Vox interviewed Mikhail Fishman, the editor-in-chief of the Moscow Times, an English-language weekly newspaper published in Moscow:
The vision of Trump is basically shaped by the Kremlin and their propaganda machine — that’s what they do. During the election campaign, Trump was depicted not as an underdog but as an honest representative of the American people who was being mistreated by the establishment elites and other evil forces in Washington.
Interviewer: The Kremlin knew that to be bullshit, right? This was pure propaganda, not sincere reporting, and it was aimed at damaging Hillary Clinton.
Of course. All of it was aimed at damaging Hillary Clinton. Putin expected Trump to lose, but the prospect of a Clinton victory terrified him, and he did everything possible to undermine her.Interviewer: Why was he so afraid of a Clinton victory?
Because he knew that would mean an extension of Obama’s harsh orientation to Russia, perhaps even more aggressive than Obama. Putin has experienced some difficult years since his 2014 invasion of Crimea, but he didn’t expect this level of isolation. He saw — and sees — Trump as an opportunity to change the dynamic.