He called on Moscow to change course and join the West in seeking a more responsible regime in Damascus. Charles, thanks so much for being with us.
MARTIN: Just what exactly have Russian officials been saying about the airstrikes?
Putin issued a statement Saturday calling the strikes "an act of aggression against a sovereign state that is on the frontline in the fight against terrorism".
The decision to strike, after days of deliberations, marked Trump's second order to attack Syria; he authorized a barrage of Tomahawk cruise missiles to hit a single Syrian airfield in April a year ago in retaliation for al-Assad's use of sarin gas against civilians.
A joint United Nations-OPCW mission concluded that troops under President Bashar al-Assad had used chemical weapons several times in recent years, including a sarin attack a year ago in the town of Khan Sheikhoun that killed almost 100 people.
But the United Kingdom envoy to the OPCW said in a tweet Monday that "Russia and Syria have not yet allowed access to Douma".
"It is our concern that they may have tampered with it with the intent of thwarting the efforts of the OPCW Fact-Finding Mission to conduct an effective investigation", he said.
"Insulting the President of Russian Federation is unacceptable and inadmissible".
"A pre-designed scenario is being implemented", Russian Ambassador Anatoly Antonov said on Twitter. -Russian ties in a one-on-one summit with President Trump.
You know, but then we have Syria.
Russian military police had been deployed in Douma, raising complaints from the Syrian opposition that evidence of chemical weapons use might no longer be found.
SIMON: What else has Mr. Putin said about these strikes? But maybe that's coming. "I think that's the right approach", Haley added.
For the past week, Russian news media speculated dramatically about the looming onset of World War III.
Part of the calculation this week has also been gaming out how Russian Federation will respond.
"Through its actions, the US makes the already catastrophic humanitarian situation in Syria even worse and brings suffering to civilians", he said, accusing the USA of laying the groundwork for terrorists. There are no Russian casualties, which is important.
"We put facts contrary to your myths", he said.
Disputing the Russian military's contention that Syrian air defense units downed 71 allied missiles, McKenzie said no US or allies missiles were stopped. And that's certainly worrisome. On the other hand, there were some signs of back-channel diplomacy at work even here.
"This is not about a conflict between superpowers, but about the principle that the use of chemical weapons is simply unacceptable", Ambassador Jon Huntsman said in a video posted to the Facebook page for the USA embassy in Moscow.
"As I did yesterday, I stress the need to avoid the situation from spiraling out of control", he continued, referring to a meeting held on Friday, one of five times the Council met this week to take up the question of Syria.
SIMON: Independent journalist Charles Maynes in Moscow, thanks so much.