(CNN) For years, UN countries seeking to stop Russia from assisting the Assad regime militarily in Syria have been blocked by Moscow's veto power as a permanent UN Security Council member. But on Friday at the UN, opponents of Russia's punishing assaults in Syria achieved a small symbolic victory.
Russia was defeated in its bid to be re-elected as a member of the UN's Human Rights Council, the most prestigious panel in the UN system designed to examine global human rights.
But it was close. Russia lost to Croatia by just two votes, 114 to 112, with Hungary claiming the Eastern Europe region's other remaining seat. UN General Assembly voted in a secret balloting process that has no vetoes.
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