The "Bear" has been centric to the world stage for over a decade now, and his persona seems to be gaining ground on celebrity scale rather than that of a leader, especially if you are from Russia or former USSR. If he is a savior to his nation, the biggest surprise remains that the same is viewed by his foes, narrating him as resolute, defiant and unwilling to compromise no matter how much the stakes may be. Syria has been his greatest test of all, as it involved moving out from the familiar line of action and proximity which comes to his and his apparatus advantage. The most prominent of them included Chechnya, South Ossetia, Abkhazia, Crimea. Middle East has a legacy to attract, engage and fascinate visitors from medieval times, and the age of "Black Gold" has made it even more costlier than ever. 20th century has seen the entire region in turmoil in one form or the other, and with 21st century and the fall of twin towers it has evolved into the essential for governing the globe and its affairs.
With Arab spring culminating into the "Syrian Spring" by 2011, the Bear took the moral route for conquest into Arab sand. The turf was already rough, with GCC states being abandoned by its Western friends over backlash at home. Washington, London, Paris and Berlin had already found it hard to explain the "wars of liberation" turning in Iraq and Libya into symbols of destruction and bloodshed for the present century. This uncertainty from the latter coalition was translated by Bear as his moment in the Middle East, almost after three decades of utter silence from his predecessors towards the region.
Obama's reluctance to take Syria head-on seriously dented its ties with its Gulf partners, and its long-held credibility of being the policeman for the Middle East. But this time around he had stopped his men and resources from venturing into Syria, whereas Bear was seen as the real successor who has carried the day for the "Just War" in Syria.
With Aleppo liberated, the Bear might be viewing himself as this century's "Lawrence of Arabia", with his eyes now settling upon more territory than the Europe they lost back in 1989 (collapse of USSR). However, quite unusual for its appetite, the bear venturing into Arabia has been carefully lured into the trap that was used brilliantly by the same actors over three decades back in the unforgiving terrain of Afghanistan. The war of Syria (post 2011) was never limited to the sovereignty or the territorial boundary of a state, as it was fuelled by the most lethal weapon of "sectarian divide", which has been tragically the most devastating hunter since the past 13 centuries in the region. Bear isn't saving Assad, as Assad had already lost the role and control of Syria (the State) when he introduced the "Sectarian" foreign card as a last resort, with Tehran spearheading the "de Facto" campaign through regular as well as irregular involvement (Militia). The victory in the battles of ideologies or faith only lies in maintaining or sustaining "peaceful coexistence", not through siding with one against the other.
So the "Bear" has naively manoeuvred himself and his fortunes in the middle of a perfect storm, with one force using it as the buffer and the other striking it as the invader. In short, it is a master stroke on being at a wrong place, at the wrong time.
Syrian war has no end in sight whether Aleppo has fallen or not, because the overwhelming 74% population will be subjected to foreign presence (regular/ irregular as far as from Afghanistan), which has evolved on sectarian call and the presence of this force will never let the "Peaceful Coexistence" to evolve. Bear mistake in assessing the gravity remains the ignorance towards the calls for war that had rallied his allies as well as opponents to the war front of Syria, unfortunately.
* Readers are requested to replace "Bear" with President of Russia for a better insight and understanding.