Skip to content

Russia’s allies are a motley—and shrinking—crew

Russia's geopolitical power looks impressive, but its allies are shrinking and mainly bound to it by politics, history, and geography. The country has become the arms dealer of last resort, but its attempts to win influence have failed in some cases.

  • Russia's geopolitical power looks impressive on paper but its allies are shrinking and mainly bound to it by politics, history, and geography.
  • Data collated by The Economist on military, economic, and diplomatic measures show that Russia's alliances are in decline.
  • Russia's allies can be grouped into three categories: a coalition of the failing; the Soviet remembrance society; and an axis of opportunists.
  • Russia has become the arms dealer of last resort, gaining influence in countries that are cut off from Western supplies because of coups and human-rights abuses.
  • Russia's attempts to win influence have failed spectacularly in some cases, and mistakes made in poor countries are often similar to its intelligence blunders in Ukraine.
Russia’s allies are a motley—and shrinking—crew
They are a coalition of the failing; the Soviet Remembrance Society; and a gang of opportunists | International

Latest