Russian General Sergei Surovkin was reportedly arrested and detained. The Moscow Times reported in this regard on Wednesday, quoting two unnamed sources close to the Russian Defense Ministry.
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 coup against Russia’s military leadership.
One of the sources said: “The situation with him is not good. As for the authorities, I can’t say anything else.”
According to a second source, the arrest took place in the context of Prigozhin’s coup.
“It seems that he (Sorovkin) chose Prigozhin’s side during the coup, and they managed to arrest him,” the source said.
When the source was asked about the current general’s whereabouts, he replied, “We don’t even comment on this information through our internal channels.”
Earlier Wednesday, pro-war military blogger Vladimir Romanov said Surovkin was arrested on Sunday, the day after Prigozhin’s coup was called off.
Romanov claimed that Sorovikin is currently being held in Moscow’s Lefortovo Detention Center.
Alexei Venediktov, editor-in-chief of the closed radio station Ekho Moskvy, wrote on Telegram that Surovikin had not contacted his family for three days.
The New York Times reported on Tuesday, citing unnamed US officials, that Surovkin had knowledge of Prigozhin’s plot to instigate the coup against Russia’s military leadership.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov on Wednesday dismissed the report as “speculation” and “gossip,” noting that Putin had not given in to Prigozhin’s demands for a reshuffle of Russia’s military leadership.
Wagner’s uprising sparked Russia’s most serious security crisis in decades before Prigozhin agreed to step down late Saturday in exchange for immunity in exile, as part of a deal brokered by Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko.
Surovikin commanded Russian forces in Ukraine for three months between October 2022 and January 2023 until he was replaced by Chief of the General Staff Valery Gerasimov.