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Russia Launches Color-Coded Terror Alerts

The new warning system establishes guidelines to ensure citizens' safety and minimize risks before and after a terrorist attack. Maxim Stulov

President Vladimir Putin signed a decree Saturday implementing a color-coded warning system to alert citizens about the threat of a terrorist attack on Russian soil.

The new system establishes guidelines to ensure citizens' safety and minimize risks before and after a terrorist attack. Different threat levels will be identified by the colors blue, yellow and red.

"In the interests of informing the population in good time about the threat of a terrorist attack and organizing activities to prevent its realization, the following threat levels can be introduced in separate regions of the Russian Federation: blue for an elevated threat level, yellow for a high level and red for a critical level," the Kremlin press service said in a statement.

When authorities raise the threat level to red, law enforcement and security personnel will patrol public areas 24 hours a day and listen in on telephone conversations, among other measures.

Authorities have been considering introducing the three-level scale for some time.

After the suicide attack at Domodedovo Airport in early 2011, then President Dmitry Medvedev signed into law amendments to the federal counter-terrorism bill that codified the country's response to terrorist threats, RIA-Novosti reported.

The United States had a similar warning system for almost 10 years.

U.S. authorities introduced their five-level, color-coded system in 2002 in the wake of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, but the system was later dropped in April 2011 after being deemed "unhelpful."

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