Saker gives up:

Wow, I really did take a beating in this comments section!  Oy vey!

And here is the deal – as a military analyst I know a lost cause when I see it and this is one.  So, I am giving up!  You guys win :-)

You want to flag-wave?  Please – be my guest, I won’t argue any more.  You think that Russia will have an easy victory in Syria?  Sure, whatever.  You think that Doctors in Military Sciences are “amateurs”?  No problem…

Even before the Russian military operation in Syria began I have been trying to inject a sense of realism and caution in the huge tsunami of hyperbole which flooded the Internet, but I will admit that I failed.  Apparently, there is no demand for realism or caution.

Oh, I will still call it as I see it, I just won’t bother arguing with the flag-wavers.  Let them wave to their heart’s content.

Big meeting in Moscow:

By now everybody has seen the photo of Putin and Assad shaking hands.  What has received less attention is whom Assad actually met.

Putin, of course.  And Lavrov and Shoigu.  They spoke for a total of three hours.  Then  Medvedev joined them for a private dinner.   Guess who else joined them?  Mikhail Fradkov, Head of the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service, and Nikolai Patrushev, Head of the Russian Security Council.

Guys, this is most definitely a power-meeting my any standard, something which only happens very very rarely in the presence of a foreign head of state (only Xi had that kind of access, if I remember correctly).  And that tells me that major issues were discussed and very imporant decisions taken.

Obviously, not a word came out about what was discussed, but a meeting like that is something unprecedented.  Foreign heads of state don’t get to speak directly to folks like Fradkov, especially not on camera.  This is yet another strong message to the USA: this time, we mean business.

I have seen no official photo of this meeting, but I did manage to make a screenshot from a news video:

Power Meeting in Moscow

Assad, Patrushev, Fredkov Lavrov, Medvedev, Putin and Shoigu

Assad right next to Patrushev and Fradkov?  Wow!

Putin’s popularity:

Poor Obama.  Remember how the US imposed sanctions on Russia in the hope of turning the Russian people against Putin?  Well, here are Putin’s latest approval ratings: (на октябрь means ‘in October’)

Putin Popularity

89.9% – in other words, Putin and his policies have the support of 90% of Russians!

What the poll does not show, but which I am sure is true, is that of the 10% who do not approve at least 5% (and probably 8-9%) do not approve because they consider that Putin is not firm enough in his struggle against AngloZionist imperialism.  What do I base that estimate on?  Mostly, the popularity (or lack thereof) of the few pro-US political parties like “Parnas” which was unable to get a single member into the Duma and which recently got thrashed in local elections.

So all that Putin-demonization is meaningless.  It’s the entire Russian nation the West is fighting, not just one guy!

That’s it for now. See you in my dreams :-)

The Saker (temporarily dreaming that he is a dreaming alligator)

The Essential Saker IV: Messianic Narcissism's Agony by a Thousand Cuts
The Essential Saker III: Chronicling The Tragedy, Farce And Collapse of the Empire in the Era of Mr MAGA