Donald Trump has gone to the opposite extreme, heaping praise on Putin: "He has been a leader far more than our president [Obama] has been... I think he's done really a great job of outsmarting our country."
But this rhetoric -- from either side -- simply is not working. Putin ignores the insults, the Russian people resent
them, and he's not swayed by the praise.
During the US election campaign, Russians were buoyed by an American presidential candidate who, it seemed, wanted to "get along" with their own leader and who might, as they saw it, stop trying to punish and isolate Russia.
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