- Russia said it began withdrawing its forces from Syria on Tuesday
- Leon Aron: Putin has saddled tiger of patriotic mobilization, expertly made it trot in the right direction
Leon Aron is a resident scholar and the director of Russian studies at the American Enterprise Institute. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.
(CNN)One of the most popular Russian satirical characters, a 19th century fictional idiot-savant by the name of Kozma Prutkov, has coined dozens of aphorisms, many of which have become proverbs. One of my favorites is: "If you see a 'buffalo' sign on an elephant's cage, do not believe your eyes." When Vladimir Putin declares the end of a military operation that, at a very low cost, has been highly successful in geostrategic and domestic political terms and promises to accrue still more benefits, we would do well to apply Kozma's words.