Date: 24 June 2021

Myanmar Junta Chief Arrives in Russia

Moscow is cementing ties with Myanmar’s military junta that seized power in the country. After Myanmar’s junta chief had arrived in Moscow to attend a military helicopter exhibition, the regime’s leader flew to Moscow for a couple of days, traditionally to take part in an annual security conference. General Mi Aung Hlaing also holds bilateral talks with Russian officials who stand firmly by the Myanmar junta.


Myanmar’s junta leader, General Min Aung Hlaing, flew to the Russian capital on June 20 to attend a security conference on June 22–24. The Kremlin said there would be no meeting between General Mi Aung Hlaing and Vladimir Putin, but Myanmar’s junta chief would hold talks with Nikolai Patrushev, the secretary of Russia’s Security Council. On June 21, the Russian and Myanmarese officials discussed the fight against terrorism, issues related to regional security, and “unacceptable foreign interference in Myanmar,” according to a statement from the Russian Security Council. Aung Hlaing’s trip to Russia confirms reports of the Kremlin’s support for the Myanmar regime. The Moscow visit marked only his second known trip abroad since he seized power in a coup. In April he had attended a regional summit in Indonesia. Interestingly, Moscow agreed for a trip of the chief of Myanmarese junta shortly after the UN General Assembly had urged the military to respect November election results and release political detainees, including the 75-year-old ousted leader and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, who is now under house arrest. Her trial has just got under way. Myanmar police have charged the ousted leader with possession of illegally imported walkie-talkies, which could result in a three-year prison sentence, as a civil disobedience campaign grew against the military’s coup. But there is more to it. Military officials have also accused her of corruption and violating the colonial-era act that bans any information that could “sow fear or anxiety” in the public. Myanmar army, which seized control following a general election a few months ago, is responding to mass protests with a deadly crackdown. Security forces have killed more than 860 people and detained thousands to date, according to a monitoring group.

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