It appears that Russia can't deliver the one and only thing the West wants from it in Syria -- the orderly exit of Bashar al-Assad.
According to a report in the Financial Times, late last year Putin dispatched General Igor Sergun, head of Russia's military intelligence. to Syria to persuade Assad to step aside. And Assad refused.
On the latest Power Vertical Briefing, we take a look at how Moscow's lack of influence over Assad influences efforts to resolve the Syria conflict.
Joining me are RFE/RL Senior Editor Steve Gutterman and Pavel Butorin, managing editor of RFE/RL's Russian-language television program Current Time.
NOTE: The Power Vertical Briefing is a short look ahead to the stories expected to make news in Russia in the coming week. It is hosted by Brian Whitmore, author of the Power Vertical blog, and appears every Monday.