The increase of Russian supplies and presence in support of the Bashar al-Assad’s regime is part of the Russian plan to start negotiations on the ground to resolve the Syrian crisis.
Following the annexation of Crimea in March 2014, the Russian public has embraced an increasingly conservative and nationalistic ideology.
By establishing a strategic presence in Syria, Russian President Vladimir Putin is securing the future of a vital ally in the Middle East.
As the Russian economy declines, Vladimir Putin faces a classic choice between greater freedom and more repression
The world powers agree that the Islamic State must be defeated, even though they disagree on how to do it. In spite of Washington’s anger with Russian activism in Syria, a degree of coordination is advisable.
To the Kremlin, Assad is not the source of the problem in Syria—he is actually the way to solve it.
Russia’s political elites and, particularly, its president have no strategic vision of the future and no adequate assessment of reality. The authorities are seeking to prolong the inertia model until the presidential elections in 2018, but afterwards the Kremlin will need strategic decisions.
The fact that the Kremlin has stepped up its military assistance to Syria demonstrates that Moscow has no intention of withdrawing its support from Assad.
While the Kremlin continues to score plenty of tactical victories in the political sphere, the regime has demonstrated no ability to think strategically. The lack of strategic thinking stems from the elites’ desire to preserve their own power and the whims of an authoritarian political system.
Putin’s recent theatrics indicate a plan to run for re-election in 2018. But despite his lack of opponents, Russia’s current problems make the path to re-election more complicated this time around.