A popular Russian blogger said President Trump’s decision to bomb Syria after a chemical weapons attack on the country’s civilians was “a strong step” that surprised many Russians.
Sergey Baklykov, the video blogger behind the English-language “Real Russia” YouTube channel, told Yahoo News and Finance Anchor Bianna Golodryga on Tuesday that many Russians supported Trump over Democrat Hillary Clinton during the U.S. presidential election but were surprised when he won.
Trump surprised many Russians again by ordering airstrikes against Syria last week following reports that Syrian President Bashar Assad used chemical weapons against his own people. The American attack on a Syrian air base apparently seemed out of character to them.
A day before the airstrike, Trump described himself as “flexible” and said the nerve-gas attack had a “big impact” on him. The president’s daughter, Ivanka Trump, who acts as the assistant to the president, is said to have influenced his decision.
“It seems like Trump with this step is not what Russians and Russia expected from him, because when there was the pre-election period, many people in Russia were hoping for the win of Trump because it was different from Hillary. In his speech, there [were] not so many of the same anti-Russian moods,” Baklykov said.
Leading up to the U.S. election, Baklykov said, Trump was portrayed in Russian media as “a good guy,” whereas Clinton was represented as “a bad lady.”
“Now everybody’s just awaiting what will be next,” he said.
The U.S. intelligence community concluded that Moscow orchestrated a multilayered propaganda campaign aimed at interfering with the presidential election. Baklykov dismissed these findings and said it was implausible that Russia could hack the U.S. election. Baklykov also defended Russian President Vladimir Putin for putting Russia’s interests first.
“Most people really support him, because they think he is not playing the game of other countries, so he is standing for Russia. He works first of all in the interests of our own country. Most Russians … probably think that’s what other governments don’t love about him. They expected him to be a puppet, and he’s not actually.”
Read more from Yahoo News:
- Haley warns Putin on Assad: ‘We’re not going to have you cover for this regime any more’
- Why did Trump decide to attack Syria? Just turn on your TV
- Gary Cohn, the not-so-secret Democrat in Trump’s White House, is gaining influence — and critics
- Trump said Obama needed war authority from Congress. Will he ask for it now?
- Photos: 10 most endangered rivers in the United States for 2017