“It is to be reminded that the Russian aviation has carried out no flights over Aleppo since October 18. Russian aircraft do not operate closer than 10 kilometers far from the city” – 30.11.2016 (18:00), Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation.

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There have been only two bulletins from that ministry since, on 02.12.2016 and 03.12.2016, and not a squeak further, in English or Russian. Neither bulletin repeats the claim about “no flights over Aleppo”; each is brief and refers only to the activities of the “International Mine Action Center of the Russian Armed Forces”.

Are the top brass of the land of Dostoyevsky and Shostakovich now reluctant to associate themselves with the annihilation in Aleppo?

On current form, Assad will have hacked himself back to supremacy at least over his larger towns through the intercession of the seat of the Moscow Patriarchate, its priests and its nuns, Syria now a suppurating boil throbbing at the intersection of civilisations, for all to see and with “Russia” stamped on it: the nation of authors and heroes, musical genius and piety now the abetter of a butcher.

This cannot be the image they seek, as it flags the road to war between Russia and Europe, once the enormity of the last several weeks in Aleppo has sunk into the mind of the European peoples and translated itself as a threat to their elected representatives.

That last full bulletin is a jumble of barely connected statements, poorly translated, the lies thin even to their librettists, it would seem.

If Russia does not change course soon, she will have become morally defunct. There is some hope that this grim future will rise as a warning to those in the Russian Federation who have eyes in their heads and had seen a rich and vibrant future for their country.

30.11.2016 media briefing from Lieutenant General Sergei Rudskoy