That's true, but Russia seems to be pretending that it's still the same Soviet Union to win sympathy.Russia would be far more diplomatically isolated today without the legacy of Soviet "Messianism".
I don't deny the simple spirit of the Russians, but they look more like the successors of the Tsar.
The Russians will realize the fact that their international status has declined after this war.While I agree with the rest of the post, I disagree with this point.
No one is willingly going around and saying "Russia is the junior partner". It just a reality. A smaller economy, smaller trading power, a lagging industrial power, a lagging tech power, a relatively subpar Airforce/Army/Navy.
All these together lead to Russia naturally becoming a junior partner. Xi isn't ever going to say to Putin "you are the junior partner/brother" but the dynamics of the relationship means that Russia will naturally take over that role.
For example, the drone debacle that has menaced the Russians in Ukraine stems entirely from their belief (+ racism) that they are a militarily equal power to China.
"If Chinese did it, we can do it too, don't buy from them!". Same with their ships
Now that country is talking about buying drones from Iran lol. How can such a country ever claim or try to be equal with China? There is simply no comparison between them.
IMO a far better one (still flawed though) is Canada to the US. Russia will be to China something akin to what Canada is to the US, except it has a lot of nukes, stronger military, more resources, more geopolitically active etc (that's why I said it is a flawed comparison)
Russia will definitely be extremely important in a Taiwan scenario which is why China should be close with it and form an ever improving relationship between their leadership, political system, and people. But this doesn't mean that Russia will ever be an equal power with China in this relationship, knowingly or unknowingly.
But it seems difficult to get Russians with extremely high self-esteem to volunteer to be foils.
It is hoped that Putin will also have the courage to achieve further cooperation with China.