After the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, the Russian Federation was born. Elections were held in 1992 and Boris Yeltsin became the first President of the new republic. It was the successor state to the old Union of Socialist Soviet Republic ( USSR) which had broken up largely due to the policies of glasnost (openness) and perestroika (restructuring) implemented by the last leader of the Soviet Union, Mr Mikhail Gorbachev. The new republic inherited the nuclear weapons stockpile of the dismembered USSR thereby making it one of the most powerful nations in the world but it also inherited the financial woes of the old republic. It received a lot of financial aid from America totaling about $500 billion dollars in order for it to regain it’s footing financially and more importantly to prevent the country from falling into the hands of extremists who wanted to return the country to the old order.
Circa 2000, an obscure former intelligence officer cum politician rises to power as President. His name is Vladmir Putin. He came to power overwhelmingly aided by his political benefactor and mentor, Boris Yeltsin. However, he had an agenda different from that of Yeltsin in mind and no sooner had he been sworn into office did he break ties with Yeltsin and began to implement his own agenda. His agenda was to restore the lost glory of the defunct Soviet Union now represented by Russia. Putin has dominated Russian politics since becoming President in the year 2000. He has been President for two terms, Prime Minster for one term and now he is President again. His goal is to expand Russia’s influence globally. In 2008, during the Russo-Georgian war, Russian forces occupied South Ossetia and Abkhazia which were formerly regions under Georgia following a massive deterioration of relations between Russia and the western-backed government of Georgia. Under the prodding of Russia, these regions later proclaimed their independence from Georgia. He proceeded further to annex Crimea from Ukraine in 2014. Also, the armed conflict in Donbass region of Ukraine which has led to the declaration of independence by the separatist forces of the self-declared Donetsk Peoples Republic and Luhansk Peoples Republic is also a further indication of Mr Putin’ thirst for foreign glory. However, it must be said that Russia’s intervention in the Syrian civil war has helped the Syrian government to reclaim territories from ISIS and other terrorist groups operating in the country. What other proof of President Putin’s power and glory do we need?, than the fact that for four years running, he has been ranked by Forbes magazine as the most powerful man in the world.
Before entering politics, Donald Trump was a successful businessman and television personality. He was fondly referred to as the King of Manhattan due to his dominance of the real estate business in that city. His voyage into politics and subsequent declaration to run for President elicited mixed reactions from several quarters due to some of his outlandish and ambitious policies. Due to a combination of luck and good fortune, he won the Presidential ticket of the Republican party and went on subsequently to win the Presidential elections. He has however been under intense scrutiny and lately investigation into whether he colluded with the Russians in order to defeat his rival Hillary Clinton at the polls. But most people easily forget that Hillary Clinton had a huge credibility deficit going into that election. That she was already under investigation by the FBI for the use of a private server during her tenure as Secretary of State under Obama. Her social policies which were identical to that of Obama was a huge turn off to evangelicals and social conservatives. Trump’s policies appealed to several groups in America. Social conservatives, fiscal conservatives, the middle class, white collar workers, evangelicals and other religious groups, small business owners and the ultra right which all coalesced together to send Donald Trump to the White House. Since becoming President,Trump has tried unsuccessfully to implement many of his campaign promises notably the travel man on some Muslim-majority nations, the building of a border wall with Mexico and the repeal and replacement of the Affordable Care Act also known as Obamacare. His efforts to implement these policies have largely been thwarted by Congress and the courts. Only in the area of domestic economics has Trump fulfilled his promise to voters as his administration has created over a million jobs since coming to power in January this year.
Meddling in other countries elections is a violation of International Law. In 1965, the United Nations General Assembly reaffirmed this with a resolution stating:“No state has the right to intervene, directly or indirectly, for any reason whatever in the internal affairs of any other state”. According to Wikileaks, America has interfered in 81 foreign elections not including coups between 1946 and 2000. That is why i find it hypocritical when Americans make so much noise about the Russian interference in the last Presidential elections. People forget that the Russians did not help Trump to win the Republican Presidential ticket and also that Hillary Clinton went into that election with a lot of baggage. The Russians only helped to expose the dark side of her. From time immemorial, nations have always interfered in the affairs of other nations. This is often in order to preserve it’s interest in that nation no matter how parochial or sinister that interest may be. It is an unwritten norm in international relations between nations and America is not innocent of this illegality.
Mueller’s investigation is a waste of time and an unnecessary distraction to President Trump. Trump is an intelligent man who knows how to cover his tracks very well (assuming he is guilty). Don’t forget that he has successfully navigated the shark infested waters of the real estate business in New York. He successfully escaped the filing of his tax returns which is a practice that though unwritten has become the norm for every American President. He also appointed his son-in law and daughter to positions in his government despite cries about the violation of anti-nepotism laws. The investigation might succeed in indicting those around Trump but he will always come out unscathed till the end of his tenure whether in 2020 or 2024. This is because his own party members are afraid to move against him because they do not want to lose their seats in congress. This was unlike the case of Former President Bill Clinton in the Monica Lewinsky trial when it was his own party men that moved against him.