The Washington Post reports: A funny thing happened in Russia this past week: President Trump’s face, once ubiquitous on the talk shows and evening news programs that tack closely to the Kremlin’s political agenda, was suddenly absent. Gone.
“Like they flipped a switch,” said Alexey Kovalev, a journalist at the Moscow Times who covers Russian state media.
It’s not hard to guess why. Engulfed in scandal over contacts between senior aides and Russian officials, the Trump administration has sought to put daylight between itself and the Kremlin.
In a single week, Washington has complained that Russia is violating a 1987 nuclear treaty and accused the Kremlin of meddling in various foreign elections. Scandal has forced out a national security adviser sympathetic to Moscow. Trump’s tone has seemed to harden on issues like Russia’s occupation of the Crimean peninsula.
For the Russians, it wasn’t supposed to turn out like this. [Continue reading…]