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(February 3, 2023) Myanmar's military takeover falters

Global news headlines this month will be focused on the one-year anniversary of Russia's invasion of Ukraine, which falls on Feb 24. This external aggression, where a bigger state unilaterally takes territory from a smaller neighbour by force, can be juxtaposed to an internal subjugation in Myanmar, where a military coup took place two years ago this week. Whether the aggression is externally between states, or internally within a state, the oppressors behave the same way and pursue similar objectives of conquest and dominance. Reversing an internal subjugation is as morally compelling as turning back an external aggression. What Myanmar's civilian-led resistance coalition needs is a fraction of the aid the Ukrainians have been receiving.

When Myanmar's military (also known as the Tatmadaw), led by Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, staged the putsch, few could have imagined that the civilian resistance would be so fierce, determined, and adaptive. Most thought that Myanmar's coup in 2021 would succeed just as it had in the past, whether in 1962 or 1988. Thailand's two coups in 2006 and 2014 were further evidence that military takeovers are a routine undertaking for power-hungry generals when they see fit.