Russian General Reportedly Detained Following Wagner Mutiny, According to AP Sources

by Sophia Chen

According to sources familiar with the matter, Gen. Sergei Surovikin, the deputy commander of the Russian group of forces engaged in the conflict in Ukraine, is believed to have been apprehended in the aftermath of a mutiny led by mercenaries within Russia. The information was provided to The Big Big News on Thursday, based on assessments from U.S. and Ukrainian intelligence, by two individuals who spoke on the condition of anonymity due to the lack of authorization to publicly discuss the issue.

The details surrounding Surovikin’s detention, including potential charges and the location of his confinement, remain unclear. This reflects the opaqueness of Kremlin politics and the prevailing uncertainty following the mutiny.

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The reported detention of Surovikin occurs shortly after the Wagner Group mercenaries seized control of the military headquarters in Rostov-on-Don, a Russian city, and initiated a march towards Moscow, which ultimately proved to be an aborted insurrection.

Yevgeny Prigozhin, the head of the Wagner Group, has previously expressed admiration for Surovikin while criticizing the Russian military leadership. Prigozhin even suggested that Surovikin should replace Gen. Valery Gerasimov as the Chief of the General Staff. The New York Times recently reported that U.S. officials believe Surovikin had prior knowledge of Prigozhin’s plans for the mutiny.

Both the White House and the Kremlin declined to comment on the situation.

Surovikin, who has longstanding connections with Prigozhin, has not been seen since the commencement of the rebellion when he posted a video calling for an end to the mutiny. Several sources, including a Russian military blogger, the Moscow Times, and the Financial Times, have reported that Surovikin, who also serves as the commander of the Russian air force, has been arrested.

Speculation has intensified regarding the possible involvement of senior military officers in collusion with Prigozhin. It is suggested that they may face repercussions for their role in the mutiny, which Putin has denounced as treason and a betrayal.

Alexei Venediktov, the former head of Ekho Moskvy, a prominent independent radio station that was shut down after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, stated that Surovikin and his close subordinates have been out of contact with their families for three days. However, Venediktov stopped short of confirming Surovikin’s detention.

Rybar, another significant military messaging channel run by a former Defense Ministry press officer, reported an ongoing purge within the ranks as authorities investigate allegations of possible collaboration with Prigozhin.

Surovikin’s association with Prigozhin dates back to their involvement in Syria, where Russia has been conducting military operations since 2015 in support of Syrian President Bashar Assad’s government and territorial reclamation efforts following a devastating civil war.

While Prigozhin has directed profanity-laden insults towards Defense Minister Shoigu and Gen. Valery Gerasimov, the Chief of the General Staff, and demanded their removal before the mutiny, he has consistently praised Surovikin and recommended his appointment as Gerasimov’s successor. However, when the rebellion began, Surovikin recorded a video urging an end to the mutiny.

Earlier this week, The New York Times reported that U.S. officials believed Surovikin had prior knowledge of the mutiny. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov dismissed the report as speculation and gossip.

When questioned about Surovikin’s arrest, Peskov refused to comment on Thursday.

When asked if President Putin still trusts Surovikin, Peskov replied that Putin collaborates with the defense minister and the chief of the General Staff, redirecting questions about officers to the Defense Ministry. He also deferred all inquiries regarding Surovikin and his status to the ministry.

Surovikin, known for his bald and fierce appearance and nicknamed “General Armageddon” by Western media due to his brutal tactics in Syria and Ukraine, is credited with strengthening Russian defenses after Moscow’s retreat from significant parts of Ukrainian territory last fall. This retreat followed a swift counteroffensive by Kyiv.

Putin appointed Surovikin in the fall to lead Russian forces in Ukraine, where he oversaw a bombing campaign targeting Ukraine’s power plants and crucial infrastructure, albeit without successfully disrupting the power supply.

In January, Putin replaced Surovikin with Gerasimov, placing him in charge of the Russian operations in Ukraine while demoting Surovikin to the position of Gerasimov’s deputy.

The fate of Gerasimov himself remains uncertain following the failed mutiny. While Defense Minister Shoigu appeared at several events alongside Putin, Gerasimov was conspicuously absent.

If indeed a purge is underway, it could potentially destabilize the military chain of command and diminish troop morale. This development coincides with the early stages of Ukraine’s latest counteroffensive, potentially offering Kyiv an opportunity to reclaim further territory.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about detained

Q: Who is Gen. Sergei Surovikin?

A: Gen. Sergei Surovikin is the deputy commander of the Russian group of forces fighting in Ukraine. He has been reportedly detained following the Wagner mutiny.

Q: What is the Wagner mutiny?

A: The Wagner mutiny refers to the revolt staged by mercenaries associated with the Wagner Group in Russia. They took over the military headquarters in Rostov-on-Don and were heading towards Moscow before the insurrection was aborted.

Q: What is the current status of Gen. Sergei Surovikin?

A: The current status of Gen. Sergei Surovikin is uncertain. He has been reportedly detained, but the specific charges and the location where he is being held are unclear.

Q: Are there any potential repercussions for military officials involved in the mutiny?

A: There is speculation that military officials who may have colluded with the Wagner Group and participated in the mutiny could face punishment. The mutiny has been labeled as treason and a betrayal by Russian President Putin.

Q: What is the significance of Gen. Sergei Surovikin’s arrest?

A: Gen. Sergei Surovikin’s arrest is significant as he has longstanding links with Yevgeny Prigozhin, the head of the Wagner Group. It is believed that Surovikin had advance knowledge of the mutiny plan, according to U.S. officials.

Q: Has there been any official confirmation or comments on these developments?

A: Both the White House and the Kremlin have declined to comment on the reported detention of Gen. Sergei Surovikin. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has dismissed some reports as speculation and gossip.

Q: How might this impact the military chain of command and the ongoing conflict in Ukraine?

A: If a purge is indeed underway within the Russian military, it could potentially destabilize the chain of command and impact troop morale. This development coincides with Ukraine’s counteroffensive, which could offer them an opportunity to reclaim more territory.

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NewsJunkie99 June 29, 2023 - 9:10 pm

Can’t believe it! Surovikin, the Russian general, detained? What’s the deal? Nobody knows! Kremlin plays it cool. Wonder if there’ll be fallout for others involved!

GossipGuru June 29, 2023 - 11:40 pm

Hey peeps, Surovikin’s in trouble! They say he’s caught up in the Wagner mutiny. No deets on charges or location tho. The Kremlin’s hush-hush as usual. Scandal alert!

Bookworm87 June 30, 2023 - 5:45 am

Wagner mutiny is cray! Surovikin, the deputy commander, got nabbed! But like, idk wat he did or where he is. Shady Kremlin stuff, ya kno?

Luv2KnowItAll June 30, 2023 - 9:09 am

So, Surovikin’s arrested! No clue bout the charges or where he’s held. Big mess after the Wagner gang went nuts. Wonder what’s next for those military peeps!

JohnSmith123 June 30, 2023 - 12:46 pm

omg! russian general detained? no way! i wonda what charges he facin n where they got him! kremlin politics rly mysterious!


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