You can learn a lot about a country from what it chooses to block in the United Nations.
This week, for example, Russia successfully prevented the UN Security Council from thanking outgoing Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon for protecting LGBT rights.
The original statement, backed by the United States and other Security Council members, read: "It is thanks to you, Mr. Secretary-General, that women, young people, and the LGBT community have been heard and assisted, and today their voices sound louder and stronger in this headquarters and around the world."
Due to Russia's objections -- and potential veto -- the statement was watered down to thanking the secretary-general for assuring that "the most vulnerable or marginalized have been increasingly heard and assisted by the United Nations."
This, of course, is par for the course for Vladimir Putin's regime.
Back in 2014, Russia unsuccessfully tried to prevent the UN from recognizing same-sex marriage for its staff, allowing them to receive marriage benefits.
This is all part of the Putin's regime's game of positioning itself as the global champion of so-called traditional values.
It's an effort by Moscow to drive a wedge into Western societies by appealing to their most reactionary elements.
And it's an effort by the Kremlin to be the leader of those nations that continue to repress sexual minorities.
Putin wants the reactionaries of the world to unite -- behind him.
And in doing so, he is putting Russia on the wrong side of history.