POLITICO quotes Dinu Patriciu Eurasia Center Resident Senior Fellow Anders Aslund on the background and shortcomings of Russia’s newfound Middle East adventurism:

President Putin appears to have multiple objectives with his military offensive in Syria. For the past year, he has been looking for a possible short victorious war after his war in Donbas turned out to be neither victorious nor short. He needed a diversionary maneuver to downplay the failure of the war in eastern Ukraine, so that he can let it slow down. After a lot of trial and error, he seems to have settled on Syria, which has many advantages.

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