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U.S.-Russia Relations in the Trump Era

AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic
AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic

A dog passes by graffiti depicting the Russian President Vladimir Putin, left, and US President Elect Donald Trump in a suburb of Belgrade, Serbia, Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2016. The Cyrillic letters on graffiti read "Kosovo is Serbia", as Serbia doesn't recognize Kosovo's independence.

On this hour of America Abroad, we look at at the post-election state of the US relationship with Russia. We explore Russia's use of cyber tactics and see what position America is in to defend itself and its NATO allies against real and virtual attacks; We discuss Russia's relationship with NATO and its interests in the Balkans; And we hear how people in Russia view the US, Putin, and their country's long economic recession.

By many measures, Russia’s economy is hurting: Oil and gas prices dropping steeply and affect Russian exports, the West is imposing economic sanctions since Russia invaded Ukraine, the ruble has lost half its value in the last two years, the Russian middle class has shrunk by 14 million people, and the government is making cuts to education, health, and even the military.

And yet, inside Russia, Vladimir Putin is often seen as the leader who reasserted Russian pride and power through military campaigns like Ukraine, Crimea, and Syria. When President-elect Donald Trump shows appreciation to that leader, many Russians feel reassured. Others, Russians and Americans, fear deeply that this relationship puts both Russians and Americans at greater risk.