"There is simply no indication of Ms. Butina seeking to influence or undermine any specific policy or law or the United States -- only at most to promote a better relationship between the two nations," Driscoll said in a statement. "The complaint is simply a misuse of the Foreign Agent statute, which is designed to punish covert propaganda, not open and public networking by foreign students."
Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said at Wednesday's meeting with the top military brass that a special emphasis will be given to training the army's tactical battle units, as well as paratroopers, pilots and navy ship crews. He noted that the military relies on the combat experience it has gained in Syria to improve training.
Since Dec. 15, the U.S.-led coalition has conducted airstrikes on about two dozen locations around Palmyra, destroying air defense weapons, tanks, aircraft shelters, storage bunkers and other vehicles and equipment. At the same time, U.S. and Russian officials having been ensuring that the two militaries' don't cross paths in the airspace above the city that IS militants seized for the second time earlier this month, and that American strikes don't mistakenly hit Russian or Syrian forces.