Russia doesn't want the UN to get in the habit of regime change. They abstained in Libya... and look where that's got them. Besides, Tartus is a warm and comfy Mediterranean port. Perfect for Russian submarines and naval destroyers. Heck, if they care... how many Syrian lives that is worth. I bet, Putin is elegantly polishing his personal statue of Alexander the Great. He's got visions of yet another Russian empire in the works. All he's got to do, is wait just a little longer. And the name-plate will read... Putin the Great.
19-year-old construction worker seriously injured after falling from scaffolding in Harish (Haaretz)
from the article: Russia: UN vote on Syria resolution will end in scandal