Why a missile strike trump was a shock for Putin, on the domestic front

There are a lot of reasons to justify decisions trump to launch a missile attack on the Syrian airfield. He himself gave the explanation of national interests of the United States, the need to demonstrate that the use of chemical weapons will have to pay, the emotional reaction to pictures of dead children. But there were more speculative considerations of internal policy.

These include the desire trump to demonstrate its principled determination to oppose it to the failures of its predecessor with its policy of “red lines”; the opportunity to show that it is not so much betrayed the Russian; but also bet that this is not very risky blow will help to lift it’s sagging ratings. Right or not, but the political context here can not be avoided.

Often we believe that Western leaders, taking some action abroad should take into account the possible consequences at home. But we do not think that can be said about the Russian leaders who are free to do as they please. And your assumption is incorrect. Missile attack trump on the airbase Shirt creates many potential dangers for the Russian leadership, and it can be read in the lines and between the lines of his response.

Sounds after American attack Russian statements may seem very harsh, but it’s nothing compared to how the Russian language could benefit from in this case. Of great importance, and someone who makes statements. With the most stringent convictions were not President Putin and the Minister of foreign Affairs, and Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev and heads of the Ministry of defence. Vladimir Putin himself spoke quite restrained and open-minded.

And this is significant when you consider what the negative consequences for Russia can have the actions of the US, not counting direct military damage to its ally Syria. These effects may be much more than it seems at first glance.

In recent months the Russians have had some success in persuading parties of the Syrian conflict and the interested parties to join the negotiations in the Kazakh capital Astana. The Americans were not involved. Previously, they worked together with Russia, efforts to negotiate a ceasefire, but failed. And because Barack Obama apparently refused diplomatic efforts on the Syrian settlement, the statements of the trump that the US has no vital interests in Syria, were to be expected.

In this case, the absence of US even helped to move the situation forward. Turkey and Iran could focus on performing the main task, which is a settlement in Syria, instead demonstrate the old dislike and to appeal to the former attachments. The fall of Eastern Aleppo resulting from the advance of Assad’s forces has also forced some members of the disparate rebel forces is more realistic to look at things. Appeared a silent agreement that Assad should participate at least in the transition process to stop the war and not to give in this case Syria is split into parts.

All of these calculations, which gave Russia hope to conclude the agreement and that it will become a peacemaker, not a warmonger, today hung in the air. The Americans claim that this is an isolated impact, and that it will never happen; however, Moscow views this with great caution and suspicion. In the end, this strike means not that other, as refusal of trump from clearly stated course. Do not want now the US to sit down at the negotiating table that will surely reduce weight and influence of Russia? Not probiratsya the militants will not resume if they are fighting that seemed lost? Do not start a new siege, encirclement, breakthrough? Will again die and to flee from Syria? All of this is terrible, but the characteristic feature of the ongoing Syrian conflict.

What about the famous (or infamous, according to some) trump promises to improve relations with Moscow? Whether or not you believe that Russia tried to manipulate the presidential election in the US (I personally do not believe it, but that’s not the point), there are plenty of indications that when trump won, Russia really wanted to shake America’s hand, if and when it is stretched.

The frenzy with which Washington blamed the team for trump contacts with Russian officials, became a cause of delay a long-awaited reconciliation. In addition, to gain approval in the Senate, appointees trump had to show their hostile attitude towards Russia, what they actually might not be. A missile attack on Syria has further complicated this picture, and Moscow will be much harder to take the olive branch of peace from the hands of the Secretary of state Rex Tillerson, if he put it during his visit this week.

But a very careful and differentiated reaction of Moscow suggests that Putin himself still hopes to improve relations. It makes no sense to abandon this hope. Not wishing to answer the numerous anti-Russian accusations coming from Washington, the Russian President has invested much political capital in improving relations with the new American administration. And now, if it won’t do anything positive, Putin runs the risk of appearing weak and even limp rag.

Next year Russia will hold presidential elections, the country’s economy very vulnerable, in many cities held protests against corruption. In these circumstances, Putin wants is to get bogged down in the Syrian war and to continue the confrontation with the United States. It certainly will be interpreted as a double political failure, which can not afford even the “hero” of the Crimea. In the rear for politicians, and even presidents concealed their own risk, and Russia is no exception.