Russian involvement in Syria might be diverting attention from Russian plans for Eastern Europe

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from by Maria Joner

by Maria Joner

Professor of Russian History warns the Syrian crisis might be just one move in a chess game being played by Vladimir Putin. Last evening in Saint Petersburg, Bill Parsons, professor emeritus of history and Russian studies at Eckerd College, lectured to roughly 50 students and residents about the Russian mindset. Vladamir Putin might have his sights set on more than just Syria and the Ukraine.

Both President Obama and President Putin are using the UN General Assembly this week in New York to express their positions on Syria. Russia and the US agree the Syrian civil war, ISIS and the Ukraine issues need to be resolved. They differ on how. After his lecture, Parsons said that Putin is not empire building by supporting the Assad regime in Syria. Instead, he says there are more pragmatic reasons.

An overlooked aspect of bilateral talks between Russia and the US is the situation in Ukraine. Parsons said a Russian incursion into Ukraine will destabilize the region.

It’s still unclear how the US and Russia will work together to resolve the Syrian crisis.