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Russia and the US

It's a country known for its enormous size and chilly climate, its culture and its bears. A word of warning they're enormous, too.

But lately, people have been talking about Russia a lot, for reasons that have less to do with its features, and more to do with its relationship to America. The first thing you need to know is that America and Russia have had some pretty big differences in the past that stretch right back to when Russia was part of a group of countries called the Soviet Union.

For most of the last half of the 20th century, Russia and the US fought a long war called the Cold War, over their very different ideas on how a country should be run, and how its people should be allowed to live. It was called the Cold War, because the two never directly fought each other, but things were incredibly tense. In 1991, the Soviet Union collapsed and the Cold War ended. And in the following years, things improved between Russia and the US. But there are still big disagreements.

In Syria, the two countries supported different sides of the war. And Russia wants to control part of neighbouring country, Ukraine while the US wants to stop it. And there are still serious differences in the way the countries are run. Russia's media is mostly run by the government.

And even if it's not controlled, it's often still supportive of whatever President, Vladimir Putin, does. He has a huge amount of power, and has led the country as President or served as its Prime Minister for 17 years.

ANDREI AFANASYEV, TV HOST: Negative about President Putin? I wouldn't say so because he hasn't done anything that can be criticised from the point of view of the traditional patriots.

But since Donald Trump was elected as the President of the United States, there was speculation the relationship between the US and Russia might change.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: If Putin likes Donald Trump I consider that an asset, not a liability.

During the election campaign, Russia was accused of interfering in the election, hacking the democratic party's e-mails. And attempting to tamper with voter registration rolls. The CIA says Russia was doing it to try to tip the election in favour of Trump. He was seen as more pro-Russian than his opponent, Hillary Clinton, or previous President, Barack Obama.

When Trump was voted in, some Russian politicians celebrated. And the media couldn't get enough of him. But now, the relationship's not quite as warm. Because of their big differences, and past disagreements, many American pollies don't want anything to do with Russia. And one of the guys in Trump's team has now stepped aside, after saying he hadn't met with the Russian Ambassador, when he had. Some fear that Russia doesn't just want to be closer to the US, they'd like some control over them.

The investigations are still continuing into exactly who in Trump's team has talked to Russia, and about what. But it looks like this relationship will continue being just as complicated as ever.

Created By
Andy Chen


Created with images by Simon Matzinger - "Ants on ice."

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