The NYT reports.
Also in the NYT this morning: "Feud Over Syria Missile Strike May Have an Upside for U.S. and Russia."
“The hope for a privileged relationship demanded big gestures and compromises, special restraint and complaisance of the tango partners,” Aleksandr Baunov wrote in an opinion piece on the analytical website Carnegie.ru, of which he is editor. “Now none of it is necessary, and the partner can fearlessly step on the other’s toes.”...
Aleksandr Shumilin, head of the Center for Research of Middle Eastern Conflicts, said Mr. Putin was interested in weakening Russia’s dependence on Mr. Assad and did not want to feel responsible for all of his actions.
“The problem is that Russia cannot afford to distance itself in public, as Mr. Assad has already become a hero of the Russian television,” Mr. Shumilin said. “Therefore, on the surface the rhetoric will remain the same, but deep inside there will be efforts to establish some kind of a cooperation and mutual understanding.”