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UK Defense Ministry: Gerasimov makes first public appearance since Wagner mutiny

by The Kyiv Independent news desk July 12, 2023 10:15 AM 2 min read
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Russia's General Staff chief Valery Gerasimov appeared on Russian state television on June 10, the U.K. Defense Ministry reported on July 12.

Gerasimov was seen being briefed via video call by Russian Aerospace Forces Chief of Staff Colonel-General Viktor Afzalov. Afzalov is deputy to Commander-in-Chief Russian Aerospace Forces, General Sergei Surovikin.

According to British intelligence, Surovikin’s whereabouts remain unclear, which adds further weight to the hypothesis that the general has been sidelined following the mutiny.

An armed insurrection began in Russia on July 23, and, before it abruptly came to an end, looked poised to soon break out into open, large-scale violence.

The notorious Wagner mercenary force, once often called “Putin’s private army,” occupied two major regional capitals and began a march on Moscow.

Its leader, outspoken war criminal Yevgeny Prigozhin, turned his sights not only on his arch-rivals, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and head of the Russian General Staff Valerii Gerasimov, but, de facto, on the entire Russian regime, including dictator Vladimir Putin.

Wagner Group's founder Yevgeny Prigozhin said on June 24 that the mercenaries would stop their march on Moscow and withdraw to military camps.

Belarusian dictator Aleksandr Lukashenko claimed he had held talks with Prigozhin, after which Wagner’s boss announced the troops’ retreat, according to Lukashenko’s press service.

Lukashenko's press service claimed that Wagner was negotiating a deal that would envisage security guarantees for the mercenaries.

Prigozhin, whose whereabouts have been unclear after his failed rebellion, is allegedly in Moscow since at least July 1, according to the French media outlet Liberation, citing its sources in Western intelligence.

He reportedly has spent the time negotiating Wagner's fate with Russian dictator Vladimir Putin as well as meeting with National Guard head Viktor Zolotov and the Foreign Intelligence Service boss Sergey Naryshkin.

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