According to Politico:

“Russia’s criminal behavior in Syria is just the latest in a long string of crimes perpetrated by Russian President Vladimir Putin.

U.S. President-elect Donald Trump’s incoming administration may be unwilling to admit it, but Putin is a war criminal. The U.S. government may need to negotiate with him, but it should remember that he is a butcher.

Russia’s leader has a long record of inhumanity. He was an agent of the Soviet secret police, a criminal institution with a record that goes back to mass killings perpetrated by the henchmen of Soviet dictators Vladimir Lenin and Joseph Stalin. Putin knew the KGB’s record when he joined it in 1975, at the height of its crackdown on the Soviet dissident movement and just seven years after the country’s armed forces crushed the Prague Spring in Czechoslovakia.

When Putin came to power in 1999, he almost certainly approved, and perhaps even orchestrated, the bombings of two apartment buildings in Moscow, in which hundreds of innocent Russians lost their lives. As Amy Knight, a specialist on the KGB, argues, the evidence makes it “abundantly clear” that the Russian security service, the FSB (which succeeded the KGB), was “responsible for carrying out the attacks.” Concludes Knight: It is “inconceivable” that the bombings would have been done “without the sanction of Putin,” who exploited the panic they created to crack down on the Chechens and present himself as an indispensable leader.”