Analysis: Putin sits back as US, allies strike Syria美英法空袭叙利亚来势汹汹 一向强硬的俄国熊这回怎么“熊了”？ 时间:2018-04-16 单词数:3080
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Facing a stark choice between engaging the United States, Britain and France in combat or passively watching them strike his ally, Russian President Vladimir Putin has opted for the peaceful route.
That cautious response may dent the Russian leader’s tough-man image but it won’t undermine his gains in Syria or erode his authority at home.
Putin condemned Saturday’s strikes as an "act of aggression" that will worsen the humanitarian catastrophe in Syria and have a "destructive influence on the entire system of international relations." He criticized Washington and its allies for attacking without waiting for inspectors from the international chemical weapons watchdog group to visit Douma.
Russian social media buzzed Saturday with angry nationalist comments blasting Putin for failing to protect his ally. But state TV focused on criticizing the West for acting on the basis of what Moscow called a faked chemical attack.
The Kremlin’s tight control over the media will help Putin avoid any significant damage to his carefully nurtured image of a strong leader.
In fact, his cautious stance could boost his popularity further amid fears of war that swept Russia. In recent days, state media have been offering tips on how to behave in a nuclear conflict and what supplies to take to bomb shelters.
Most Russians will now heave a sigh of relief and feel grateful to Putin for pulling back from the brink. State TV channels compared what they described as U.S. President Donald Trump’s reckless action with the responsible, statesmanlike stance taken by Putin.
Commentators on state TV argued that Trump and British Prime Minister Theresa May launched the attack to distract attention from their political problems at home.
For now, Putin has limited his response to calling an urgent meeting of the U.N. Security Council.
No military measures were immediately announced.
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