John Kerry, Sergei Lavrov and representatives from Iran, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Turkey meet in Vienna this week to discuss the Syria conflict. These talks were largely spurred by Russia, which one month ago launched airstrikes in support of the Syrian government.

How has Russia’s military intervention in Syria affected the prospect for a negotiated settlement to the conflict? What are some of the political and international diplomatic consequences of Russian intervention? And what does Russia actually hope to achieve in Syria? On the line to discuss Russian military and political strategy for Syria, and the implications of this military action for the longer term prospects of a internationally negotiated resolution to this conflict is Michael Kofman, who is an analyst at the CNA Corporation and Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson Center.

Kofman offers some clearheaded analysis of the political implications of Russia’s military intervention and does an excellent job of unpacking some of the complexity of the current state of the Syrian conflict.

If you have 15 minutes and want to understand what Russia is up to in Syria and why it matters globally, have a listen.

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