The Kremlin may savor Trump – but still might prefer Clinton

Is Donald Trump “our man?”

That’s the question that Komsomolskaya Pravda, a leading Russian tabloid, asked its readers on Wednesday, summing up a debate that has intrigued and exasperated readers from the Capitol Beltway to the Moscow Ring Road.

In the United States, Trump’s professed affinity for Vladimir Putin as a strong leader, and his offbeat statements, including a call on Russia to release the rest of Hillary Clinton’s emails after a hacking attack on the Democratic National Committee, prompted surprise and some breathless derision of him as the “Siberian candidate.”

That aspersion has been mocked in Russia as a throwback to Cold War rhetoric, and the Kremlin has hotly denied it favors a candidate in the U.S. elections. But Trump’s stated readiness to consider lifting sanctions, to tacitly accept the annexation of Crimea, andto reduce support for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization would all seem to be pluses for officials here.