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Putin sought an opening to the West, and he wanted to take advantage of it.By striking Paris, ISIS turned the Syrian war into a global conflict. And, as Putin's performance at the G-20 summit in Turkey showed, Russia is firmly in the middle of the fight.It was only with Russia's intervention in Ukraine and its annexation of Crimea in March 2014 that Putin became openly confrontational, portraying his country as the victim of aggression.Putin has since appeared to be responding to Obama's description of Russia as merely a "regional power" by attempting to demonstrate the Kremlin's ability to act globally – most notably by intervening in Syria.The attacks in Paris provided Putin with the opportunity to present his military operations in Syria as a service to the West, an example of Russia's willingness to perform the dirty work of attacking ISIS in its own territory.Russia's participation in the battle against ISIS – and its return to the rule-abiding ranks of the international community – may be worth the price.
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