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The view from Moscow: 'What goes around, comes around'

 (Spencer Platt / Getty Images)
(Spencer Platt / Getty Images)

In Moscow, Kremlin loyalists took a dim view of Monday's House Intelligence Committee hearing into alleged Russian hacking of the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

Sergei Markov, a Moscow-based political analyst and a former lawmaker with the ruling United Russia party, said that the aim of the hearings “is not to allow [President] Trump to improve ties with Russia.”

“Very serious circles in the U.S. think that they can’t let Russia become a great power, that Russia should be pressed, pressed, pressed,” Markov said in an interview. He said Trump was attempting "to let Russia have its own sphere of interests," but that effort had prompted accusations "that everything around Trump is related to Russia and betrays the U.S.”

The hearings are also “related to an attempt to impeach Trump,” he claimed. “Many think that Trump is not an acceptable figure for the U.S., that he is a maverick who is an accidental byproduct of American democracy and he should be done with, he must be impeached.”

Alexandra Silantyeva, 64, a retired history teacher in Moscow, offered a slightly different view: Russia did influence the U.S. election, and was justified in doing so. In her view, the congressional inquiry is hypocritical.

“They are unhappy because for the first time, Russia installed its own candidate on the throne in America," she said. "They forgot about their own attempts to topple governments all over the world, and about their drunken puppet [Russian President Boris] Yeltsin. What goes around, comes around, and this mess serves them right.”

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