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Russian President Vladimir Putin is letting his impatience show with Syrian ally Bashar Assad, who isn’t proving as grateful for being kept in power by Russian intervention in his country’s brutal civil war as the Kremlin leader needs him to be.

Consumed at home by the twin shocks of collapsing oil prices and the coronavirus epidemic, and eager to wrap up his Syrian military adventure by declaring victory, Putin is insisting that Assad show more flexibility in talks with the Syrian opposition on a political settlement to end the nearly decade-long conflict, said four people familiar with Kremlin deliberations on the matter.

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