioned the US, although he did take a few digs at the “West” for its “boorishness” and “arrogance.”

Donald Trump’s victory stunned Russia’s state-controlled media. They had overwhelmingly supported Trump but, for months, insisted the American system was so “fixed,” so corrupt, that an outsider simply had no chance of being elected.

When the impossible happened, the Russian propaganda machine temporarily froze, then pivoted, admitting that maybe, just maybe, this time the “people” had beaten the system.With Trump on his way to the White House, the tone in Moscow is now cautiously hopeful that Trump will follow through on his positive words about Russian President Vladimir Putin, and might even become an ally.

Channeling Trump’s earlier “Wouldn’t it be nice if we got along with Russia?” comments, Putin this week insisted, reassuringly, “We don’t look for enemies and have never done so. We need friends.”And he’s made it official: Donald Trump is, in his view, “smart.””Since he was successful in business, this proves he is a smart person,” Putin said in an interview last week with Russia’s NTV. “

As a smart person, he’s able to come to grips quickly with another level of responsibility and we expect him to act with this stance in mind.”Many of Putin’s fellow Russians seem to be taking their cue from him, and from the media that exhaustively cover his remarks.Ekaterina and Stanislav, both young IT specialists, were wheeling their baby Victoria — bundled up against the cold — down Kamergersky street in downtown Moscow.”I really do think there’s hope that relations will get better,” Ekaterina told me.

“There’s no reason to be enemies. Absolutely none! It’s better to be friendly, respect each other, because we’re all human beings. And if this tension disappears, that would be fantastic – for everyone!”Stanislav said he’s seeing less unease about the US in the news.”Because there’s hope, that’s why there’s less tension. Everyone is expecting that something good will happen.”