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The godfather of Russia's military intervention in Syria is Yevgeny Primakov, a former prime minister, intelligence chief and for decades his nation's leading Arabist.By asserting Russia's interests and power, Primakov "got the country through a very serious crisis" after the fall of the Soviet Union. His understanding of the Middle East was "tremendous" and his influence beyond Russia was "undeniable," Putin said.Putin is now moving with a determination that Primakov would have admired – but might also have seen as risky. By sending Russian warplanes, troops and tanks to Syria, Putin has launched what is one of Russia's boldest military moves since 1945 . Putin decided to stand his ground in Syria, as Primakov had probably counseled.Putin was hardly ambiguous about his intentions.
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