US and Russian generals speak on phone to cool tensions
On November 23 the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Russian Chief of General Staff spoke about security issues. The US said the discussion was about de-confliction. The US is concerned about the build-up of Russian forces near Ukraine. Russia says this is a drill. There are analysts who say that Russia is posturing to deter Ukraine from trying to retake Luhansk and Donbass. The Ukrainian Army has become increasingly effective due to shipments of NATO-made technology. Some Western analysts have said Russia is planning a full-scale invasion of Ukraine in early 2022. However, most believe this unlikely as the economic pushback from the West would be severe.On November 23 Ukraine received two patrol boats from the US. Moscow slammed this as raising tensions. That same day Russia said that the US has dispatched bombers to practice a nuclear attack on Russia during the "Global Thunder" exercise. According to Moscow, the Americans have carried out 30 flights close to Russian airspace in November 2021 alone.Unnamed US sources say that Russia is ready for a full-scale attack but that Putin has not yet decided whether to launch one or not. If Nord Stream 2 is operational then the EU will be dependent on Russian gas, so Moscow might conclude that the EU's response would be limited.It is alleged that Russia called up military reservists early in November 2021. Moscow said this is nonsense, and it is Ukraine that is ramping up tensions.On November 22 Russia's RTS stock market took a 4% hit because of the talk of war. The RUB fell 1.1% against the USD.It is significant that neither Biden or Putin has seen fit to address the claim that Russia is readying for war.