For 3 Richardson and 17 Dre.
It's curious how the Russians really seem to be talking out of one side of their mouth, and acting out of another.
On the one hand, Dmitri Simes, former Sovietologist and well-connected with the Russians, says a Russian Big Bird of a diplomat said that Russia wouldn't be psyched by Western military intervention to off Assad, but wouldn't oppose or resist it either, nor would it damage Russo-American relations, if Putin's speech to his ambassadors seemed of a different tone.
On the other side of the acting mouth, now Russia has ships moving towards Tartous, Syria again, allegedly for a sight-seeing tour of the Eastern Mediterranean that has nothing to do with tensions over Syria.
Perhaps they plan to sell the Brooklyn Bridge in Athens to Germans?
So, which is it with the Russians, hinting that Assad has had his Under the Bus ticket punched, or, the Russian Navy?
Of course, playing both sides of the fence is an ever popular Russian diplomatic pastime, along with everyone else at times, as it keeps options open, and avoids commitments until one is ready to decide, which suggests Ivan isn't really done with Assad yet, unless he's just sending ships to remind people he could do that, and would use the White Sea fleet instead of the closer Black Sea fleet to gain time and create space, including of course setting bait being one possibility.
For those who are leading the negativity charge on the Arab Spring lately,it is of course worth noting that some, including the author, advocated taking out Qadhafi, which to date has worked out better than predicted per the "Le Deluge Islamiste" worry generated by Egypt, if every case is its own deal and has to be judged on its own merits, humanitarian concerns being one of them as to the costs of a fight to the finish in Syria versus the refugee flows to Cyprus that might cause a lot more problems as to Cyprus always being a little volatile in and of itself, something that Ivan of course understands rather well.