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Military intelligence: Surovikin effectively removed from position but his fate undecided

by Martin Fornusek July 18, 2023 1:54 PM 2 min read
Sergei Surovikin, deputy commander of Russian forces in Ukraine, at a meeting of Russian President Vladimir Putin with top military officials in Sochi on Nov. 3, 2021. (Photo: Mikhail Metzel/ AFP via Getty Images)
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Army General Sergey Surovikin, the deputy commander of the Russian invasion forces in Ukraine, was effectively removed from position but his fate remains undecided, Ukraine's military intelligence spokesperson Andrii Yusov said on July 18.

The military intelligence representative commented on television that infighting among Russia's elite began after the Wagner Group rebellion, during which Surovikin lost his position.

Nevertheless, Surovikin's ultimate fate remains undecided, the spokesperson added.

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.

General Surovikin, formerly a top commander in Ukraine until his replacement by Chief of Staff Valery Gerasimov, has not been seen in public since the Wagner founder Yevgeny Prigozhin's rebellion against the Kremlin on June 23-24.

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.

Moscow has not confirmed these claims. 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.

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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