NATO talks tough on Russia in Syria, with scant action

BRUSSELS (AP) — NATO talked tough Thursday about Moscow's expanding military activity in Syria, but the U.S.-led alliance's chief response to the Russian airstrikes and cruise missile attacks was a public pledge to help reinforce the defenses of member nation Turkey if necessary.

"NATO is able and ready to defend all allies, including Turkey, against any threat," alliance secretary-general Jens Stoltenberg declared at the onset of a meeting of NATO defense ministers.

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Ukraine leader says he hopes 'fragile truce' will hold

By Raushan Nurshayeva

ASTANA (Reuters) - Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko struck a conciliatory tone on Friday in his comments on Russia and Moscow-backed rebels during his visit to Kazakhstan, the Kremlin's ally in Central Asia.

"Few had believed this (but) we did our best and, as a result of our efforts, guns have been silent for more than two weeks and this gives grounds for cautious optimism with regard to the implementation of other parts of the Minsk agreements," Poroshenko said at a meeting with Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev, referring to

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US: Several Russian cruise missiles landed in Iran

WASHINGTON (AP) — As many as four of the 26 long-range cruise missiles that Russia said it fired at Syrian targets landed instead in Iran, U.S. defense officials said Thursday.

The officials said it's unclear whether the errant missiles, launched from Russian ships in the Caspian Sea, caused any significant damage in Iran. Both the Russian government and state-run Iranian media accused the United States of inaccurate or deliberately

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Kasparov: Putin's Goal in Syria Is Chaos

One year ago, the Russian military expanded its push into eastern Ukraine once it became clear that Europe and the United States had no interest in standing up to Vladimir Putin's latest gambit—at least not in any way that would deter him. The core of the problem with the West's response is that economic and political measures cannot stop a dictator's tanks or defend a commercial airliner from a Russian missile. Putin consistently

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The Donbas Black Hole

By Irena Chalupa

What Russia hoped would be a small, victorious war has turned into the "geostrategic disaster of a new cold war," writes Volodymyr Horbulin, a respected foreign policy analyst currently advising Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko.

In an article in Dzerkalo Tyzhnia, Horbulin argues that the main participants in the war have exhausted themselves. The Donbas has become a black hole from which Russia, its creator, cannot escape.

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Realists, Beware of Russians Making Deals

By Christian Caryl

Congratulations are due to Vladimir Putin for his shrewd speech at the United Nations General Assembly. The Russian president deftly positioned his country as a key arbiter in the Syrian civil war, doubling down on support for the “legitimate government” of President Bashar al-Assad. (Never mind that neither Assad nor his father ever had to face a real election, so I’m not sure what constitutes “legitimacy” here.) And he did his best to depict Moscow as a loyal adherent to United Nations principles while castigating Washington as a mischief-maker always sowing chaos by dodging the rules of the international community.

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