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Opinion
Leonid Bershidsky

Why the Russian Ambassador Became a Target

Secular societies are not united over Syria, but for Islamist radicals, they are all the enemy.
He paid for Russia's entanglements.

He paid for Russia's entanglements.

Photographer: : NATALIA KOLESNIKOVA/Getty Images

A growing geopolitical role comes at a price in blood, as Russia was forcefully reminded on Monday when its ambassador to Turkey, Andrei Karlov, was shot in an Ankara art gallery. Russia might not be paying that price had it kept out of the Syrian conflict but, paradoxically, it has now joined the West in footing this bill.

In 2012, when Chris Stevens, the U.S. ambassador to Libya, was killed by a mob in Benghazi, Russian propaganda outlets lectured the U.S. for meddling in the Middle East. "It was on Washington's urging that NATO intervened in the conflict in Libya," Russian state television editorialized. "But warnings that sooner or later this would produce a boomerang effect were drowned out by sloganeering about a victory for democracy in totalitarian countries."