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In May 2016, the Roman Theatre in Palmyra was the site of a Russian orchestra performance, led by Valery Gergiev, a supporter of Russian ruler Vladimir Putin.
The event was broadcast widely on RT (formerly Russia Today), the state-run English-language propaganda channel, and images and clips of the event were disseminated worldwide.
The concert crowned Putin’s eight-month intervention in Syria, reinforcing the Kremlin’s messaging: Moscow and its blood-drenched client, Bashar al-Assad, were staffing the front line for civilisation against the barbarous hordes of the Islamic State group—and they were winning.
What a difference seven months has made.
Read the rest at The New Arab.