In my humble opinion, Russia has learnt to play soft power games as well.
Decisive Russian attacks on Islamists will have to be broadcasted, making people think about why were their governments standing idly all this time or even supporting Islamist factions (weapons, ammo, training, funds).
Not even the most deranged propagandists can spin these Russian actions as something bad, especially taking into account the hysteria they spread after Paris attacks.
Taking everything into account, my conclusion would be that Russia is trying to find secular Sunni opposition figureheads, Kurds and groups willing to negotiate, simply annihilating everyone else in the process.
On the other hand, the turn of events in Ukraine is something I am not in agreement with, and can't say I fully understand.
Last edited by SturmGuard on Tue Nov 17, 2015 6:03 pm; edited 1 time in total