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    Russia's Campaign in Syria Shocks Washington as Much as Launch of Sputnik I

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    Numerous officials and experts in the West have been astonished by Russia's military capabilities. Moscow's newest weapons are surely impressive in themselves, but many in the United States and Europe have also been shocked by the "style and speed" of Russia's military operation in Syria, Il Giornale reported.

    Moscow's success in the Middle East and the attention it attracted has left a traumatic effect on America's political and military elites, much like the launch of the world's first satellite, Sputnik I, on October 4, 1957, the Italian newspaper added.

    Back then Washington did not expect the Soviets to have the technology needed to make such an achievement. These days the US was unprepared that Russia managed to create a powerful and efficient military machine at a time of economic crisis.

    This first official picture of the Soviet satellite Sputnik I was issued in Moscow October 9, 1957, showing the four-antennaed satellite resting on a three-legged pedestal.
    © AP Photo / ZENTRALBILD PICTURE SERVICE
    This first official picture of the Soviet satellite Sputnik I was issued in Moscow October 9, 1957, showing the four-antennaed satellite resting on a three-legged pedestal.

    Until recently, many in the US and Europe viewed the Russian Armed Forces through Soviet clichés: they seem to have expected millions of soldiers in ragged uniforms and piles of scrap metal, Il Giornale noted.

    Well, they were wrong. Russian military equipment, command centers and outfits look brand new as if they were taken right from a military expo.  Russian troops, the newspaper emphasized, also know how to fight.

    Following a request from Syria's legitimate government, Russia launched a multinational aerial campaign aimed at assisting Damascus-led forces in their fight against a four-and-a-half-year old insurgency in the country.

    These developments prompted Barack Obama to keep US troops in Afghanistan despite election promises to withdraw from the country.

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    Middle East, airstrike, Russian aerial campaign, military capabilities, achievement, military power, Syrian conflict, satellite, politics, geopolitics, Sputnik, Russian Armed Forces, Syria, United States, Russia
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