Over the last week, Russia has made abundantly clear that it is increasing its support for Syria, which is in the midst of a four-year long civil war and fighting against ISIS, deploying military advisers and setting up a forward operating base.
Moscow has backed Damascus throughout the civil war, both militarily and diplomatically, blocking United Nations Security Council resolutions that would have placed pressure on the Syrian government or condemned it for human rights abuses.
That's where 16-year old weightlifting champion Maryana Naumova enters the picture.
Last week, she accepted an invitation to visit Syria, and has produced a string of photos and videos of her time meeting government officials.
On her VKontakte page, Naumova posted a picture posing with Syrian soldiers.
Naumova also met with Syrian first lady Asma al-Assad, who was infamously profiled just before the start of the civil war. The weightlifter referred to Asma, the woman who first invited her to Syria, both "courageous" and "amazing" on Facebook.
She even joined Syrian children in singing "Happy Birthday" to President Assad, complete with a cake topped with the Syrian flag.
But the timing of her trip and its promotion of the Syrian government happening to coincide with a new burst of Russian support for Assad could just be a coincidence.
Hayes Brown is a world news editor and reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.