Russia on Friday denied that its deputy foreign minister had said a day earlier that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is losing control of his country. Russia's explanation — that the official, Mikhail Bogdanov, was characterizing the opinion of the Syrian opposition rather than stating Russia's position — did not jibe with Bogdanov's words on Thursday: "There is a trend for the government to progressively lose control over an increasing part of the territory," adding that "an opposition victory can't be excluded." The reversal indicates that Moscow has no intention yet of not backing its Syrian ally. A spokesman for the ministry said that Russia continues to call for a political dialogue between the Syrian government and the opposition.
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- The 11 worst fast food restaurants in America
- I hate Ayn Rand — but here's why my fellow conservatives love her
- Here's the schedule very successful people follow every day
- The weird obsession that's ruining the GOP
- Why Peter Capaldi has a bigger challenge than any Doctor Who in history
- 7 grammar rules you really should pay attention to
- 7 things the world's happiest people do every day
- A scientific fact-check of 2001: A Space Odyssey
- The secret to Gabrielle Hamilton's amazing grilled cheese sandwiches
- Why are so many parents being arrested?
Subscribe to the Week