Whether Russia is able not only to fight but to make peace?

It was hard without some caution welcome announced last week a cease-fire in Syria. In the six years of war there were killed and more than 400 thousand people and destroyed entire cities. This conflict would not exist or he would not have lasted so long if not for the cynical brutality of President Bashar al-Assad and his main allies — Russia and Iran.

The agreement on ceasefire took effect on Friday, and although reports of the breach, the world hopes that it will last longer than the previous two agreements concluded in 2016, and as a result will be a turning point. Probably Mr. Assad will ask himself about what he could achieve in case of continuation of hostilities. Last week he expelled the rebel groups from Aleppo and strengthened their positions. To guarantee the truce of countries — Russia, Iran and Turkey — also have significant capabilities on the battlefield.

Within two years, Russian President Vladimir Putin, supporting Mr. Assad showed little interest in a cease fire at an early stage and to negotiate the end of the civil war. Now, during the complex process of change of power in Washington, Mr. Putin, in fact, pushed to the periphery of the United States and making the appropriate maneuver, has become a major international player in Syria.

Russia was moving to this role gradually, and at the time, Mr. Obama kept the United States from direct military action during the civil war in Syria. Although Mr. Obama has provided minor support to some rebel groups, he was determined not to get involved in another conflict in the middle East, which wanted neither the American people nor the Congress. Many experts and international leaders believe that the solution to America had to pay its prestige and influence.

At the moment, Mr. Putin looks like a master tactician, because he was able to restore Russian influence in Syria (the country was a client of Moscow during the cold war, and recently a client of Iran). It should not be forgotten that he achieved this through his inability to restrain Mr. Assad before the war, and then through cooperation with the Syrian armed forces in the application of crushing blows on civilians and hospitals, which can be called war crimes. Mr. Putin is able to ensure that the war really is over and that it may withdraw its troops. But then the question arises as to whether he wants to take responsibility for the future of Syria, including the rebuilding of the cities that Russia helped to destroy, and also about whether he is able to do it.

The cease-fire became possible last week after the Russian, Iranian and Turkish officials agreed in Moscow on the cessation of hostilities and acted as intermediaries in the conclusion of a peace agreement. Americans have been excluded from this process, and although the state Department insists that this is not a humiliation, it so obviously is. Mr. Putin has made it clear that he prefers elected President of Donald trump and Mr. trump made it clear that the feeling is mutual. The Moscow meeting was significant and important for the growing cooperation between Russia and Turkey, despite the recent murder of the Russian Ambassador in Ankara. Unlike Mr. Putin, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has long been trying to overthrow Mr. Assad. However, Turkey’s support of the rebels may be weakened in exchange for Moscow’s freedom of action Turkey to fight against Kurdish forces in Syria, which, according to Mr. Erdogan, are allies of the Kurdish separatists in Turkey.

Theoretically, if the civil war is over, the Syrians will be able to begin to restore normal life and other countries, including the United States, will finally be able to focus his attention on the fight against the Islamic state (banned in Russia organization — ed.). However, much more can go wrong. Questions, the derail of the previous peace agreements remain unresolved. The most important of them is the following: will Russia insist that Mr. Assad remains in power in a country where he controls only about a third of the territory, in a country where it hates most of the Sunni population that he killed a number of their fellow tribesmen. Now it’s Russia’s problem.