Putins allies MAPPED as more countries begin leaning towards Russia

Russia: Vladimir Putin shakes hands with Xi Jinping

Just over a year after Vladimir Putin began waging an all-out war against Ukraine and its people, the world is ever-more divided in its condemnation of Russian aggression. While Moscow’s familiar allies have held firm, a growing contingent of states has drifted away from the hardline NATO position. Check Express.co.uk’s map below to see where each country stands.

On March 17, the International Criminal Court (ICC) issued Vladimir Putin with an arrest warrant for war crimes committed in Ukraine. 

A total of 123 countries are currently signatories to the tribunal’s founding treaty, but Russia is not among them — nor is the US — making the likelihood of a trial slim. The impact of the ruling is, in this way, unlikely to be great.

The UN, which boasts 193 members, has also attempted to shore up universal condemnation of the invasion. Emergency sessions demanding a Russian withdrawal and a release of the four annexed eastern Ukrainian regions were voted against by five countries on more than one occasion.

However, while Moscow’s advances on the battlefield may have stalled, it has made considerable diplomatic progress, as the number of countries willing to denounce its actions whittles away.

Backing Putin since day one includes Belarus, North Korea, Nicaragua, and Syria.

The ties bonding this list to the Russian state are clear: Belarussian leader Alexander Lukashenko is a long-term ally who this week allowed nuclear weapons to be moved to his territory; fellow autocrat Kim Jong-un is believed to be producing artillery shells for its northern neighbour in exchange for oil and food; while the despots in charge of Nicaragua and Syria have both relied on the Kremlin’s graces to quash challengers to their rule.

Alongside them, China is increasingly less ambiguous in its Russia-leaning stance, as evidenced by President Xi Jinping dropping in on Moscow last week, reaffirming his “friendship” with Putin. India’s neutrality is also ever more questionable, with its Siberian crude imports soaring over the past year.

Beyond these major players, the tide is changing among non-aligned and neutral nations. As the war turned a year old in March, analysis by the Economist Intelligence Unit found the number of nations actively condemning Russia had fallen from 131 to 122.

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This means the US and EU-led bloc against Moscow makes up just 36.2 percent of the global population as of March 2023. Neutral countries, having risen in number from 32 to 35, now account for accounting for 30.7 percent.

Initially, Western-leaning powers such as Colombia, Turkey and Qatar have since slid into the neutral category in pursuit of economic gains. Agathe Demaris, global forecasting director at EIU said: “Russia (and China) is courting non-aligned, neutral countries in a bid to sow doubt about the impacts of sanctions on Russia and to leverage resentment against former colonial powers.”

The remaining 33.1 percent of people live in countries either leaning towards or endorsing Russia, which have increased in number from 29 to 35 over the past 12 months.

Moscow has gained the most ground in Africa, with nations such as Mali, Burkina Faso and Uganda shifting stances in Russia’s favour. Most notable is South Africa, which conducted military drills with Russian warships around its southern port of Durban last month.

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