Vladimir Putin is clearly full of surprises. With great fanfare, Russia has begun at least a partial pullout from Syria. Back at their Russian bases, some of the pilots have been treated to welcome home fanfares with big bands and bunting. Putin has claimed a decisive victory, and the Russian populace is eating it up. Russia’s sleight of hand has proved costly not only to the Syrian people, but also to U.S., European, and Gulf-based interests.
Of course, we’ve seen this movie before—in Ukraine. After waging successful hybrid warfare and thoroughly upstaging both Kiev and Washington,
Source URL: https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/syria/2016-03-20/russias-pyrrhic-victory-syria