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Dozens of Senior Russian Officers Detained, Fired After Wagner Mutiny – WSJ

General Sergei Surovikin. Russian Defense Ministry

Russian security services have detained at least 13 senior military officers and suspended or fired 15 others in the wake of the Wagner mercenary group’s mutiny last month, the Wall Street Journal reported Thursday, citing anonymous sources familiar with the matter. 

“The detentions are about cleaning the ranks of those who are believed can’t be trusted anymore,” WSJ quoted one source as saying.

A number of the detained officers had ties with Wagner, the publication wrote.

WSJ confirmed reporting by The Moscow Times’ Russian service that the highest-ranking general among them, Sergei Surovikin, had been detained. The Financial Times, Bloomberg, and Russia’s independent investigative outlet iStories followed with similar reports, which said Surovikin had either been detained or only questioned and then later released.

Surovikin’s whereabouts are still unknown nearly three weeks after Wagner’s June 23-24 uprising.

WSJ’s sources said Surovikin was undergoing “repeated interrogations” and was not being held at a detention center — where Russian prison monitors have been unable to locate the general. 

Surovikin could be released once President Vladimir Putin “decides how to handle the fallout from the mutiny,” the newspaper wrote.

The publication said Mikhail Mizintsev, the former deputy defense minister in charge of logistics who joined Wagner in April after his removal, was among those detained.

Surovkin’s deputy Andrei Yudin and deputy head of military intelligence Vladimir Alexeyev were also reportedly detained and suspended from duty after their release.

Neither the Kremlin nor the Russian Defense Ministry responded to WSJ’s requests for comment.

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