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Who have been Russia’s allies during this first year of the invasion of Ukraine?

The russian invasion about Ukraine is inevitably heading to celebrate its first year on February 24.

In these first twelve months, the conflict, which to date has caused the death of at least 280,000 soldiers and 7,200 civilians, has been limited to direct confrontation between both nations; however, the fear that it would escalate into a more intense global conflict has been present throughout most of the process.

This is due, in large part, to the fact that the main powers have managed to participate in an indirect way – with supplies, but without firing a bullet at each other – in favor of both sides.

LOOK: “Western countries can speed up the arrival of peace by cutting off arms supplies to kyiv”

It has become clear, for example, that the incredible Ukrainian resistance to the Eurasian giant has been sustained mainly by weapons and aid packages sent from the United States and Europe.

A study by the Kiel Institute for the World Economy estimates that by mid-January 2023, Washington has allocated $76.8 billion in humanitarian, financial, and military aid to Ukraine. The European Union, for its part, has allocated more than 31 billion dollars through its institutions, which could be added to the more than 9 billion dollars sent by the United Kingdom.

The Russian side, meanwhile, has seen a fierce response from the West and organizations such as the UN, which approved historic sanctions against the country and high-level officials, including Putin and his foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, considering that the expansionist aspirations of the Kremlin leader threaten global stability.

LOOK: The weapons that the US and its allies sent to Ukraine in a year of war (and that add up to more than US$ 67,000 million)

However, not all nations are aligned with this vision.

As an example we can mention Belarus, Syria, North Korea and Eritrea, the only countries, apart from Russia, that voted against the resolution issued by the UN on March 2, 2022 that demanded that Moscow “the immediate cessation of the use of force against Ukraine”.

As the military campaign progressed, other nations joined the Russian side – in a more devious way than the Westerners did with Ukraine.

Putin’s main and so far most active ally in this war has undoubtedly been the government of Belarus, under the command of Alexander Lukashenko.

The former Soviet nation has not only represented one of the gates used by Russia for the attacks on February 24, 2022, but has also allowed Muscovite forces to settle on its territory and has even carried out joint exercises between both armies.

To date, the Ukrainian media estimates that some 11,000 Russian soldiers are in Belarusian territory.

This is a diametrically different image from the one that Belarus showed in mid-2021, when it presented itself as a promoter of dialogue in order to prevent the escalation of tension over eastern Ukraine. However, on the one hand, the dependence that Minsk maintains on Moscow is undeniable, and on the other hand, the Lukashenko regime has gradually distanced itself from the West since the repression of the 2020 post-election protests, accentuating this distance since the decision to invade from Putin.

Lukashenko has been Russia’s most active ally since the invasion of Ukraine began. (VLADIMIR ASTAPKOVICH / SPUTNIK / AFP /)

Perhaps the actor that generates the greatest concern that the conflict reaches a global scale. It would not be an exaggeration to say that the Asian giant currently represents the border between a European war and a possible world war.

So far, Beijing has limited itself to showing off its good relations with Moscow -clear proof of this is the last meeting between Putin and the Chinese foreign policy chief, Wang Yi, or his meetings with Xi Jinping- and to transform itself into the most attractive for the Russian hydrocarbons industry, hard hit by international sanctions.

Putin met last Wednesday with China's foreign policy chief, Wang Yi, in Moscow.

Putin met last Wednesday with China’s foreign policy chief, Wang Yi, in Moscow. (ANTON NOVODEREZHKIN / SPUTNIK / AFP /)

However, from the United States they fear that Beijing could supply Russia with weapons. The Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, stated a few days ago that one of the great concerns of the White House is that China decides to take an active role in the conflict.

A concern that has increased in recent weeks, after a new spike in tension between Washington and Beijing over alleged spy balloons sent from the Asian giant to fly over North American territory.

Although they are not traditional allies, Putin has tried to strengthen his ties with Iran in an effort to avoid being so isolated on the international scene. Proof of this is that Moscow obtained military support from Tehran to advance the conflict.

The drones that Iran sold to Moscow in recent months were key for Russia to retake lost positions in Ukraine.

Already in August 2022, the United States and the United Kingdom expressed their suspicions of a possible collaboration between Russia, Iran and North Korea for military purposes that would seek to develop agreements for the exchange and production of weapons and drones jointly.

In exchange for this military support, which would be of enormous help to Russian troops, the Kremlin would be offering both Iran and North Korea, according to the United Kingdom, “unprecedented” technical and military support.

According to the United Kingdom, the Kremlin would be offering both Iran and North Korea

According to the United Kingdom, the Kremlin would be offering both Iran and North Korea “unprecedented” technical and military support. (ALEXANDR DEMYANCHUK / SPUTNIK / AFP /)

The West has also expressed concern about North Korea’s support for Russia in the war in Ukraine.

Pyongyang “is providing military support to the Russian war efforts with rockets and missiles,” NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said earlier this year.

Kim Yo-jong, the sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, has condemned the US shipment of tanks to Ukraine and said Washington “is crossing a red line.”

Washington, for its part, has accused North Korea of ​​sending large supplies of artillery shells and other munitions to Russia to support its offensive in Ukraine, although Kim Jong-un’s regime has denied the accusation.

North Korea is the only nation besides Russia and Syria to recognize the independence of Donetsk and Luhansk, two Russian-backed breakaway regions in eastern Ukraine.

Source: Elcomercio

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