- By Emily TamkinEmily Tamkin is a staff writer at Foreign Policy. She writes for FP’s The Cable, a real-time take on the news in Washington and the wider world. She has been at FP since the fall of 2016, before which she was an associate editor at New America, a nonpartisan think tank in Washington. She has a B.A. in Russian literature from Columbia University, an M.Phil. in Russian and East European studies from the University of Oxford, and studied Soviet dissidence in archival centers in Moscow, Tbilisi, and, on a Fulbright, in Bremen — all of which means that at FP, she writes when she can on Russia and Central and Eastern Europe.
What a week for Donald J. Trump!
On Tuesday, he was elected to be the next president of the United States. And then, on Thursday, he met with President Barack Obama, Rep. Paul Ryan, and Sen. Mitch McConnell — AND he became an honorary Russian cossack!
Per the Moscow Times, “The Irbis Cossack group bestowed Trump with the title, inviting the entire Trump family to visit them in St. Petersburg.” Ataman Andrey Polyakov has even promised Trump a chance to look into the “mysterious Russian soul” through participation in a program of traditional activities.
For centuries, Cossacks have been known as fearsome warriors, hailed for their bravery on the battlefield. Donald Trump did not serve in any war, but he did describe sleeping around in the 1980s as his “personal Vietnam.”
The Cossacks are, of course, not the only Russians to celebrate Donald Trump’s election. President Vladimir Putin sent a telegram saying he trusts the two can work together to bring U.S.-Russian relations back from their “crisis state,” and Duma nationalist Vladimir Zhirinovsky popped champagne in parliament. And on Thursday, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said Trump and Putin “set out the same main foreign-policy principles and that is incredible.”
Incredible is indeed one word for it.
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