Russia tried to influence elections in another sovereign country, leading to the victory of a strange President. It already happened before and Russia was then at the receiving hand.

Time Magazine’s ecstatic retelling of how the US helped elevate Yeltsin to the Russian presidency in 1991 was probably seen a little differently to some in Moscow. One of those people was Vladimir Putin, who quietly ousted Yeltsin from power in 1999, and allowed the former President to lead a closely-monitored civilian life until his death in 2007.

The 15 July 1996 issue of Time magazine. (Time)

Yeltsin was a man who enjoyed a good drink. He was once found in his underwear, wandering the streets of Washington DC at 3.00am trying to hail a taxi to get pizza, while President of Russia. A media conference at the White House back when Bill Clinton was in the Oval Office went a little sideways, after it appeared that both of them had maybe had a bit to drink, Yeltsin’s slurring indicating he had had slightly more.
Since then, Russian-American relations have worsened, as geopolitical strategies have clashed.

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After a steady political rise from the ruins of the KGB (old Soviet intelligence agency), Putin took over in 1999 and has been consolidating his position ever since. The connection between the economy and its politicians in Russia is far more direct than in the US; their Mark Zuckerberg’s and Jeff Bezos’ are government employees. They wield great power, yet all answer to Putin.

In the US, there has usually been more of a separation of the political and business worlds, held together by campaign donations and employment favors once out of office. Russian money no doubt made its way in whenever it could, and I would bet a decent amount of our politicians have “Russian connections”. The Russians not caring about what gets revealed is because they know our own politicians are more at risk from exposure.

The 29 May 2017 issue of Time magazine. (Time)

So basically three reasons why they’re doing this; as revenge, we’re still rivals, and because they can.🔷

(Cover: Dreamstime / Andrey Emelyanenko)



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