Russia’s top defense official held a flurry of calls with other military chiefs to forewarn a nuclear false flag would soon happen in Ukraine. The call between Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin was the second in three days.
The Kremlin says Shoigu held calls with Austin, UK Minister of Defense Ben Wallace, French Defense Minister Sebastien Lecornu, and Turkish Minister of Defense Hulusi Akar. Moscow provided few details about the calls. TASS reported the calls were to "convey Russia’s concerns over possible provocations with the use of a dirty bomb in Ukraine."
The call between Austin and Shoigu is the second in three days after the defense chefs went several months without talking. TASS says the US initiated Friday’s call. The Pentagon said Sunday’s call was a follow-up conversation requested by Shoigu.
The Department of Defense readout said, "Secretary Austin rejected any pretext for Russian escalation and reaffirmed the value of continued communication amid Russia’s unlawful and unjustified war against Ukraine."
On the Russian Ministry of Defense’s Telegram channel, the Kremlin issued three statements saying Shoigu additionally spoke with Wallace, Akar and Lecornu. In the nearly identical posts, Russia says Shoigu discussed the "rapidly deteriorating" situation in Ukraine and the potential use of a dirty bomb.
Meanwhile, Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky called for Western strikes on the Kremlin. In an interview with Canadian media on Sunday, the Ukrainian leader said "If their message is that there will be a strike on the decision-making center (of Ukraine), the answer of the world should be the following: ‘Look, if you hit Bankova (the street in Kyiv where the presidential office is located) there will be a strike on where you are. If you do this, then in a second, regardless of the result of your attack, there will be a strike on the decision-making center of your state.’"