Views of Russian invasion of Ukraine mirror divide in strife-torn Myanmar


Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has highlighted the sharp divide in Myanmar a yr after a navy coup sparked mass resistance and armed battle, with the junta praising Moscow for attempting to “guarantee world peace” and the ousted civilian management decrying “alarming and horrifying” bullying.

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Moscow – which has continued to assist and arm the junta led by Sr. Gen. Min Aung Hlaing that crushed Myanmar’s decade-long democratic reform in a Feb. 1, 2021 coup – obtained speedy backing from the regime after Russian forces invaded and attacked Ukraine on Thursday.

“Firstly, I see it as an effort to consolidate Russian sovereignty,” junta spokesman Zaw Min Tun informed RFA’s Myanmar Service.

“Secondly, it exhibits that Russia is a pressure to be reckoned with within the steadiness of energy to make sure world peace.”

Myanmar’s shadow Nationwide Unity Authorities (NUG) stated that whereas final yr’s navy takeover was not a international invasion, similarities will be drawn between Russia’s actions and the way the navy imposed its will on the Southeast Asian nation of 54 million individuals.

“The idea of bullying is analogous,” NUG International Minister Zin Mar Aung informed RFA.

“From a world viewpoint, they crossed the border and invaded a small nation. It’s extra alarming and horrifying for geographically associated nations and for allies. We’re watching to see how nations react to the shift within the steadiness of energy.”

Russia, a U.N. Safety Council member, has continued to offer the junta with drones, fighter jets, and armored automobiles which have been used to assault its civilians a yr after the coup, regardless of widespread atrocities and credible stories of crimes towards humanity. Min Aung Hlaing visited Russia in June, 2021.

“It ought to be incontrovertible that weapons used to kill civilians ought to now not be transferred to Myanmar. These transfers really shock the conscience,” former U.S. Rep. Tom Andrews, who serves as U.N. Particular Rapporteur on the state of affairs of Human Rights in Myanmar, stated in a report back to the U.N. Safety Council.

The junta has cracked down on its opponents via assaults on peaceable protesters, arrests, and beatings and killings. The navy regime has additionally attacked opposition strongholds with helicopter gunships, fighter jets, and troops which have burned a whole lot of villages they accuse of supporting anti-junta militias.

As of Saturday, greater than 1,580 individuals had been killed because the coup and a few 12,300 arrested, in accordance with the Help Affiliation for Political Prisoners, a human rights group primarily based in Thailand.

This screengrab offered through AFPTV and brought from a broadcast by Myanmar Radio and Tv (MRTV) in Myanmar on March 26, 2021 exhibits Russia’s Deputy Protection Minister Alexander Fomin (L) being introduced with a sword by Myanmar armed forces chief Senior Normal Min Aung Hlaing in Naypyidaw. AFP

Imbalance of energy

The struggle in Ukraine can also be being monitored by the opposition-led paramilitary Folks’s Protection Power (PDF), which was shaped within the aftermath of the coup to guard the nation’s civilian inhabitants and is combating the navy throughout a large swathe of Myanmar.

Yebaw Wei Gyi, a PDF chief, stated his group is especially thinking about how the remainder of the world will react to the invasion and what the implications are for the junta, which has been focused with sanctions and ostracized by the worldwide neighborhood for its actions in Myanmar.

“Within the present situation, NATO nations just like the EU and the US are in a tough place to determine whether or not they need to go in and Russia is aware of,” he stated.

“Ukraine will not be able to combat Russia alone. However will the U.S., EU and NATO, who’re behind Ukraine, get entangled? In the event that they do … it may result in a world struggle. But when they don’t, Russia will crush Ukraine and do what it needs.”

Youths protest forward of the one-year anniversary of the navy coup, Jan. 28, 2022. Citizen journalist

Halting democratic progress

Different observers in Myanmar stated that Russia’s actions had destabilized the world order and referred to as for concerted strain on Moscow to finish the battle.

“Russia’s navy incursion into Ukraine has led to turmoil for worldwide relations,” stated political analyst Than Soe Naing.

“If the world fails to place a cease to this, we’ll fall again into an period of empire constructing. International democratization efforts may even endure, and the clock might be turned again a number of centuries.”

Than Soe Naing stated that sanctions alone usually are not sufficient to rein in Russian President Vladimir Putin’s sense of adventurism and referred to as for a paradigm shift in international navy cooperation.

Nan Linn, a spokesman for the Yangon College Alumni Affiliation, stated that the individuals of Myanmar will stand with the Ukrainian individuals as a result of they see parallels between the coup and the way Russia used navy aggression to violate their sovereign rights.

“Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is a matter of grave concern for international safety as a result of it’s a part of a really worrying development by which highly effective nations and dictators are exerting affect on this planet,” he stated.

“We stand with the individuals of Ukraine within the Russian invasion as a result of we can not settle for such a bullying act with out respect for nationwide sovereignty.”

Reported by RFA’s Myanmar Service. Translated by Khin Maung Nyane. Written in English by Joshua Lipes.


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