- Russia’s military (re)actions are clearly distinguished from Syria’s;
- Parties cannot bluff about what collective leverage (from all theatres combined) they have or don’t have;
- Russia controls the tempo;
- Nord Stream 2 is being built, end of discussion;
- association with jihadist groups in Syria incurs losses and not profits;
- Syria’s sovereignty is final, unless a party has the leverage to challenge this;
a) as I mentioned earlier: for Moscow, separating Syria’s actions in Syria and Russia’s actions in Syria was a very, very important move. This allowed Moscow to participate in the proxy war without exposing its rear to a US attack (Navalny coup?)
b) The bias of the UN was removed in the grand scheme of things. The RISK paradigm enforced by the S-400 (Russia let Turkey make the anticipated mistake, allowing S-400 deployment) pushed the US to the North East and made the local chessboard easier to read.
c) Russia indeed controls the tempo not only in Syria, but also in MENA. The little scare we had when the US was close to bombing Syria again was successfully averted because Russia temporarily slowed the tempo down and managed to encircle the US in the media space.
Russia and Syria - May 2018:
Russia and Israel - May 2018:
Russia-Israel Ilyushin - Sep 2018: