“That is the real import of the cease-fire: It puts Russia in control of what happens next in Syria,” laments The Washington Post, adding that the Obama administration has simply “handed” this geopolitical victory to President Putin.
However, this turns out to be only partially true.
“The important thing to note about the ceasefire is that Russia and Hezbollah were within a month or so of declaring victory when the deal was struck,” suggests one of the key bloggers at the website Zero Hedge.
“Government forces have closed in on the city of Aleppo, a major symbol of the uprising. Their supply routes from Turkey cut, rebels in the Aleppo area now say it may only be a matter of time before they are crushed altogether,” echoes Reuters.
That meant Russia was already negotiating from a position of strength.
All the above has been confirmed on Saturday by a senior representative of the Russian General Staff, Sergei Rudskoi:
"We are in full control of the situation across the whole of Syria," he said, adding that Russian forces suspended all sorties over Syria on Saturday, in line with a ceasefire deal, but are using at least 70 drones and space surveillance for monitoring purposes.