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The Putin effect remodels political values and geopolitical balance

The assault on Derra by government forces and their allies is expected to drive out the last elements of organised resistance from the southern Syrian city that launched the rebellion to overthrow President Bashar Al-Assad in the heady ‘Arab Spring’ year of 2011. Derra’s recapture will confirm Assad’s mastery of large swaths of his tortured country and the primacy of his key sponsor, President Vladimir Putin, in shaping events in a longstanding Russian ally.

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