| 22 February 2024, Thursday |

New U.S.-Russia military hotline as Ukraine war rages

According to Reuters, the Pentagon has created a new hotline with Russia’s defense ministry to prevent “miscalculation, military accidents, and escalation” in the region as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine proceeds.

The US claims it has no soldiers in Ukraine, but Washington and its NATO partners in Europe are concerned about potential spillover, including accidents, as Russia launches the heaviest attack on a European state since World War II.

Despite Moscow’s warnings against foreign meddling, the United States and its allies are also funneling millions of dollars in armaments to Ukraine’s armed forces, who are employing the weapons against Russian troops.

“The Department of the Defense recently established a de-confliction line with the Russian ministry of defense on March 1 for the purposes of preventing miscalculation, military incidents, and escalation,” a senior U.S. defense official said, speaking on condition of anonymity, confirming a move first reported by NBC.

The U.S. military has successful created hotlines with Russia in the past, including during the war in Syria, where Moscow intervened on the side of President Bashar al-Assad.

There, the United States and Russia were waging parallel military campaigns, with the United States focused on battling Islamic State.

The move is just the latest effort to lower soaring tension between the United States and Russia, where President Vladimir Putin — in a clear warning to the West — announced last weekend he was putting his nuclear forces on high alert.

Putin’s foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, was quoted on Wednesday warning that a Third World War would be a nuclear conflict, remarks that added to growing unease.

The U.S. military said on Wednesday it would postpone a scheduled test launch of a Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile.

“We recognize, at this moment of tension, how critical it is that both the United States and Russia bear in mind the risk of miscalculation and take steps to reduce those risks,” Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said on Wednesday, announcing the move.

  • Reuters