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What Russia won by withdrawing from Syria

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s drawdown of forces from Syria was carefully timed and shows Russia learned an important lesson in Afghanistan.

Russian President Vladimir Putin presented medals on March 17 to armed forces personnel who distinguished themselves in Syria, congratulating the gathering of 700 military men and women and members of the defense industry for contributing to what the Kremlin is hailing as a victorious campaign in Syria.

“The struggle against international terrorism is a fair and righteous cause. This is a struggle against enemies of civilization, against those who effect barbarity and violence,” he said at the Kremlin ceremony, according to his prepared remarks later made available. “Our country has demonstrated its unquestionable leadership, willpower and responsibility.”

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