Anyone who thinks Putin has no friends needs to think again. His top 4 “Thug Buddies” who openly supported him in his crime against Belarus are:
No 1 Syria’s Bashar Al Assad who owes Putin his very own survival. His motto and that of his father before him the master butcher of Aleppo Hafez al-Assad had always been “We Are The Nation”. Few of Bashar’s citizens remain “standing” The remaining have escaped to faraway lands while their master has been enjoying the Presidency of Syria for over 21 years.
No 2 Belarus’s Alexander Lukashenko who’s the only Leader in his country to have served as president since 1994. Like Putin Lukashenko brooks no dissent. He is the first European leader ever to force down an aeroplane full of passengers in order to seize a dissident Journalist Roman Protasevich, who disagreed with his political views and had him imprisoned indefinitely.
No 4 Nicaragua’s Daniel Ortega, like Putin, Al Assad , Lukashenko and Maduro he is determined to hold on to power until both he and his wife die or until all his citizens perished or escaped the country ! Ortega started his career as a nationalist democrat and ended as a “strongman for life”.
Supporters of Putin come in various shapes and sizes. But all have one thing in common authoritarianism and despise of democracy and individual freedom.
Enter the United Arab Emirates, world renowned cheque signer who embraces the same values as the above Putin friends. A traditional “friend” of America and the west who abstained the vote rather than openly support the US sponsored resolution condemning Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. (In the Arab art of face saving particularly in international relations abstaining is often the Arab way of voting against rather than offending friends ) The United Arab Emirates like most Arab Gulf states find it easier to identify with dictatorships (kindred spirits) than with democracies with whom they have little in common and who are more likely to encourage regime change. America’s effort to topple Syria’s Bashar Al Assad was defeated by Russia. While considering these factors, it is clear that UAE came to the conclusion that for its own long term political survival (in other words the survival of the ruling family) Russia is a more dependable and safer ally than the unreliable democratic West.