The Soviet Union's foreign policy was Russian foreign policy in the specific "Soviet dress". In the years of the Soviet Union the interest in the Near and Middle East was so great that dozens of books on Soviet policy in the region were published. Western scholars were also quite familiar with Soviet sources and literature. Moreover Western sources pertinent to the same events are fuller and more explicit than Soviet ones. After the collapse of the USSR the interest in the Russian policy in the region almost disappeared, and started to revive again only in the early 21st century. Details of the Russian policy in Syria, especially in connection with the involvement of the Russian Aerospace Forces in the civil war, were shared with the author by academician V. V. Naumkin, who was a senior advisor to the United Nations special envoy to Syria Staffan de Mistura.