Blinken calls G7 allies about Russia situation

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken discussed the “ongoing situation in Russia” on a call with his G7 and European Union counterparts, according to a brief statement released Saturday.

The foreign ministers from Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, and the United Kingdom, plus the EU’s top diplomat, participated in the call.

A State Department spokesperson said that Blinken “reiterated that support by the United States for Ukraine will not change” and that the US “will stay in close coordination with Allies and partners as the situation continues to develop.”

The boss of Russia’s Wagner group, Yevgeny Prigozhin, says its mercenaries have seized “all military facilities” in the southern city of Rostov-on-Don.

They are also said to have deployed in Voronezh, further north, following his threat to march on Moscow to topple Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu.

President Vladimir Putin said it was “a stab in the back” and pledged to punish those who had “betrayed” Russia.

Tightened security has been introduced in many regions, including Moscow.

The Wagner Group is a private army of mercenaries that has been fighting alongside the regular Russian army in Ukraine.

Tension has been growing between them over how the war has been fought, with Prigozhin launching vocal criticisms of Russia’s military leadership in recent months.

The dramatic escalation came after Prigozhin accused Russia’s military of hitting his group’s base in Ukraine – a claim denied by Moscow.

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