March 27 was one of the deadliest days, since the February 1 military coup, leaving over 114 people dead, including children. Myanmar’s brutal military crackdown took place on Armed Forces Day with Russian and Chinese delegates present for the military parade ceremony. On Saturday, the United States ambassador to Myanmar, Thomas Vajda, issued a statement saying that security forces were “murdering unarmed civilians, including children.” He continued “This bloodshed is horrifying. These are not the actions of a professional military or police force.” The UN stated that they received reports of “scores killed,” including children, in what it described as “shocking violence.”
Yet, Russia’s Deputy Defense Minister, Aleksandr Fomin, found this to be the perfect time to hold meetings with Burma’s military chief, Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, on Friday and attend the parade on Saturday, amidst the unfolding atrocities against innocent protesters. According to Interfax, Russia offered support for the military regime while seeking closer ties to the brutal regime. The Defense Ministry quoted Fomin as saying “The Russian Federation is committed to a strategy aimed at bolstering relations between the two countries.” Burma’s brutal ruler, Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, reciprocated by calling Russia a “true friend” while awarding Russia’s Deputy Defense Minister Fomin a medal.
It is no surprise that Putin’s brutal repressive regime is offering full support to Myanmar’s ruling military. While the world watched, mortified, as peaceful pro-democracy protestors were slaughtered, Russia again showed that they will side with mass murdering, brutal dictators. Also a reminder that Russian officials paid a visit to Myanmar, in January, less than a week before Myanmar’s military seized power in a coup and put leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, under house arrest.