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U.S., Russian Defense Chiefs Speak for First Time Since the Ukraine Invasion

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US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin and Russian Defense minister Sergei Shoigu, EPA  

CNN: US defense secretary speaks with Russian counterpart for first time since Russia invaded Ukraine 

(CNN)US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin spoke with his Russian counterpart for the first time since the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the Pentagon announced on Friday. 

The call lasted approximately an hour and was at the request of Austin, who used the first call between the two in 84 days to urge Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu to implement an “immediate ceasefire,” according to a brief readout of the call. 

The two last spoke on February 18, a week before Russia launched its invasion of Ukraine. It ends an extended period in which Russia’s top military leaders repeatedly refused to speak with their American counterparts.  

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U.S., Russian Defense Chiefs Speak For First Time Since The Ukraine Invasion  

First phone call between Russian and US defense chiefs since start of Ukraine conflict — RT 

Russian defense minister discusses situation in Ukraine with Pentagon chief — TASS 

In first since Ukraine invasion, Pentagon chief speaks with Russian counterpart — Reuters  

Pentagon Chief Urges ‘Immediate’ Ukraine Ceasefire in Call With Russian Counterpart — AFP  

U.S., Russian Defense Chiefs Speak For First Time Since Ukraine Invasion — RFE  

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin demands immediate ceasefire during first call to Russian counterpart Sergei Shoigu since Moscow launched its invasion of Ukraine 79 days ago — Daily Mail  

Austin speaks with Russian counterpart for first time since start of war in Ukraine — The Hill

Defense Secretary Austin speaks with Russian defense minister for first time in months, urges cease-fire — FOX News  

Austin urges “immediate ceasefire” in call with Russia’s defense minister — Axios

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Mysterious South China Sea Missile Launch Caught on Video

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To their bewilderment, they spotted a SLBM emerging from the sea below their previously intended flight path!! PLAN Missile Submarine launch with very little regard to Commercial Air Traffic in the area!! That would’ve been me on the ‘delivery end’ of that Missile 30 years ago!

— Captain Overnight (@jchovernut)

May 24, 2022

Warzone/The Drive: Mysterious South China Sea Missile Launch Claimed To Be Caught By Airliner (Updated)

Video taken from an airliner appears to show the launch of a missile from a ship or a submarine in the South China Sea.

Video has emerged on social media that is said to show an apparent launch of a missile, possibly from a submarine, as viewed from a Cathay Pacific Boeing 777 flying over the South China Sea. Unseen individuals can be heard in the clip talking about whether it is heading their way.

Twitter user @jchovernut, a pilot for U.S.-based airline Allegiant Air and a veteran of the U.S. Navy’s submarine community, posted the video, seen below, online on Tuesday. “They were over the South China Sea & were issued a last-minute hectic call from ATC: ‘turn left 90 degrees immediately!!,'” according to one Tweet accompanying the video.

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Update: Watch: Mysterious South China Sea Missile Launch Came Dangerously Close To Commercial Airliner (Zero Hedge)

WNU editor: China was conducting military exercises in the South China Sea when this missile launch was spotted …. China launches military exercises in South China Sea as Biden visits Asia (FOX News).

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China’s Foreign Minister in South Pacific Offering Financial and Security Proposals to Island Nations

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The Guardian: Deal proposed by China would dramatically expand security influence in Pacific

Leaked copy of draft shows Beijing wants more involvement in policing, cybersecurity and marine mapping

China is pursuing a sweeping regional economic security deal with Pacific nations that would dramatically expand its influence and reach into those countries, in a pact that has western countries and some Pacific leaders deeply worried.

The wide-ranging deal lays out China’s vision for a much closer relationship with the Pacific, especially on security matters, with China proposing it would be involved in training police, cybersecurity, sensitive marine mapping and gaining greater access to natural resources.

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China’s Foreign Minister In South Pacific Offering Financial And Security Proposals To Island Nations

China Signs MOU on Civil Air Transport With Solomon Islands — Reuters

Beijing’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin says China ‘firmly supports’ the Solomon Islands after new security deal — SKY News

China’s Pacific plan seen as regional strategic game-changer — AP

China plays for influence in South Pacific with security proposal and diplomatic tour — CNN

EXPLAINER: What’s at stake for China on South Pacific visit? — AP

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Russian Ministry of Defense Says the Last 500 Ukrainian Soldiers Have Surrendered at “Azovstal” in Mariupol

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Ukrainian soldiers of the Azov battalion who have surrendered at the Azovstal steel plant walk on a road in the Russia-controlled port city of Mariupol, Donetsk People’s Republic. © Sputnik/Russian Defence Ministry 

RT: Azovstal ‘fully liberated’ – Russian military 

The last members of Ukraine’s neo-Nazi ‘Azov’ unit have surrenderred in Mariupol The entire territory of the “Azovstal” factory complex in Mariupol has been liberated, the Russian Defense Ministry announced on Friday. More than 2,400 people surrounded inside for almost a month, including Ukrainian servicemen and members of the neo-Nazi ‘Azov’ unit, have laid down their arms and surrendered. 

“The last group of 531 militants surrendered today,” the Russian military spokesman, Major-General Igor Konashenkov, said in a statement. He added that a total of “2,439 Azov Nazis” and Ukrainian servicemen had laid down their arms since May 16, and that the entire “Azovstal” complex is now under control of Russian armed forces. 

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WNU Editor: This last surrender is coming about hours after Kyiv ordered its remaining troops to lay down their arms …. Ukraine Orders End to Defense of Mariupol (Moscow Times/AFP). 

According to Russia and the DPR. 2,439 Ukrainian fighters have surrendered since May 16, and the entire complex is now under Russian/DPR control.

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