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US, Russian protection chiefs communicate for 1st time since invasion

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By PTI

WASHINGTON: Russian Minister of Protection Sergey Shoygu spoke with US Protection Secretary Lloyd Austin on Friday after months of refusing direct contact together with his American counterpart.

However officers mentioned the decision did not seem to sign any change in Moscow’s warfare in Ukraine.

A senior Protection Division official mentioned Friday that whereas Austin believes the hour-long dialog was necessary within the effort to maintain strains of communication open, it did not resolve any “acute points” or result in any change in what the Russian are doing or saying because the warfare enters week 12.

The decision, initiated by Austin – marked the best degree American contact with a Russian official because the warfare started in late February. Over the previous a number of months, Pentagon officers have repeatedly mentioned that Russian leaders declined to take calls from Austin and Military Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Employees. That is the primary dialog between Austin and Shoygu since Feb. 18, every week earlier than the warfare began. One other senior official mentioned Friday that Milley is anticipated to additionally attain out to his counterpart, Gen. Valery Gerasimov, Russian chief of the overall workers.

In a press release, the Pentagon mentioned that Austin “urged a right away ceasefire in Ukraine and emphasised the significance of sustaining strains of communication.”

A number of officers described the decision as a constructive step, however mentioned there was no clear purpose why the Russians determined to go forward with the dialog on Friday.

The protection official mentioned that the US hopes it would function a springboard for future dialog and that it appeared that Austin’s request for future communication was acquired.

The official characterised the tenor of the decision as “skilled” however supplied no different particulars on its content material US and different Western officers have described Russia’s battle in Ukraine, significantly the trouble to wrest better management over the jap Donbas area as greater than two weeks not on time, and failing to make constant progress.

On Friday, Russian forces suffered heavy losses in a Ukrainian assault that destroyed a pontoon bridge they had been utilizing to attempt to cross a river within the east, in what Ukrainian, British and US officers mentioned is one other signal of Moscow’s battle to salvage a warfare gone awry.

Ukraine’s airborne command launched pictures and video of what it mentioned was a broken Russian pontoon bridge over the Siversky Donets River and a number of other destroyed or broken Russian navy automobiles close by.

The command mentioned its troops “drowned the Russian occupiers”. The battle for the Donbas, which has heated up since Russia’s bid to take Kyiv failed, has change into a each day grind, as cities and villages change arms.

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