Myanmar Junta leader welcomes Russia as 'true friend'

General Than Shwe inspected a military parade on Friday and welcomed the Russian forces there.

A soldier is seen on top of an armored vehicle believed to be made by Gaia Automotive Industres as he rolls through the streets of Naypyitaw, Myanmar, February 15, 2021.  (photo credit: REUTERS/STRINGER)
A soldier is seen on top of an armored vehicle believed to be made by Gaia Automotive Industres as he rolls through the streets of Naypyitaw, Myanmar, February 15, 2021.
(photo credit: REUTERS/STRINGER)
Myanmar Junta leader senior general Min Aung Hlaing welcomed the Russian forces present during a military parade and called Russia a “true friend,” Reuters reported on Friday. 
Hlaing also said that the army will “protect the people” and “foster democracy and strive for peace.” 
Myanmar faced a wave of mass protests following the army taking over the country in February and placing its former leader Aung San Suu Kyi in prison. Protesters reported the security forces are firing at them regardless of the risk.
More than 60 protesters have been killed and 1,900 people have been arrested since February 1.
United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres was appalled by the escalating violence "at the hands of the country’s military" and called on the international community to help end the repression. 
Dickens & Madson Canada, a Montreal-based firm, agreed to represent the junta in Washington via Israeli-Canadian lobbyist Ari Ben-Menashe.
Documents submitted by Ben-Menashe showed that the agreement was reached with the junta's defense minister, General Mya Tun Oo and that the government would pay the firm $2 million.