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US And Allies Coordinate Response To Russia Crisis

The US and its allies are closely monitoring the situation in Russia, where a rogue mercenary group has seized some military facilities and challenged the authority of President Vladimir Putin.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Saturday he spoke with G7 foreign ministers and the EU high representative for foreign affairs and security policy to discuss the situation in Russia.

"The United States will stay in close coordination with Allies and partners as the situation continues to develop", Blinken wrote on Twitter.

The crisis erupted on Friday when Yevgeny Prigozhin, the leader of the Wagner Group, a private military contractor with ties to the Kremlin, declared an "armed mutiny" against Putin and called on his fighters to attack Russian military bases in southern Russia.

Prigozhin accused Putin of betraying Russia and its people by allowing corruption and mismanagement to undermine the country's security and economy.

He also claimed to have taken control of the Russian military headquarters in Rostov-on-Don, a strategic city near the border with Ukraine.

Putin responded by calling Prigozhin a traitor and vowing to crush the rebellion. He also signed a law permitting 30-day detentions for breaking martial law in places where it has been imposed.

He said he would do everything possible to defend his country and that the Russian armed forces had been given the necessary orders to take decisive action.

The uprising has raised fears of a civil war in Russia and a possible spillover of violence into neighboring countries, especially Ukraine, which has been locked in a conflict with Russian-backed separatists since 2014.

The Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, said on Saturday that the Wagner uprising showed Russia's "full-scale" weakness and chaos. He said Ukraine was ready to defend its sovereignty and territorial integrity.

The EU and NATO have also expressed concern over the situation in Russia and urged restraint and dialogue. They have called for an immediate de-escalation of tensions and respect for international law.

The Wagner Group is a shadowy organization that has been involved in various conflicts around the world, including Syria, Libya, Sudan. Central African Republic and Mozambique.

It is believed to have close links to Putin and the Russian intelligence services, but Moscow has denied any official connection or responsibility for its actions.



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