Russian Minister of Defense Sergei Shoigu spoke with US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin on Friday after months of Direct contact refused with his American counterpart. But officials said that call did not appear signal no change in Moscow war in Ukraine.
a senior Pentagon official He said on Friday that while Austin thought the hour-long conversation was important in Effort to maintain lines of Communication is open, he didn’t resolve Any “severe problems” or lead for any change in What are the Russians doing or saying as the war enters its twelfth week?
The call – started by Austin – marked by a stretch highest American contact level with Russian official Since the start of the war in late February. Over the past Several months, Pentagon officials repeatedly said that Russian leaders declined To take calls from Austin and General Mark Milley, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Joint Chiefs of Staff of staff.
This is the first A conversation between Austin and Shoigu since February 18, a week before the war began. else senior official He said on Friday that Millie is expected to also Reach out To his counterpart General Valery Gerasimov, Russian President of The general staff.
In a statement, the Pentagon said Austin “urged an immediate halt-fire in Ukraine emphasized the importance of of maintenance lines of Telecommunications.”
Description of several officials call as positive stepbut he said there was no clear reason Why did the Russians decide to move forward? with Conversation on Friday. The defense official He said the United States hoped to serve as a starting point for future Conversation seems to be Austin’s request for future The connection has been received. The official marked by content of The call It was labeled “professional” but did not provide any other details on that it content.
The United States and other Western officials labeled Russia fight in Ukraine, in particular, the effort to wrest more control over Eastern Donbass region Like more Two weeks ago behind scheduleand failure to make it consistent progress.
On Friday, the Russian forces suffered heavy losses in Ukrainian attack who – which destroyed They were a pontoon bridge using trying to cross the river in the East, in What Ukrainian, British and American officials said is something else sign of Moscow struggle To save a war veered.
The launch of the Ukrainian Air Command photos and the video of What he said was a damaged Russian pontoon bridge over Seversky Donets River and several destroyed or damaged Russian military vehicles nearby. The command said that its forces “swamped the Russian occupiers.”
The battle for Donbass, which warmed up Since Russia’s attempt to take Kyiv failedhas become a daily grind, as towns and villages shift.