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Moscow (AFP) — Russian President Vladimir Putin and his U.S. counterpart Barack Obama spoke about the Malaysian passenger jet crash in east Ukraine, the Kremlin said Thursday.

“The Russian leader informed the U.S. president about an air-traffic controllers’ report that came just before their phone conversation that a Malaysian plane crashed in Ukraine,” the Kremlin said in a statement.

AFP Photo/Jewel Samad

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President Trump and former Defense Secretary James Mattis

Under ordinary circumstances, open dissent from high-ranking military officials against the actions of civilian political leaders would signal a danger familiar to other countries. Such rumblings from military circles often indicate that constitutional freedoms are in jeopardy and that martial law, or even a coup d'etat, may be on the horizon.

In these extraordinary circumstances, however, all expectations are reversed — and the usual order of things is turned upside down.

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