The 4 countries supporting Putin's invasion of Ukraine

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - MARCH 02: Voting takes place at the United Nations General Assembly during a special session on the violence in Ukraine on March 02, 2022 in New York City. Members voted overwhelmingly for a non-binding resolution that condemns Russia for its invasion of Ukraine and demands that Russia immediately withdraw its forces from Ukraine.  (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
Voting takes place at the United Nations General Assembly during a special session on the violence in Ukraine. (Getty)

A United Nations General Assembly vote has left Russia increasingly isolated on the international stage after it demanded an immediate end to the invasion of Ukraine.

The motion calling for the withdrawal of all occupying forces was backed by 141 countries during an emergency session in New York on Wednesday.

Resolutions of the General Assembly are not legally binding, but carry political weight by showing the strength of international feeling, and the result further diplomatically isolates Russia at the UN.

Britain had been lobbying behind the scenes for nations to back the motion, which deplored Russian “aggression” in the “strongest terms” and demanded the total withdrawal of Russian president Vladimir Putin’s forces.

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - MARCH 02: The results of a General Assembly vote on a resolution is shown on a screen during a special session of the General Assembly at the United Nations headquarters on March 02, 2022 in New York City. The U.N. General Assembly continued its 11th Emergency Special Session where a vote was held on a draft resolution to condemn Russia over the invasion of Ukraine. Since the start of the war seven days ago, there have been over 600,000 people who have been displaced in Ukraine according to the U.N. refugee agency. Ukraine’s State Emergency Service have said that more than 2,000 civilians have been killed.  (Photo by Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images)
The results of a General Assembly vote on a resolution is shown on a screen during a special session of the General Assembly at the United Nations headquarters. (Getty)

Speaking after the vote, the UK prime minister Boris Johnson said: “Rarely has the contrast between right and wrong been so stark.

“We are united in our abhorrence to the evil actions of Putin’s regime and stand side-by-side on the international stage as we deplore its aggression in the strongest possible terms.”

The vote took place in the first emergency session of the assembly since 1997, which easily surpassed the two-thirds majority required to be approved.

Just four countries joined Russia in opposing the motion, while 35 nations abstained.

Russian President Vladimir Putin gives a speech as he visits the National Space Centre construction site in Moscow on February 27, 2022. (Photo by Sergei GUNEYEV / SPUTNIK / AFP) (Photo by SERGEI GUNEYEV/SPUTNIK/AFP via Getty Images)
Russian president Vladimir Putin has had support for his invasion from four other countries. (Getty)

Who voted with Russia?


Unsurprisingly, Belarus – headed by Putin supporter Alexander Lukashenko, backed Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Lukashenko is dependent on support from Moscow and he has previously spoken of agreeing with Putin over concerns of Ukraine’s growing closeness with the West and Nato.

MINSK, BELARUS - FEBRUARY 27, 2022: Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko talks to reporters at a polling station after casting his vote in the 2022 Belarusian constitutional referendum. In August 2020, mass protests erupted in major cities across Belarus after the results of the 2020 Belarusian presidential election were announced. Belarusian President Lukashenko announced plans for amendments to the constitution and his readiness to redistribute presidential powers to the other branches of government. Peter Kovalev/TASS (Photo by Peter Kovalev\TASS via Getty Images)
Belarusian president Alexander Lukashenko is a key Putin ally. (Getty)

The Belarusian president also leads a country where many identify closely with Russia, often choosing to speak Russian over the native language.

Belarus was also hit by EU sanctions last year due to human rights violations.

Watch: Boris Johnson: Putin's actions in Ukraine could be war crimes


Syria also voted with Russia at the UN, returning the favour of military support from Putin during the Syrian war in 2015.

Bashar al-Assad is a key ally of Putin and supportive air strikes helped the Syrian president’s battled against pro-democracy groups.

MOSCOW, RUSSIA  SEPTEMBER 13, 2021: Syrias President Bashar al-Assad (L) and Russias President Vladimir Putin shake hands during a meeting in the Kremlin. Mikhail Klimentyev/Russian Presidential Press and Information Office/TASS (Photo by Mikhail Klimentyev\TASS via Getty Images)
Syrian president Bashar al-Assad and Vladimir Putin shake hands during a meeting in the Kremlin. (Getty)

Moscow has two military bases in Syria, and more than 63,000 Russian military personnel have been deployed to Syria, according to Russian figures.


Eritrea, a country situated in north-east Africa, is led by Isaias Afwerki and his support for Russia is thought to be down to a desire to strike up a relationship with Putin in an attempt to support his hold on power.

Eritrea's President Isaias Afwerki smiles upon his arrival at the airport in Gondar, for a visit in Ethiopia, on November 9, 2018. (Photo by EDUARDO SOTERAS / AFP)        (Photo credit should read EDUARDO SOTERAS/AFP via Getty Images)
Eritrea's president Isaias Afwerki has allied with Vladimir Putin over the Ukrainian invasion. (Getty)

Moscow has also invested into Eritrea, recently announcing plans to build a logistics centre at a port in the country.

Indeed, President Afwerki held talks with a Special Representative of Putin earlier this month, in which Russia underscored the co-operation between the two and a shared stance against what they regard as illegitimate sanctions.

North Korea

North Korea is the final country to have voted with Russia, in a move that will surprise no one.

People watch a television screen showing a news broadcast with file footage of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, at a railway station in Seoul on January 20, 2022, after North Korea hinted it could resume nuclear and long-range weapons tests, as it prepared for
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has never shied away from anti-western sentiment. (Getty)

The notoriously-secretive state, headed by Kim Jong-un, has never attempted to hide its anti-US sentiment and blames the West and Nato’s reach in eastern Europe for Putin’s invasion.

Who abstained?

A total of 35 countries abstained in the vote on Russia, including India, Pakistan and South Africa.

One notable abstention was Iran, who has historically been a key ally of Russian and Putin.

FILE - Chinese President Xi Jinping, right, and Russian President Vladimir Putin talk to each other during their meeting in Beijing, Feb. 4, 2022. China is the only friend that might help Russia blunt the impact of economic sanctions over its invasion of Ukraine, but President Xi Jinping’s government is giving no sign it might be willing to risk its own access to U.S. and European markets by doing too much. (Alexei Druzhinin, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP, File)
Chinese president Xi Jinping, right, and Russian president Vladimir Putin talk to each other during their meeting in Beijing last month. (AP)

However it was China’s abstention who raised the most eyebrows, as it was they who were the most critical of the US and the West in the build up to the invasion of Ukraine.

China's assistant foreign minister Hua Chunying said the US was responsible for "fanning up flames” of an invasion in Ukraine.

A partnership between China and Russia seemed to be set but China also abstained in a UN security council vote condemning the invasion last month – suggesting Putin is not able to always rely on its powerful ally.

Rather than lend military support to Russia, China has also signalled its desire to act as mediators in the conflict, saying that it was “extremely concerned” about the harm to civilians.

China has been accused of asking Russia to delay its invasion until after the Winter Olympics – something Beijing described as “fake news”.

Wang Wenbin, spokesperson at the foreign ministry, said such practices of diverting attention and shifting blame are “despicable".

On Thursday, it was announced that athletes from Russia and Belarus will not be allowed to compete at the 2022 Winter Paralympics.