Two big power abstentions on the United Nations Security Council vote indicates a return to Cold War alignments. India’s underpins deep flaws in perceptions that it is a fellow democratic nation with shared values. India gets most of its arms from Russia and is proud of its status of non-alignment, thus raising more questions about it being a reliable partner in the U.S.-led initiatives to shore up the Indo-Pacific against Chinese expansion. Beijing’s abstention reveals only limited support for Moscow showing that the Sino-Russian alliance of authoritarian powers has its limits — as it did in the 1960s with the split in the Sino-Soviet pact. Russia exercised a single veto against three abstentions (UAE also) and 11 in favour. Moscow stands more isolated now than in the Cold War era when the Soviet Union carried a compelling Marxist message into the developed world. That baton for poverty alleviation has been passed to China.