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Syria – Putin – Crimea – “Russian Defiance Is Seen as a Confidence Builder for Syria’s Government”

The Syrian government is acting with new assurance as its ally Russia moves to take over the Crimean Peninsula from Ukraine, dismissing American objections and signaling growing assertiveness against the West. Russia has been the Syrian government’s most powerful backer, vetoing measures against Mr. Assad that the United States has supported in the United Nations Security Council. And now, Syrian analysts close to the government say, that seems less and less likely to change.

The prospect of a compromise brokered by Russian and American officials to end the Syrian war seems increasingly remote, with no date set for the resumption of talks in Geneva.