Why Russia's Vladimir Putin Is Standing by Syria's President Assad

September 26, 2015 8:56 AM

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Why Russia's Vladimir Putin Is Standing by Syria's President Assad

MOSCOW — When Russia's Vladimir Putin addresses the U.N. General Assembly on Monday, all ears will be attuned to one issue: Syria. From this high-profile pulpit, Putin will have the chance to defend the Kremlin's staunch support for Syria's President Bashar Assad, who has not only been fighting a four-year civil war but been battling Western attempts to topple him.

Russia's determination to stick by Assad may seem baffling to some, but experts say Putin has deep-rooted — and personal — reasons for backing the dictator. NBC News reached out to Russia's leading foreign policy experts to help explain Moscow's commitment to Assad, and why the Kremlin is not lettin...

Also read: Thousands flee Syria’s Aleppo as Assad nears victory

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