As Ukraine braces for a fourth week of war, Syria marks 11 years of brutal fighting. The same Russian bombs pounding Kharkiv have been continually used against Syrian cities like Idlib and Aleppo since Vladimir Putin intervened in 2015.
In this podcast, award-winning journalist Anand Gopal joins New Lines’ Faisal Al Yafai to discuss Russia’s wars. When Putin intervened in Syria, he explains, Russia was entering a war that had already raged for four years and immediately matched the violence of its Syrian allies. But in Ukraine, the Russians turned to such methods only after their initial attack failed.
The big difference, however, has been in the international response. Syria never received the international attention that the Ukraine conflict did, he points out, which allowed Russia to operate with impunity. In the fog of international indifference, Russian propaganda flourished, sowing doubt and blunting the political will for effective action against the war’s atrocities.
The response to the invasion of Ukraine, he says, “shows what people can do when they take these conflicts seriously.”
Produced by Joshua Martin