Russians And Ukrainians Are At Odds Over Trump Victory

Russians want Trump to recognize Russia's 2014 annexing of Crimea

Trump is already a world leader in this Moscow store — REUTERS
Nov 09, 2016 at 8:40 AM ET

Russians congratulated Donald Trump on becoming the 45th president of the United States Wednesday. Their neighbors in Ukraine were far less enthusiastic however.

Vocativ discovered thousands of posts on Twitter and on VKontakte, Russia’s version of Facebook, from Russian social media users either celebrating or congratulating the next American president. One popular tweet featured a doctored version of Jimmy Fallon messing up Trump’s hair, with Putin’s face superimposed over Fallon’s. Another user commented on VKontakte, “We are really lucky that Trump has won. It appears that he will try to make peace with Russia, while Clinton wanted to start war.”

However, many Russians who congratulated Trump did so with a caveat. “What did Trump promise us about Crimea? Let’s see [if he fulfils it],” one Twitter user wrote, referring to Trump’s remark in July that, if elected, he may recognize Crimea as Russian territory, and lift U.S. government sanctions against Russian banks and corporations. Russia annexed Crimea, a peninsula on Ukraine’s southern coast, from Ukraine in 2014 in a controversial move that the U.S. does not currently recognize. Russia’s economy has been struggling under the crippling sanctions since then.

Translation: “Great job our friend Trump!”

Translation: “Now let’s see how Trump and his conservatives become friends with Russia.”

Ukrainian social media users were understandably less optimistic on Wednesday.
“Trump??? Are you sane? What were you thinking, Americans? Another Putin, dammit,” one Twitter user wrote. A VKontakte user posted a screenshot of the electoral college results as Trump was closing in on the minimum 270 votes required to win with the caption: “Stop the planet.”

Over the summer Trump stumbled in an interview with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos when asked about Russian President Vladimir Putin’s regional ambitions. He attempted to clarify what he meant after the interview aired, saying on Twitter: “When I said in an interview that Putin ‘is not going into Ukraine, you can mark it down,’ I am saying if I am President. Already in Crimea!”

Trump’s clarification that, if elected, he would prevent Putin from overtaking further parts of Ukraine did not appear to appease Ukrainians, who still believe that the possibility of Trump developing a friendly relationship with Putin would be bad news for their nation.