Myanmar is supposed to receive six fighter jets under a $204 million deal signed with Russia in 2018. Two of the six jets were delivered to Myanmar in March this year. The remaining four will soon reach the country’s junta government, Irrawaddy said.
Russia will soon deliver new Sukhoi SU-30SM jet fighters to the military government, Irrawaddy reports. Recently, the junta government has been attacking the country on a large scale. Many civilians including children are killed and many injured. The government’s rampage will increase if it gets four new fighter jets.
Junta spokesman Major General Zhao Min Tun said on Tuesday that coup leader Senior General Min Aung Hlaing had personally inspected aircraft production and testing at the Irkutsk Aviation Plant during a visit to Russia this month. The planes will be sent soon, he said.
Myanmar’s military has long been a patron of Russian military hardware. Russia is one of the few countries that Min Aung Hlaing can visit. Because he came to power through a coup last year and has killed more than 2,000 civilians so far. Because of this, most of the countries avoided him and his rule.
Min Aung Hlaing has visited Russia three times since taking power and has expressed a weakness for Russian weapons as an admirer.
According to Stockholm’s International Peace Research Institute, Russia sold $247 million worth of weapons to Myanmar from 2015 to 2021.
The hardware that Myanmar’s military has purchased includes MiG-29 fighter jets, Yak-130 combat trainers, Mi-17, Mi-24 and Mi-35 combat helicopters, among other weapons.
Recently 11 children died tragically in a military government airstrike on a school. Some of the children are as young as seven years old. After the brutal killings, it was revealed that the junta government had received new warplanes.
Eyewitnesses of the massacre said that the school was attacked by a Russian-made Mi-35 helicopter. The government claimed that the attack was carried out because the rebels were sheltered in the area. But the locals rejected this complaint of the government.
According to Amnesty International, in the first three months of 2022, eight airstrikes were carried out on villages and a refugee camp in Kayah and Karen states in southeastern Myanmar. Nine civilians were killed and at least nine others injured in the attack. Houses and religious buildings were also destroyed. According to each attack, only civilians were present at the time of the attack, and no militant groups were present.
News of the new supply of Su-30M jets from Russia comes at a time when the military government is increasingly relying on air power to suppress resistance forces. The main reason for this is that the government troops are suffering frequent defeats and desertions in the ground war. The government is even conducting airstrikes against ethnic armed groups in western Myanmar, such as the Arakan Army. On the contrary, the junta government is struggling to control the region.
On Friday, the United Nations human rights office called on member states to impose an embargo on arms sales to Myanmar’s military government to curb arms and revenue flows to the country.
The United States and other Western democracies have imposed sanctions on Myanmar’s regime. Countries like Russia and China, on the other hand, continue to supply military hardware to the junta government.
While Russia provided the government with fighter jets and armored vehicles, China also sent fighter jets and transport planes, the United Nations human rights office said in its report on Friday. Other countries such as Serbia have provided rockets and artillery shells, while India has provided remote air defense stations.