…Understanding Putin’s mentality doesn’t mean that Russian actions such as military intervention in Ukraine or electoral interference in the U.S. can be overlooked or excused. What it does mean is that given these diametrically opposing storylines about heroes and bad guys, this relationship will need to be well managed.
…Trump, based on his performances in Brussels and Helsinki this month, seems unsure about who he believes are the U.S.‘s primary foes. He seems more concerned about his perceived domestic enemies than Russia’s international behavior. If Trump continues to try to flip the script in U.S.-Russian relations, upending the dominant narrative about heroes and bad guys, he certainly will face pushback from both U.S. allies and most U.S. politicians, including some of his own national security team and members of his own party.
When Putin looks in the mirror, what does he see? Not an aggressor as so many are depicting him in the West, but rather a defender of a wounded and misunderstood nation.
Source: Putin the hero