It is too early, as the Kremlin admits, to assess how effective Russia's week-long military assault on the Islamic State in Syria has been. However, one thing is already crystal clear: Moscow is winning the propaganda war. While Barack Obama was apologising today for the disgraceful bombing of a hospital in Afghanistan, changing Washington's official version of events for the fourth time in as many days, the Russian Defence Ministry provided an extraordinary sleek video of its cruise missile barrage of Isis targets.
The accompanying press release explained how the 26 missiles not only avoided civilians when they hit their targets, but even flew over non-residential terrain for almost the entire 900 miles after they were launched from the Caspian Sea. It is so mesmerising in its video-game production qualities and graphics that, considering the target, it might bring a warm smile to even the most resolute pacifist.