Putin is struggling to keep his wars separate

After an estimated 200 or more Russians were killed by U.S. forces in Syria, Bloomberg columnist Leonid Bershidsky writes that Putin is now struggling to keep his narratives straight and provide an explanation for the deaths that satisfies the Russian people. Bershidsky states the Russian contractors and mercenaries in Syria are fighting a war that furthers the geopolitical interests of Moscow, but is also fought for commercial profit — and sometimes the two agendas do not align. This fits the “freelancing culture” of Putin’s intelligence services in which mobs and black-hat hackers are used for jobs that come with the promise of side revenues, Bershidsky writes. But when mass casualties occur, Putin loses the deniability that contractors, as opposed to regular Russian forces, provide him.

 

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