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"The Circus": How Russian millennials view U.S.-Russia relations

Russian millennials on U.S.-Russia relations
Russian millennials on U.S.-Russia relations 05:40

President Donald Trump tweeted this week the U.S.-Russia relationship is "worse now than it has ever been, and that includes the Cold War." CBS News' Alex Wagner traveled to Moscow for the new season of the Showtime series "The Circus," to see how the younger generation of Russians views the tensions.

They told her what they thought about the so-called "new Cold War" between Washington and Moscow, and their opinions of Americans.

Alex Wagner talks to some of Russia's younger generation who offer their opinions about a "new cold war" and whether they trust the media, in the Showtime series "The Circus." Showtime

When asked the first word that pops into their minds for "America," the first answer was "Trump."

But then, a flurry of others:  Aerosmith. McDonalds. Star and Stripes. Liberty. Comic books. Pop culture.

"Those are pretty positive or happy images of America," said Wagner, "and yet in the news today we read that America and Russia are in a new Cold War."

"I totally disagree with that," said Kirill. "I don't think that's right to isolate ourselves from the outer world, especially from America, because America is one of the leading countries in the world."

Maria said, "My point of view is like, those are just wonderful topics for journalists, [and] that's it."

Maria, 23, a social media marketer. Showtime

"The political decisions that are made right now, they are destructive for all spheres of our life," said David. Both countries, he felt, "are led by very aggressively-oriented people."

Wagner asked, "Do you think one side is more to blame than the other?"

"Both sides are to be blamed," he replied.

Evgeni said, "I respect Trump, he does his job. I respect Putin, he does his job. But I do my job," which is not, he said, to be "an expert in politics."

Wagner asked David what most intrigued him about the United States.

"A lot of media says that we have this huge propaganda in Russia, maybe it's true, but I think the surprising thing for me is that American people are more vulnerable to any kind of even small propaganda. For example, if I look at your camera and say, 'I live in Russia and I just love Putin because he's the greatest Communist of all time,' your audience is gonna go, like, 'Oh my God, Communists, so terrible. Poor Russia!' But I know for sure that Russia is not a Communist country at all."

Ademi did not believe reports from the American press that the Russians had anything to do with the U.S. presidential election: "That sounds really funny to me. I don't think that Russia would have done that."

Artem, meanwhile, did not have a positive view of the press: "I don't think that it's the job of the media nowadays to say the truth. It's mostly emotional ... and to react to the media from other media from all over the world." 

Wagner asked, "So, do you feel that's true for Russian media as well?"

"Yes, exactly."

Evgeni, 28, an IT entrepreneur. Showtime

Their opinions regarding Russian President Vladimir Putin are mixed -- from feeling that he's becoming "a bit inadequate" and doesn't understand what he wants ("This is frightening for such a level of authority," said Mira), to Kirill saying that "I disagree with him on many points, but mostly satisfied with the current political system."

The Russian millennials do differentiate themselves from older Russians.

"The people who were born in the Soviet Union, they didn't have a chance to travel around the world," Kirill said. "We had this chance because the borders are open and the Western pop culture coming to us."

And they do not feel isolated form the world.

"We still got YouTube," said Evgeni. "We watch CBS, we watch Marvel, we watch HBO, our favorite series, like 'Game of Thrones,' right? No, you cannot isolate us, because we've got money and we can grab a ticket and visit you if we want. But we're okay here, for serious."

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