US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin spoke with his Russian counterpart Sergey Shoygu for the first time since Moscow began its war against Ukraine, the Pentagon announced. this friday may 13.
During the call, Austin “urged an immediate ceasefire in Ukraine and emphasized the importance of maintaining lines of communication,” spokesman John Kirby said in a statement.
He did not provide additional details about the conversation.
See also: Vladimir Putin assured the German Chancellor that Ukraine “blocked” peace talks with Russia
The last time Austin and Shoygu spoke was on February 18, six days before Russia began attacking its neighbor in Eastern Europe.
At least 3,573 civilians were killed and another 3,816 wounded during the course of the war, which began on February 24, according to UN estimates. The real number is feared to be much higher.
More than six million people have fled to other countries, with some 7.7 million people internally displaced, according to the UN refugee agency.
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