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Russian General Arrested Following Wagner Mutiny – MT Russian

Mikhail Klimentyev / Russian Presidential Press and Information Office / TASS

Updated to include additional reports.

Russian General Sergei Surovikin has been arrested, The Moscow Times' Russian service reported Wednesday, citing two sources close to the Defense Ministry who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

The Defense Ministry has yet to comment on the alleged arrest of Surovikin, who has not been seen in public since Saturday, when Wagner Group chief Yevgeny Prigozhin launched an armed rebellion against Russia's military leadership.

"The situation with him was not 'OK.' For the authorities. I can't say anything more," one of the sources said.

According to the second source, the arrest was carried out "in the context of Prigozhin."

"Apparently, he [Surovikin] chose Prigozhin's side during the uprising, and they've gotten him by the balls," the source said.

When asked about the general's current whereabouts, the source replied: "We are not even commenting on this information through our internal channels."

The sources did not specify whether he was detained as a suspect or a witness.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov on Thursday declined to comment on Surovikin's whereabouts, instead advising journalists to refer their questions to the Defense Ministry.

Later on Thursday, the Financial Times, citing three unnamed people familiar with the matter, reported that the general was detained in an alleged "crackdown on pro-war elites."

Bloomberg and independent investigative outlet IStories followed with similar reports, but said Surovikin had only been questioned by law enforcement officials and then released.

None of the reports could be independently verified. 

Earlier Wednesday, pro-war military blogger Vladimir Romanov said Surovikin was detained Sunday, the day after Prigozhin's aborted mutiny.

Romanov claimed that Surovikin is now being held in Moscow's Lefortovo detention center.

Alexei Venediktov, editor-in-chief of the shuttered Ekho Moskvy radio station, wrote on Telegram that Surovikin has not been in contact with his family for three days and that his guards are not responsive.

The New York Times reported Tuesday, citing unnamed U.S. officials, that Surovikin had prior knowledge of Prigozhin's plan to instigate a rebellion against Russia's military leadership.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov on Wednesday dismissed the report as “speculation” and “gossip,” suggesting that Putin had not given in to Prigozhin’s demands for an imminent reshuffle of the Russian military's top brass.

Wagner’s uprising set off Russia's most serious security crisis in decades before Prigozhin agreed to stand down Saturday night in exchange for immunity in exile, as part of a deal brokered by Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko.

Surovikin commanded Russia’s forces in Ukraine for three months between October 2022 and January 2023 until he was replaced by Chief of the General Staff Valery Gerasimov.

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