The head of the military dictatorship in Myanmar this week declared himself prime minister of a “caretaker government”.
The junta has been fighting a fierce battle against hundreds of thousands of democracy protesters since a coup in February this year.
The move comes amid growing pressure on the regime.
Protests on the streets of towns and cities are continuing but there has also been fierce fighting in the countryside.
Many activists from the cities retreated there as military repression increased.
Now democracy fighters have joined forces with a number of ethnic groups fighting for autonomy to launch waves of attacks on the Myanmar military.
The country is also in the grip of a major wave of Covid infections.
The economy is thought to have contracted by almost 20 percent as a result of the instability. And that has regional partners, including China, extremely worried.
If the the state were to collapse, it could spread that volatility across borders.
The military’s declaration of a new government, and plans to hold elections in two years, is designed purely to reassure its neighbours.