The year 2015 is set to be hard and extremely uncertain for Russia’s economic and political development. Putin’s leadership could face unexpected challenges and cannot afford any decline in his unsustainably high public support. This vulnerability increases Russia’s propensity for toying with power projection, with Syria being a key focus for Kremlin experiments in the Middle East.
Baev, Pavel K. (2015) Could Russia become a serious spoiler in the Middle East?. PONARS Eurasia: Policy Memo: 359. Washington DC: George Washington University.