It was recently reported in the mainstream media that Russian President Vladimir Putin influenced the recent United States (US) presidential election to ensure that Donald Trump was elected. But the question is why? What does Putin want or think that he wants with Trump that he did not want with Hillary Clinton? And is that good for the international community or not? Let us investigate.

What happened?

Before we go further, let us explore what exactly happened. As reported in the Guardian newspaper, the US intelligence agencies concluded that "Russia interfered" in the US presidential election last November to try and ensure that the then Republican candidate Donald Trump was elected.

The us government, as stated on CNN, announced that it was "confident" that Russia had hacked the email accounts of the Democratic National Committee to reveal "damaging revelations" about the then Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton.

Putin and Obama

But the main question to ask is, why? Why did they go to such lengths to ensure that Trump was elected? I think the answer is twofold. First of all the Russian President simply did not want another Democratic president, mainly because of his distaste to the policies and actions of the outgoing Democratic President Barack Obama. It is clear that relations have soured between the two countries and that there is no love lost between the two presidents.

There have been examples of this in recent times. Back in September the Telegraph newspaper reported that Obama and Putin held what Obama described as a "candid, blunt and businesslike" meeting at the G20 summit in China. President Obama even went further in saying that "gaps of trust" exist. This has been exacerbated by the policy differences between the two.

In addition to the ongoing crisis in Syria, the Vox website made the point that Russia had had enough with Obama and the Democrats. The feeling of being isolated, of being subjected to "painful US sanctions" and continued "public criticism" from Obama. It is with no surprise that as The Washington Times stated, Putin "doesn't respect Obama".

Putin and Trump

On the other hand, to go to such lengths to see Trump elected was due to the fact that Putin and the Russians wanted Trump to be president. One key point is that Putin actually likes Trump. The Sun newspaper reported that the Russian President called Trump "brilliant", praised his personality and stated that the incoming President would be a better leader than Obama. It is also the case that Trump likes Putin, expressing admiration for Putin's "very strong control" of Russia in the past. It is also worth noting that Trump sees Putin, not as a threat but as a potential partner in fighting radical Islam. The fact that Trump sees China and not Russia as a future enemy has helped too.

Patrick Cronin, the senior director of the Asia-Pacific Security Programme stated to Vox that "it's not Russia. It's China".

What does the future hold?

What is clear is that Putin wanted Trump to be President and not Clinton. The fact that they were prepared to go to such lengths to ensure that demonstrates the significance of what the next four years at least hold. As the international community looks on, a world in which Russia and the US become allies would be good for all. It is just a shame that the methods taken to ensuring that, if proven correct, were less than savoury. What will be interesting is seeing how both leaders come together in the coming years to try and deal with the problems that we face as a global community. Who would have thought it, the world a safer place with Trump as president; we can only hope.