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The White House is seen on June 25, 2023 in Washington, DC. President Biden returns to the White House today after spending the weekend at Camp David.

Samuel Corum | Getty Images

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden said Monday that the United States was not involved in the aborted weekend rebellion in Russia led by the leader of the mercenary Wagner Group.

“We made clear we are not involved, we had nothing to do with it, this was part of a struggle within the Russian system,” Biden said from the White House.

Biden said he monitored developments as they unfolded with his security team and spoke with close allies over Zoom. They agreed not to allow Russian President Vladimir Putin to blame the situation on the West or NATO, he added.

“It’s still too early to reach a definitive conclusion about where this is going. The ultimate outcome of all this remains to be seen,” Biden said. “But no matter what comes next, I will keep making sure that our allies and our partners are closely aligned in how we are reading and responding to situations.”

Biden said he also spoke at length with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to assure him the United States would keep supporting Ukraine’s defense as Russia continues its assault on his country.

Biden said he was convening a call with heads of state after he finished his remarks to ensure they are “on the same page.”

Yevgeny Prigozhin, leader of the Wagner Group, took control of the strategic city of Rostov-on-Don on Saturday and advanced an army within 200 kilometers (124 miles) of Moscow. The rebellion lasted less than 24 hours, but marked a significant challenge to Putin’s control of the nation.

The revolt ended after Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko brokered a deal between Prigozhin and the Kremlin.

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Prigozhin, whose private army has supplemented Russian troops during Putin’s assault on Ukraine, had criticized Russian military leaders throughout the campaign.

The mercenary chief on Monday denied he planned to overthrow Putin, according to an NBC News translation.

Prigozhin in an audio address said he acted to prevent the “destruction” of the military group after an attack on a Wagner camp.

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