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Putin scores some wins but tensions with the West mount

Journalists watch as Russian President Vladimir Putin gives his annual state of the nation address in Manezh in Moscow, Russia, on March 1, 2018. (AP ...
FILE In this file photo taken on Thursday, Sept. 13, 2018, Russian President Vladimir Putin, center, holds binoculars while watching a military exerci...
FILE In this file photo taken on Friday, Feb. 23, 2018, Russian President Vladimir Putin, left, attends a wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Un...
FILE - In this file photo taken on Thursday, Aug. 23, 2018, Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, arrives to attend a laying ceremony in Kursk, 426...
FILE In this file photo taken on Thursday, Dec. 20, 2018, Russian President Vladimir Putin gestures during his annual news conference in Moscow, Russi...
FILE - In this Tuesday, March 6, 2018 file photo, Russian President Vladimir Putin listens to employees of Uralvagonzavod factory in Nizhny Tagil, Rus...
FILE In this file photo taken on Friday, Dec. 28, 2018, Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, and FIFA President Gianni Infantino pose for a photo ...
FILE- In this file photo taken on Sunday, April 8, 2018, Russian President Vladimir Putin gestures as he attends the Easter service in the Christ the ...
FILE In this file photo taken on Monday, July 16, 2018, U.S. President Donald Trump shakes hand with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the end of th...
FILE In this file photo taken on Thursday, Sept. 13, 2018, Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, listens to Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu ...
In this photo taken on Sunday, Aug. 26, 2018 and released by Kremlin press service on Monday, Aug. 27, 2018, Russian President Vladimir Putin rests du...
FILE - In this Nov. 30, 2018, file photo, President Donald Trump, right, walk past Russia's President Vladimir Putin, left, as they gather for the gro...
FILE In this file photo taken on Thursday, Dec. 20, 2018, Russian President Vladimir speaks during his annual news conference in Moscow, Russia. U.S. ...
FILE In this file photo taken on Thursday, April 5, 2018, Russian President Vladimir Putin enters a hall to chair a meeting of the State Council in th...

Journalists watch as Russian President Vladimir Putin gives his annual state of the nation address in Manezh in Moscow, Russia, on March 1, 2018. (AP ...

FILE In this file photo taken on Thursday, Sept. 13, 2018, Russian President Vladimir Putin, center, holds binoculars while watching a military exerci...

FILE In this file photo taken on Friday, Feb. 23, 2018, Russian President Vladimir Putin, left, attends a wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Un...

FILE - In this file photo taken on Thursday, Aug. 23, 2018, Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, arrives to attend a laying ceremony in Kursk, 426...

FILE In this file photo taken on Thursday, Dec. 20, 2018, Russian President Vladimir Putin gestures during his annual news conference in Moscow, Russi...

FILE - In this Tuesday, March 6, 2018 file photo, Russian President Vladimir Putin listens to employees of Uralvagonzavod factory in Nizhny Tagil, Rus...

FILE In this file photo taken on Friday, Dec. 28, 2018, Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, and FIFA President Gianni Infantino pose for a photo ...

FILE- In this file photo taken on Sunday, April 8, 2018, Russian President Vladimir Putin gestures as he attends the Easter service in the Christ the ...

FILE In this file photo taken on Monday, July 16, 2018, U.S. President Donald Trump shakes hand with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the end of th...

FILE In this file photo taken on Thursday, Sept. 13, 2018, Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, listens to Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu ...

In this photo taken on Sunday, Aug. 26, 2018 and released by Kremlin press service on Monday, Aug. 27, 2018, Russian President Vladimir Putin rests du...

FILE - In this Nov. 30, 2018, file photo, President Donald Trump, right, walk past Russia's President Vladimir Putin, left, as they gather for the gro...

FILE In this file photo taken on Thursday, Dec. 20, 2018, Russian President Vladimir speaks during his annual news conference in Moscow, Russia. U.S. ...

FILE In this file photo taken on Thursday, April 5, 2018, Russian President Vladimir Putin enters a hall to chair a meeting of the State Council in th...

MOSCOW (AP) — It's been a mixed year for Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Putin may look like a winner after an abrupt U.S. decision to pull out of Syria. But Russia's leader faces massive challenges in Syria and elsewhere, and he hasn't moved an inch closer toward throwing off the Western sanctions that have emaciated Russia's economy.

The Russian military campaign in Syria has achieved the Kremlin objective of shoring up Syrian President Bashar Assad's rule at a relatively modest cost and made Moscow an essential player in the Middle East. However, Syria lies in ruins after nearly eight years of fighting.

Even though the hasty pullout ordered by U.S. President Donald Trump could further bolster Moscow's clout in Syria, it leaves Russia pitted against Turkey.


Updated : 2021-04-11 09:32 GMT+08:00