The first two years of Putin's meeting with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad was not announced in advance. The leaders met in Sochi Tuesday morning, on the eve of tripartite negotiations with the participation of Turkey and Iran. At the end of the warm meeting with Assad, Putin announced the imminent end of military operation.
"The main objective is already close to completion, and you can tell in the near future, we decided," — said Putin. He acknowledged that "until complete victory over terrorism, of course, still very far." "But, for our joint work on the fight against terrorists in Syria, this military operation actually completed," assured the President.
And on Tuesday evening hour Putin discussed Syria with US President Donald trump: in an official statement the White house stated that the Russian President himself has called his us counterpart.
The leaders of the United States and Russia discussed the joint work on the fight against "Islamic state" (banned in Russia and other States), the conversation concerned a joint Russian-American "efforts to achieve peace in the world", including in Syria, said the press service of the White house. The press service of the Kremlin reported Putin's willingness to "actively promote long-term political settlement".
Russia involved in the conflict in Syria from the end of September 2015. This is not the first statement about the imminent end of the operation: a month ago, have already said defense Minister Sergei Shoigu.
More than six years ago Putin also has declared that the Russian troops "generally complied" with the task. In March 2016, the President ordered the withdrawal of the "core" of Russian military forces from the territory of the Arab Republic. However, part of the aircraft on the basis Hamim remained and continued to perform combat missions.
Putin announced the end of the war and a new phase of settlement in Syria a month before his presumptive nomination for the presidential elections 2018 (officially about their plans to go for a new term it hasn't been announced yet). Sociological studies show that the end of military operations will be supported by the voters.
According to the August poll "Levada-center", 49% of respondents would support the completion of the operation in Syria. The continuation of Russia's participation in the Syrian conflict made by 30%. Almost one in five found it difficult to answer the question of whether the war in Syria.
While the October survey of the "Levada-center" showed that Russians appreciate Putin almost his first foreign policy, and how it increases respect for Russia in the world. The open question, "what do you like about Putin," 18% said "Protection from the West, the support of the army".
The exchange of prisoners
Just a week ago Putin had other unexpected negotiations: November 15, talked on the phone with the leaders of the self-proclaimed Luhansk and Donetsk people's republics (DPR and LPR) Igor Plotnitsky and Alexander Zakharchenko. The main theme of the talks was the exchange of prisoners between the republics and Kiev.
After the conversation, Plotnitsky and Zakharchenko with Putin the leader of the public movement "the Ukrainian choice — the right of the people" Viktor Medvedchuk said that Kiev is ready to release the 306 people in the exchange, and waits for the release of more than 70 people before the New year. Later the first Vice-speaker of the Verkhovna Rada Iryna Gerashchenko said that Ukraine demands from the LC and the DNI to release 88 prisoners.
Before that never officially reported personal talks between Putin and representatives of the LC and the DNI. The current negotiations Putin officially invited Medvedchuk — Ukrainian politician, who is the godfather of Putin.
Putin personally intervened in the process because both parties it was important to "close the topic before the presidential election," said informed bi-Bi-si the head of the Ukrainian Institute for the future Yuri Romanenko. "Putin, it would be important to record the Donbass in the net, so he is interested in this," — said Romanenko.
Sociologists from June 2015 fix the lack of interest of Russians to the conflict in Ukraine. From may to September the proportion of respondents "Levada-center", which is closely monitoring the situation there has dropped from 18% to 6%. 46% of respondents "without much attention watching and 22% do not follow Ukrainian events. 41% said that Russia "should support the DNI and LC".
Only 6% were to support Ukraine. According to 37% of respondents, Russia should stop supporting anyone in this conflict.
Image for elections
Putin chose before the presidential election, the image of a peacemaker, said political analyst Abbas Gallyamov, "But to finally judge this too early, this topic should sound a certain number of statements".
"The Russians have the stereotypical idea of themselves as very peaceful people who do not attack each other and wars are only defensive, says Gallyamov. — "The President-the peacemaker" will find a positive response from voters".
According to experts, society is tired of confrontation and fear of aggression from outside, and existed a few years ago the request for confrontation has decreased.
However, "two or three events" ideas about the President is unlikely to change, the analyst believes. But when the number of peacekeeping Putin's speech will reach critical mass, it will reach the ears of the voters, adds the expert.
Chief editor of the magazine "Russia in global politics" Fyodor Lukyanov believes that these events are very different: "Syria is a separate story, there is reason to say we won a military victory, followed by a diplomatic solution".
According to Lukyanov, in all the speeches of the President in one form or another, contained calls for a peaceful settlement and warmonger he never performed.
Partially about foreign policy program at the upcoming election, Putin said at a meeting of the international discussion club "Valdai" in Sochi. Russia seeks justice and equality, assured the President of Russia, but emphasized a willingness to dialogue.
"Any conflict should be resolved in a civilized manner. Russia has always advocated such an approach. Firmly convinced that even the most complex nodes, whether the crisis in Syria or in Libya, the Korean Peninsula or, say, Ukraine, it is necessary to untangle and not cut," said Putin.
The theme of ruler-peacemaker Putin raised and Putin at the opening of the monument to Alexander III in Yalta over the weekend. This Tsar in Russian history, the entrenched image of the "peacemaker", stressed the merits of the Emperor Putin, noting that the nickname of Alexander III received because it did not conduct large-scale wars and "gave Russia 13 years of peace".
At the same time, Putin stressed that 13 years of peace under Alexander III, Russia has received no concessions, "a fair and unshakable firmness". "Alexander III defended the interests of the country directly and openly, a policy which ensured the growth of influence of Russia, increase of its authority in the world," the President said, describing the reign of Alexander III as a time of flourishing of science, culture and art.
However, as it turned out, some of the achievements of the reign of Alexander III, is depicted on the monument, was attributed to him erroneously. So, social media users noticed that the Tretyakov gallery and the Historical Museum in Moscow, depicted on the bas-relief was created a few years before Alexander III took the throne. Depicted on the monument to the writer Fyodor Dostoyevsky died before the reign of Alexander.
"I think if there will be substantial side in this campaign, it should not be about the external contour, and about domestic issues. This is what interests people much more than any even a successful foreign policy actions, — he said. — Although it is contrary to the positioning of himself as a man of the world. What conflicts came to some dead end and need them out obviously".