By: Regan Hockenberry
For the school’s large Russian community, the recent controversy over whether Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered hackers to interfere with the general election in order to help Donald Trump win is one of concern, surprise and even for some disbelief.
But what they mostly agreed on is that with a new Trump administration they are looking forward to the U.S. having better relations with their mother country.
“I personally don’t like Trump, but my parents did vote for him and they refuse to believe that the Russians hacked anything,” said student Rebecca Slavin. “In my opinion, the Russian government shouldn’t have done that. I believe that in any competition, a person should win fair and square, so it was wrong for the Russians to do anything to change the voters’ mindsets.”
Sophomore Aaron Yakovich, whose parents were born in Russia and supported Trump, said that with the new president he expects better relations with Putin and Russia..
“This hacking is good for America,” he said. “Russia and the U.S have been on bad terms for a long time but I think that’s finally going to change.”
Indeed, relations with Russia are at an all-time low as President Obama placed sanctions on Russia after invading and annexing Crimea from Ukraine.
The Obama administration also criticized the Russian military support of Syrian ruler Bashar al-Assad, who has murdered and displaced hundreds of thousands of Syrians in its bloody Civil War.
Sophomore Laura Shapranova said she’s in contact with her relatives in Russia and they are concerned.
“They’re worried about war with the U.S in the near future and it’s scary to think that they could be right,’ she said. “If Trump and everyone else looks at the bigger picture, countries wouldn’t be so easily threatened.”
Radmila Khomutyna acknowledged the hacking but said Russia’s interference benefits both Russia and the U.S because she didn’t want to see Hillary Clinton as president.
“A lot of Trump supporters are Russian and I know that Trump is planning to restore the alliance with Russia’s president,” Khomutyna said. “Obama completely hates Russia and whenever something in his control goes wrong, he blames Putin. Same exact thing with Clinton. She doesn’t trust Russia either, which is why most of the Russian-American community voted for Trump.”