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Alleged arrest of Surovikin possibly indicates that Russia intends to purge commanders viewed as disloyal to Kremlin – ISW

Alleged arrest of Surovikin possibly indicates that Russia intends to purge commanders viewed as disloyal to Kremlin – ISW

According to the Institute for the Study of War (ISW), Russian sources continue to speculate that Wagner’s rebellion is already having widespread impacts on the Russian command structure and has prompted “large-scale purges” within Russian forces.

Wagner chief announces “march for justice” after alleged Russian strike on mercenary troops (UPDATES)

On 28 June, Russian authorities reportedly arrested Army General Sergei Surovikin, a former commander of the Russian troops in Ukraine, the Moscow Times reported. The step can possibly indicate that the Kremlin intends to purge the Ministry of Defense of figures viewed as disloyal, the experts say.

Surovikin had known of the rebellion in advance, the US officials say, as per The New York Times report. However, US intelligence is still trying to confirm if Surovikin directly supported Prigozhin’s effort. If Russia did arrest Surovikin then the Kremlin would likely use Surovikin as a scapegoat to publicly explain why the Russian military responded poorly to the uprising and to justify an overhaul of the Russian military leadership, the ISW concluded.

In addition, the experts say that continued news reports in Russian media about the deal mediated by Belarusian dictator Alexander Lukashenko to end the Wagner Group’s armed uprising suggest that involved parties may still be negotiating the specifics of the agreement.

Lukashenka wants Wagner to train Belarusian military, says Prigozhin arrived in Belarus

 

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