There are lots of ways for Syria to go wrong for Russia. Analysts have tended to focus on Moscow’s military shortcomings in that theater, wondering if Syria will become Russia’s Vietnam. They’ve also pointed to Russia’s deep economic troubles—exacerbated, of course, by very low oil prices—which call into question its ability to pay for the military campaign over time.
One of the understudied aspects of Russia’s involvement in the Syrian conflict is the ramifications it could have for the Russian government’s relations with Muslims back at home. Moscow is now home to the largest Muslim community of any city in Europe …read more