If they do not, they must have Russian apps running that promote the Russian people’s interests. The state is also banning “foreign agents” that are “motivated to propagate a foreign ideology” from buying up “Russian information tools.” There is a list of foreign agents in Russia that is much longer than the two below. All the major Western media outlets, including the BBC and CNN, have been forced to revise their reporting from Russia on Ukraine. Putin is obviously very proud of his response to the crisis in Ukraine. He is apparently confident that he can force Ukraine to bend in the manner his mind thinks is best. Despite everything, the idea of imposing any kind of sanctions on Russia is deeply unpopular in the United States. It is not surprising to see the overwhelming majority of Americans (89 percent) say Trump can make a good decision about Ukraine. Only 11 percent say they want a large-scale economic sanctions. In addition, 59 percent of Americans say they want to see the Russian government investigated by the U.S. Department of Justice. The numbers are even more discouraging when you look at how the president thinks this will affect his popularity. Only 31 percent of Americans say that it will make Trump the most popular president in history . If you take away that number, you get a much more realistic reading where the chances of Trump winning two terms are quite low. The likelihood that Trump will be one of only a handful of presidents to be disliked by the majority of Americans is slim to none.
Trump is a big fan of Putin But before we get into the specifics on sanctions and how they play out, we should examine the facts about Trump’s policy on Russia . The US government’s own experts say that Russia has “reverted to the path of aggression” – the same phrase that Putin used during the 2013 annexation of Crimea. Russia has shown no sign of stopping, and is now more active in Syria than since the end of the Cold War. They have shown an increasing willingness to intervene militarily in Crimea and eastern Ukraine, an act which was condemned by both the European Union and the United States. There exists no evidence that Russia has changed its mind, and it seems clear that Russia doesn’t support the Ukraine secession movement that President Putin endorsed. The US has provided the Ukraine government with the lethal and other types of weapons they need. The European Union, which has imposed sanctions on Russia, has threatened to send another 300 tons of its wheat to Ukraine, increasing the price by 7 percent and hitting Russia’s economy hard. The sanctions also target Russia’s financial sector, with restrictions placed on the ability for Russian banks and financial services to do business in the United States.
Trump wants to support Ukraine and Russian interests “Russia’s actions in Ukraine do not reflect our values,” Trump said in his speech and signed an executive order. This should surprise no one, considering that the US government was one of the main supporters of the Ukrainian separatist movement. The Ukrainian military, which the United States supplied with lethal weapons to defend themselves, was essentially disbanded by that time, and the US government did not provide the military with any funding. Since 2013, the Ukrainian military as a whole has seen its training and equipment dwindle, with each unit losing 10 percent of their personnel of the same sex. In other words, U.S. support for Ukrainian troops has been a net negative.
One of Trump’s favorite phrases is to label “The media” and “foreign governments” as representing “our enemies, but [are] mostly made up of ordinary Americans. What we want is not for our enemies to win, it’s for them to lose, and that’s often more pleasant than defeat.” Trump’s support of a strong defense budget does not mean that he is going to attack Russia all over, though he clearly states he is prepared to do so on the international stage. But the budget does go after countries on a regular basis. The American defense budget in particular will likely grow dramatically, and it is very far from clear how many troops the US can send to Afghanistan when it becomes clear that the overall US military presence is declining. The US has almost 13,000 active military troops in Afghanistan, up from just under 13,000 in 2007. While the Pentagon says it is considering sending 5,000 troop soldiers into Iraq, that idea has met with resistance from US allies, who fear it may leave them vulnerable to foreign attacks. Despite all this, “Trump is not going to go after Russia to punish another country, he is going to go after the military in an effort to defeat ISIS and stop Assad,” says Michael McFaul, who served as the US ambassador to Russia. Even with the American budget shrinking in this area, the Russians have plenty of resources to develop plans for a new attack. Meanwhile, the West may take a look at