How the Global South Views the War in Ukraine

India’s foreign minister, S. Jaishankar, summed it up succinctly in a recent interview: “Europe has to grow out of the mindset that Europe’s problems are the world’s problems, but the world’s problems are not Europe’s problems.” He is referring to the many challenges that developing countries face whether they relate to the aftermath of the pandemic, the high cost of debt service, the climate crisis that is ravaging their lives, the pain of poverty, food shortages, droughts, and high energy prices. The West has barely given lip service to the Global South on many of these problems. Yet the West is insisting that the Global South join it in sanctioning Russia.

Those b*stards! After all we have done for them!

Many countries in Latin America, Africa, and Asia view the war in Ukraine through a different lens than the West. Many of them see their former colonial powers regrouped as members of the Western alliance.

By contrast, many countries in Asia, and almost all countries in the Middle East, Africa, and Latin America have tried to remain on good terms with both Russia and the West, and to shun sanctions against Russia. Could it be because they remember their history at the receiving end of the West’s colonial policies, a trauma that they still live with but which the West has mostly forgotten.

Move along people nothing to see here.

The war in Ukraine is seen by the Global South as mainly about the future of Europe rather than the future of the entire world.

Furthermore, the war is seen by the Global South as an expensive distraction from the most pressing issues that they are dealing with. These include higher fuel prices, food prices, higher debt service costs, and more inflation, all of which have become more aggravated because of the Western sanctions that have been imposed on Russia.

Soaring energy prices not only directly impact energy bills, but they also lead to upward price pressures on all supply chains and consumer items, including food and other necessities. This hurts the developing countries even more than it hurts the West.

The West can sustain the war “as long as it takes” since they have the financial resources and the capital markets to do so.

Several countries in the Global South increasingly see their future tied to countries that are no longer in the Western sphere of influence.

The U.S. share of global output declined from 21 percent in 1991 to 15 percent in 2021, while China’s share rose from 4 percent to 19 percent during the same period.

The BRICS (Brazil, Russia, China, India, and South Africa) had a combined GDP in 2021 of $42 trillion compared with $41 trillion in the G7. Their population of 3.2 billion is more than 4.5 times the combined population of the G7 countries, at 700 million.

The “rule based international order” is a concept that is seen by many countries in the Global South as one that has been conceived by the West and imposed unilaterally on other countries. Such as Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan & Syria. Few if any non-Western countries ever signed on to this order.

The recent UN vote calling for the immediate withdrawal of Russia from Ukraine resulted in141 countries in favour, and just seven against, with 32 abstentions.
China, India and Pakistan abstained. Those 3 countries represent 3/8ths of the world population.

The world is moving from a euro-centric view & economic control. Gone are the days where we just told them to sit down and shut up. Interesting days ahead. Will there be a price to the West’s hubris?


The problem with that is they have our dollars and euros. Those are in fact an interest free loan those countries need to spend with us.

Economics is not a flat equation.

The only winner in the bunch will be Brazil. Lulu knows what he is doing.

Got it in one. The Russians never did anything bad to them. Russian “oppression” didn’t extend far beyond it’s “allies” in Eastern Europe. For that matter, the Chinese haven’t called their favors in the southern hemisphere either, yet. Third world countries, historically, have found it profitable to play the west off against the “international Communist conspiracy”, for money and favors. As for the west remembering it’s colonial adventures, wouldn’t that be “woke” and thus banned in the Shinier parts of the US?

Take up the White Man’s burden—
Send forth the best ye breed—
Go bind your sons to exile
To serve your captives’ need;
To wait in heavy harness
On fluttered folk and wild—
Your new-caught, sullen peoples,
Half devil and half child.


George Orwell was very perceptive of Kipling’s qualities and wrote:

One reason for Kipling’s power [was] his sense of responsibility, which made it possible for him to have a world-view, even though it happened to be a false one. Although he had no direct connexion with any political party, Kipling was a Conservative, a thing that does not exist nowadays. Those who now call themselves Conservatives are either Liberals, Fascists or the accomplices of Fascists. He identified himself with the ruling power and not with the opposition. In a gifted writer this seems to us strange and even disgusting, but it did have the advantage of giving Kipling a certain grip on reality. The ruling power is always faced with the question, ‘In such and such circumstances, what would you do?’, whereas the opposition is not obliged to take responsibility or make any real decisions. Where it is a permanent and pensioned opposition, as in England, the quality of its thought deteriorates accordingly. Moreover, anyone who starts out with a pessimistic, reactionary view of life tends to be justified by events, for Utopia never arrives and ‘the gods of the copybook headings’, as Kipling himself put it, always return. Kipling sold out to the British governing class, not financially but emotionally. This warped his political judgement, for the British ruling class were not what he imagined, and it led him into abysses of folly and snobbery, but he gained a corresponding advantage from having at least tried to imagine what action and responsibility are like. It is a great thing in his favour that he is not witty, not ‘daring’, has no wish to épater les bourgeois. He dealt largely in platitudes, and since we live in a world of platitudes, much of what he said sticks. Even his worst follies seem less shallow and less irritating than the ‘enlightened’ utterances of the same period, such as Wilde’s epigrams or the collection of cracker-mottoes at the end of Man and Superman.

(bolding is mine)

I’m struck by how contemporaneous Marxists gave up on the Enlightenment entirely, and produced far more horrific results. e.g. cheering on Mao because they thought he would be more “pure/less corrupt”

In any case I definitely wouldn’t want George Orwell to write my epitaph.

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of “democracy v. autocracy” and the “rules–based order.” They feel particularly threatened by U.S. policies of secondary sanctions designed to limit or end their ties with U.S. rivals. But the current U.S. strategy is inadvertently pushing the Global South toward Beijing and Moscow. This is an unforced error Washington can ill afford.

Most Global South states, while opposed to the Russian invasion, have not backed the United States on its strategies of sanctioning Russia or seeking a defeat of Moscow. Some have explicitly criticized what they see as Washington’s double standards.

Most of its states, opposed to the Russian invasion, have voted with the United States at the United Nations.2 But states representing about half the global population did not support the U.S.–backed resolutions.3 These include major states such as India, Pakistan, South Africa, Kazakhstan, Vietnam, and others. Even those who voted for the resolutions have made statements on maintaining strong ties with Russia or criticizing U.S. actions.4

Nevertheless, three drivers — economic, political, and historical — lead to a certain coherence and policy convergence in the Global South. First, most Global South states see materially “catching up” with the wealthy North as important and urgent. Thus, developmental concerns often unite rather than divide them.11 Second, they are acutely aware of their relative political marginalization in global structures and processes, and seek to reform them. Third, most of the Global South carries a level of historical wariness toward a U.S./Europe–centric world order due to memories of colonialism.12

Russia also retains much of the goodwill it generated in many African states through Moscow’s past support for their anti–colonial struggles.25 The widely reported incidents of racist treatment of African students by Ukrainian border guards did not go down well in Africa.26

The ambiguity over the Ukraine war extends to Latin America and the Middle East. Mexico’s president, Andrés Manuel López Obrador has condemned NATO’s strategy in Ukraine as “immoral.”29 Colombian president Gustavo Petro has called for peace negotiations.30 Brazilian president Lula’s former foreign minister, Celso Amorim, criticized U.S. sanctions on Russia as a mistake that risked nuclear escalation.31 And Lula himself has opposed sanctions and blamed both sides for the war in Ukraine.32 “In Europe, they have their own story, in Russia they have their own story,” said Suhail Al Mazrouei, minister of energy and infrastructure in the United Arab Emirates, adding: “We can’t be siding with this country or that country.”33

When it comes to China, resistance to the U.S. embrace of containment strategies is almost as sharp.38

America’s “War on Terror” destabilized the Middle East and alienated many across the world with its illegal military interventions and abuses.

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Other than Lula I see a list of immature little men who will kill their own. Their opinions are stymied by their acts.

Lula sees a need for Brazil to rise a Republic and not let the US cut her off at the knees. Until the US fully recognizes Brazil’s rise with respect Lula can not give. I think he would actually agree with the US as long as Brazil is stronger in relation to the west.

Those in the west against funding this war…someone does not want to hear the implications of not funding. This post was temporarily blocked till rewritten.

US China Taiwan

FILE - China’s President Xi Jinping arrives to attend the APEC Economic Leaders Meeting during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, APEC summit, Nov. 19, 2022, in Bangkok, Thailand. The CIA director says U.S. intelligence shows that China’s President Xi Jinping has instructed his country’s military to “be ready by 2027” to invade Taiwan. But CIA Director William Burns also says Xi may be currently harboring doubts about his ability to make a move against Taiwan, given Russia’s experience in its war with Ukraine. (Jack Taylor/Pool Photo via AP, File)

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