Russian President Vladimir Putin listens as Secretary of State John Kerry, left, speaks during a meeting at the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia, Thursday, March 24, 2016. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, Pool)
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Donald Trump is a brave pro-Putin political maverick who would end U.S. foreign wars and perhaps lift sanctions on Moscow.Vladimir Putin's spokesman took brief exception this month to a Trump attack video which showed Putin laughing at the prospect of Clinton defending America. But officials and analysts say the Kremlin still sees Trump as the best candidate by a mile. Putin has hailed Trump as "very talented". The head of the Russian parliament's foreign affairs committee said he'd be a worthy winner of the 2015 "man of the year" title in the United States. Some experts say Trump appeals to Moscow because Putin believes a Trump presidency would be isolationist and leave Russia with a free hand.Trump has won friends in Moscow with statements praising Putin as a strong leader that he could probably get along with.The mutual appreciation between Trump and Putin has invited comparisons to the Russian leader's friendship with another billionaire-turned-politician, Italy's Silvio Berlusconi, who outraged Ukrainians and irked EU leaders last year by visiting Russian-annexed Crimea with Putin.Pro-Kremlin bloggers, corralled by a Putin supporter who used to represent the ruling party in parliament, are enthused by the prospect of agitating on behalf of Trump.
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