The former president of the Czech Republic, Vaclav Klaus, during a recent interview on RT provided an interesting perspective on why Central and Eastern European countries fear Russia:
[I]n Central and Eastern Europe, there’s a memory of the Communist era, definitely for many people. In my country, they really combine together Communism with Soviet Union - I always try to tell them there’s no Communism in Russia now, and there’s no Soviet Union, there’s Russia. I realized that this feeling, in Central and Eastern Europe, exists, definitely - especially in my country after the occupation of my country by the Warsaw Pact armies in 1968. This feeling is very strong. People like me, at that moment, got fired from our jobs. I was forced to leave the Academy of Sciences as a young, hopeful scientist, and so I spent 20 years in an irrelevant position. So, there may be a strong feeling against Russia in this part of the world, but I don’t understand these feelings in Western Europe, because they didn’t go through Communism.Here's his take on the claim that Russia influenced the American presidential vote:
I see it as a joke. I don’t take it seriously, and I’ve been participating in, I don’t know, ten, fifteen elections in the last 25 years, I can’t imagine to influence the elections from somewhere, from another country, and definitely not the people in the U.S. The normal, ordinary people simply wanted to change something and didn’t like Hillary Clinton and didn’t like the policy which she represented, so, I think that the election outcome - it was a rational and positive development. I don’t believe that any other country could influence the elections in America.