Putin arrested General Sergei Surovikin over Wagner group mutiny

Russian authorities have reportedly detained General Sergei Surovikin, the deputy commander of Russia’s military operations in Ukraine, amid a reported purge of military officials following the short-lived rebellion by Wagner mercenary forces, according to sources cited by the Moscow Times newspaper and a Russian military blogger.

Surovikin, nicknamed “General Armageddon” by the Russian media for his reputed ruthlessness, is a veteran of Russia’s wars in Chechnya and Syria who has been decorated by Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Citing two sources close to Russia’s Defence Ministry, the Russian-language service of The Moscow Times reported on Wednesday that Surovikin was arrested due to what one of the unnamed sources said was choosing Wagner chief Yevgeny “Prigozhin’s side during the uprising”.

A Russian military blogger, Vladimir Romanov, also reported Surovikin’s arrest on Wednesday, according to the Moscow Times, while the Washington, DC-based think tank Institute for the Study of War (ISW) reported another Russian source as claiming that military “affiliates” of Surovikin had been “accused of complicity in the rebellion”.

Russia’s Defence Ministry has yet to comment on the reports of Surovikin’s detention, the newspaper said.

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