The Myanmar army has shaped the country’s politics and external affairs since it gained independence from the British in 1948.
For more than half a century the army ruled with an iron fist. Since the early 1990s, it was subject to various embargoes and sanctions from the European Union and the US.
In 2012, as the country underwent a so-called democratic transition some of these sanctions were eased, though an EU arms embargo is still in effect.
The following graphic shows which countries have provided weaponry to Myanmar since 1990, and identifies China, Russia, India, Israel and Ukraine as its major arms suppliers. Majority of Myanmar’s fighter aircraft, armoured vehicles, guns and naval ships come from China, while Russia is the main provider of surface-to-air missiles.
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