Russia’s Defense Ministry has removed the biography of General Sergei Surovikin from its website amid reports of his dismissal after Yevegny Prigozhin's failed mutiny in late June.
Surovikin was long seen as the main intermediary between the Wagner mercenary group and the Russian Defense Ministry, where he had served as head of Russia’s Aerospace Forces since 2017.
The sacked general had seemingly “gone his own way” after an internal probe into his suspected involvement in Wagner's failed mutiny was recently wrapped up, an anonymous source close to the Defense Ministry told The Moscow Times this week.
Journalists noticed the disappearance of Surovikin’s profile from the Defense Ministry website Wednesday, two weeks after state media reported that President Vladimir Putin had dismissed the general as head of Russia’s Aerospace Forces.
Hours after that report on Aug. 23, Prigozhin’s private plane crashed in northwestern Russia’s Tver region. Authorities confirmed Prigozhin’s death in the accident days later and he was buried last week.
A photograph of Surovikin in civilian clothing surfaced online Tuesday, more than two months after Prigozhin’s June 23-24 mutiny.
An anonymous source close to the Defense Ministry told The New York Times later that Surovikin was released “in the days after” Prigozhin’s plane crashed.
Though his biography has been deleted, Surovikin’s video address urging Wagner fighters to stand down during their march toward Moscow remains accessible on the Defense Ministry's website.
An archived version of Surovikin’s biography mentions that Putin had promoted him to army general on Aug. 16, 2021.
The Defense Ministry and the Kremlin have refused to answer questions on Surovikin’s whereabouts.