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The Diplomat: Support for Myanmar Junta Wanes Among Foreign Allies

In February 2021, the world watched as the people of Myanmar revolted in response to another military coup that brought an end to a decade of democratic reforms. Despite fading attention in the three years since, the fight has not ceased, and mass protests have given way to a full-scale armed rebellion. However, with the regime receiving support from Russia, China, and other states, the pro-democratic front has faced challenges in gaining momentum. On October 27, the Three Brotherhood Alliance launched its dry season offensive against the military junta’s forces, known as the Sit-Tat or Tatmadaw, in northeastern Myanmar. The success of “Operation 1027” inspired similar offensives around the country by other ethnic armed organizations and the National Unity Government’s forces. Since the launch of the offensives, more than 300 military-controlled bases and towns have been taken by anti-junta forces, including crucial border crossings with China, India, and Thailand. The number of regime soldiers who have surrendered is approaching 700. For the first time since the 2021 coup, an end to military rule seems feasible. This shift on the battlefield has reverberated through the international relations of Senior General Min Aung Hlaing’s military regime. The junta has looked to Russia for support, as Moscow began to align more closely with Myanmar after the 2021 coup. Russia has supported the junta in various ways, including providing arms and counterintelligence know-how. Russia has also conducted joint exercises with the Myanmar military and vetoed United Nations Security Council resolutions against the Sit-Tat. Myanmar’s military regime has been widely shunned by the international community and faces challenges in regional affairs. The country’s relationships with its neighbors are complex and often tense. The ongoing conflict has led to a humanitarian crisis and the junta’s struggle to maintain control has potential implications for international relations among regional and global powers.

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