A Russia expert explains how Putin will likely respond to his downed plane


Turkey shot down a Russian warplane that it says had crossed into its airspace from Syria. Though Russia denies it had violated Turkish airspace, Turkey has been complaining of such Russian violations ever since Russia began its military intervention in Syria this September.

To understand why Russia might do this and how Moscow might respond to this incident, I called Mark Galeotti, a professor at NYU's Center for Global Affairs who focuses on Russia. He suggested that Russia could have been poking at NATO, as it has in the past, but also discussed some much deeper, and more important, issues in the Russia-Turkey relationship and Russia's military adventure in Syria. What follows is a transcript of our conversation, edited for length and clarity.