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Vladimir Putin awards Min Aung Hlaing; Supreme Court hears Aung San Suu Kyi appeals

FROM THE DVB NEWSROOM

Vladimir Putin awards Min Aung Hlaing

The Secretary of the Security Council of Russia Nikolai Patrushev gave the Order of Alexander Nevsky, on behalf of Russian President Vladimir Putin, to Min Aung Hlaing at a ceremony in Naypyidaw on Dec. 5, regime media reported. 

Min Aung Hlaing received the award “for his valuable endeavors to develop multi-sectoral cooperation” with Russia. Deputy regime chief Soe Win received an Order of Friendship from the Russians. Min Aung Hlaing awarded Patrushev with the honorary title of Thray Sithu, for his work in Burma. 

Officials from the regime’s Ministry of Home Affairs and Russian Security Council reportedly met the same day to discuss military cooperation. A Memorandum of Understanding on information security was signed. Naypyidaw and Moscow have developed closer ties since the 2021 military coup.

Supreme Court hears Aung San Suu Kyi appeals

The regime’s Supreme Court heard the special appeals of ousted State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi on Dec. 4-5, according to an unnamed legal official. On Dec. 4, it heard the appeals against numerous corruption convictions. 

On Dec. 5, the court also heard appeals against Aung San Suu Kyi’s corruption convictions and for violating the Official Secrets Act. “Verdicts for the cases will be delivered at an appropriate time,” the source told DVB. 

The special appeals of ousted president Win Myint were also reportedly heard. Both had their prison sentences reduced on Aug. 1. Aung San Suu Kyi now has a 27 year sentence. Win Myint now has an eight year sentence.

Central Bank rescinds fixed forex rate

The Central Bank of Myanmar (CBM) announced that it will no longer set exchange rates for foreign currencies on Dec. 5, regime media reported. Banks and licensed foreign currency dealers will be allowed to set the rates instead. 

The CBM previously pegged the exchange rate for U.S. dollars at 2,100 Myanmar kyat per $1 USD, significantly below the black market rate of 3,500 kyat per $1 USD. It did not give a reason for the policy change in its announcement.

News by Region

Newly-recruited MNDAA soldiers in the Kokang Self-Administered Zone on Dec. 1. (Credit: The Kokang)

SHAN—Eight men fleeing from Laukkai said they were forcibly recruited by the Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army (MNDAA) on Nov. 24, a source assisting Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) told DVB. The source confirmed the eight men were forced to wear MNDAA uniforms.

A video circulating online allegedly showed a meeting in Pang Hseng on Dec. 4, where an MNDAA official gave an order that a member of each family must enlist and serve. Families were reportedly threatened if they didn’t follow the directive.

MNDAA spokesperson Li Kyar Win told the Shan Herald Agency for News (SHAN) that Kokang living in northern Shan State have an obligation to serve. The MNDAA has also told IDPs who fled conflict-affected areas that their homes would be sealed off if they do not return. 

CHIN—The Arakan Army (AA) stated that airstrikes were carried out on the Taronai military outpost in Paletwa Township on Dec. 6. The AA seized Taronai on Dec. 4 after beginning its attack on Nov. 14. The AA added that it and the military had an unknown number of casualties during the attack and retaliatory airstrikes. Taronai military outpost is reportedly one of the largest bases in the region.   

BAGO—The regime claimed that its military recaptured Mone in Kyaukkyi Township on Dec. 5. The Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA) and People’s Defense Force (PDF) seized the town on Dec. 4. The regime added that resistance forces were “wiped out” and retreated from Mone. 

The KNLA stated that it is still stationed in the town. It claimed on Dec. 5 that resistance forces had detained around 20 soldiers, along with their families in Mone, since Dec. 2. The KNLA added that the military has been carrying out airstrikes on the town.  

YANGON—The military has increased its presence in townships following attacks by resistance groups between Dec. 1-5, residents have stated. The pro-military New National Democracy Party Chairperson Than Tun was assassinated on Dec. 1. Bombs have been detonated at military and police outposts over the past week.

“The increase in security forces is a response to these continuous attacks,” a source close to the regime told DVB. The Yangon Regional Military Headquarters has reportedly been conducting patrols in townships where attacks have occurred. There have been no reported arrests in connection with the attacks.

Read our latest: Chin communities establish local administrations across the state. DVB English News is on X, FB, IG, Threads, TikTok & YouTube.

Watch DVB Short Docs 2023 film #10 Page 23: Yangon on-demand with #1-9. And don’t forget to vote for your favorite of 10 DVB Short Docs 2023 films. 

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