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In Damascus, Syrians celebrate Putin as their hero. Will they miss him? 2017 12 18

Since Moscow lent its air power to the Syrian government’s war, Russian leader Vladimir Putin has achieved cult status in Damascus.

His face has joined images of President Bashar al-Assad on necklaces, mugs and key rings sold in souvenir shops in the capital. “Together against Terrorism” read posters at checkpoints showing the two men. Army generals affectionately referred to him as “Abu Ali Putin,” while some Syrian schools have started offering Russian language classes. With Moscow’s intervention so publicly lauded, its decision to draw down its military presence this week on the fifth anniversary of the conflict’s start brought an inevitable ripple of uncertainty to Damascus — coming just as Assad had appeared to be in a position of renewed military confidence. Six months of Russian airstrikes helped Assad stem, and then reverse, losses on the battlefield, with his forces regaining 4,000 square miles of territory.

By beginning a pullout, Moscow appears to be pressing for a political deal as a new round of peace talks begin in Geneva while maintaining a cease-fire that has brought some respite from violence. If the announcement came as a surprise to Syria, the government was at pains not to show it. As Russia began packing up and flying jets and equipment home from an air base in Latakia province, officials appeared on state television to play down the significance of the pullout, stressing that it had been coordinated with the Syrian government.

Источник: https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/middle_east/in-damascus-syrians-celebrate-putin-as-their-hero-will-they-miss-him/2016/03/16/95ec8138-e54c-11e5-a9ce-681055c7a05f_story.html
РАЗМЕСТИЛ: Эмма Роул

In Damascus, Syrians celebrate Putin as their hero. Will they miss him? 2017 12 18

In Damascus, Syrians celebrate Putin as their hero. Will they miss him?
Since Moscow lent its air power to the Syrian government’s war, Russian leader Vladimir Putin has achieved cult status in Damascus.

His face has joined images of President Bashar al-Assad on necklaces, mugs and key rings sold in souvenir shops in the capital. “Together against Terrorism” read posters at checkpoints showing the two men. Army generals affectionately referred to him as “Abu Ali Putin,” while some Syrian schools have started offering Russian language classes. With Moscow’s intervention so publicly lauded, its decision to draw down its military presence this week on the fifth anniversary of the conflict’s start brought an inevitable ripple of uncertainty to Damascus — coming just as Assad had appeared to be in a position of renewed military confidence. Six months of Russian airstrikes helped Assad stem, and then reverse, losses on the battlefield, with his forces regaining 4,000 square miles of territory.

By beginning a pullout, Moscow appears to be pressing for a political deal as a new round of peace talks begin in Geneva while maintaining a cease-fire that has brought some respite from violence. If the announcement came as a surprise to Syria, the government was at pains not to show it. As Russia began packing up and flying jets and equipment home from an air base in Latakia province, officials appeared on state television to play down the significance of the pullout, stressing that it had been coordinated with the Syrian government.

Источник: https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/middle_east/in-damascus-syrians-celebrate-putin-as-their-hero-will-they-miss-him/2016/03/16/95ec8138-e54c-11e5-a9ce-681055c7a05f_story.html
РАЗМЕСТИЛ: Эмма Роул


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