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Marc Champion

Syrian Truce Is Dead, and Russia's in Charge

Putin will ensure no cease-fire can work until Aleppo has been retaken.
Cease-fire? Nyet.

Cease-fire? Nyet.

Photographer: PAUL GYPTEAU/AFP/Getty Images

Syria's cease-fire deal was born in Munich, in the early hours of Friday morning -- and pronounced dead in the same town within a day, a development that exposed just how little influence the U.S. now has over the conflict.

U.K. Foreign Minister Philip Hammond probably had the smartest take on the deal, when he divided it into two parts during the annual Munich Security Conference, which began hours after the deal was signed. One part, to deliver humanitarian aid to besieged civilians, will probably happen to some extent and would surely be a worthwhile achievement. The other, a potential truce, is entirely dependent on what Russia wants, Hammond said.