https://www.google.com — (New York Times)
Ellen Barry - Walk into any government ministry or corporate headquarters in Syria and you will almost certainly find men who spent their 20s in Russia; many brought home wives and raised children in Russian-speaking households.
There are an estimated 30,000 Russian citizens living in Syria, most women and children, Russian government officials estimate.
The Russian women "are wives of the elite, who can have some influence, but it's a soft influence," said Nina Sergeyeva, who until recently led an organization of Russian expatriates from her home in Latakia. "The elite of Syria, the men, are very oriented toward Russia."