Espreso. Global

Surovikin released from custody, but no longer has military prospects

5 September, 2023 Tuesday
19:59

After the death of Yevgeny Prigozhin, General Sergei Surovikin was released, he remains an officer, but no longer has military prospects

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The New York Times reports this, citing its own sources in the US government and Russian agencies.

Surovikin disappeared from public view in June, after Prigozhin's failed coup. U.S. officials believe that the general had been communicating about the uprising in advance.

U.S. officials said that while General Surovikin has likely been officially released from custody, it is still unclear whether there are any restrictions on his movement or bans imposed by Russian authorities.

According to the NYT, Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters at a briefing on Tuesday that he could not comment on whether Surovikin was under investigation.

It is noted that Surovikin was fired a few days after Prigozhin died in a plane crash late last month. The general has so far retained his rank and is technically still an officer, but he no longer has any career prospects, an anonymous source close to the Russian Defense Ministry said. 

On September 4, journalist Ksenia Sobchak published the first photo of Surovikin after the mutiny

"General Sergei Surovikin is out: alive, healthy, at home with his family in Moscow," Sobchak said in a post.

Aleksey Venediktov, former head of Ekho Moskvy, wrote on Monday evening that General Surovikin was at home with his family.

"He is on vacation and is at the command of the Defense Ministry," Venediktov wrote on his telegram channel.

Who is Surovikin?

General Sergei Surovikin has been the head of the Russian occupation forces in Ukraine since the beginning of October 2022. In January, he was removed from this position. Surovikin is also called "General Armageddon" because of his criminal orders to bomb Syria.

Earlier, The New York Times, citing US officials familiar with the intelligence, wrote that Surovikin knew in advance about Prigozhin's plans to launch an armed rebellion against Russia's military leadership. Now, the US authorities are trying to find out whether Surovikin helped plan the rebellion.

Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov commented on the publication and said it was "speculation".

"Now there will be a lot of different speculations, gossip and so on around these events. I think this is one such example," he said.

After the unsuccessful rebellion of Wagner's leader Prigozhin, the media reported that Surovikin had been arrested. Media wrote that he had allegedly supported Prigozhin, although the Russian general had recorded a video calling on the Wagner mercenaries to stop.

The commander of the Russian Aerospace Forces and deputy commander of Russian troops in Ukraine, General Sergei Surovikin, could be arrested after the failed coup by Wagner PMC financier Yevgeny Prigozhin, the Financial Times reported on June 29.  

Instead, Surovikin's daughter Veronika denied the general's arrest in a commentary to a Russian propaganda outlet.

According to British intelligence, after Prigozhin's mutiny, two Russian generals, Sergei Surovikin and Yunus-Bek Yevkurov, no longer appear in public.

On August 22, it was reported that Russian General Sergei Surovikin had been dismissed from his post as commander of the Russian Russian Aerospace Forces, but he remains at the command of the Russian Defense Ministry.

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