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Russian MP comments on disappearance of General Surovikin amid arrest reports

by Martin Fornusek July 12, 2023 5:04 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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General Sergey Surovikin is "resting" and "so far unavailable," head of the security committee at the Russian State Duma Andrey Kartapolov told a correspondent from SHOT news channel on July 12.

Kartapolov was responding to a query about whether he communicates with Surovikin as fresh reports of the general's arrest appear.

The Russian independent outlet Verstka reported on July 12 that, based on information from undisclosed sources, Surovikin has been detained by the Federal Security Service (FSB) and is being interrogated in connection to the Wagner Group rebellion.

The general is currently isolated and has not gotten in touch with relatives for more than a week, Verstka wrote.

During Yevgeny Prigozhin's armed insurrection against the Kremlin on June 23-24, the Wagner Group took the city of Rostov and marched toward Moscow, before abruptly ending their rebellion. Since Surovikin's video appeal to the Wagner Group to end their insurrection, the general has not been seen in public.

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 on June 28 that the general had been arrested by Russian authorities over his alleged support for the Wagner Group's rebellion.

Later media reports contested this claim, saying that Surovikin had been interrogated but is either free or still held somewhere but "not in prison."

According to the U.K. Defense Ministry intelligence report, any move against the general is likely to cause divisions in Russia's upper military circles, as Surovikin enjoys respect among many senior officers.

UK Defense Ministry: Gerasimov makes first public appearance since Wagner mutiny
Russia’s General Staff chief Valery Gerasimov appeared on Russian state television on June 10, the U.K. Defense Ministry reported on July 12. According to British intelligence, Surovikin’s whereabouts remain unclear, which adds further weight to the hypothesis that the general has been sidelined fol…
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