The Kremlin refused to comment on the situation around Army General Sergey Surovikin, deputy commander of the united group of troops in Ukraine, who disappeared from public view after the mutiny of the Wagner PMC Yevgeny Prigozhin.
“This is the prerogative of the Ministry” of Defense, Dmitry Peskov, spokesman for the “president”, said at a briefing on Thursday, June 29, when asked what is now happening to Surovikin and where he is.
He also refused to confirm that Vladimir Putin continues to trust Surovikin. When asked about this, Peskov replied: “The point here is that he [Putin] is the commander-in-chief, and he works with the defense minister and with the chief of the General Staff” (quoted by Interfax).
Two sources at the Defense Ministry apparatus told The Moscow Times on Wednesday that Surovikin had actually been “arrested”. He disappeared shortly after he recorded a video message to the Wagner rebels on June 24 with an assault rifle in his hands.
Colonel General Andrei Yudin, Surovikin’s deputy and deputy commander-in-chief of the Air and Space Forces, has been fired from the service, former Ekho Moskvy chief Alexei Venediktov said in his Telegram channel without indicating the source of the information. On the previous day, Venediktov reported that there had been no contact with Surovikin for three days and that his security guards did not answer either.