Actually Russia recognized the nascent Jewish state before the US. There has long been a love/hate relationship between the two countries; many of the first and second Aliyah pioneers were Russian, and the mass immigration of the 70s and 80s furthered emotional, financial and cultural ties. Russia, GB, Germany, Turkey and to a lesser degree France, invented the Great Game of checker boarding the ME. Modern Russia is a slightly schizoid country to be sure, but if it treads with creative diplomatic imagination can be a useful asset to the whole peace process. Rearming the kid Assad however is not the way for that to happen.
Prominent Druze sheikh al-Balous killed in Syria (Haaretz)
from the article: Russian FM says weapons sales to Syria strictly controlled