The Obama administration has been a strong supporter of Ukraine a relationship many fear will evaporate once Trump enters the White House

Kiev was far from the only capital city in which the ruling elite reacted with alarm to the election of Donald Trump, but the Ukrainian government has more reason than most to fear the new US administration.

The US president-elect made a number of positive commentaries about the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, during the campaign, and even suggested he might consider recognising Crimea, the territory annexed by Russia from Ukraine two years ago, as part of Russia. There has been talk of a big deal between Trump and Putin over Syria, which some have suggested could see Ukraine thrown under the bus.

Everybody was tearing their hair and running around like crazies, told Ukraines deputy foreign minister, Vadym Prystaiko, of the first days after Trumps election victory.

While the current US administration has stopped short of rendering Ukraine with lethal weapons to fight Russian intervention in the east of the country, it has been a strong advocate of Ukraine with financial aid, and has slapped imposing sanctions on Russia in protest at its actions. With Trump in the White House, amid suggestions that Russian hacking may have been employed to help his cause during the campaign, many in Kiev fear they could be abandoned.

Its what everyone is talking about, said a European diplomat are stationed in Kiev. Its a pretty disturbing day for Ukraine. Michael McFaul, formerly the US ambassador to Russia, declared when Trump was confirmed the win of the election that Ukraine was the biggest loser in the world tonight.

Ukrainian officials constructed no secret of their predilection for Hillary Clinton during the campaign. At one point, events in Kiev even had a direct bearing on the race, as Trumps controversial campaign chief Paul Manafort resigned after allegations surfaced in Ukraine he had received dubious cash payments as part of his work for President Viktor Yanukovych, deposed in the 2014 Maidan revolution.

Mikheil Saakashvili, the former president of Georgia who also served as a regional governor in Ukraine, hosted Trump in the country on numerous occasions. He said that he believed the president-elect was fond of Putins macho-man image rather than on board with Russias strategic aims in Ukraine.

We spoke a lot and I never thought he had an enthusiastic approach towards Russia, Saakashvili told. I never saw any adulation or special respect for Russia; I thought he was a little bit looking down on them. However, he was saying things about Putin because he guesses Putin is successful.

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Mutual appreciation society: Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump. Composite: Getty Images& Reuters

Nevertheless, Saakashvili told, Ukraine is very high on the listing of countries that might be fired by Trump. The former Georgian leader took Ukrainian citizenship last year and was built governor of Odessa region by chairwoman Petro Poroshenko. However, he quit last month and has become sharply critical of Ukraines leadership.

Trump is attracted by success and he dislikes losers, and he carries it. From both standpoints, Ukraine is not in the right place, Saakashvili said. He told officials in the Obama administration in private conversations tell absolutely horrible things about Ukraine but are prepared to turn a blind eye to problems of corruption, whereas under Trump, officials would be more frank.

The US has been a strong advocate of the Ukrainian government since the 2014 revolution that deposed Yanukovych, but critics tell Poroshenko is pursuing the same various kinds of pervert, oligarchic politics with a democratic facade.

Vadim Novinsky, a billionaire businessman and opponent MP who was a close associate of Yanukovych, told a Trump administration would feel less obligation to forgive Ukrainian authorities their imperfections.

There will be a cooling of relations. The Country wont strongly and emotionally support these authorities, and close their eyes to the crimes and blunders that this government makes, Novinsky said. They shut their eyes to everything before and seemed through rose-tinted spectacles.

Some critical MPs feel a Trump presidency might provide new opportunities to pressure for reform. We all know Trump likes to be careful with fund, and I hope that under the new administration, the money they hand out will be scrutinised even more, said the reformist MP Victoria Voytsitska, who over the weekend travelled to a conference in Washington DC on how US foreign policy might seem under the new administration.

She said she travelled with two messages for the new US authorities. She wants them to be tougher on Poroshenkos government, and to even consider imposing sanctions on those people in the presidents inner circle she believes still to be engaged in the old corrupt practices. But at the same period, she will recommend the US not to give up on Ukraine: We reformers are already in a minority. Dont abandon us, we really need your support.

Despite a clear preference for Hillary Clinton during the campaign, even those in government are trying to put one over optimistic face on the future, with hopes pinned on the person or persons around Trump to behave like traditional Republicans and take a harder line on Russia.

We already passed the period of depression, told Prystaiko, the deputy foreign minister, who said much would depend on whom Trump appoints as secretary of state. He noted that traditionally Republican were more hawkish on Russia than Democrats.

Now that the Republicans are again headed to the White House, Prystaiko also said it was possible to say openly that Kiev had been a little disappointed that US support for Ukraine did not go further.

This was the first administration whose chairman never laid a foot on Ukrainian clay. In two terms, that was quite unexpected , not to show support to the country in need and having the last visit to where? Greece? Prystaiko told. I thought that it would be critically important for Americans to show Russia their place. There were periods when chairmen would at least run through the airport. But not to show up at all? Quite unexpected.

As for the purported warm relations between Putin and Trump, Prystaiko said the honeymoon might not last for long.

He[ Trump] might bring his emotional overcharge to foreign affairs as well, said the deputy foreign minister. We think sooner or later they will stamp on each others tails.

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