Putin is desperate for a win -- and Trump's 2020 campaign is his best shot: columnist
President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin meet in Helsinki (Screen cap).

President Donald Trump's reelection campaign is in real peril -- and his loss would also represent a major defeat for Russian President Vladimir Putin, whose government worked to help Trump win the presidency in 2016.


Washington Post foreign policy columnist Jackson Diehl argues that the combination of the COVID-19 pandemic and the oil price war with Saudi Arabia has put Russia's economy into a deep recession and has sent Putin's poll numbers plummeting downward.

Additionally, he thinks that Putin's attempt to reassert Russia as a global superpower has "hit a wall."

"Since February, Russian forces and their proxies have suffered sharp reversals in both Syria and Libya, turning both interventions into quagmires that Putin cannot easily escape without humiliation," he writes. "Ukraine’s new president has rebuffed his plan for ending the long-simmering conflict in the country’s east on Moscow’s terms, even while the parts of Ukraine controlled by Russia’s proxies drain billions from an already-stretched budget."

Because of this, he says that Putin will want to have Trump reelected, if for no other reason than because the president has blown up America's global alliances.

"Consider the gifts Trump has given Putin in the past three-and-a-half years," he writes. "Trump has all but wrecked Putin’s nemesis, the NATO alliance; this month he abruptly decided to withdraw more than a quarter of U.S. troops from Germany... He has poisoned the once-close relations between Washington and Ukraine; President Volodymyr Zelensky has still not been invited to Washington."

Read the whole column here.