The Times podcast: Russia’s Syria playbook in Ukraine

Bashar Assad and Vladimir Putin
Syrian President Bashar Assad, left, meets with Russian President Vladimir Putin in January 2020.
(Alexei Druzhinin / Associated Press)

Aerial strikes, targeting civilians, cutting off supply chains: Russia’s brutal war tactics in Ukraine are shocking, but also hauntingly familiar. These are tactics the country has used before.

Six years before Russia launched its brutal attack on Ukraine, it began another horrific military operation in Syria. Today, we talk about what we can learn about Russia’s strategy in Ukraine from its involvement in Syria. Read the full transcript here.


Host: Gustavo Arellano

Guests: L.A. Times Middle East correspondent Nabih Bulos

More reading:

Syrian fighters ready to join next phase of Ukraine war

Humanitarian corridors, from Syria to Ukraine, explained

Russia has been Assad’s greatest ally — as it was to his father before him

About The Times

“The Times” is made by columnist Gustavo Arellano, senior producers Denise Guerra, Shannon Lin and Kasia Broussalian and producers David Toledo, Ashlea Brown and Angel Carreras. Our engineers are Mario Diaz and Mark Nieto. Our editor is Kinsee Morlan. Our executive producers are Jazmín Aguilera and Shani O. Hilton. Our theme song was composed by Andrew Eapen.