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NYT: Russian general Surovikin makes public appearance after release

by The Kyiv Independent news desk September 5, 2023 2:04 PM 2 min read
Russian General Sergei Surovikin, Russia's former air force commander, on Dec. 17, 2022. (Gavriil Grigorov/Sputnik/AFP/Getty Images)
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Sergei Surovikin, a top Russian general who was detained in the aftermath of Wagner Group founder Yevgeny Prigozhin's mutiny in June, has been released and made a public appearance, the New York Times (NYT) reported on Sept. 5, citing two undisclosed U.S. officials and a source close to the Russian Defense Ministry.

According to NYT, Russian authorities released Surovikin a few days after the plane crash in Russia on Aug. 23 that likely killed Prigozhin.

The U.S. officials noted that while Surovikin appears to have been released from formal detention, it remains unclear whether there are any restrictions placed on him by Russian authorities.

Meanwhile, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said on Sept. 5 that it is not possible to comment on whether  Surovikin was under investigation.

Surovikin, formerly the deputy commander of Russia's forces in Ukraine until his replacement by Russian President Vladimir Putin with General Valery Gerasimov in late August, has not made a public appearance since Prigozhin's short-lived mutiny.

Multiple media reports claimed that the general had been arrested over siding with Prigozhin in the insurrection and is being interrogated by Russian security services.

The Kremlin has yet to confirm such claims. Russian State Duma Deputy Andrey Kartapolov only commented that Surovikin is currently "resting" and "so far unavailable."

According to the U.K. Defense Ministry, Surovikin's arrest would likely cause tensions among the Russian military leadership due to the general's popularity in the armed forces.

Ukraine's military intelligence spokesperson Andrii Yusov said on July 18 that Surovikin had been effectively removed from his position, but his fate remained undecided.

According to Yusov, the reshuffle in the Russian military leadership plays into Ukraine's hands and can negatively affect the morale and combat effectiveness of Russian troops in the long term.

Prigozhin’s death latest in a series of unsolved murders in Putin’s Russia. What’s next?
The death of an opponent of Russian President Vladimir Putin is not something new in history. More than 20 critics and opponents of Putin have been murdered or died in suspicious circumstances since 2000. However, the death of Yevgeny Prigozhin, the founder of Russia’s Wagner mercenary group and o…

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