US: Russian DM Promises Not to Attack Eastern Ukraine

The Pentagon has confirmed that a phone call today between Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu ended with a promise by Russia not to invade eastern Ukraine.

Ukraine has been playing up the idea that a Russian invasion is imminent, mobilizing its own troops for war and digging a trench along the eastern frontier with Russia.

Hagel pressed Shoigu about the ongoing Russian military exercises near the Ukraine border, and was assured that the exercises were simply that, and not a prelude to an invasion.

Pro-Russian protesters in some eastern cities, primarily Donetsk, have been pushing for accession back into Russia, along with the Crimean Peninsula. Russian officials have warned against violent crackdowns on those protesters, but seem to prefer not to get involved in this case.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.