Day 241: US and Russia Defense Ministers Hold Rare Talks; UN Says Over 15K Civilian Casualties in Ukraine

Photo: AFP / Getty Images [via CNN]

The Facts

  • In a call reportedly initiated by the US, the country's Defense Sec. Lloyd Austin held a rare conversation with his Russian counterpart, Sergei Shoigu, on Friday. It was only their second call since Russia's invasion of Ukraine and the pair's first since May 13.

  • Details from either government were scant, but both confirmed they discussed the conflict in Ukraine. A US military spokesperson said: "Sec. Austin emphasized the importance of maintaining lines of communication amid the ongoing war against Ukraine."

The Spin

Pro-establishment narrative

US commitment to Ukraine remains unwavering. The Biden administration will never accept Russia's illegal annexation of four territories and will do everything in its power to help Ukraine restore its land in the face of Russian aggression.

Establishment-critical narrative

After nearly eight months of war, it's time for the US to rethink its course in Ukraine. Pledges to fight Russia for as long as it takes aren't in the US's interest and don't serve its real intention of de-escalation, détente, and peace.

Nerd narrative

There's a 4% chance that Putin and Zelenskyy will meet to discuss the peaceful resolution of the Russian-Ukraine conflict before 2023, according to the Metaculus prediction community.

Establishment split



More neutral establishment stance articles

Sign up to our daily newsletter