Russia, One of the Assad Regime’s Strongest Allies, Calls For ‘Olympic Truce’

The Winter Olympics in Sochi are already

a bit of a mess
and there remain concerns that the site of the
games, which is relatively close to Chechnya, could be the target


Carrying on a tradition that goes back to when the Olympics were
held in ancient Greece, the Russian foreign ministry has called for
global ceasefire
to be implemented for the duration of the

In a statement released today, the Russian foreign ministry
specifically mentions the civil war in Syria:

First of all, our call is addressed to all sides in the bloody
conflict in Syria, which has significantly destabilized the
situation in the country and in the region as a whole.

The irony is, of course, that Russia has been one of the Assad
regime’s strongest allies and supporters throughout the Syrian
civil war.

From a The
Daily Beast
 article based on an interview with Rep. Mike
Rogers (R-Mich.):

The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW),
the U.N.-affiliated group that has conducted inspections so far in
17 Syrian chemical weapons facilities—efforts that contributed to
its Nobel Peace Prize win this year—said the Syrian government has
“cooperated fully” with inspectors.

But the OPCW and the U.N. have no mandate to stop Russia from
continuing to supply Syria with advanced conventional weapons.
Rogers said Russia’s continued shipments to Syria have included
spare parts and equipment for attack helicopters as well as
artillery and other kinds of air defense and anti-tank rockets. The
U.S. Congressional Research Service estimated that between 2008 and
2011, Russia made conventional arms transfers to Syria worth $1.7
billion. More recently, Human Rights Watch has assessed that
Russian-made thermobaric bombs were used in a government assault on
the Syrian city of Raqqa at the end of September. Other Russian
weapons Syria has used in the conflict include the T-72 tank, the
Grad rocket, and the M240 mortar, according to Human Rights

More reporting on Russia’s military aid to Syria
, here, and


There is no chance that the violence in Syria is going to stop
while the Winter Olympics take place. As the games and the war in
Syria go on, keep in mind today’s statement from the Russian
foreign ministry. A call for a halt to the violence in Syria is
laudable, but it sounds ridiculous coming from a government that
has helped the Assad regime wage a devastating war.

from Hit & Run

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