Daily Briefing: Thursday, September 8, 2022

Daily Briefing: Thursday, September 8, 2022

FROM THE DVB NEWSROOM

Junta leader Min Aung Hlaing meets Russian president Vladimir Putin. After three visits to Russia since staging his coup last year, Min Aung Hlaing met Putin on the sidelines of the 7th Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok on Sept. 7. The meeting was to “further cement the cooperation” and “friendly ties” between the two countries’ economies and governments, according to state media. MAH praised the Russian leader, stating: “One can say that when you started to rule the country, Russia moved to a leadership position globally.” He agreed to pay for Russian petroleum products with the Ruble. The junta expects to receive its first shipment of diesel fuel from Russia in the coming days. It signed a separate agreement on nuclear energy with Russia on the “possibility of implementing a small modular reactor project in Myanmar.”

One year since the declaration of a “People’s Defensive War.” The National Unity Government claims 1,500 People’s Defence Force (PDF) fighters and members of allied Ethnic Armed Organizations (EAO) have been killed by the Burma Army. The NUG Acting President, Duwa Lashi La, spoke on Sept. 7 to mark the one-year anniversary since the “Declaration of the People’s Defensive War” was made. He expressed “profound gratitude” to the revolutionary groups “working together to demolish the common enemy” and for providing military training to the PDF. He stated that the NUG controls over half of the country’s territory with nearly 300 PDF battalions based in more than 250 townships, out of the total 330 in the country. The NUG reports that more than 20,150 Burma Army personnel have been killed in the fighting as well, but this figure cannot be independently verified.

News by Region

KAREN—The Democratic Karen Benevolent Army (DKBA) Commander-in-Chief General Saw Steel had his home damaged on Sept. 6. KNLA forces fired at Burma Army troops based near the DKBA’s headquarters in Sone Si Myaing village, south of Myawaddy town. Fighting between the KNLA and the Burma Army began Sept. 6. “The living room on the first floor of the house was damaged,” a DKBA officer told DVB. One DKBA troop was reported to be injured. No other damage was reported.

Karen Information Center (KIC) reported that Burma Army and DKBA troops blockaded Sone Si Myaing-Walley road in August, and then fighting broke out on Sept. 6. “…Airstrikes have not occurred yet, but the Burma Army has fired heavy weapons from the side of Sone Si Myaing,” a KNLA source told KIC. A DKBA leader confirmed the news that General Saw Steel’s home in Sone Si Myaing village was hit on Sept. 6. “It is possible that the attack happened because Burmese soldiers were present in his rice warehouse,” the DKBA leader said. One DKBA member was injured and “the living room on the first floor of the house was damaged,” he told DVB. Recent reports suggest that the KNU and the DKBA – a Buddhist Karen faction that splintered the Christian-dominated KNU in 1994 – held talks to reunite the two armed groups.

MANDALAY—The Mandalar Pintagon Combat Troop (MPCT) announced Sept. 6 that it would disband after its leader and two members were detained by junta forces. The three were arrested with ammunition at a teashop on the Sagaing-Mingun road on Sept. 3, according to state media. On Aug.31, the King Cobra Guerrilla Force Mandalay announced it would disband.

SHAN—Five locals including three children were injured during clashes
between the Burma Army and the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) near Kutkai town on Sep. 6. Residents said that junta troops conducted three air assaults against the KIA near the Union-Road in Muse Township. More than 10 artillery shells fell, injuring five people. Last July, a 2-year-old was killed during shelling in the township’s Lawesamsit village and two women were killed last June at an IDP camp.

YANGON—Unidentified gunmen killed a 100-household administrator at a ward office on Maha Myaing Road, Shwe Pyi Thar Township on Sept. 6. Two men on two motorcycles rode up and opened fire, according to locals. “They did not enter the office but fired several rounds at the entrance. An administrator was killed on the spot,” a source told DVB. The exact number of casualties is unknown. Two junta vehicles arrived shortly after the incident and conducted inspections along Than Lan and Maha Myaing roads.

More than 50 people living in Kyar Kwat Thit ward, Tamwe Township of Yangon were arrested on Sept. 6. Ward administrators, assisted by junta forces, conducted inspections at around 10 p.m., according to local sources. A resident told DVB that a massive number of Burma Army trucks and prison transport vehicles took away the 50 residents. “All of them were loaded and taken away in prison transport vehicles,” a resident told DVB. It is unknown whether any of the residents have been released yet. Guest list inspections by ward administrators have been stepped up in Kyaw Kwat Thit ward.