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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 stated the decision did not seem to sign any change in Moscow’s battle in Ukraine.

A senior Protection Division official stated 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 battle enters week 12.

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

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

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

The protection official stated that the US hopes it’ll 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 combat in Ukraine, notably the trouble to wrest larger 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 have been utilizing to attempt to cross a river within the east, in what Ukrainian, British and US officers stated is one other signal of Moscow’s wrestle to salvage a battle gone awry.

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

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

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