Back in 2014, Russia pulled the trigger on its operation to reclaim Ukraine as a territory after it became an independent nation following the fall of the Soviet Union. It began with Russia’s annexation of Crimea, and in 2022 things escalated as Russia fully invaded mainland Ukraine and started a conflict that had countries around the globe weighing in.
Though the reasons for Russia wanting to reclaim Ukraine are a mystery to some, most countries have picked their side in the conflict. An overwhelming majority of countries are supporting Ukraine in the war, but there are some that are still siding with Russia. Why is there a split opinion on a global scale? Let’s take a look at the reasons that both sides have.
Why Some Favor Ukraine
The reason for many nations supporting Ukraine in the war is simple: They’re an independent nation that’s being invaded despite no provocation. There’s also the case of Ukraine and NATO being in rather close relations with each other for many years. Ukraine had initially wanted to join NATO (the North Atlantic Treaty Organization) in the late 2000s, and it looked like the country was on its way to approval.
However, Viktor Yanukovych was elected as Ukraine’s president and opted not to pursue NATO membership. He left power in 2014, with Russia annexing Crimea shortly thereafter, revamping the talks between Ukraine and NATO. The talks only got more serious after Volodymyr Zelenskyy came into power in Ukraine and the 2022 invasion began.
There are plenty of major countries that aren’t part of NATO but are considered allies of the countries that are. These countries include Brazil, Japan, and Australia. These countries have typically been on the side of the United States and England, save for Japan in World War II.
Why Some Favor Russia
While the list of countries that have supported Russia is rather short, there are still several notable countries that have sided with Vladimir Putin and Russia. The most prominent countries on the list are Venezuela, Syria, and Iran. There are some other smaller countries, as well, including Myanmar and Eritrea.
Venezuela shouldn’t come as much of a surprise, as the country has long since gone against what the United States has done. Russia and Venezuela had a strong relationship after World War II, but things fell out in the 1950s. The two reunited in 1972 and have remained strong allies ever since.
Iran is essentially in the same department, as they oppose the United States and especially NATO. One of the biggest reasons is that they have been stripped of much of their military power, and they want some more prestige on a global basis by backing Russia in hopes of defeating a NATO military.
As for Syria, they are still coming out of a civil war that had Russian involvement. The country felt the need to not pry into Russian doings, as half of the country opposes Russia while the other half supports them.
Why Some Remain Neutral
Most of the world has made its stance known regarding the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, but there is also a handful that has remained completely neutral. Many of these countries are located in Africa, while others are located in Asia and Latin America. Neutral countries have stayed that way in hopes of being mediators for both sides, and refusing to condemn to avoid any potential conflict.
Sometimes, these countries know that there is no benefit to being engaged in global politics, especially if they’re having difficulty within their own borders. There aren’t many neutral countries, but the fact that they’re not outright supporting Russia and going against the overall majority opinion shows that they’re focused on nationalism.
While the population within the nations that have condemned Russia for its invasion of Ukraine can be split, an overwhelming majority of the world’s countries have supported sanctioning Russia. Some of the major players, though, are surprising. India and China have chosen to sit out taking a side, and much of that has to do with their geographical location. Overall, the countries that are the furthest from Ukraine support them the most.