It's been more than five months since Russia's Vladimir Putin officially moved war planes and other military assets into Syria. The false talking point has been the Russians are there to fight ISIS, when in fact, they're in the country to prop up longtime Syrian dictator Bashir al-Assad in the ongoing civil war and to gain influence and power in the volatile region.
According to a new report, Putin isn't simply defending Assad's assets, he's openly bombing civilians, hospitals and schools.
Amnesty International has told Sky News that Russia is guilty of some the most "egregious" war crimes it has seen in decades.
The human rights organisation claims Moscow's warplanes have been deliberately targeting civilians and rescue workers in Syria over the last week.
Tirana Hassan, director of Amnesty's crisis response programme, said the attacks are ongoing, with strikes documented on schools, hospitals and civilian homes.
She claimed the bombing of civilian targets by Russian and Syrian forces was in itself a war crime, but warned there have been consistent reports of additional bombardments which injure and kill humanitarian workers and civilians attempting to evacuate the wounded and the dead.
Earlier this month, Secretary of State John Kerry held a meeting with Russian officials in Munich to discuss the possibility of a peace agreement to end the bombing, but so far there hasn't been a solid agreement to end the fighting. Russia maintains they are not deliberately targeting civilians, but intelligence surveillance and footage proves otherwise.
In the meantime, President Obama recently sat down with The Today Show and claimed there are currently no existential threats to the United States and haven't been since he entered the Oval Office in 2009. Many top military leaders disagree and believe Russia's aggressive behavior in the Middle East and in Eastern Europe signal a power grab the United States should certainly be concerned about.
The outgoing Army chief of staff said Wednesday that Russia posed the "most dangerous" threat facing the United States today, thanks to its "sophisticated" operations in Ukraine.
Gen. Raymond Odierno, who is leaving his post, estimated that only a third of U.S. brigades are capable of operating at the level of the hybrid warfare Russia is undertaking there. And he worries that Russia could next intervene in NATO allies like Latvia or Estonia.
"They are more mature than some other of our potential adversaries, and I think they have some stated intents that concern me in terms of how the Cold War ended," Odierno said of Russia when asked by CNN. "They have shown some significant capability in Ukraine to do operations that are fairly sophisticated, and so, for me, I think we should pay a lot of attention."