For Vladimir Putin, Trump’s VP choice couldn’t be any clearer

For Vladimir Putin, Trump’s VP choice couldn’t be any clearer

As Americans witness the spectacle of a grimacing Donald Trump, fidgeting nervously as he faces criminal charges in a Manhattan courtroom, an even more consequential drama continues to unfold some 5,000 miles away, where the Russian military is capitalizing on the months-long effort of Vladimir Putin’s GOP puppets to withhold military aid to Ukraine.

Whether that delay, caused by members of the GOP House’s so-called “Freedom Caucus,” seals Ukraine’s fate has yet to be seen. 

As The New York Times’ David Sanger, Julian E. Barnes, and Kim Barker wrote, “Because of the delay in U.S. funding, Russia has been able to achieve a huge artillery advantage over Ukraine.” 

Former national security advisor Steven Hadley observed that the lack of adequate air defense ammunition has allowed Russia to employ its “glide bombs” fairly at will, degrading Ukraine’s civil defenses and terrorizing the Ukrainian population even further, according to the Times. 

While the media seems unable to comprehend how Trump’s difficulties connect to larger geopolitical ramifications, Putin is surely watching the New York proceedings with great interest. Putin most certainly does not want to prosecute his war with another four years of President Joe Biden in office, particularly with a potential Democratic House in place, allocating further aid to Ukraine next year. For the first time in his life, he actually needs Trump.

Similarly, Trump’s much-noted craving for Putin’s favor has not dissipated. Given the gravity of his pending criminal indictments—and barring some miraculous ruling in his favor from the U.S. Supreme Court—winning the 2024 election might be the only conceivable means for Trump to avoid facing serious legal repercussions. And, though there is no evidence suggesting Russian interference in this election yet, the 2016 election suggests that Putin needs no encouragement.

This confluence of mutual interest between Trump and Putin is why, of all the obsequious toadies who’ve appeared in court to genuflect before Trump, Ohio Sen. J.D. Vance’s appearance is the most significant. 

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