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Invasion chief Surovikin, 12 other senior officers detained amid Wagner PMC rebellion – WSJ

Sergei Surovikin was appointed to head the Russian occupation forces in Ukraine
Invasion chief Surovikin, 12 other senior officers detained amid Wagner PMC rebellion – WSJ
Russia had questioned General Surovikin, Deputy Commander of the Russian forces in Ukraine, as the FSB searched for traitors amid the higher ranks after Prigozhin started a mutiny in Russia, according to WSJ sources. Earlier, the Dossier Center reported Surovikin is a secret Wagner member.

Russia’s FSB detained and interrogated General Sergei Surovikin, Commander-in-Chief of the Russian Aerospace Forces and Deputy Commander of the Russian forces in Ukraine amid the Kremlin’s attempts to weed out disloyal officials, the Wall Street Journal reports, citing anonymous sources.

He was detained after the beginning of the Wagner PMC mutiny, along with other Russian military commanders who were detained, suspended, or dismissed.

One of the sources said that Surovikin knew Prigozhin’s plans for the rebellion but was not involved in it. Reportedly, Surovikin was not held in a pre-trial detention center but was interrogated repeatedly as the investigation probed his role in Prigozhin’s rebellion.

In addition to Surovikin, his deputy, Colonel General Andriy Yudin, and Deputy Chief of Military Intelligence, Lieutenant General Volodymyr Alekseev, were allegedly detained.

“They have been suspended from duty, their movements have been restricted and they are under observation,” WSJ writes, referring to its source.

WSJ’s source also refers to the detention of former Colonel General Mikhail Mizintsev, formerly the Deputy Minister of Defense of the Russian Federation, who joined the Wagner PMC in late April.

In total, reportedly, at least 13 senior officers were detained for interrogation, some later released, and nearly 15 were suspended or dismissed.

“The detentions are about cleaning the ranks of those who it is believed can’t be trusted anymore,” the source said.

Signaling more fractures in Russia’s military command, Maj. Gen. Ivan Popov, a senior Russian commander in southern Ukraine, accused Russia’s military leaders of behaving “in a treasonous and vile way” for firing him for critical comments about how Russia is fighting its war against Ukraine.

Surovikin was rumored to have close ties with Wagner leader Prigozhin, and confirmation of this was provided on 30 June by the Dossier Center, an investigative journalism organization founded by Russian opposition figure and anti-corruption activist Mikhail Khodorkovsky. The organization wrote, citing documents it gained hold of, that Surovikin and 30 other Russian generals were honorary members of Wagner. Surovikin was said to have a personal badge with the number M-3744.

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

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

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