Despite the outrage, there is no end in sight to the humanitarian crisis unfolding in Syria. As the war grinds on, very few people have any workable solutions. Even a temporary ceasefire, for which the UN is begging all sides to adhere to in order to allow humanitarian aid in, is almost impossible to achieve -- and looks more distant after Syrian Government forces began closing in on rebel-held territory in East Aleppo over the weekend.
What if all this show of Putin's disappearance was anything but botched? What if this mess was exactly what he wanted it to be, a useful distraction from a series of other issues he would rather we not pay as much attention to, like the mysterious murder of his primary opposition critic just outside the Kremlin walls? In other words, careful what you wish for people. In the final analysis, we may still be witnessing the end of Vladimir Putin. Alternatively, it may simply be Putin's wag the dog communications strategy.