Mr. Putin has sent signals that he’s prepared to dial down tensions with Ukraine, especially since this could help him escape from economic sanctions imposed by Europe and the United States. But he wants to end the war on his terms, and thanks to the disarray in American policy in Ukraine, politicians and officials in Kiev say, the chances of that are improving.
In that respect, Ukraine seems to have joined a long list of foreign policy issues where Mr. Trump has intervened in such a way as to advance the Kremlin’s interest, whether in pressuring NATO, withdrawing from Syria, pushing Brexit, siding with right-wing European populists or defending Russia against charges of meddling in the 2016 election.
“We are not interested in any chaos within the United States political system because we are really, really relying on it,” the lawmaker Bohdan Yaremenko, the chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee in the Ukrainian Parliament and a Zelensky ally, said. Less American engagement in Ukraine, Mr. Yaremenko said, would offer Russia a “clear sign that they could allow themselves more in Ukraine — to be more aggressive, more active.”