Russia: Putin ‘will face serious consequences’ says Joe Biden
Sign up to receive our rundown of the day’s top stories direct to your inbox
We use your sign-up to provide content in ways you’ve consented to and to improve our understanding of you. This may include adverts from us and 3rd parties based on our understanding. You can unsubscribe at any time. More info
Russia has shocked the west by amassing an estimated 100,000 troops at its border with Ukraine. With tensions in the region rising, it seems increasingly likely that Russian President, Vladimir Putin, will spark a war with the US and NATO. Here are the seven countries that are likely to back Russia in a conflict.
If Russia attacks Ukraine, US President Joe Biden has warned that it would be the “largest invasion since World War Two”. He added that it would “change the world”.
It seems NATO is tipped to come to Ukraine’s aid if it’s attacked by Russia.
To date, some 90 tonnes of “lethal aid” from the US has arrived in Ukraine, and the UK is supplying Ukraine with short-range anti-tank missiles for self-defence.
This means that if Russia does decide to take on Ukraine it will have to have a firm band of allies behind it.
Russia allies: CSTO is made up of Russia, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan & Tajikistan (Image: GETTY)
Russia allies: Russia has shocked the west by amassing an estimated 100,000 troops at its border (Image: GETTY)
Here are the Russian allies who are most likely to side with President Putin if he starts a conflict in Ukraine.
The Collective Security Treaty Organisation (CSTO) acts a bit like NATO. It is formed of former soviet states and is effectively a security pact.
The six countries who make up the CSTO (Russia, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan) will likely come to each other’s defence if attacked.
Although the organisation isn’t supposed to deal with domestic disputes, some or all of these allies would likely come to President Putin’s aid in the event of a large-scale war that could be triggered if Russia invades Ukraine.
Russia allies: It seems increasingly likely that will spark a war over Ukraine (Image: GETTY)
Recently, Russia sent troops to Kazakhstan to allow the Kazak Government to brutally suppress mass popular protests over corruption and soaring fuel prices.
Therefore, it seems likely that countries such as Kazakhstan would similarly provide military aid to its ally Russia if called upon to do so.
Russia has had a long history of friendship with the Communist state of Cuba.
Russia allies: The Collective Security Treaty Organisation (CSTO) acts a bit like NATO. (Image: GETTY)
President Putin and Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel have recently discussed a “strategic partnership” and have committed to “strengthen bilateral relations”.
This has sparked fears that Cuba could side with Russia in a conflict by allowing Russia to deploy troops to threaten the US if tensions over Ukraine continued to escalate.
Moscow’s Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov told Russian television network RTVI he could “neither confirm nor exclude” the possibility of Russia sending military assets to Cuba if the US and its allies fail to heed Moscow’s demands.
Ukraine used to be a member of the Soviet Union until 1991, when it managed to gain independence from Moscow’s rule.
Although the vast majority of Ukrainians support democracy and look to Europe – as opposed to Russia – there have been pro-European and pro-Russian factions in Ukraine ever since the country left the Soviet Union.
Pro-Russian anti-government groups in Ukraine will likely support Russia just as they did when President Putin annexed the Crimean peninsula in 2014.