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Media: Russian general Surovikin interrogated over Wagner rebellion, not in prison

by Martin Fornusek June 29, 2023 9:26 PM 2 min read
A screen grab captured from a video shows Sergei Surovikin addressing the Wagner PMC leadership, commanders and soldiers on June 24, 2023. (Photo credit: Russian Defense Ministry/Handout/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
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Russian General Sergei Surovikin was interrogated by military prosecutors over his links to the Wagner Group's founder Yevgeny Prigozhin, Bloomberg reported on June 29, citing an unnamed source familiar with the matter.

According to the news outlet, Surovikin was interrogated over several days and is being kept in one place but not in prison.

Less than an hour later, the Russian independent investigative group IStories also wrote that Surovikin was questioned by the authorities but claimed that he was subsequently released.

IStories' sources in the security services and the military did not confirm Surovikin's arrest and said he was not held in Lefortovo Prison, despite earlier claims on social media.

The Russian military blogger Vladimir Romanov first spread the rumors of Surovikin's arrest on June 25, claiming he was in pre-trial detention in Moscow's Lefortovo Prison.

The Moscow Times and the Financial Times reported earlier that the former top general in Ukraine had been detained by Russian authorities over his alleged support for the Wagner Group's rebellion.

On June 28, The New York Times wrote that Surovikin was aware of Prigozhin's rebellion in advance. CNN later reported that other figures in the Russian military and intelligence cadres may have been aware of the upcoming uprising and chose not to interfere.

The Wagner Group's founder launched an armed rebellion against the Russian government on June 23. His mercenaries occupied the city of Rostov and marched to within 200 km of Moscow, only to abruptly end the insurrection less than 24 hours later, on June 24.

After a deal between the Kremlin and Prigozhin, allegedly brokered by Belarus' dictator Aleksandr Lukashenko, Russian officials said that the Wagner founder and his contract soldiers would be allowed to leave for Belarus.

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