PICTURED: This Russian convoy was approaching Kyiv, according to Maxar Technologies, and consists of tanks, self-propelled artillery pieces, armored personnel carriers, and supply vehicles. PC: Maxar via AP. Fair Use.
WASHINGTON D.C. March 1st, 2022. The U.S., in response to a statement from Russia’s Defense Minister about the nuclear capabilities being placed on high alert, have created a new backchannel hotline with the Kremlin to ensure any risk of accidental conflict between forces stationed in and on the border with Ukraine is as low as can be.
The Chair of the JCS Mark Milley stands on one end of the line, with Chief of Russian General Staff Gen. Valery Gerasimov on the other. NATO’s Supreme Commander Tod Walters could also be connected.
The channel is not the only measure Washington is taking to ensure the risk of nuclear exchange remains low. They’ve ruled out proposed “No-Fly Zones” above Ukraine by her president Zelensky, as well as to continue the existing nuclear alert levels.
Biden told reporters that Americans should not be worried about America fighting a nuclear war. That’s not to say the level of conflict is winding down.
Some delegations from Russia and Ukraine met in Belarus on Monday to discuss conditions for a ceasefire, but while more talks have been agreed on, it’s clear nothing immediate was settled aside from “certain solutions” being “outlined.
On Monday, Maxar Technologies produced a satellite image of a convoy of Russian military vehicles stretching 3.5 miles on its way to Kyiv, while rocket strikes hit several areas of Kharkiv, and artillery shelling continues in the southern port city of Mariupol, indicating a potential ramp up in the conflict over the capital. The convoy contains tanks, armored personnel carriers, self-propelled artillery pieces, and supply vehicles.
A U.S. official speaking without evidence and under anonymity told U.S. News that Russia will attempt to encircle Kyiv during the next assault. Looking to prevent mass cyber attacks and propaganda, the Kremlin announced they will strike cyber stations in Kyiv soon, and warned nearby residents to evacuate the area.
Also on Monday at a meeting of the UN Sec. Council, Russia had to sit through the beratement from all members bar China, who indeed urged for a peaceful and swift end to the war, but also added that the legitimate national security concerns of all countries had to be recognized.
Russian officials and President Putin have chosen to use perceived excesses against, and dangers to, the Donbas republics of Donetsk and Luhansk as the justification for the war, rather than the national security concern of Ukraine’s NATO membership.