Russia: Assad could have avoided civil war

June 11, 2013 18:33

MOSCOW - President Bashar Assad could have avoided the bloody civil war in Syria by responding more quickly to demands for change, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday.

In comments to Russia's English-language state television network RT, Putin repeated that Russia is not acting as an advocate for Assad but also broadly blamed the West for violent upheaval in the Middle East.

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