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Why is Ukraine supporting Syria's Assad?

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Mar. 08, 2012 08:04
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Ukraine's President Viktor Yanukovych (R) and Syria's president Bashar al-Assad hold glasses during a document signing ceremony in Kiev on December 3, 2010. Bashar al-Assad is in Ukraine for a two-day official visit.
Photo by AFP PHOTO/ SERGEI SUPINSKY
Syria grows increasingly isolated as President Bashar al-Assad's soldiers continue pounding anti-government protesters with a ferocity that has earned the wrath of much of the world.

Western nations and most Arab states have turned against Syria, with several clamoring for military intervention to end the bloodshed that has claimed at least 7,500 Syrian lives after nearly a year of unrest. Assad's allies can be counted on the fingers of one's hand -- Russia, China, Iran and perhaps one or two others. However, the butch of Damascus has another, less prominent ally: Ukraine, the former Soviet republic.

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