ITAR-Tass news agency is quoting Russia's deputy foreign minister as saying that Syrian President Bashar Assad is increasingly losing control and the opposition may win.
Thursday's remarks by Mikhail Bogdanov are the first acknowledgement by a Russian official that the Syrian strongman could lose a bloody civil war.
Russia has shielded Assad from international sanctions and continued to provide it with weapons.
While Bogdanov didn't signal Moscow's readiness to edge closer to the West and approve sanctions against Assad's regime, the statement appears to reflect that Moscow has begun positioning itself for his imminent defeat. - Sapa-AP