On Russian state television, tightly controlled by the Kremlin, support for Donald Trump in his current impeachment battle is absolute. After all it is Russia, they sometimes joke, that got the US president elected in the first place!
Of course, allegations of meddling in the 2016 US presidential election, which swept Trump into office, are officially denied in Russia. But they are often referenced, even on serious television news shows, with a sarcastic wink.
“Have you lost your minds that you want to remove OUR Donald Ivanovich,” bawls Vladimir Soloviev, host of “Evening,” a pro-Kremlin current affairs program which has been focusing on the US impeachment proceedings.
The affectionate, if slightly tongue-in-cheek, Russification of Trump’s name reminds viewers that this US President is seen here as being more positive for Russia than any other Western leader, even as that has been at the expense of his own country’s interests.
“The chaos brought by Trump into the American system of government is weakening the United States,” Karen Shakhnazarov, CEO of Mosfilm Studio and a regular guest on Russian state television, tells the studio audience.