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Matthias Schepp – The Russian President’s Strategy for Syria

A secret strategy paper suggests the Kremlin wants to find a political solution with the West on the issue of Syria. Pressure is mounting on Vladimir Putin as a result of the crash of a Russian jet in Egypt that may have been a terrorist attack.

Vladimir Putin has been oddly quiet in recent days. Despite almost two weeks having passed since the crash of a Russian passenger jet over the Sinai Peninsula, the Russian president has said little about what may have caused the crash, despite mounting evidence pointing to a terrorist attack carried out by the branch of the Islamic State operating in the region. Yet Putin hasn’t uttered a word about a possible reaction or retaliatory strikes. When Russia suspended all flights to Egypt, he had his intelligence chief make the recommendation instead of doing it himself.

It is as though Putin wants to create the greatest possible distance between himself and the crash in order to prevent any connection being made between Russia’s military intervention in Syria and the 224 deaths on Flight 9268. He doesn’t want to be seen as a president who took a high-risk gamble abroad that ultimately backfired and transformed his own people into terrorist targets.

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