Earlier today Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that Russia will conduct a military operation in Ukraine.

In a televised address early on Thursday morning, Mr Putin said the action comes in response to threats coming from Ukraine.

He added that Russia does not have a goal to occupy Ukraine, but said the responsibility for bloodshed lies with the Ukrainian “regime”.

Videos on social media have shown missile strikes launching into Ukraine, and President Volodymyr Zelensky has declared a state of martial law.

Western governments are now making their move, but the question remains as to how Russia's own allies will respond to the invasion?

Who are Russia's main allies?

As reported by The Express, the Levada Centre - a Russian non-Governmental organisation - conducted a survey in May 2021 surveying 1,620 Russian residents on who Russia's allies and enemies were.

From that survey their main allies were summarised to be Belarus (with 58% of those surveyed saying they were a main ally), China (38%) and Kazakhstan (34%).

Armenia and India rounded up the top five, but had a lesser percentage than the other three countries.

How will Russia's allies respond to the Ukraine invasion?


In an article on the international relations magazine The National Interest, Defense Editor Kris Osborn detailed what China's response might be to an invasion of Ukraine.

The argument was made that China could be "emboldened" by Russia's successful invasion of Ukraine and seize the opportunity to invade and annex Taiwan.

Previously Al Jazeera has reported that China wanted "all sides involved in the Ukraine crisis remain calm and avoid increasing tension" but at the same time to see Russia's security concerns taken seriously.


The Herald: Lukashenko is a staunch supporter of Putin (PA)Lukashenko is a staunch supporter of Putin (PA)

Belarus had held joint military drills with Russia in its country, which shares a long border with Ukraine, in the build-up to what was an eventual invasion.

President Alexander Lukashenko is already a staunch supporter of Vladimir Putin, and according to Al Jazeera would support the invasion to help secure his own position leading the country.

On Tuesday (February 22) he urged Ukrainians to “stop” their confrontation with Russia – and abandon their US “masters.”

Ihar Tyshkevich, a Belarusian expert based in Kyiv, also told Al Jazeera that finance could be a key reason for Lukashenko's continued support of this crisis.

He said: "This is a matter of money. When talking about the dangers [of war], he can always negotiate some funds either for updating the military or simply for financial support."