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Russia’s General Surovikin and deputy defense minister vanish following Wagner Group mutiny, revealing divisions – UK intel

Russia’s General Surovikin and deputy defense minister vanish following Wagner Group mutiny, revealing divisions – UK intel

The UK Defense Ministry’s intelligence update notes the unexplained disappearance of Russia’s General Sergei Surovikin and Deputy Defence Minister Colonel General Yunus-bek Yevkurov, raising suspicions of their involvement or fallout from the recent Wagner Group mutiny in Russia.

The ministry tweeted:

  • “General Sergei Surovikin, Commander-in-Chief Russian Aerospace Forces and deputy commander of Russian forces in Ukraine, has not been seen in public since the 23-24 June 2023 Wagner Group mutiny. Meanwhile, Deputy Defence Minister Colonel General Yunus-bek Yevkurov was notably absent from a televised appearance by the Ministry of Defence’s leadership on 03 July 2023.”
  • “Reports of Surovikin’s arrest cannot be confirmed, but authorities will likely be suspicious of his long association with Wagner dating back to his service in Syria from 2017. Similarly, Yevkurov was filmed talking to Wagner owner Yevgeny Prigozhin during the group’s uncontested take-over of Rostov-on-Don.”
  • “Although largely known in the West by his brutal reputation, Surovikin is one of the more respected senior officers within the Russian military; any official sanction against him is likely to be divisive. The suspicion that has potentially fallen on senior serving officers highlights how Prigozhin’s abortive insurrection has worsened existing fault lines within Russia’s national security community.”

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